Keep exercising your horse in the winter!

 

Yes, you should keep exercising your horse in the winter! But, there will be some days that the answer is NO. Depends on your horse, and also the safety of exercise on any given day.

 

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Here are some super reasons to keep exercising your horse in the winter:

 

 

  • You will keep his body sounder. When horses are exercised, their muscles, heart, and tendons and ligaments stay flexible and healthy and fit. Take away exercise, and you may find your self with a horse that can injure himself easily in the stall or turnout.

 

  • Keep the silly, cold weather tendencies from escalating. These shenanigans are prime opportunities for injuries. Exercise helps your horse channel his energies into safer endeavors.

 

  • Keeping up the exercise will make the transition to springtime training much easier.

 

  • Help keep arthritis and stiffness at bay. Use it or lose it applies to your horse’s bones. Usually. Talk to your Vet about exercise levels for any horse with arthritis.

 

 

quarter-sheet

 

The other side of the coin is when to decide against exercise in the winter. Some cases in which I would not exercise my horse:

 

  • The weather is horrid. Ice storms, blizzards, hail, I would bail on riding, at least outside. There is NO reason to even think about driving, walking, or riding on ice.

 

  • The footing is slippery or dangerous. The sun may be out, but if the arena or trails are slicker than snot, find another plan.

 

  • Your horse (or you) is feeling under the weather. No need to risk anyone feeling worse than they already do.

 

And now some tips for making winter riding safe and fun for both you and your horse!

 

  • Allow for an extra long warm up and cool down. If your horse is sweaty, you need to also spend a lot of time drying him properly with coolers. No letting a wet horse air dry in the winter! More on this topic here.

 

  • You may also want to warm up with a quarter sheet or cooler if your horse is clipped. This goes a long way in preventing the “cold weather friskies” when you have just mounted up.

 

horse-in-snow-with-rider

 

  • You don’t need to train like you are headed to the Olympics. You can modify your horse’s routine, like doing a lot of trail riding or trying some new disciplines.

 

 

How do you exercise your horse in the winter?

 

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Durvet Epsom Salt Poultice - 20 oz.
$15.99 $14.98 ($0.75 / Ounce)
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SteriHoof Hoof Treatment Spray
$21.95 ($2.74 / Fl Oz)
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Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot for Horses, Size 3, Black
$177.90

This style is great to protect the hoof, but is not soft and squishy for laminitis cases.

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Woof Wear Reflective Club Boot - Lime
$41.94

Show off your horse's legs with these safe, reflective, and fashionable boots.

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DDP Farrier 12" Crease Nail Puller
$31.99

Using this makes shoe removal easy!

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EasyCare Glove Hoof Boot
$88.95

These boots are great for protecting barefoot horses.

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Whinny Wellies from Sox For Horses

Tough, weather-resistant covering for wraps and bandaging.

Silver Bells - Sox For Horses

For hoof protection when equine pastern dermatitis is a risk.

Durasole
$17.99 $14.45 ($3.61 / Fl Oz)
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Handson Ergonomic Hoof Pick
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This is the strongest hoof pick available!

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You Can Train Your Horse to Do Anything BOOK
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This book is a wonderful, step-by-step guide to helping you "clicker train" your horse with positive reinforcement.

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Teaching Horses with Positive Reinforcement BOOK
$20.99

A Guide to Achieving Success with Clicker Training. A great book about horse behavior and how to successfully train your horse with kindness.

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The Power of Positive Horse Training BOOK

Creating Exceptional Behavior by Changing Equine Relationships with the World Around Them

Horse Behaviour Exposed BOOK
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Learn the language of horses

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Training Set with Clicker and Pouch
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Keep your rewards handy while clicker training!

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Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose and Ears
$29.99

This style is great for riding!

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WeatherBeeta Anti-Static Fleece Cooler Combo Neck, Maroon/Grey/White
$99.95

Keep your horse dry and spiffy with this cooler combo. Love the neck for fast drying.

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Tech Equestrian Rain Sheet with Neck Cover | 1200Denier
$79.95

Keep your horse dry during bad weather, this rain sheet is also great for windy days.

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Thank you!