Conditioning Through the Seasons: Fall and Winter

Fall can bring a welcome relief from blistering heat, but as winter approaches, with freezing temperatures and shortened daylight hours, riding can become a challenge. In many parts of the country, bitter cold and drifting snow can ruin even the most determined rider’s plan. While you can’t control the weather, with a little knowledge and planning, the colder months can be a safe and productive time for you and your horse.

Horses are fairly well-equipped to handle the cold. Problems can arise, though, when we ask our horses to perform strenuous activities under these circumstances. In the following sections we’ll discuss how cold weather riding conditions affect your horse’s body and what you can do to keep him healthy and performing at his best all season long.