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Winter warriors, how are you doing?

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  • HeyJealousy
    started a topic Winter warriors, how are you doing?

    Winter warriors, how are you doing?

    There's a thread like this every year I feel like, so I thought I'd start a new one. How is everyone doing this winter, riding wise? Are you able to ride consistently? Or are you like me and delegated to weekend rides only, and only hacks most of the time because the ring is constantly under water? Let's motivate each other!

  • RedHorses
    replied
    I managed to ride my younger horse at the end of last week after a snow that got soaked in rain just enough to make it solid without turning into ice. The crust is about 3" thick and almost supports my weight. The horses have to put a little effort into punching through. Which is too much work for someone who has too many beans to spook/bolt more than a few steps, and is also distracting enough to prevent most spooks.

    I haven't ridden him since mid December and he was really good. The first day we went out with another horse, but the second day we went solo and he was even better!

    The footing is safe enough for some contained trot and canter too - which made my older horse happy. Though he thinks it's good enough to gallop. I bruised my tailbone a while back (maybe December) and it's really bothering me when I ride. him. I'm hoping it's the saddle and plan to use his other one next time out to see if it helps.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluey
    replied
    Well, it is snowing and blowing sideways.

    South of here they are predicting 6" to 8" of snow.

    Crazy winter, Sunday was sunny and 75F.

    Leave a comment:


  • Salo
    replied
    Too warm and rainy, no snow at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluey
    replied
    Originally posted by jonquil View Post
    The flu, the cold that lasted a month, digestive torture - riding has gone kaput. Maybe late February?
    Would a little winter fun help?

    Leave a comment:


  • jonquil
    replied
    The flu, the cold that lasted a month, digestive torture - riding has gone kaput. Maybe late February?

    Leave a comment:


  • Emily&Jake
    replied
    I rode like, 9 times, in December. More than November, so I was happy with that, at least. But it's been very rainy here and warmer than usual which is making a ton of mud and flooded arenas/round pens. Where I board, we don't usually *need* a covered/indoor arena. But, both this year and last year we've had more rain than usual and I'm wishing for one, because it has made working horses difficult, let alone riding!

    I'm hoping to get 20 rides in for February. We will see what Mother Nature thinks of that.

    Leave a comment:


  • sophie
    replied
    Also - the worst of winter is over! The days are getting longer, and the sun, warmer!

    Leave a comment:


  • sophie
    replied
    Originally posted by Huntin'Fool View Post
    A thought on working a horse in the winter-I was riding around this morning, nice and cold here for us, 31deg. I never have much time and was just about to quit when little horse decides to do airs above the ground-nothing serious or I'd have fallen off-just lept into the air and kind of "dolphined". But of course then I had to do some more work-and fuss a bit-so he'd know that wasn't acceptable. Consequently I was 3 min late to work-and they were mad about it. DRAT. Keeping a horse going in the winter is *hard*!

    Though in retrospect, I was just kind of futzing around. Maybe I should find some specific exercises and make him work a bit harder! Any suggestions for 10-15 min of work?
    LOL! Don't they know, at work, that you have to end your ride on a good note?
    This is exactly why I don't ride before work - so many things can happen

    I consider myself fortunate this winter that my Tb mare has refrained (and there I might just have jinxed myself writing it) from winter-induced airs-above-ground. At 22 she is still as agile and catty as ever and I am happy she just goes down to work!
    The other day (riding outside because it was above 32F! Yeah!) we were having a nice, on-the-aids active, obedient trot when she all of a sudden took off for a few strides. I felt like I was on a speed boat and my upper back hit her rump, it was so sudden! But I think she genuinely spooked at something, as it didn't morph into bucking and boinking like it usually does. Phew.

    If I only have a short time, with my mare I do a lot of lateral work to keep her mind engaged, after a few minutes of long-and low warm up:
    -spiraling in-out
    -leg yield on the long side or 1/4 line to the wall or wall to 1/4 line
    -shoulder fore and SI
    -travers at walk or trot
    -turn on the haunches or turn on the forehand at walk immediately followed with trot
    -20 m to 15 then 10m circles at canter
    - lots and lots of transitions between and within the gaits.

