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Winter warriors, how are you doing?

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    #21
    Coldest was -8 Celcius so far. With an indoor arena no problem. I have warm boots and a coat I don't wanna miss anymore as it covers my thighs. What I "hate" is rain, we had some cold mornings and during the day it got warmer and rainy. This is quite annoying. It gets gloomy at about 5 pm at the moment. The cold is ok, but I am happy when daylight lasts longer.

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      #22
      I finally got my indoor wash stall built and solarium installed in late fall, so I've been luxuriating in the heat of that area before and after rides. It has really been awesome in getting me out of my warm house at 6pm to ride 2 horses when I know I can both bundle up AND stand in a heated grooming area. I was actually doing pretty well getting both mares ridden consistently through most of December, when I had a bad reaction to some medication right before Christmas. I've now not sat on a horse in 2 weeks and its killing me.

      One of the mares went off to my trainer so she can keep going, and the other is just sitting around, looking pleased with herself. I am finally feeling better, so if that holds, I'll go ride at the trainer's tomorrow and see how it goes. Hoping I can get back into it and have everyone home later this week. Just in time for it to get cold again here in VA.Schedule
      Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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        #23
        I am loving the winter riding this year: it helps that I am not a 9 to 5er any longer and can usually ride during the day. Since there's no ice yet, I've been doing a lot of hacking and not a lot of work in the arena. It's been great! The bonus is that the fields were left in wheat stubble this autumn (unlike last year when that wheat was seeded very early in the autumn) so there are extra acres to ride on. The Muck Boot Colt Ryders I picked up last year are working out great as warm (albeit unflattering) barn/riding boots.

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          #24
          Originally posted by SharonA View Post

          Well. Tomorrow is another day. I'm going to start using vacation days here and there to at least get one day during the week where horse actually gets groomed, tacked, and exposed to the concept of being under saddle.
          I had to do it in the morning because there was no way I was going to get out there after work.

          What ended up working for me was to get up early enough to have 90 minutes before work. If I diddled around I'd run out of time to ride, so got very good at limiting the diddling and getting on the horse. If I had time left over to futz around I'd do it after, but riding came first (literally, first thing in the morning and before any non-essential chores).

          I did finally build a small indoor so I'd have decent footing and lights, but with 20/20 hindsight I now realize that what I should have done was spend the winters at the walk and slow trot instead of thinking I needed an indoor so I'd be able to do more, faster. Not that I haven't enjoyed the indoor, but I didn't actually need it as much as I thought I did.

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            #25
            eBay has great riding stuff at what can be a good price This year I have been getting up early to ride. I leave for work at 7 and get back at 530. Last year I rode in the dark a couple of times-it just didn’t work. This year a yoga buddy inspired me to ride early-I hate getting up early, I don’t have much time even when I do -20 min of daylight on the best day. But y’all just that bit of time has made all the difference both in the horses attitude and in mine.

            I am taking the horse out hunting and he is nervous about all the hoo ha. Just that wee bit of riding has made it so much better for both of us-to have even 5 minutes (on the days I’m a bit late) of calm riding makes both of us a lot happier. I am in Alabama so 31 is the coldest we’ve been riding-nothing like colder climes! And for that short a time it’s not a real issue. It’s helped immeasurably with my low level SAD too. So I am happy .

            Regards,
            Huntin’Fool

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              #26
              So far it's not been too bad but I know the cold nights will be coming. I have to ride at night and don't have access to an indoor so it can get brutal when all I can do is walk, especially after a long day of work, it's dark, the wind is howling and all I want to do is go home!

              My horse is at a self-care barn so I have to be out there anyways and sometimes I wimp out and after about 30 min walking call it a night. I wear the LLbean Rugged Ridge parka. It's fairly warm, has a 2-way zipper and as a bonus, the hood fits over my helmet which is really nice for those windy nights. I use leather mitts with wool mitts inside and use the toe warmers. To mix things up, sometimes I put on the surcingle and long lines and do some ground driving for a change.

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                #27
                I've also transitioned to riding before work. My mare is in an injury rehab program right now, so I need the entire small indoor to myself, and 7 am turns out to be the best time for that. Since she is confined to her stall and small run, I feel obligated to get her out 7 days a week if possible. Now I'm trying to figure out how to spend more time with my coming four year old as well. Recently I'm lucky if I do something with her 2x a week, and that's not enough for getting her under saddle. I'm going to start shooting for getting to the barn by 6 on at least two weekdays so I can work them both.

                Admittedly, we've had a really mild winter so far. The coldest it's been when I've arrived at the barn is 17; this morning it was 39. The outdoor is a little too mucky for working a horse in her situation, but we have been able to go out at the end of our rides recently and walk outside, which has alleviated a little bit of the cabin fever. Of course the mild weather is likely to change, and I will probably miss some days or just do a short lunge if temps dive down into the single digits.

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                  #28
                  This had been s terrible winter. Knee deep mud in places and everything is wet. I wish it would freeze and snow. I'm ready for it to be over.

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                    #29
                    How are we doing? I'll let you know once we actually have a 'winter'. This mud is ridiculous. Wish we had a good freeze weeks ago.
                    No matter where you go, there you are

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                      #30
                      We are very dry here, so the warmth is welcome.

                      As they say here, every warm winter day is one less cold winter day.
                      Was 67F yesterday, almost 20 degrees above normal.
                      The result is, everyone is looking out for rattlers now.
                      That is something you don't have to watch for in the cold.

