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Question for those who keep horses at home

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  • Question for those who keep horses at home

    What if, you have your horses at home but don't have an arena or anyplace in your immediate area to ride? How do you school or keep your horse in shape? I'm facing that dilemma right now because I will have to bring my TB home as I can't afford to board her where I have a big indoor to use. What do all of you do? Haul out several times a week? The only place I have is in the pasture and too unlevel to do any serious work. Not to mention the weather doesn't cooperate (2' of snow on the ground). I need some ideas.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

  • #2
    Well, we just rode all our horses in the pastures, but then, all we were doing is basics and legging up.
    We had a training track for gallops and later made a smaller arena, but you can do very much no matter where you ride, even if it is in the yard.

    What kind of training are you doing?
    Is there some other kind you may adapt for now that may be useful to you later?


    • #3
      Could you possibly board at the place with the indoor, just for winter, and work there to reduce the board fees?

      I have a grass paddock I ride in, but it's flat and works ok. Hopefully someone in your area weather-wise will have better ideas.


      • #4
        I ride in my pasture or out in the farm fields depending on what is growing on the fields and what time of year it is. If you are moving your horses home do you have neighbor farms around your land?? If so you could ask if you could ride out in their fields depending on what is growing and the time of the year of course.

        2 inches of snow is nothing, you can ride right through it depending on what is underneath it. Its lots of fun!!!

        My pasture currently is not the most level land, has slight dips and slopes on it, my project this spring is to level out an area and I have to clear a few more trees to get myself and adequate riding area.


        • Original Poster

          Just basic w-t-c work at the moment. I don't jump very often but will throw it in every couple of weeks. I hope to be taking her to some small low level trials next year. That's the goal right now. Oh and that's 2 feet of snow, not 2 inches.
          Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


          • #6
            When the weather is good I ride in a grass area that I have marked off otherwise I am trailering out to an indoor 3x a week. Right now with the ice, rain, freeze & thaw we are heading to the indoor quite often. Some winters you barely miss a day so it all depends. For most of my horses winter is a much more relaxed schedule but some of the greenies who are for sale need to keep some sort of consistency.


            • #7
              Winter is really hard to have horses in work at home. The ones I have at home are not being ridden as it is too hard for me to trailer out when there is snow on the ground.
              I board out in the winter and ship in the rest of the year. I have a field I can hack in, but the footing isn't the best, so I tend to just do long walking trail rides.
              Can you see if you can ship in to your current arena 3 days a week. That could keep your mare somewhat fit until the snow melts. Or is there another arena closer?
              The other option is just to turn her out for the winter and not stress out about it too much. ( I personally would hate that option. )
              There is also road work, if the roads around your house are conducive to that.
              Sorry that you have to move your mare. What a PIA.
              "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."



              • #8
                Maybe you can pay an arena fee at your boarding barn and trailer in several times a week.

                I have a big gently rolling field to ride in here at home. When I start babies or OTTBs I have the use of a beautiful arena belonging to a very generous friend. It doesn't take long to switch to the field but it's nice to use the ring first.

                You do what you have to-you'll get used to it.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lesson junkie View Post
                  I have a big gently rolling field to ride in here at home. When I start babies or OTTBs I have the use of a beautiful arena belonging to a very generous friend. It doesn't take long to switch to the field but it's nice to use the ring first.
                  I actually do it the other way round (babies, not OTTBs). They don't go in the ring (which involves a stream crossing to get to) until I am comfortable riding them (first) in their paddock or small fenced pasture and (second) in the open field, including the stream crossing.

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                  • #10
                    well, i have no ring but i have a neighbor who has one, she is kind enough to let me ride in her ring, in exchange for i do her shots, have done vet tech care for several of her horses and will farm sit


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                      Oh and that's 2 feet of snow, not 2 inches.
                      Whoops my bad, its a brain fart day here at work Why we are working today is beyond me, but that's another issue.

                      One suggestion with regards to the snow if you want to work in your pasture, I run a four wheeler around to create a path through the snow to make it not quite so deep. Currently we have gotten 33 inches here so far this winter, not fun, but the snow hasn't been icy snow, pretty fluffy for the most part. The horses really do seem to enjoying working through the snow and its a great muscle builder for my mare as well.

