Poll Recap: Spring Conditioning

Of the 554 respondents, 231 individuals (42%) said they've already started their horses’ spring conditioning.

Photo: Photos.com

Has the lingering winter weather limited your horse’s training and conditioning schedule? Based on reader responses in a recent poll on TheHorse.com, weather has impacted many individuals’ riding plans.

Last week we asked our readers when they planned to start their horses’ spring conditioning. More than 500 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 554 respondents, 231 individuals (42%) said they've already started their horses’ spring conditioning. Another 179 respondents (32%) indicated their horses stay in training year-round. The remaining 144 voters (26%) said they plan to start their horses’ conditioning within the next month.

Additionally, 48 respondents left comments about their horse’s spring conditioning. 

Many people commented about how the weather had impacted their riding and conditioning plans:

Poll Results

  • “We go from ice to mud with no break, and so we can't ride yet.”
  • “We're currently dealing with 30 mile per hour winds at least three days per week.”
  • “Last year I began trail riding in mid-March. This year the trails are a mess: ice, muck, and sinkholes!”
  • “I'm waiting for snow and mud to disappear.”
  • “If it ever stops snowing here in New York!”
  • “There's ice all over—it's impossible to condition without an indoor. We've been hand walking on the road and doing stretching exercise.”
  • “The temperatures are finally above freezing long enough to work my mare consistently.”
  • “Within the month ... as long as we actually get spring this year in Minnesota...”
  • “As soon as the ground stays dry enough to ride consistently!”
  • “Late this year due to bad weather.”
  • “As soon as the ground unfreezes here in Michigan.”
  • “As soon as the snow stops falling...”
  • “Spring?! If it ever gets here...we're snowed again this morning.”
  • “As soon as the ice goes away.”
  • “Have started already but due to the continuing cold and snow it has been slow-going.”
  • “Mine only get a break when it is below 40 degrees. As soon as it gets above that we start up again.”
  • “If the snow, cold, rain, mud, wind, etc., from this endless winter ever stops, maybe I can ride again.”
  • “I live in Michigan and it's been a very cold, snowy, and icy winter.”
  • “Just as soon as the darn snow melts.”
  • “Nasty winter. Sub-zero temperatures are not conducive to year-round riding.”

Others said that they keep their horse in training year-round:

  • “I ride for pleasure all year long.”
  • “With the mild winter conditions in Southern California, I can keep my horse conditioned year-round.”
  • “I live in Dallas, Texas, so they get ridden year-round.”
  • “Weather permitting, I try to keep him ridden all year.”
  • “Don't think you'd call it training, but we ride year round”
  • “Even in the winter in New England, we trail ride when footing is okay.”
  • “Normally horses stay conditioned all year round, but due to injury, there was a down period.”
  • “With California's mild spring-like winter, I can ride all year long.”
  • “It’s a year-long ongoing process, even when we're not riding”
  • “We try to ride all winter long, even though that's not always that fun in Ohio.”
  • “I work with my Annie year-round.”
  • “My horses are kept on a 'Paddock Paradise' track system so remain fit and healthy.”
  • “I try to keep my horses legged up thru the winter months.”
  • “As long as it's not icy, there's no reason not to ride! My horses get three to four weeks off per year overall.”

A few left general comments about conditioning horses:

  • “As of right now, I'm starting by free lunging him in my 96 foot by 60 foot indoor arena.”
  • “Finally getting started this month and wow, it's flown by!”
  • “We're doing ground work and training to control speed.”

As you plan your spring and summer training schedule, keep in mind that your horse’s body will need time to adjust to new demands. Download this free report to learn more about how you can help your horse transition into spring and summer training regimens. You can also find more information by searching "conditioning" or visititing the conditioning topic page on TheHorse.com. 

This week we want to know what identification methods you use for your horses Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com! 

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More