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    Did anyone else about lose their Mini Wheats upon reading the article of riding in winter and doing field dressage with a picture of a guy riding his horse in the snow???? UH HELLO WTF were they thinking......I don't ride in the snow.....you could really injure your horse if you are not really careful not to mention you can't ride without snow shoes on the horse!! Have they just totally lost their minds. And as if you could actually get some quality training in...PULEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ pass the JELLY.
    The rider casts his heart over the fence,
    the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

    –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

  • #2
    Are you kidding? I ride in the snow all the time. You have to be careful and know what the footing is like, but snow can be fabulous footing.

    When you live in a cold climate and you don't have an indoor you hope for about 6" of nice fluffy snow. Not ice, not nasty sticky stuff, or snow with a crust on it. And no, you don't always get a perfect flat school but if you READ the article you'd have seen that he's saying use this time to do things like "perfect your walk/halt transition" and your 10m turns, and your centerlines. Make the best of the limitations.

    I do lots of lateral work in the snooty housing development during the winter - nice wide streets with no traffic. Do you think that's stupid too?


    • #3
      Yeah, really.

      If your horse is barefoot (and a lot of people pull shoes in winter), snow isn't a problem at all. No snowballs.


      • #4
        Riding on ice...bad (without the right shoes with studs).

        Riding in snow...can be a lot of fun. I was a kid with ponies in Northern Michigan...we towed sleds and skiers and basically had a ball during winter (most of it bareback...lots warmer that way).

        Crusty snow...not good, too big a chance to cut your horse, ice underneath? Not good....old fashioned white fluff that's poor for snowballs, the best!
        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


        • #5
          I love riding in the snow.

          It's good exercise for them too. It depends on shoeing and the type of snow
          "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

          My CANTER blog.


          • Original Poster

            Where I am the snowballs in the horses feet are treacherous ...totally out of the question to ride in at all unless you want a suspensory injury.
            The rider casts his heart over the fence,
            the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

            –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart


            • #7
              You should try it - you might like it! Some of my happiest times as a kid were playing in the snow with the pony.

              Last year we had a blast trotting around the fields in the snow too. One horse liked to put his nose down and let the snow flick up into his face, it was odd but rather endearing.


              • #8
                If you know your footing, and you've got that nice white fluffy stuff? Riding in the snow is fun! And quite honestly, there are a lot of us that simply don't have the option. Either you ride in the snow or you don't ride till spring. Unless you're volunteering to pay to put up an indoor at our farm?? Just because *you* don't do it, means its bad, or detrimental to the horse.
                Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                • #9
                  I think that Jim Wofford did make a few mentions as to how to ride safely in the snow.


                  • #10
                    It's been a while since I had a "fun" horse, but if I am remembering correctly, come this time of year, we always had snow shoes with pads so we wouldn't get snowballs??


                    • #11
                      I've usually only seen people who don't get much snow freak out about riding in it...

                      Yeah, if it's wet, sticky or icy, I wouldn't. But nice fluffy stuff on a suitable shod horse??? Tons of fun! Spraying PAM helps limit snowballs.
                      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                      • #12
                        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                        My CANTER blog.


                        • #13
                          The really fluffy stuff is the most fun. If you have wet sticky snow I think it's best to have shoes with pads or shoeless. The snowballs can get really large even with just turnout.


                          • #14
                            Well...as long as you know what is under the snow? See nothing wrong with it.

                            I don't know how much serious work-as in competition level and quality excercises-you are going to be able to get done. And I sure as heck would not jump anything serious without knowing exactly what you are landing on or in under that soft and fluffy coating that covers everything like a duvet.

                            But you work with what you got. If that's what you got? That's what you keep them legged up and doing something in. Unless you go to Florida or lay them off for the season.

                            Those that live around where I do are out of luck-it is churned up mud full of peaks and valleys frozen solid hidden under that blanket of nice, fluffy snow. Ankle twisting, hoof bruising nightmare, keeps the vets busy.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                            • Original Poster

                              I rode in it a couple of times as a kid but the snowballs were horrible. Of course I am in the South so we don't get the fluffy large snowfalls.....maybe I need to make a trip up north to try it the way you guys sound!!

                              Does Pam work really? I don't pull my horses shoes.
                              The rider casts his heart over the fence,
                              the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

                              –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart


                              • #16
                                Snowshoes with pads or barefoot. I used to LOVE riding in the snow. If it were deep enough, it was a great place to take out a really fresh horse. It's kind of hard to really buck in deepish snow, but they could, and did, work off all their energy. Man, could you get some beautiful elevated movement in the snow. It also created a really good buffer for the ground if it were deep enough and when it was, we used to go over to the Ponkapoag Golf Course and do long, long gallops across the fairways. We weren't allowed NEAR the golf course without a good cover of snow. The horses just LOVED it when we took them out.

                                My mares at home gallop and buck through the snow all the time out in their pasture. I don't know why you think it's sooooooo dangerous. Lots of people don't have indoors and ride in the snow all winter - as long as it's not toooo deep.
                                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                Now apparently completely invisible!


                                • #17
                                  I was gonna say, if your location is really "NASCAR HELL" (that's where I am too!), you don't KNOW what snow is..... heheh.

                                  When I lived in Maine I rode in the snow all the time. With shoes with borium no pads. Snowballs aren't a problem unless you actually get OUT of the snow, really. Which didn't happen until we got back in a stall!

                                  Would you not turn out in the snow, either?

                                  Third Charm Event Team


                                  • #18
                                    I have ridden outside in the winter my entire life.....never had an injury to my horses (snow related).

                                    Like others have said, if you are smart enough to tell if it is a good base, are travelling on known footing and adjust your riding accordingly....no problem.

                                    Last winter we had terrible footing problems in our indoor (have left that place) and we rode out all winter. Did our work in the forest. We had maybe 5 days out of the entire winter where conditions forced us into the arena. Some horses were barefoot, some had shoes (little ice studs and snow pads) and all did just fine.
                                    Last edited by sisu27; Jan. 4, 2010, 10:51 AM.
                                    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                                    • #19
                                      Yeah, I completely ruined my then-3yo Oldenburg's career with my incessant trailriding through the snowy woods at dawn last winter:





                                      Orrrrr...maybe it's time for someone to get out of the indoor arena for once.
                                      Join us -I even have an extra horse.
                                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                      • #20
                                        Yes, PAM works to keep the snow from balling up.

                                        But not for long and only with the nice dry, fluffy variety of snow. Nasty, icy stuff you are out of luck.

                                        Snowshoes also offer sole protection against bruising from ice chunks, stones or whatever else may be hidden underneath and really are a better way to go.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.