4 Ways Equestrians Can Stay Safe When Horseback Riding in Winter

Most equestrians will agree that horseback riding in the winter can bring a completely new and exhilarating experience. It provides both horse and rider with breathtaking views and fun new challenges to work through together. While it can be extremely enjoyable to ride in the winter, it is important to ensure that both you and your horse are staying safe.

No Such Thing As Too Many Layers for Equestrians

You’ll find that the cold will seep in deeper and faster than you would think is possible. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you are dressing in multiple warm layers. This will ensure that your body heat stays trapped inside your clothing. For extra warmth, top off your outfit with an insulated coat or jacket.

Choosing The Right Footwear

Just as the cold has a tendency to seep through thin layers of clothing, it will do exactly the same thing to the feet if the rider is not properly equipped with the right winter footwear. In the dead of winter, frostbite can become an imminent factor as riders struggle to keep their feet warm and dry. Invest in a sturdy pair of insulated and thick winter riding boots, preferably knee-length. Wearing a boot that comes up to the knees will prevent snow and ice from sneaking into the shoe. Of course, you’ll want to pair your winter boots with a warm, comfortable pair of socks underneath, as well.

Keep It Safe In The Arena

A thick cover of snow on the ground has the potential to hide dangers like uneven footing, sticks, rocks, and holes. While outdoor riding in the winter is undoubtedly beautiful and fun, if you are not sure what may await you on your trail ride, it may be better to stay on the safe side and keep most of your riding in the arena, where you are sure there are no hazards to you or your horse. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Winter Shoeing Methods

Speak with your farrier about your options for safe winter shoeing this year for your horse. Many farriers now offer to apply padded shoes in the winter, which prevent slipping and provide a good grip on the terrain under your horse’s feet. Padded shoes also have the ability to prevent snow and ice from becoming trapped inside the hoof, which also tend to cause a loss in traction. Ensuring that your horse’s feet are properly equipped for the harsh winter conditions is a major step in keeping both yourself and your horse safe.

It is important not to let the arrival of winter get you down or dampen your enthusiasm for your time spent with your horse. The arrival of colder and harsher months does not mean that you can not enjoy your time both in the barn and on the saddle; taking the proper safety precautions for both yourself and your horse will make a massive positive difference in your winter riding experience. Going forward with the information you learned here, you will be able to ensure that you will have a safe and enjoyable winter riding experience.

 

 

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