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Effing. Winter.

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  • Effing. Winter.

    This is a lament about winter.

    Apparently, in a bygone era, someone thought it was a brilliant idea to take a 1400 lb animal of prey, sit on it, and ask it to run. Then, mother nature, having already granted this beast the finest fight-or-flight system available, decided to install a seasonal option. You want the behavioral inhibition model (advertised as one in which the human stays aboard)? This is the "summer" package, occasionally offered in the fall and spring selection. Odd thing is, this costs the same as the less appealing "winter" setting, in which the beast rarely keeps all four hooves on the ground. In this mode, the human may or may not retain control over those four legs.

    The past few days, thanks to the weather in the northeast, we had a snow storm and 20-degree temps. My normally calm horse spent tonight leaping, scampering, and flinching; this was even when we avoided the scary indoor door. It's only December. Please tell me it's not just me. And then tell me spring is coming soon.

  • #2
    Unfortunately it's the nature of the beast.

    Comment


    • #3
      Move to Texas! It's been sunny and 70 most of the week.

      Sorry not helpful!
      A blonde & her hunter:
      www.hunkyhanoverian.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I was just saying to someone how much I miss the summer version of my horse. And we have no indoor so its super cold, terrible barely safe footing and essentially dark when I ride. Fun times.

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        • #5
          And you wonder why people spend all that money to go to WEF or the exsistence of South Florida in general...not to mention cruise ships.

          Now you know the real reason for the belief horses benefit from a break over the winter. A belief I came to support.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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          • #6
            I am not a fan of winter as well... We need a winter riding support group. I live in Northern VA and ride in Maryland. There have been a few high 20's low 30's days already. My normally extremely lazy horse, actually has a little energy, which is a nice thing, but really the only thing i like about winter. We have an indoor, but its still really cold! Lots of foot warmers and hand warmers.

            I just keep telling myself it will be over soon...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by findeight View Post
              And you wonder why people spend all that money to go to WEF or the exsistence of South Florida in general...not to mention cruise ships.

              Now you know the real reason for the belief horses benefit from a break over the winter. A belief I came to support.
              Mine get very light winters.. I might hack them at a walk once or twice a week for a few weeks, and usually around December they get pretty much weeks off on end..

              The best reason IMHo to give them time off is that it gives them time to recover from any small barely detectable microinjuries that, if they were in work, may become major issues down the road.
              "i'm a slow learner, it's true."

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              • #8
                Florida isn't perfect. I still have winter horse also. That's when the drop noseband has to come out.

                Tuesday the wind was up & with the cold front coming through (yes it was in the low 60's when we rode) it was a wild ride for 2 of us. My friends mare is just coming back into work & she was having issues (dolphin type movements) in the far corner of our ring. She decided to take mare back to the barn & give her some ace. My boy had pricked his ears in that corner, but generally he is not really reactive/spooky, so we kept on going. Well we came out of that corner at the canter & something lit his tail on FIRE!! He's a TB who did race & I swear he was back on the track. I have never run that fast.... Thank the lord we came around the turn & his brain came back, because I saw us headed straight at the gate out of the ring & I was planning my emergency dismount!!

                Got him back down to the walk & we walk over to the same corner on the buckle

                I want summer horse back.

                We will survive this
                Life is hard. Buy a freaking helmet.
                Originally posted by meupatdoes
                Whatever, go gallop.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by halt View Post

                  Mine get very light winters.. I might hack them at a walk once or twice a week for a few weeks, and usually around December they get pretty much weeks off on end..

                  The best reason IMHo to give them time off is that it gives them time to recover from any small barely detectable microinjuries that, if they were in work, may become major issues down the road.
                  Yeah, this!! It's a wayyyyy better reason than the wimpy one I have of hating the cold. I'm citing this one every time someone mentions that poor Cad is not being used much. Poor Cad is a demon spawn in the winter and best left alone in a large field with his friends hahaha!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Should I point out its not even technically winter yet?

                    I too am in the NE and lessoned on Wed with a windchill of 12 and 40mph gusts. Yes we were in the indoor, and Miss Mare wore her ear poms! What a difference!
                    The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

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                    • #11
                      I'm stuck riding outside for the majority of the winter, and at least for me, the more snow the better. It makes my guy work harder and have to sit back on his haunches without me asking

                      When we only have a little snow he's the fire-breathing dragon mentioned by previous posters. I occasionally wish I had the option to give him winters off, but he's goes nuts after only a day or two off. Keeps me in shape having to work him every day.

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                      • #12
                        And this is only December. What the heck is January going to be like? As of today, we will have had 3 snow events in 1 week. In December! In SE PA!

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                        • #13
                          Right there with you. My "winter horse" has started to make her jigging appearance, seeing ghosts where there were none before... hang in there!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChunkyMonkey View Post
                            I'm stuck riding outside for the majority of the winter, and at least for me, the more snow the better. It makes my guy work harder and have to sit back on his haunches without me asking

                            When we only have a little snow he's the fire-breathing dragon mentioned by previous posters. I occasionally wish I had the option to give him winters off, but he's goes nuts after only a day or two off. Keeps me in shape having to work him every day.
                            I would be perfectly happy if we had snow. We don't. We have WIND, some light snow, rain and wicked cold. So its super slippery and often just plain dangerous to ride because its seems that staying at the walk in these conditions is not actually possible for winter pony...

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                            • #15
                              Fall horse is great. Winter horse is a bit spazzy, but not tragically so and once focused (can take 30m or more depending on the day) no big deal. Summer horse is lazy as all get out and I hate summer (too hot too humid). I'd take winter horse over summer horse, but Fall horse in the middle (or hell even Spring is decent) are my favorites. Plus, I love snow and would rather be cold than hot. I just don't like all this howling wind!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HJdaydream View Post
                                Move to Texas! It's been sunny and 70 most of the week.

                                Sorry not helpful!
                                Which Texas are you in? It's been in the 40s here in Austin, and snowed last week! Hefty winter for us.
                                My adventures as a working rider

                                theworkingrider.blogspot.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  On the bright side, in about a week, the days will start getting longer.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Can I also mention that I had made the decision to clip him last week because I had a warmblood turned yak. And so the cold on his tushie is adding to this. Carry on...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Ah, good old winter-horse. Gotta love it. With my old snorting fool I'd have to break out the earplugs and slow twist to get him to focus better. Lots and lots of transitions and backing up and pole work to get his brain on work and off of the invisible monsters in every corner. He'd get heavy and want to root and run whenever it dropped below 50 but during as soon as it warmed up every season I'd end up often BEGGING him to go forward at practically every step for the first month and my spurs had to pretty much live in his sides. :/

                                      I rode today after giving my OTTB almost 2 weeks off because of college finals (he had a lunge session on Weds that's it). No idea why but my creature was actually quite focused and I was able to ride on a long rein which is a rarity! We'll see what tomorrow brings, usually I've had to lunge him before I ride so he can get his squirls out. He probably was tired from not working, seems with him the more I work him the more energy he has. And whenever the weather changes he uses that as an excuse to be silly too of course

                                      But yea, seriously consider ear plugs for winter-horse and lunge/free lunge beforehand until he chills and acclimates to the colder weather.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sorry, but I love winter riding. No overheated horses or rides. No bugs. Lots of energy to harness and turn into the best rides I have all year as long as I have a good 20 minutes to turn the snorting dragon into a productive member of society. My horse does not mind wind, so that's a great plus for riding indoors. He also becomes very focused when we jump or do ground poles, so as long as I have something to take him over, we're usually good for about 40 minutes of solid work each ride.
                                        "Do what you can't do"

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