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    A thought on working a horse in the winter-I was riding around this morning, nice and cold here for us, 31deg. I never have much time and was just about to quit when little horse decides to do airs above the ground-nothing serious or I'd have fallen off-just lept into the air and kind of "dolphined". But of course then I had to do some more work-and fuss a bit-so he'd know that wasn't acceptable. Consequently I was 3 min late to work-and they were mad about it. DRAT. Keeping a horse going in the winter is *hard*!

    Though in retrospect, I was just kind of futzing around. Maybe I should find some specific exercises and make him work a bit harder! Any suggestions for 10-15 min of work?

    Leave a comment:


  • eponacelt
    replied
    Even though it was super warm this weekend, I got to thinking about how to survive the REST of the winter...

    https://40yearoldindressage.com/surv...sage-training/

    Rule #1: Don't listen to the weather people.Schedule

    Leave a comment:


  • ToughShet
    replied
    It's funny—riding through Chicago winters were do-able. Our arena was enclosed, and we had a small heater that at least seemed to help, so as long as we could still feel our fingers after tacking up in the unheated aisle, we we good. If it dropped into the teens, we often canceled because the wind chill was so much worse.

    In Seattle, I've reverted back to my PNW roots and am a total wimp. Our arena is covered but open to the wind. We tack up under an overhang, but the only heat source inside the tack room broke last week before the "cold" snap that's dropped us into the high 20s (yes, please laugh at us, hardy riders of the Great Plains, Midwest, NE, etc). I'm wimping out tonight for the first time all winter; it's the frigid outdoor time before and after riding that kills me. Tomorrow, I'll carry on!

    On a side note, the horses I knew in Chicago seemed over the cold weather pretty quickly. Meanwhile, my old man and his friends are so amped it's funny. I swear we were sidepassing at one point — this on a legitimately creaky oldster who's still coming back into work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Larbear
    replied
    Originally posted by quietann View Post

    Yes, Bradley Palmer -- what fun it must be to train there at night! Feronia is an old lady now, and a mostly-walking trail horse, though she has -- ahem -- days where you would not guess she is over 5. (Like Saturday at BP, until I got her away from the chaos in the parking lot.) She is boarded a less the 10 minute drive from BP, and it's been my go-to when the trails directly accessible from the barn are closed.

    Yes, this weekend will be typical winter again, sigh. I have a Crane's Beach trailer pass but may not ever get to use it, because I won't take her there by herself, and she's not a lot of fun to have along if you want to do anything other than walk.
    Sorry meant to say I was able to do stuff at my barn in the ring . I never really know how the trails are at BP in the winter so I've never trucked there in the winter. Didn't want to show up and mabe there'd no place to park or everything's nasty and it'd be a trip for nothing.

    I've never actually been to Crane's (no pass) but Salisbury's not bad... plenty of sections where my guy can open up and find his racehorse gear . Bummed the weather is not going to cooperate this weekend

    Leave a comment:


  • outerbanks77
    replied
    Originally posted by bear necessities View Post
    now I feel like there's 6 weeks until March and I can totally soldier through the rest of winter.
    Same. Mare and I are getting ring sour, and the last week or two were just able to ride outside a bit (rehab, so it has to be perfectly calm, no horses turned out, etc.) then the outdoor got too mucky and now it's frozen. Usually we get a bit of nice weather in February, so at least we should get a break. Looking forward to getting out at 6:30 tomorrow morning to ride in 18f-ish, but I'm grateful that it hasn't been colder this winter. And that the ground froze, so my coming 4 year old got some turnout today.

    Leave a comment:


  • quietann
    replied
    Originally posted by Larbear View Post

    Was this at Bradley Palmer? I was so excited that the footing was actually decent enough last night that I could do trot and canter work. At night, in January!! It's the little things

    I wanted to go to the beach this weekend (I think the times for low tide will be good) but of course now they're predicting snow. Sigh....
    Yes, Bradley Palmer -- what fun it must be to train there at night! Feronia is an old lady now, and a mostly-walking trail horse, though she has -- ahem -- days where you would not guess she is over 5. (Like Saturday at BP, until I got her away from the chaos in the parking lot.) She is boarded a less the 10 minute drive from BP, and it's been my go-to when the trails directly accessible from the barn are closed.

    Yes, this weekend will be typical winter again, sigh. I have a Crane's Beach trailer pass but may not ever get to use it, because I won't take her there by herself, and she's not a lot of fun to have along if you want to do anything other than walk.

