Horseback riding is not a warm weather activity you have to say goodbye to when the air turns brisk and the snow starts to fall. In fact, along with competent care and a warm, sturdy place to protect them from the elements, your horse also needs exercise year-round.
With the proper preparation and best safety practices, there’s no reason you and your horse can’t continue your riding adventures all throughout winter!
Safety Tips for You
The most important step in preparing for any outdoor winter activity is to layer up with clothing that will keep you warm and dry. Just make sure they’re easy to add and remove as your body temperature changes.
Wear the right boots.
Investing in a quality pair of insulated boots is a good idea if you plan on riding throughout the winter! Choose something that will keep you warm and give you room to circulate but isn’t so bulky you can’t slide in and out of the stirrups.
Without the hot summer sun on your back to remind you to drink water, it can be easy to forget that it’s just as important to stay hydrated during winter activity. Along with an adequate supply of water, you should head out to the trail with a snack to keep you energized during your ride.
Safety Tips for Your Horse
Provide extra grip.
It’s just as easy for your horse to slip on ice as it is for you. Fit them with special padded shoes or ice caulks to make it easier for them to stay steady in the snow. Putting a layer of petroleum jelly on their hooves is also a good way to prevent snowballs from building up underneath their feet.
Take it slow.
Keep in mind as you’re riding in the winter that working in the snow is more difficult for your horse! Ride slower to give them time to warm up their muscles and adjust their footing.
Cool them down.
Putting a sweating horse out in the cold can cause a very sudden, dangerous drop in their body temperature. Cool your horse down slowly using a lightweight, moisture-wicking blanket to dry them off and warm them up. If the blanket becomes moist, switch it out for a fresh one so the water doesn’t get trapped on their body and keep them cold.
Make sure your horse has a warm, comfortable, and safe place to retreat to after your winter rides with a portable prefab horse barn from Deer Creek Structures! Our shedrow barns and aisle barns are available in several convenient prebuilt sizes for a quick and effective solution to meet your horse’s needs.We also offer add-on options and custom-built barns for those who have something a little more specific in mind.
Contact us today to get the perfect barn delivered right to your property!