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Indoor Winter Riding Blues

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  • Indoor Winter Riding Blues

    It has been MONTHS since the outdoors have been open (rain = no outdoor use) and I'm going a bit crazy riding indoors all the time! I'm blessed to board at a lovely barn with a very nice indoor to work with, but I miss being outside

    The trails are soggy (mind you, regardless of that my horse does not trail ride. I love him dearly for what he is, a jumper, but trails are just NOT his gig. Mr. Trainer attempted to trail him at Pebble and, needless to say, mentioned why he didn't make such a great event horse )

    What do you do during winter to cure these winter blues? Go for long handwalks? Play in the roundpen?

    Anyways, a little video of the brown horse for all who are interested (in our LOVELY indoor). Many things to work on (my HANDS! by golly!) but I wanted to show him off a little. He's a 7 yo Holsteiner gelding.


    What do your indoors/winter riding arenas look like?

    Take care,

  • #2
    Couldn't see the video.

    Riding indoors is really boring. To amuse yourself, make a "trail" class course, play pole bending with standards, get a broom and a large light ball and play "polo". It's hard to stay interested - probably for the horsies too - so silliness is allowed. Think egg and spoon, ride -a -buck, gymkahna fun.

    Try the trails again - in the middle of a warm day, with a steady eddie buddy and just walk. It's like any new thing -small steps and yummy snacks.


    • #3
      At least you guys get to ride indoors! Oh, the things I would do to have an indoor arena....

      I havent ridden for almost 2 weeks now, thanks to the awful Georgia weather.
      "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


      • #4
        I am getting bored too. It has been quite a while since I was able to have a nice gallop outside. I know I am lucky to be at a barn with an indoor but after a few months, I started to feel closed in. If it is not too horrible out, I throw a cooler on my horse and cool her down outside. When we had snow, same thing but I let her prance around in the snow.

        If you want a fun indoor exercise, you can always set up the circle of death (four ground poles set equally apart on a circle) and practice adjusting your horse's stride, bending, etc. If you jump, once you have the ground poles down, you can progress to a smaller circle and/or to cross rails, etc.


        • #5
          Originally posted by spmoonie View Post
          At least you guys get to ride indoors! Oh, the things I would do to have an indoor arena....

          I havent ridden for almost 2 weeks now, thanks to the awful Georgia weather.
          I am with you spmoonie!!!!

          No riding for me since everything is under water, cold, windy and dark too early in the afternoons. Wish I had an indoor.


          • #6
            Originally posted by spmoonie View Post
            At least you guys get to ride indoors! Oh, the things I would do to have an indoor arena....

            I havent ridden for almost 2 weeks now, thanks to the awful Georgia weather.
            Exactly!!! NO complaining if you have an indoor. I haven't ridden in over a month Probably won't ride again until March.


            • #7
              Yes, being trapped in the indoor arena stinks. But, think of it this way, you could be trapped in your indoor arena from October to April like we are here in Chicago... blah.

              On the plus side, we get snow, and the horses really seem to enjoy going out for turn out in it. It sounds like it's just soggy & wet for you right now...

              TBH - Is turn out an option for your horse with the weather you are experiencing? Even if it's in your indoor when no one else is around? I know my horse is much more fun when he has gotten left alone to his own devices for some "brain time" during the winter months while we are stuck in the indoor.


              • #8
                Hey! No complaining about being bored in an indoor! If you need to re-appreciate it, check out that snow thread where all of our non-indoor COTH friends have pretty much given up serious riding altogether until spring!

                We've been riding inside for a long time now. My horse is a giant work in progress so there's no shortage of things for us to do

                But, some other things I have done when we were in a rut - just turning him out in the indoor and playing with him (chasing him, he chases me, set up a little jumping chute for him to go through). Handwalk him outside, hack out on trails (if possible), have a friend video tape you doing a course & critique yourself, etc.

                Hang up banners all over the ring, put tarps under jumps, think of anything possible scary to put on them..
                Originally posted by barka.lounger
                u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

                we see u in gp ring in no time.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by spmoonie View Post
                  At least you guys get to ride indoors! Oh, the things I would do to have an indoor arena....

                  I havent ridden for almost 2 weeks now, thanks to the awful Georgia weather.
                  I am with you! Currently, the arena is frozen with a lovely layer of snow over the top. I just want to see the sun!!


                  • #10
                    lol, try being in a place where you're really stuck indoors all year long. we don't have a real outdoor ring. we have to hack out. where i board there's a fantastic indoor, but my god even with two huge fans, its like a hot box in the summer!

                    and it's like 10 degrees here. i would LOVE it if it was just pouring instead of being freezing!

                    actually, we have some great trails here and places to hack out but that's not an option in the winter. so i can't complain. (we can hack out on the trump international golf course in the summer and spring! just have to make sure your horse isnt spooky!)

                    not much i can think of to do really. i have come to accept that winter sucks a lot and there's not much i can do to make it better other than peruse my spring bulb catalog and think "well, SOON ENOUGH the tulips WILL come up.. right?" and sometimes when its not freezing or windy, if it's a "nice" day i will walk my horse out down the road (well its a quiet dirt road) or around the property.

