There are many issues that can affect your desire to ride in the winter – weather, light, snow, to name a few. However, horse-owners alike will all want to get out as much as they can, if not only to remind themselves of the fun that justifies sticking through a cold, grueling winter!
You don’t have to clean every inch of your horse every time you ride. It is essential, however, that he’s mud free where his tack will sit.
Get your horse clipped appropriately for his workload. It will make grooming and cooling out so much easier.
Invest in a blanket that goes up his neck. Not only will it keep him warm, but will keep him clean as well!
Although there is much debate on braiding a tail, consider a braid as it will prevent a muddy mess!
Consider using a quarter sheet to keep your horse warm when riding which will prevent unnecessary injuries cause by tight, cold muscles.
Increase your horse’s warm-up and cool-down times.
Warm up your horse’s bit before putting it in his mouth!
Take a hoofpick with you if it’s snowy and also some Vaseline.
Don’t push your horse beyond his fitness level. Only work up to his capable level to prevent injuries.
Take care of yourself or you could come down with an illness leaving you unable to do anything with the horses. Layer up!
Wear a hat as we lose heat through our head so wearing a hat is essential during cold weather.
Put on a pair of plastic gloves under your warm gloves to help keep your hands dry. Plus, have spares everywhere you go!
Take a thermos of hot drinks or have a kettle at the barn so that a hot drink is never too far away. Stock your tack room with instant noodles, cup-a-soup for that warm-up.