Results of Poll on Wrapping Up the Summer Riding Season
Nearly 1,000 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "When do you start winding down from your summer riding levels?"
- Never, my horse has the same workload year-round: 38.59% (379)
- November: 24.64% (242)
- October: 14.87% (146)
- December: 13.75% (135)
- September: 6.82% (67)
- August: 1.32% (13)
Readers shared their strategies for working with their horses in the off-season in the comments below.
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- What off season?
- training and muscle building
- Handle what ever Mother Nature has in store
- Hack out, lighter dressage
- I wind up at summer's end as the weather cools down some and I can work my horse more during the day
- Stick to my training schedule
- summer is my off season, but still ride
- Clean up ,repairs ,keep working on manners and exercise .
- ride bareback around pasture and go to the gym
- summer is off season
- relax and watch TV for a change =)
- we don't show, but do trail ride at different places thoughout the year
- pleasure riding only
- Read about horses
- Work just as hard
- fall,winter & spring is my on season
- Actually, here in the South we DON'T ride in the summer!
- increase levels in fall
- ride on nice days. ski
- groundwork and ride on good weather days.
- no indoor, so we have to wind down when it gets cold
- more indoor riding, less trail. Spend alot of time cleaning up stables from summer crazyness.
- light riding
- still ride just less because of wind or rain, I live in sunny southern ca.
- Due to unpredictable weather, I usually stop riding Oct/Nov. Dec - March I work on ground manners.
- we work on the same ideas but the lessons are not as intense
- groom him, talk to my horse
- down tme for horses-snow shoeing for staying in shape
- recently moved to larger boarding stable with indoor arena,etc. so hope to ride more!
- Bad weather is a factor that will determine my riding routine.
- january he is off
- we do the opposite here in fla. Its too hot until about sept.
- work around the house more
- Excise them
- In door ring! still gets a work out or bordom sets in!
- Trail Ride to the Max!
- We ride and train no matter what the weather in Eastern U.S.; just allow for extra warmup
- get fatter
- tax preparation
- still ride, play with them,teach tricks
- fitness instead of training
- Living in So Fl makes the season all year long!
- i try to keep things interesting for my horses and do different activities
- Lots of grooming, short walks, talking to them, "playing" with them, and working hard to keep them c
- use indoor arena for play and fine tuning
- still ride but not as hard
- I don't show but once the footing goes bad, am unable to trail ride until spring.
- Now that summer is coming cooler weather we can get some serious riding in here in Florida.
- Just the opposite. Horses are off in the summer in AZ. Start to ride again in September
- I dont I ride all year
- I'm in the Southwest -- We are gearing UP for riding season here! Cooler weather's coming!
- lunge, clean tack, super grooming,
- I live in North Central Florida--I ride in all seasons BUT summer!
- trail ride, indoor arena, groundwork
- move to a facility with an indoor arena
- my off season is the summer - it's HOT in NC!
- What do you mean? FALL is the best time to ride!
- break horses to ride & drive
- I ride more in teh fall winter than the summer No grass to mow means more saddle time
- ride as much as possible
- catch up on chores
- Keep on riding!
- ride whenever weather permits, and the ground is not frozen
- Once the time changes and I no longer have daylight after work
- we hend to ride more during the months that are not so hot
- I live in Florida...actually ride less in the hot summer and more in winter
- I slow down when the ice starts
- ground work
- Assess equipment & facilities. Do groundwork with the horses. Gather tax records.
- In Phoenix area, September is when we can START riding more again
- When the snow flies, they are done
- My horse and I prefer the cooler months!
- Rather ride in the snow than the heat and bugs
- Since I'm dependent on the weather I ride whenever I can year round.
- Farm Maintenance, marketing for the following spring season
- try to stay warm
- Ride whenever the Colorado weather permits!
- In SoCal, if it rains, the horses kick back & I clean tack. I like "winter" riding!
- Trail Ride
- work em till they die
- There's an off season?
- it's hunting season...so we don't ride anymore out side the arena
- My horses get a break from August to October and then get fit for the indoor jumping over winter
- sleep and feed horses
- dang snow!
- I plow a lot of snow.
- The "off" season is my favorite riding season
- trail ride
- horse is in sunny s fla and is kept in light work all year...we show in the winter!
- Ground work -lots of ground work
- lots of grooming and love!
- arena riding
- except when it's really HOT!
- If the weather premits otherwise Oct.
- I have a young daughter in swimming now so riding takes a back seat...
- work in the stockyards
- n Florida it is WAY to hot to ride in the summer so my riding level STARTS in September
- nothing special
- sept is last show, then yearly trail ride to end the year right
- get ready for the next
- same, only less because of cold and rain
- trail ride till the ice hits our area
- walk, turn out, groom, and otherwise exercise my horse
- ride in winter clothes
- RIGHT BEFORE DEER HUNTTING SEASON
- I don't show so my routine doesn't change.
- only the winter winds stop us
- Continue with arena work, and do lots of hacking!
- Ride indoors covered arena, depends on how cold it is.
- We don't wind down till the time changes. Off time....read and learn!
- I have endurance horses - ride season is just starting! :-)
- watch all my Parelli DVDs and plan for the spring
- we ride fall trail rides, winter field trials, spring shows... too hot in summer for any of it.
- Unfortunately school starts again : ( !!!!
- clean stalls
- lots of hand-walking, ride when there's no ice, or snowmobile without the horses
- feed, muck out, feed, muck out, feed, muck out.......
- We ride lighty all year. Actually ride more in spring, fall and winter when temps are less humid.
- school, livestock is usualy being born
- Fall is the best time to ride
- We are winding up, not down, for foxhunting season
- I ride all winter if it's above 30 and not too windy!
- RIDE WHEN ITS NICE,REMOVE SHOES FOR WINER
- ride in a tiny indoor
- Year around in California!
- Groundwork, ride in nice weather
- I ride more in the winter months.
- work on skills for new events next season
- I deal with mud and manure chores all winter.
- what summer riding, too busy, too hot - fall is the time to step it up!
- Work--I teach college.
- Feed them
- just trail ride 1-2 times per month
- My level increases in the autumn months when it's cooler and the bugs are gone, until ice comes.
- As a trail rider, summer is my off season in Middle Georgia.
- Summer riding in Texas is the worst time of the year.
- Try to ride indoors or thru the snow drifts!
- Usually November/December when the temperature drops below 32
- I ride more in the winter than I do at other times of the year
- Ride depending on how cold it is.
- more ground work, desensitization, line driving
- indoor ring work
- Continue to ride/train. Keep muscles up and functioning. Go to FL to show sometimes.
- read horse journals & plan my horsey schedule for the coming year. Clean and condition tack.
- Schooling for the next show season
- We ride more in cool months. A lot easier on all of us.
- Weather affects the amount of riding, not the month
- in florida, we start winding UP as the summer heat drops
- My horse has bone spavin in both hocks so I need to ride him dailey if possible.
- depending on weather
- Live in Fla. Year round riding.
- We ride in So Cal unless it rains and it very seldom rains!
- indoor sj
- in fact, in Phoenix,AZ, riding really starts in mid October
- continue w 3/4x weekly, ride out earlier, slower pace, stronger hills. In cool a day or 2 of arena
- deal with MUD, my horse eats
- Mainly ground work..some riding.
- trail ride or indoor arena when too cold
- Fun in summer - training in winter
About the Author
Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.
POLL: Horses Living With Livestock