                      I have a friend that has an indoor a few miles from my house, but I feel by the time I get the trailer out of the snow banks and hooked up to the truck it just doesn't feel worth my time. Plus I just hate trailering if there is any kind of snow on the roadway. And considering its been snowing just about every day or every other day we haven't had clear roads since Mid November


                      • #12
                        I ride in my pasture, or I ride in the neighbors field. If I do any jumping (when I feel brave enough to do a small crosspole) I set up my things in the neighbors field and ask someone to watch. With the snow we're getting, I can't trailer out for winter, so I am not riding.


                        • #13
                          Before we put in our ring, we rode in the field. When the weather gets cold, our ring freezes anyway and becomes unusable for much of the winter (some sunny warmer afternoons we can ride in it) so we still wind up riding in the field.

                          Snow doesn't affect this because both field and ring would be covered anyway. We do less riding in the winter and just try to hack them around the farm as much as possible.


                          • #14
                            Live in Florida!

                            I have a big, flat field that I ride in. Obviously we dont have snow down here but we do get LOTS of rain which makes it so you cant ride. I do trailer over to my friends place and ride with her maybe once a week as she lives in an equestrian neighborhood and they have multiple rings. But in the summer when it floods, you just dont ride that much. Or you just get on and do lots of walking. Ive never had to deal with snow so I cant help ya there though.

                            Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                            • #15
                              We ride in the fields. I find mud is more problem than snow; if snow is too deep I'll just drag it with the tractor. And I always worry about concussion on bare, frozen ground.


                              • #16
                                We also use part of one pasture as our 'grass riding arena'. It is not separately fenced but in spring/summer/fall we keep it mowed short, which helps define the area. It's not exactly flat but it's not too bad, and I tell myself it's good for conditioning. We set jumps there too. Hey, if the cross-country peeps can do it, we can do it.

                                If you are keeping your mare at home, then you can pretty much do 24/7 turnout. That alone will help keep her in condition. There are times when WE look outside and say that the footing is too bad to ride, but THEY seem to have no problems running around like lunatics.

                                As others have suggested, roadwork may be an option for you in bad weather. Trailering out to ride sounds good in theory, but there are times when riding at home is safer than risking lives in a motor vehicle. And it takes so darn much extra TIME to trailer out!
                                Incredible Invisible


                                • #17
                                  I don't ride much at home in the winter because I've turned into a weinie about cold weather. But when I was younger I'd ride every day, usually outside- and this was in upstate NY. The edges of hay fields were fair game, as was the shoulder of the road. Most of the time the trails were usable as well, the trees kept the snow from getting too deep. The deep snow was actually a lot of fun to go galloping through and the horses loved it!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    That's the thing, the time. By the time I get home from work, do barn chores, hook up the trailer, load the little twit, tack, ride and get home, you're talking a couple hours. There is an arena very close by, less than a mile away that I could haul to a few times a week. The turning out for the winter sounds good but I really need to keep her in work; she's really starting to 'get it' and I don't want to quit when she's at this turning point.
                                    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                                      That's the thing, the time. By the time I get home from work, do barn chores, hook up the trailer, load the little twit, tack, ride and get home, you're talking a couple hours. There is an arena very close by, less than a mile away that I could haul to a few times a week. The turning out for the winter sounds good but I really need to keep her in work; she's really starting to 'get it' and I don't want to quit when she's at this turning point.
                                      Less that a mile away'? Could you not safely ride over there, as a warm up and be working in there, then ride back as a coold down?

                                      Our trail rides started in our riding school, that was a good mile from the edge of town, so we rode thru town streets, amogst the traffic, to get to the trails.

                                      Our gate is one mile from the barn and many mornings we ride over, open it and ride back and then work in our arena, the horse nicely settled and ready to work.
                                      Now, it is a private road, without real traffic.

                                      Maybe that is not safe where you are.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I wish I could ride over there but like stated, it's not safe. The people around here drive like Mario Andretti in the Daytona 500 and there's no shoulder either to dive onto. Plus, there's a very busy main road to cross, so that's not an option. Thanks for all the info/suggestions. Crap, snowing again.
                                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert