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What to Do in Winter

Published: 1/13/2011
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

What to do?  What to do? What to do?

Now that Mother Nature has dealt us another foot of snow, it’s safe to say the answer is not Riding, Riding, Riding.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still commit a few hours every day to horsey activities.

1.    Ground work. Throw a halter on or not. Keep your horse’s manners sharp and respectful. Ask him to back, come to you, sidepass, disengage, etc.

2.    Grooming. My horses seem to love that extra attention in the off-season. Plus, it’s nice to handle them even if I’m not riding. It’s good to ask them to stand still and be tied on a regular basis.

3.    Clean your tack. I like to set everything up in the living room and watch the telly while I’m getting ready for riding season.

4.    Treat yourself to some indoor arena time! Dig out your trailer. Grab some friends and make a morning of it.

5.    Read up. The University of Maine has some excellent educational publications. CLICK HERE.

As novels go, I’m reading Half Broke Horses by Jeanneatte Walls. She details rough times in Wyoming ranch terms. For more suggested readings, CLICK HERE

6. Get out without the horse.
For the month of December, my attitude was simply "surviving winter."
But with the New Year and my on-again, off-again propensity to kick myself into gear, I've adopted the EMBRACE WINTER philosophy. There are awful horse trails behind my house. But these swampy, non-negotiable paths become fantastic walking, skiing, and snowshoeing trails in the winter. Yahoo!

I know y’all have more and better ideas.
Send them our way by using the Comment Bar at the top of the page!

View Reader Comments:

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1/14/2011 Tricia
Ride bareback. You'll be warm!
1/14/2011 Carole
idea for things to do :Take winter photos! BTW, I just read "Half Broke Horses", too. Have you read "Glass Castle", her autobiography? You'll be amazed by how whacky her mother and father were, and that she could possibly have turned out to be so accomplished.
1/15/2011 Lyn
I love a 3 min groom, throw the bareback pad on and go. Adding borium shoes is also the key for our icy road.

"An owner of a Tennessee Walking Horse once said that his horse reminded him of a lightning rod, for, as he rode, all the sorrows of his heart flowed down through the splendid muscles of his horse and were grounded in the earth." - Marguerite Henry