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Riding out in the rain...

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  • Riding out in the rain...

    Yes, I'm talking willingly riding outdoors in inclement weather with a perfectly good indoor that has great footing available.

    Goobs has made it very clear he despises working in the ring. Took him out for a hack last week (back when it was sunny and 60) and basically did a flat work session on the trails... he was flippin fantastic! Had a nice bouncy canter that we've always struggled to attain, nice and forward, light in the bridle, coming up actually OVER his topline, everything you could want in a dressage test while out traipsing through the fall foliage.

    So I'm ditching the ring, even if it means some discomfort on my part. I have gear for myself (nice oilskin duster that covers to my knees and various jackets/layers). But I'm concerned about my horse's comfort in less than ideal weather. He is a pretty hardy little guy, lives out in a 10 acre pasture. When it's cold and rainy, he gets a rain sheet. I've noticed when it's cool and damp out, he's starting to get a little cold backed and a bit stiff (he's got some arthritis in the hocks). I have a BOT blanket that I use on him when I'm grooming and it seems to alleviate both issues. I don't really want to use the BOT when out riding in crap weather, seems like it would not hold up for long under those stresses. I do have a fleece quarter sheet I use when it's cold out, but not out in the rain.

    Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I know he's not the Wicked Witch of the East, but I don't want him to get trail sour from being miserable out there!

  • #2
    First, I wish that I had a suitable area to work outside at all. I'm stuck indoors year round unless I trailer out.

    Second, I think that hacking out in any kind of weather is a good idea to keep horses fresh, fit, and prepared for inclement weather at horse shows.

    However, I think that at some point he is going to need to learn how to act like a reasonable citizen in an indoor and you are going to have to learn how to ride him into one. I think it will produce a better dressage test in the future if you can get him to focus and stay focused in a "boring" area.


    • #3
      I ride out in the rain. In fact, today, I was questioning my own sanity riding in a 40 degree drizzle. But the indoor is so tiny!

      My horse doesn't have any problem with it. The only thing he finds unpleasant is when the wind blows the rain into his ears, so maybe keep a ear net or some fuzzy earplugs handy.


      • #4
        If he's cold backed, throw 1/4 sheet over- at least until hes warm. if it's drizzling, you can use a wool one (if u have it), since wool insulates when wet. Then a full cooler when u come in. I also prefer to have them clipped in some way- how much is personal preference but b/c I grew up hunting, a trace or hunter clip are my winter go-tos and then u can skip a 1/4 sheet unless it's really cold and wet.
        And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


        • #5
          Sorry, brain sludge- u can skip a sheet if u do a trace clip (not a hunter)- u prob know that already tho. I thinked I skipped my wheaties today
          And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


          • #6
            You can always get a waterproof quarter sheet. Rambo makes one, and I'm sure others do to.


            • #7
              I have a waterproof 1/4 sheet that I use for my mare. If it is really cold, I will put her fleece 1/4 sheet on under the waterproof one. We don't have an indoor at the farm where I board, although we have a decent outside arena. I hack out at least 50% of the time(yay for boarding on a 100 acre farm!)


              • #8
                Having spent many years WITHOUT an indoor and riding in whatever I had to, I don't typically ride, willingly, in the rain, unless it's a warmish, soft rain. I'm a wimp, though.

                I would invest in a quality waterproof quarter sheet. I have the Rambo one, and it is lovely. And fairly reasonably priced considering it is a Rambo product! I also like that it has some reflective tape on it, as I do hack on roads around here. That will be nice to have while I'm hacking my black horse on a grey day along the road.