Poll Recap: Favorite Riding Season

Of the 795 respondents, 437 (55%) said fall is their favorite riding season.

Photo: iStock

Do you prefer to ride your horse in the spring when everything is in bloom, or in the fall when the trees are at peak foliage? Or maybe in summer when it's finally nice and toasty, or winter when snow adds a thrill to your ride? In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers about their favorite riding season. Nearly 800 people responded and we’ve tallied the results

Of the 795 respondents, 437 (55%) said fall is their favorite riding season. Another 168 people (21%) said they prefer to ride in the spring, and 116 respondents (15%) chose summer as their favorite riding season. Only 43 individuals (5%) said winter was their favorite riding season, and the remaining 31 respondents (4%) do not ride horses.

Additionally, more than 157 people commented about their favorite time of the year to ride horses: 

Many people discussed why fall is their favorite riding season:

  • “Fall is the driest part of the year and has the best weather!”
  • “Comfortable weather and no bugs and fall colors in New England and less tourists”
  • “I drive but fall is the best.”
  • “I love exploring the colorful foliage and enjoying the crisp air!”
  • “Fall is usually cooler and low humidity.”
  • “In the spring my horse wants to kill me, summers I faint, winter my hands freeze, so fall for the win.”
  • “Cooler temps, fewer bugs, beautiful colors, crunchy leaves.”
  • “Fall, cool days, no bugs! Winter is a close second”
  • “Fall, because of the the crisp air, foliage and no worries of rattlesnake encounters.”
  • “I can't handle the heat of summer well, but love being with horses in the fall.”
  • “I love the colors, weather and wildlife sightings during the fall.”
  • “Cooler weather (central New York), colored leaves, fewer bugs.”
  • “Colorful fall leaves, no bugs, no heat and humidity”
  • “Horses/riders fit from summer but fall temps are more comfortable, fewer flies and less dust.”
  • “By fall horses are in condition after the summer and ready to go.”
  • “Fall, because it's finally cool enough and the wind is not crazy.”
  • “In the fall it’s just warm enough. Feeling the chilly air against your face as your riding is amazing.”
  • “I love the smell of a fall day in the forest trails.”
  • “The weather is cooler, the leaves are gorgeous, and there is no pollen!”
  • “Cooler temps, no bugs, my horse is fit, good footing unlike our typical wet springs, fun fall events.”

Others commented why they prefer riding in the spring:

  • “I ride in the bush and get to watch the wild plants come up after the long winter.”
  • “I like spring best because the sun is out but there is still a chilly breeze.”
  • “The spring is the best time it’s nice and breezy.”
  • “I like spring because the nice weather stretches in front of you!”
  • “We have long winters and I don't ride much at all. When spring comes I'm more than ready to ride!”
  • “Everything finally thaws, the birds start chirping, and horse show season is coming!”
  • “Blossoms, sunshine, foliage, snow. I ride year round, but spring wins by a nose.”
  • “Because the weather is normally the best in spring.”

While some said summer is their favorite riding season:

  • “Summer is the best. Fall is a close second.”
  • “Summer, obviously ... but the bugs can be a tad irritating to say the least.”
  • “Spring and fall have cold and mud. Winter has cold and snow. Summer is nice!”
  • “It is team roping season and summer in Montana is better than the other three.”
  • “Summer heat relaxes my horse on the trail. There tends to be less wind, as well, which is calming.”
  • “Early summer before the yellow jackets are active!”
  • “Long summer nights mean I can ride the trails in the evening and it's still light and warm!”

A few readers said they preferred to ride in the winter:

  • “Winter in Arizona is the best!”
  • “It may be cold but my equines love to ride in the snow. They feel 'fresh.' ”
  • “I live in FL. Winter is only time to enjoy riding.”

And others commented about enjoying riding during multiple seasons:

  • “Fall and spring are my favorite times, winter is too cold here and summer hot and humid.”
  • “Every season is my favorite, but fall and spring are the nicest.”
  • “I do most of my riding in spring and fall, when the weather is nice here in Maryland.”
  • “Fall and spring equally actually. The crispness of fall and newness of spring are both wonderful riding.”
  • "I checked fall but it's really all of the above. Any riding is better than no riding!”
  • “I love riding here in South Carolina in fall, winter, and spring, but the summers are just too hot and humid.”
  • “All are my favorite, although I ride less in the summer here in South Carolina as it is just too hot.”

Are you planning to spend a lot of time in the saddle this fall and winter? You can find more information about keeping your horse in peak condition, how coolers can help a hot horse after exercise, winter horseback riding tips, and how to safely warm up and cool down your horse after a winter workout at TheHorse.com!

This week, we want to know: how does your horse schedule change when the clocks fall back to standard time and the days get shorter? Vote now and comment at TheHorse.com/polls

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.

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