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Tell me about riding in the snow

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  • Tell me about riding in the snow

    When the kids were little, we used to ride in the snow all the time on nice winter days. Never gave a thought about footing, slipping, injury, etc.

    Now that we've had our first snowfall of 6 inches or so, I feel like I need to hang up my spurs until spring.

    Is it safe to ride in the snow? I mean, were we just lucky when we rode "back then"? I don't want to school or anything like that, just want to hop on and get in a little walk, jog, lope. And I would lope only in straight lines.

    So, how many of you saddle up and enjoy the winter?

    btw, horses are barefoot. Mine has hock issues so no borium shoes for him.
    Ride like you mean it.

  • #2
    I foxhunt in snow... The field moves a little slower, but we still jump and run through the woods and fields.

    My boy is barefoot.


    • #3
      We kept training in the snow, but mostly trail riding and with gallops where we knew what the ground was under the snow.
      Nothing better than a good gallop on about 2' of soft powder snow in some fallow field.
      Horses seem to be happy riding in the snow and if you fall off, it is like landing on a cloud.


      • #4
        I ride every winter in the snow! I'm careful with the footing as mine are all barefoot as well. I've never really had a problem, but I do like the deeper snow - then I get my husband to drive his snowmobile around to make me some trails Its lots of fun on a nice, warmish day (with no wind of course!). Enjoy!


        • #5
          I don't ride much in the snow.

          #1. If there is snow, its likely that the driveway is a sheet of ice and if there is no other way around the barn snow banks, then you're pretty much marooned.

          #2. Our autumns are very wet. The ground never freezes. I have to give up riding in the outdoor and the fields by November and adding a foot of snow to eight inches of mud makes for very bad footing.

          When I was a kid we used to ride out all the time. We would use the sleds and our skis. We went sleigh riding. I rode so much one winter (bareback) that I wore the hair short on my horse's back!


          • Original Poster

            Love the cloud idea, Bluey!!!! I remember one snow drift that was so deep I'm pretty sure my little mare's belly got hung up. As I recall she was still galloping under me but we weren't going anywhere. lol

            I also remember snowballs on their feet and that we need to watch out for that. We have a few nice days coming up so I might just give it a whirl. I have insulted breeches and a head thingy for under my helmet that is wind proof. So I should be right ready to go!
            Ride like you mean it.


            • #7
              We gallop ours in the snow, as long as the ground underneath is good, we just shorten up the workout until they get used to it then increase distance. Love galloping in the snow, sadly we haven't had a good snow in a while. Either don't get enough or it rains/ice's on top and then freezes, so annoying!
              Blog: My journey with two OTTB's


              • #8
                Snow is fun, ice is bad-I like riding in the deep snow, I like the extra bounce and feel in the horse's stride!
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                • Original Poster

                  I just noticed I wrote *insulted* breeches. And while they may be insulted by having to be worn by me...they are also insulated!!!
                  Ride like you mean it.


                  • #10
                    My now 7 year old was broke to saddle in November of his 3yo year.
                    Rather than do endless ring work, we would walk out into the hills through the snow for an hour and watch the sun come up.

                    He was (and still is) barefoot, so it was no problem.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                    • #11
                      Snow riding is FUN! Bareback is even more FUN!

                      I have ridden on my fair share of ice and snow. I think riding on some slick black top is more difficult than ice. Ice has dirt in it, also the different freezing and thawing makes it not slick, and seems like it has more traction than slick black top. Horses with shoes, and the nails coming through is best. I know my horses can travel on ice much better than I can with rubbery slick type shoes on my feet. They are a natural.


                      • #12
                        I love riding in the snow. Back east when I hunted through the winter- I simply added snow pads and borium to the horses' feet and just kept trucking. Out here, I ride less in winter and so pull their shoes- barefoot works just fine since I'm staying lower where the footing under the snow is softer. Nothing better than a few inches of fresh powder! What gets treacherous- particularly with shoes and no borium (or equivalent) and pads to prevent snowballing- is ice under snow. Not so common here, happily.


                        • #13
                          I also love riding in snow but only with perfect conditions - of no deeper than 10", powdery and no ice underneath.

                          Just a couple notes of caution - I have gotten into a wee bit a of trouble a couple of times....

                          1) punching through a snowmobile trail on deep, packed snow. The trail seemed packed. Horse punched through to deeper than his knees and it was a hard go.

                          2) rode on a warm, melting day and horse (no shoes) got very large snow balls in his feet. I had to get off and we minced home.

                          3) accidentally rode into a drift that was deeper than his belly (16'1 hand horse) and I basically clung to his neck like a monkey as he plunged/leaped out of it (probably 15 to 20 feet of width). He got lots of pats for saving us from my stupidity.

                          Learn from my mistakes and have fun


                          • #14
                            Millera's description reminds me of a day of hunting at Arapahoe after a big snowstorm. Cantering along in knee deep snow is very pleasant- until of course you canter right into a snow filled ditch or arroyo and all of a sudden your horse's forward momentum stops, since he's now in over his elbows! There were quite a number of 'dismounts' that day but at least it was soft landings!


                            • #15
                              I love riding in the snow. I just don't if I know there is ice underneath.
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                              The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                              Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                              Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


                              • #16
                                If it's good snow with decent depth go crazy. ;D Had the best snow drifting gallop ride in a decade yesterday. The horse enjoyed it as much as I did. ;D


                                • #17
                                  Yeah, I've noticed that the horses always celebrate a good snowfall with prancing and playing in it when turned out---why wouldn't they enjoy a ride in it too?


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                    We kept training in the snow, but mostly trail riding and with gallops where we knew what the ground was under the snow.
                                    Nothing better than a good gallop on about 2' of soft powder snow in some fallow field.
                                    Horses seem to be happy riding in the snow and if you fall off, it is like landing on a cloud.




                                    • #19
                                      Love the video. Been there twice this year without the cushion. LOL

                                      Lovely spot, with the surrounding houses. An equine community?
                                      But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson