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?"

results of winter training/riding poll

Results were as follows: 
  • 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.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter 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 using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.

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  • What off season?
  • Ride
  • 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
  • trail
  • relax and watch TV for a change =)
  • Hunting
  • 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
  • School
  • 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
  • hibernate
  • tax preparation
  • still ride, play with them,teach tricks
  • school
  • 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!
  • ride
  • 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!
  • groundwork
  • 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.
  • hacking
  • We ride in So Cal unless it rains and it very seldom rains!
  • indoor sj
  • clean
  • 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
  • Compete
  • Fun in summer - training in winter

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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