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                        #31
                        So, LarBear, you just ride around in the pitch black dark? I tried that last year and IDK, I didn't like it and the horse didn't either. Oddly enough he was better in the pitch black in the little "ring" I have-fenced off pasture, than in the bit of light shining from the barn and loft out the door. That actually threw off some light but the horse seemed weird about it and spooky. Go figure. I am happier and so is he in the short bit of light in the morning.

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                          #32
                          I had big plans to ride (at walk mostly) this winter but the weather has not cooperated. We've had basically no snow until this week but was just cold enough to keep ground frozen solid so was like riding on concrete. I tried a few times but horse and I both hated it. Where I live, it is dark before and after work which just leaves weekends. I also got pregnant in October and frozen ground + 6 year old OTTB who's only getting ridden maybe twice a week + pregnancy anxiety was not a good combo. So I'm unfortunately out of the saddle sooner than I had hoped. We do have some snow covering the ground now so I will be able to do a little lunging and some other ground work.

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                            #33
                            Originally posted by Larbear View Post

                            My horse is at a self-care barn so I have to be out there anyways and sometimes I wimp out and after about 30 min walking call it a night.
                            Self care is what worked best for me, too. I had to go out to take care of my horse anyway, so rode while I was there. I'd be happy with 30 minutes of walking. In fact, I have an indoor now and will often spend 30 minutes in walk working on straightness, shortening and lengthening the walk, halt-walk-halt, and maybe some walk-trot-walk and halt-trot-walk transitions with just short slow trots. I'm finding that keeping my horse straight and on the bit at walk is way harder than doing it in trot, which is probably why I put off working on walk for so long.

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                              #34
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              The result is, everyone is looking out for rattlers now.
                              That is something you don't have to watch for in the cold.
                              We're free of the ticks and flies now, too.

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Originally posted by Huntin'Fool View Post
                                So, LarBear, you just ride around in the pitch black dark? I tried that last year and IDK, I didn't like it and the horse didn't either.
                                Sometimes yeh...lol this is how I learned that during the daytime, deer will run away from you. At night, you can get reeeaaallly close to them. This how I also learned my horse is an absolute saint!!

                                Seriously though, at night depending on where I am on the property there's a bit of light from the nearby houses or if the stars are out. There have been nights where it's so dark I can barely see, this is typically when I stumble across things like the deer or God forbid turkeys that are in the grass (again, horse is an absolute saint!). I will say though I have more sympathy to the horses now when they're staring at things. There have been a few times that I've been gawking and spooking at things only to find out no, it's nothing scary, it's just a bush

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                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                                  Self care is what worked best for me, too. I had to go out to take care of my horse anyway, so rode while I was there. I'd be happy with 30 minutes of walking.
                                  It can get pretty dull though and sometime I end up having to be creative to do something.

                                  I wear a men's watch (put it over my forearm and over my winter coat) so I can keep track of time. No danger of going too long, more like "oh crap, it's only been 15 min so far? That's it??? "

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    North Texas "winter" warrior where the flies still haven't died and the horses coats are just well strange. I clipped in October, then a partial in november. it has been 28 some days with raging 24 mph winds and then two days later its a high of 68 and we are all sweating. Super fun.

                                    This past October I moved to a farm that has a covered with lights and I am learning all about the pole exercises and I can set some jumps but for the most part tear everything down since it's mostly a dressage barn. I try to make use of my jump field on the weekends for long hacks and conditioning rides. but riding under the lights at 6pm is getting old fast. Please come soon time change!

                                    I probably ride 3 weeknights and then saturday sunday for sure. I have a draft cross so fitness is key for him I do lots of walking before and after each ride 10-15 mins stretchy walk, collected walk, leg yields, and such. I got lucky with a neighbors property that has some "hills" and a pecan grove so the weekends are spent there. Also a fan of a watch because in the winter 15 mins feels like 3 hours!
                                    when the world turns on you your horse will be there.
                                    -ariah

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                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by Larbear View Post

                                      Sometimes yeh...lol this is how I learned that during the daytime, deer will run away from you. At night, you can get reeeaaallly close to them. This how I also learned my horse is an absolute saint!!

                                      Seriously though, at night depending on where I am on the property there's a bit of light from the nearby houses or if the stars are out. There have been nights where it's so dark I can barely see, this is typically when I stumble across things like the deer or God forbid turkeys that are in the grass (again, horse is an absolute saint!). I will say though I have more sympathy to the horses now when they're staring at things. There have been a few times that I've been gawking and spooking at things only to find out no, it's nothing scary, it's just a bush
                                      When we ship cattle, we start at dark and get to the back end of the pasture about daylight.
                                      As we star the drive, you can't tell if you are riding over to some cattle or cholla cacti, it is still so dark.

                                      We are sure our horses can tell the difference and wonder about us.

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        I've been riding consistently like most winters here but we didn't get confined to the indoor until after November 1st. I ride 3-4 days a week and the horse gets an extra ride or 2 a week from my trainer or her clients. Typically I ride after dark since I board 45 min from my house and work. This is the time of year I start to go a bit stir crazy (we can't ride outside due to the mud and never ending rain). We are going to our first show of the year the 17th/18th and hopefully he doesn't loose his mind due to the extra space.

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          Larbear I hope this works:

                                          https://m.facebook.com/CustomChestnu...&ref=bookmarks

                                          ... because there are worse things to find in the dark!

                                          I've managed to ride three time in January! Carefully, and after hand walking the trails to check for ice. I'm hoping for a big heavy snow, but it's coming in on a warm front this weekend in the form of 35-45mm of rain (that's about 1 1/2").

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