try something new with your horse

Horse boredom busters for winter days!


  • Busting winter boredom in horses can be a challenge. Often, winter brings closed paddocks because of mud, rain, ice. Arenas are often unrideable, and if you are lucky enough for a covered arena that can get monotonous and boring, too. So think of the winter as a time to keep your horse’s mental and physical fitness up by experimenting with different things. It may be good for you, too.


Ideas to keep your horse interested:


  • Switch saddles. Blow your own mind wide open by starting to learn a new discipline. Call it cross-training, call it getting out of the box. Just have fun with it!


western saddle with silver accents


  • Change the scenery when you can. If the weather is good, can you trailer down the road to a neighbor’s barn to use their facilities? This will be good practice for upcoming shows, too.


  • Teach your horse “tricks” using a clicker. Parties will never be the same when you train your pony to fetch drinks from the fridge.


  • Organize clinics or schooling shows so that your horse friends can get together. This will give you some homework!


clicker for positive reinforcement training

This little clicker is a great tool to help teach your horse new behaviors. For a little more on “clicker training”, read this piece.



You can also use yucky winter days to teach and reinforce behaviors with your horse:


  • Patient and confident hand walking and jogging skills. No vet exam is complete without these basics. Even the best-behaved horse can use a tune-up.



lady and horse in the rain


  • Good trailer loading skills. Hook up your rig and practice loading. No need to go anywhere.




  • Now is the time to help your horse get over himself when he gets an injection. Teach him, step by step, that getting a shot is no big deal.


So what if he’s stuck in a small paddock or stall more than usual due to weather?


  • Toys. Toys. Toys.


horse playing with a stuffed toy

  • Groom. Groom. Groom.


  • Attention. Maybe more than once a day, some horses do better with many small visits instead of one big one.


  • Hand walks if the footing is safe.



horse pushing a horse toy


  • You can do a lot of “clicker” training in a stall. It’s good for everyone’s brain!


  • Slow feeders pass the time. Nothing like a really long food coma stretched out all day and night. Slow feeders are also available for grains and pellets, just in case your horse loves to scarf down his food. More ideas for slow feeders can be found here.



black hay net that is flat




How do you take advantage of winter to entertain yourself and your horse?

go shopping button for horse products

These are my two favorite horse toys, that also happen to dispense treats. The links take you to some shopping, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases., which helps me keep this well-oiled machine running. There’s no extra cost to you!

How to Train Your Horse to do Anything Book


Shires Horse Ball Feeder Blue


Jolly Pets Amazing Graze, Teal


Thanks, everyone!