    Leave a comment:


  • bear necessities
    replied
    Not even going to try to hide my joy - this has been one of the easiest winters for me in years! I am definitely one of the lucky ones with a beautiful indoor to ride in year-round and also a mostly-okay outdoor. I feel like it's barely been winter here in Maryland...we've had a couple weeks of COLD before Christmas and one little snow that was gone the next day.
    This past weekend it was almost 70 degrees both days.

    The roughest part was the very beginning of December - I was feeling miserable, it was a cold snap and I was sick as a dog trying to muddle through to my last horse show of 2020. I sucked it up and did it, got reserve champion and then hibernated a couple days to actually get better.

    Took off two weeks over Christmas to spend time with my family and prepare for WEC Week 4. Best decision ever, being in a temp controlled climate for a week was good for my soul and my horse was a superstar. Horse and I took a week vacation afterwards to recuperate and now I feel like there's 6 weeks until March and I can totally soldier through the rest of winter. Any sunny, mild day I try to ride outside in the fields so my guy doesn't get burned out being stuck in the indoor!

    Having WEC to focus on definitely helped the first part of winter fly by... I also remind myself when it's 35 at night and I have to ride that 1. we have an indoor and 2. previous years I rode outside at night, literally by myself under lights, so shut up and be thankful

    Leave a comment:


  • Larbear
    replied
    Originally posted by quietann View Post
    Just had two days in the mid to high 60s. In January. In Massachusetts. I trailered out to a nearby state park and had a lovely ride on my mare, once we were out of the parking lot, with its zillions of kids, dogs, horse trailers, etc. The parking lot was *insane*. And then she wouldn't get back on the trailer, so I had to call a friend to rescue us (after 2 hours, the last 45 minutes of which was standing, me in the trailer, her with her front hooves on the ramp). (There are "issues" with mare but I'm not sure I want to post about them here.)
    Was this at Bradley Palmer? I was so excited that the footing was actually decent enough last night that I could do trot and canter work. At night, in January!! It's the little things

    I wanted to go to the beach this weekend (I think the times for low tide will be good) but of course now they're predicting snow. Sigh....

    Leave a comment:


  • HeyJealousy
    replied
    I am hoping to start a half lease on a horse at a barn with a covered arena! I've never boarded anywhere with an indoor or covered so I'm pretty excited about the prospects of actually being able to ride after work! The weather is in the 60's right now with constant rain so it's a pretty interesting winter so far. I fear the worst is yet to come...

    Leave a comment:


  • quietann
    replied
    Just had two days in the mid to high 60s. In January. In Massachusetts. I trailered out to a nearby state park and had a lovely ride on my mare, once we were out of the parking lot, with its zillions of kids, dogs, horse trailers, etc. The parking lot was *insane*. And then she wouldn't get back on the trailer, so I had to call a friend to rescue us (after 2 hours, the last 45 minutes of which was standing, me in the trailer, her with her front hooves on the ramp). (There are "issues" with mare but I'm not sure I want to post about them here.)

    Leave a comment:


  • DunByMistake
    replied
    We moved to a new farm in May so I was a little worried about the first winter because you never quite know what to expect!

    We made a couple changes this winter that have greatly improved life for myself and horses. They are on a free choice round bale with a net. They’re happier and less fighting over portions. I get to sleep in on weekends, easier to leave them for a trip and I don’t have to rush home to feed after work.

    The other thing I’m really liking about this property is we have this weird little sunroom that is an addition to our house. Didn’t use it at all this summer but in the fall, I put my horse stuff that couldn’t freeze into this room as well as my feed bins. It is so nice to be able to go in there at night to soak cubes for next day. I feed my horse basically at the door so it’s so handy to grab grooming stuff, switch blankets, etc and not have to haul it through snow.

    I also got pregnant in October and was hoping to ride to the end of my first trimester but weather didn’t cooperate. We had no snow but ground was frozen solid so basically riding on concrete. We both hated it so I gave up. Now I’m at the point I don’t feel comfortable riding so I’m not feeling any guilt this year about not sucking it up and riding through crappy weather.

    We are going to look at new tractors next weekend which will really be life changing!

    Leave a comment:

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