Autumn is quickly drawing to a close.
The dreaded winter is setting in………….
With the weather changing fast, bright summer nights have disappeared and now it’s a frantic dash to get to the yard to ride the horses before it’s too cold and dark. Not only do we feel differently during winter, we all have to take note of the effect winter has on our horses.
I am very sure most of you have had to sort through the endless pile of rugs for the winter. Which ones need washing, which need repairs. The horrible check if you need to bite the bullet and buy new rugs.
It is also important to keep your horse comfortable and entertained in his stable during winter. With less turn out in the fields your horse will spend longer in their box. Invest in likits and toys to keep your horse entertained when coming in the stable. Ensure your rubber matting is thick and you have given them plenty of bedding to keep you horse nice and warm.
It is really important to look after your horse during these cold winter months. Here are a few tips for winter:
- When riding in the rain you can use a waterproof wrap-around exercise sheet to keep your horse dry.
- You don’t need to clean every inch of your horse every time you ride, especially if you have a grey, during the winter months when they are covered in mud. As long as you remove as much as possible and especially in the areas where the tack sits.
- Get your horse clipped appropriately for the amount of work over the winter. If your horse is likely to live out and is lightly hacked then it may be best not to clip your horse. Clipping will reduce the likelihood of a sweaty wet horse after riding and will also make grooming easier.
- Invest in a turnout rug that goes up to the neck. This will keep your horse warm and clean when in the field.
- When turning your horse out plait your tail into a hunting knot to prevent a muddy mess.
- Possibly experiment with coat shine products to help prevent mud from sticking to your horse’s coat, mad and tail.
- Ride with an exercise blanket to keep your horse warm and prevent your muscles being tight and cold.
- Increase your warm- up and warm- down times to prevent your horse having stiff and pulled muscles.
- Warm up your horses bit before putting it in their mouth as a cold bit is very uncomfortable.
- Try not to hose down your horse after exercise, as they will be left freezing cold in their stable still damp. Instead, gently sponge with tepid water and ensure your horse is not left chilly.
What are your tips and tricks for the most comfortable winter possible ? Comment below.
Keep Calm and Ride On