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Canadians and Upper North people how do you keep condition over winter??

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  • Canadians and Upper North people how do you keep condition over winter??

    My horse and I are at lower levels, but hating winter as it drags on. Every year we seem to get ice that stays. I cannot get into the fields and am stuck indoors. How would you condition for spring at prelim and above in these conditions?

    No cheating, heading to Aiken, FL is not allowed (by the budget)

  • #2
    Originally posted by pheasantknoll View Post
    My horse and I are at lower levels, but hating winter as it drags on. Every year we seem to get ice that stays. I cannot get into the fields and am stuck indoors. How would you condition for spring at prelim and above in these conditions?

    No cheating, heading to Aiken, FL is not allowed (by the budget)

    Be happy you have an indoor. It's been a few years since I conditioned for Prelim at all but never got to go south. We did our trots and canters indoors (sometimes adding a little fence to keep it interesting) and as much walking outside as we could (footing permitting). I think I got one outside canter before our first event. Before everyone went south...this is what EVERYONE did. I remember my friend with Adv. horses doing this. The first event of the year used to often be Southern Pines (now SPII).....I remember grooming for her and we drove down for that event....it was the first time her horse had cantered undersaddle outside since November.....he was just fine.

    It does really suck but at least you have an indoor. You do have to be careful with the turns.

    ETA: we used to find places we could walk out side and be very bundled up (and use quarter sheets). Borium on the shoes was important. Walking an hour a day on top of normal work puts a lot of condition on.....just hurts when you get off and your feet are frozen.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      I accept the fact that the eventing season is SHORT up here. It's OK--winter is "down time" for my animals and it's also a good time for me to catch up on other things. My horses are turned out as much as possible, but I will often give them 6-8 weeks off in the winter and just plan on using the first couple of months of the "season" (late February through mid-April) for general legging up and getting fit.

      I rarely go to shows before early May and usually drop down a level for the first outing of the year, so it works out fine.
      Click here before you buy.


      • Original Poster

        Bfne, thanks for reply, and I am really happy to have an indoor. I just need to get out. The snow is still on the ground with ice underneath. At this point it doesn't look like I can get out for hills until beginning of may. Snow is not supposed to melt until after Easter.

        Thank you for suggesting the walking with borium on shoes. We do walk a lot in indoor.

        Dw, are you riding out yet?
        Last edited by pheasantknoll; Mar. 15, 2013, 09:31 AM. Reason: Add


        • #5
          Dw, are you riding out yet?
          No way. We are deep in mud right now, when it isn't frozen into ruts. (depends on the time of day) and I have a horse 90% through rehab for a mild tendon bruise. Much to his disgust, it's all indoors for us until the footing is acceptable. Bonnie could hack out, but she is going to have an easy year and doesn't need the road work or the extra fitness.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            My guys are usually off from Dec-February. I start them up again in March. I don't have indoor, so I have to trailer out 3 or 4 days a week. Luckily my parents and friend with indoors are only 10 minutes away.

            The snow is usually gone by April so you should be able to do late March/early April conditioning work which can gear you up for May. Also, are there any beaches near by?? Beaches thaw pretty early and cantering on the beach sand is ideal.


            • Original Poster

              Jealoushe-- No beaches. We still have snow on the ground, then it takes a while for the mud to dry up. I was hoping snow would be melting, but we have a ton and are getting more today. No 40s predicted until April. Then 3-4 weeks of melting/mud. I am looking at May before I can ride out, probably.

              However, as soon as the snow melts, I am going to hand walk him in the fields on hills. Good for both of us.


              • #8
                I live in the fairly extreme north (close to the 60th parallel...) and my guy has had November to early February completely off due to snow and temperatures (-40!!!). Now I trailer him out to the local indoor and am slowly putting him back to work. A great spot for riding out is if you can find a dirt road that has been grated, or even 12" deep snow (as long as it's not caked/icy on the top that could cause cuts). My guy is barefoot, so I feel he's pretty fine on the grated roads and snow since the footing is essentially identical to what he has in his field.

                Good luck! It doesn't take too long to get that conditioning back to where it should be
                All that is gold does not glitter;
                Not all those who wander are lost.
                ~J.R.R. Tolkien


                • #9
                  Yes, we have an indoor, BUT when I can:


                  because it makes me happy. And studies show that conditioning is MORE effective with sleigh bells.



                  • #10
                    Do you have an outdoor ring that drains well??


                    • Original Poster

                      Well, Reed, you did make me smile, and as I have been chasing cows for the past couple hours, that's no small feat!
                      And studies show that conditioning is MORE effective with sleigh bells.
                      leave it to Reed to bring in the science!
                      Last edited by pheasantknoll; Mar. 15, 2013, 05:19 PM. Reason: accidentally cut off