Saturday, November 01, 2008

Winter training

Ah, the rain has started. And with the rain comes the annual challenges of keeping your horses healthy, active and in shape, in inclement weather with limited hours of daylight. One of the benefits of our barn, and one of the reasons we picked the facility, is the indoor arena. It does give us a place to work the horses even when it's pouring rain, but it is not without drawbacks.

The first foray into the indoor arena is always interesting, let alone when the rain is drumming hard on the roof, drowning out other sounds as the ears start flipping back and forth and heads pop up in the air, your horse using every excuse to jump sideways. Not that they need many excuses with all that going on, of course.

But probably the hardest thing is to give them a good workout without getting them too hot, too sweaty, to put their blanket back on and put them away. Our two like a good run to blow off steam and this is a hard time of year to do that at night.

In other words, time to get creative and come up with different workouts, maybe ride more often but for shorter times, just to keep them working and keep us riding.


Anonymous said...

The rain has certainly started!

Have you thought about clipping the horses? If you continue to ride them throughout the winter and they have those big fuzzy coats, it's a good consideration. Of course you don't have to do a full clip. Maybe a trace or blanket clip?

If you don't mind me asking, where do you keep Bar and Lena?

Jessica Boyd said...

Hi, Keri.

Thanks for the suggestion! We haven't ever clipped either Lena or Bar, though I know Katie has clipped her horses. It's definitely an option, though Bar really doesn't get too hairy, so might be okay if we're careful about when we work him hard. I guess I worry about them getting too cold if I clip them since they're outside in paddocks and not in stalls. Such dilemmas!

We are in between Forestville and Sebastopol, on Ross Station Road. We've had Lena there 3 years this month and both horses seem really happy.