                    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                    • Original Poster

                      i did not mean for this to come across as complaining, I realize I'm blessed to live where I am


                      but will come back when I make more sense


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheBrownHorse View Post
                        i did not mean for this to come across as complaining, I realize I'm blessed to live where I am


                        but will come back when I make more sense
                        lol! no, i'm certainly not chastising you! but it's humorous to me a friend who lives in FL called me the other day going "IT'S 38 DEGREES WHAT DO I DO!!!" and i said "THATS WARM!"

                        Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                        • #13
                          I'd do anything for an indoor right now. My mare's been on stall rest after a pasture accident and now that the vet has okayed her for limited turn-out she can't go out because the fields are covered with layers of ice and snow. The vet says handwalking only until things dry up some, and it seems like that will never happen. And with more rain/snow coming tomorrow I won't even be able to handwalk.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheBrownHorse View Post
                            It has been MONTHS since the outdoors have been open (rain = no outdoor use) and I'm going a bit crazy riding indoors all the time! I'm blessed to board at a lovely barn with a very nice indoor to work with, but I miss being outside
                            Yes, you are blessed. I'm glad you acknowledge that.

                            You miss being outside.

                            I miss riding.

                            Maybe in a month or two.

                            "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                            • #15
                              I agree with Sparky, who's one of several Md. friends who've come over and used my indoor bec. they haven't ridden in months. But I also agree with thebrownhorse, that indoor riding is limiting.

                              I think, by the way, thebrownhorse has done everything she can to keep indoor riding interesting with gymnastics. maybe try some longer, more difficult gymnastics. and yes, you two are a nice pair!


                              • #16
                                My two boys live outside so lucky for me they burn off alot of their energy playing. I've been doing alot of ground pole courses since we can't jump when not in a lesson but we'll do jumper courses, eq, and the ocasional hunter, plus I'll school them over transitions ect. Or I lounge. Or one of the younger girls has a green pony that I will school while she rides my packer.


                                • #17
                                  OMG!!! I LOVE my indoor and will never complain. I guess its different for us Northeners, since our guys are used to the loooong winter spent indoors. I have been at barns with no indoor and thank my stars every day that I am now lucky enough to be at one.

                                  I used to take walks along the road but hated the cars. It was decent scenery but ice, darkness and cars made it rather tenuous. I dont trust the trails (I am not a trail rider anyway) becasue I am always afraid there is ice hiding under something!

                                  Mine get anywhere between 2 and 6 hourse of outdoor turnout each day, depending on the weather so they manage to stay sane and get their vitamin D
                                  Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


                                  • #18
                                    I am riding outside, but have been stuck riding back and forth on the driveway as it is the only place the snow has disappeared. The ring has been covered with several inches of snow with a good inch of ice underneath for about 3 weeks. I've mainly been walking my TB mare as I can feel the evil beans jumping around in her. So far she has been very good, but don't want to press my luck. My trailer is finally at a point where I could get it out. I may call a friend from riding club who has an indoor at her farm and see if I can go ride there this weekend. It's a little far for an everyday trip, but I would like to do a little more than walk especially since I have a clinic the following weekend. My mare lives out 24/7 so she has to walk around some so isn't stuck in a stall losing her fitness.


                                    • #19
                                      I am a total wimp about the cold ... so I never mind riding inside this time of year!!

                                      If you are bored, my suggestion is to go get a couple of the many great books out there on riding and training, and find a few exercises to work on each week.

                                      I actually just re-organized my library and had a chance to revisit some of the classics (Littauer, Steinkraus, etc.) Picked up some awesome exercises - and motivation! - that I've been working on in between my lessons for the last few weeks. It is so much fun to see the improvement that comes from focusing on things like straightness, obedience to the leg, suppling work, transitions and so forth, and all of that is stuff you can easily do in even a modest indoor ring.

                                      I still can't wait for spring, but I figure that working on those issues now will make it even more fun when we get to head outside and play on the derby field this spring!
                                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                      • #20
                                        Your indoor and your horse are very nice, OP! My barn has a small indoor that I wouldn't trade for the world, but it does get a little boring sometimes. I like to putz around bareback or just give my horse a spa day when I really don't feel like riding. Eventually my legs get itchy and I'm dying for a real ride! Is your horse a good bareback candidate? It really is a lot of fun!
                                        I love my Econo-Nag!