Farm Store | articles | Riding Your Horse In The Winter

Riding Your Horse In The Winter

A white horse gallops in the snowRiding your horse in winter is not the easiest time to ride, but if you take the right preparations, precautions and warm down, riding in a winter wonderland can be beautiful and fun. Consider these tips and enjoy your winter ride.

Getting Started

Horses do get colds, so check for signs of illnesses such as a runny nose, coughing or wheezing. Remember nobody likes to work with a bad cold. If the horse's health is good, use a rump rug or quarter sheet under the saddle to keep your horse's muscles from getting chilled while riding. Keep your bridles inside your home so they will be warm. Cold bits can be uncomfortable for horses. Warm the bit with your hands, put it under your coat during your preparation, or put a warm, not hot, gel pack around the bit to warm it before putting it in the horse's mouth. Give your horse's hooves a coating of petroleum jelly to prevent snowballs from forming and carry a hoof pick. If you're riding near or on roads, wear bright colors so you will be seen. Make extra time for a warm up for you and your horse. Make sure you dress warmly. Southern States carries a line of Carhartt shirts, jackets, and hats that are water repellant, lined, and warm. If you're wearing boots make sure they slip out of the stirrups easily. If not, you may want to use a larger stirrup for winter riding.

For the Ride

Just as it is harder for you to walk in the snow, it's harder work for your horse. Plan the amount of time in the saddle and adjust your speed to the environment, meaning you will mostly be walking, and only trotting on safe, level terrain that you've checked. Plus, when you slow down your horse doesn't sweat as much. If you ride a lot during the winter, ask your farrier about shoes with pads and ice caulks. Carefully choose the best and safest places to ride. Stay away from areas where holes, branches, ice puddles, poles and other hidden hazards lay hidden under the snow.

Warm Down

A wet horse can catch a cold, so take extra time for your warm down. Dry your horse thoroughly after riding. Do a thorough visual check for scrapes, cuts, bruises, or puncture wounds. Clean the horse's hooves and check for cracks or loose shoes. You may want to cover them with a blanket for extra warmth.

Stable Care

Make sure your horse has fresh, clean, ice-free water. Install water heaters in troughs. Horses drink less if the water is too cold and this can lead to colic. Consider bedding stalls a bit deeper so horses are not standing on cold floors. Speak with your Southern States dealer about the best pest control to keep rodents out of your stable and feed. Pet your horse, head back inside, and have a cup of hot chocolate and dream of spring.

Shop Horse Essentials

Related Products

More Products Like This:
Grid View
List View
  • 12 cc Syringe With 18 Gauge x 1 in Needle

    SKU 11477063
    This 12 cc Syringe features a tri-seal 3 ring self-sealing plunger, tapered plunger shaft and exclusive no-slip thumb rest. Large finger wings provide better control. Other features include clear, durable plastic barrel, positive plunger stop, tri-beveled needle tip and twist luer lock.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Ideal Syringe 3cc With 22 x 3/4 in Needle

    SKU 11403389
    This Ideal Syringe 3cc with 22 x 3/4 in Needle features a needle bevel specifically designed for use in animals and a clear hub that allows visual flash back. Other features include a metal stabilizing insert for durability and a color-coded and rigid pack cap.
    to see pricing & availability
  • First Companion Ivermax Equine Paste Dewormer 1.87%

    SKU 11405212
    First Companion Ivermax Equine Paste Dewormer 1.87% is an effective, broad-spectrum control paste that kills internal parasites, including bots and the arterials stages of Strongylus vulgaris, with a single dose.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Roto Salt Red Trace Mineral Brick 4 lb

    SKU 11300263
    Provide essential salt plus an optimal balance of trace minerals with the Red Trace Mineral Brick. This durable, weather resistant brick allows easy free choice feeding. Ideal for cattle, horses, swine and other large animals.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Zimecterin Gold Paste For Horses

    SKU 11403275
    Zimecterin Gold Paste is a broad-spectrum equine dewormer proven to treat 61 major species and stages of equine parasites, including tapeworm. This powerful formula combines two active ingredients, Ivermectin and Praziquantel, to provide the most comprehensive parasite control available for horses 2 months of age and older.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel 12 oz

    SKU 11455298
    Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel is a topical analgesic that provides relief of temporary muscular soreness and stiffness in horses. The special formula contains an antiseptic and botanical extracts to help prevent infections and encourage the natural healing process. Stimulates circulation in order to speed healing time.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Safe-Guard Equine Dewormer Paste 25 gm

    SKU 11422411
    Safe-Guard Equine Dewormer Paste is safe and convenient for use in all horses, foals, and ponies. This single dose syringe controls large and small strongyles, roundworms and pinworms. This dewormer features an apple-cinnamon flavor that your Horse & Livestock will love and is less likely to waste. Ideal for treating horses up to 1,100 lbs.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Duraflex Black Rubber Feed Pan

    SKU 10030610
    Ideal for animals of all sizes, the Duraflex Rubber Feed Pan is molded from the finest corded rubber on the market--nothing matches the pliability and strength of the Duraflex black rubber. Comes crush proof, crack proof and freeze proof, which makes it ideal for outside conditions. Features capacity markings.
    to see pricing & availability

Find Your Nearest Southern States Location

Sales & Offers