By RockN W Report Intern, Paige Brandon
As winter weather begins to roll upon us, opportunities to ride can become sparse due to cold, ice, mud, or snow. I know that during this time I can become irritable with cabin fever, itching to be outside. There are a few tricks to staying warm while getting your horse ready for the spring.
- Enter jackpots. Most jackpots have good ground, covered arenas, and lights for the early winter nights. Even hot chocolate can be found at the concession stands.
- Ride on trail. Jump on your laptop and research some new trails. Find ones that are safe to ride with snow on the ground. Take advantage of warm afternoons that are found in the deserts during this time. Mother Nature provides a number of opportunities to ride during her cold months!
- Find an indoor arena. Indoor arenas can be found in prominent horse counties. (Important to note: most indoor arenas have haul-in fees).
- Ride bareback. Your frozen muscles will warm up from working extra hard to stay balanced and centered without using the help of a saddle. Plus, you’ll feel the warmth of your horse right underneath you!
- Take your horse for a walk. The physical aspect of walking keeps your blood pumping and makes your horse put in some miles. It’s a great way to get both you and your horse ready for riding!
- Clean old tack. Being stuck inside can help give you a jumpstart on that spring cleaning. Give all your tack the much needed deep clean it deserves.
- Plan out future lessons and rides. Focus on what you and your horse need to work on and plan future lessons based on that. Write down goals for the upcoming season and a plan to achieve those goals. Map out new trails you would like to try when the weather allows. There is a number of possibilities!
- Workout. Horseback riding is a demanding sport. Stay in riding shape by working out throughout the winter.
- Organize your tack room. Jump on Pinterest and find new and fun ways to organize your tack room. Nothing feels better than when the weather welcomes riding and you walk into a clean tack room.
- Dress accordingly. We all know how terrible it is to untack with frozen fingers or to dismount with numb toes. Take the sting out of the cold weather by dressing appropriately. Wear gloves, hats, insulated boots and more!
Stay warm and happy trails!