Tips for Horse Riding in the Winter

Horses exercising for horse riding in the winter

Horse riding in the winter is a great way to keep fit and bond with your mount. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding through snow-covered fields or galloping over frozen lakes. The only problem is that it can get pretty chilly out there! Here are a few tips on how to keep both yourself and your beloved steed warm and happy during these colder months.

Horse riding in the winter requires a fit horse

You want your horse to be fit, but how do you know if he’s fit? Well, there are a couple of ways to check. First, ask his trainer or vet—they may have some ideas on ways to test his fitness. Second, consider what you’re asking them to do and adjust the work accordingly. If your horse is used to trail riding and turns out with another rider regularly, that may mean they need less exercise than if they were primarily kept in a pasture.

Thirdly, consider your horse’s daily work: Is he currently doing something very strenuous that isn’t part of his usual routine? Does he carry an extra 200 pounds while working on a logging crew? Would an average day include plowing fields or hauling logs down narrow trails?

Finally, you should think about how much your horse moves around when he’s standing still! This one can be tricky because it requires a lot more observation than anything else we discussed. Does the horse constantly shift from foot to foot when tied up in his stall; does he shuffle back and forth whenever you put him into cross ties for grooming; does he pop around like Tigger every time someone approaches with treats (or perhaps treats themselves)?

Invest in good turnout rugs and a body brush

Your horse’s turnout rug should be thick, waterproof, and long enough to cover the entire body from shoulders to tail. A good body brush is also essential for removing dirt and debris from your horse’s coat. The bristles of a quality body brush should be sturdy enough that they don’t fall out easily when used regularly but soft enough that they won’t scratch the skin. An ideal body brush will have extra-long handles so you can reach places around your horse’s hindquarters without making him move backward or forward too much.

Watch for signs of pain from the cold

Cold weather can make it more difficult for your horse to move around. You may notice a change in his behavior, such as shivering or rubbing up against fences. Also, please pay attention to his breathing and his overall body condition. Get him inside immediately if you suspect he’s suffering from the cold.

If you’re taking your horse off its home field, keep an eye on it

The most important thing to remember is to be prepared. The weather forecast, the ground conditions, traffic conditions, and water supply are all things you can check before leaving your home field. When you do go, it’s also essential that your horse has enough feed and water for the journey.

Check the horse’s health

This is one of those “duh!” items, but many people forget that checking their horse’s health before going out is essential if they want a smooth ride back home. You should also ensure that any supplements or medications they take regularly aren’t due while traveling elsewhere (if they require them).

Check your horse’s fitness level and temperament

Make sure your horse isn’t tired after being ridden hard in training recently. Otherwise, there may be potential issues with getting it fit again when you get back from wherever you’re going (I’m looking at a couple of my horses right now). As well as this, make sure that your mount isn’t too jumpy around other horses, too – if this happens, then stay away from busy thoroughfares where there might be lots of trucks passing by or cars honking horns because these sounds can spook even seasoned riders!

Don’t forget to stay hydrated

Water is essential to your health and well-being, but it’s imperative to your horse’s health. Your horse will work harder than usual in the winter to stay warm, so ensure you both stay hydrated by offering plenty of fresh water throughout the day.

Drink plenty of hot tea or hot chocolate (not too much!). Hot drinks offer both warmth and hydration. They can also provide comfort on a cold morning or when you’re feeling under the weather.

If you don’t like tea or coffee, try hot cider and other types of warm beverages instead! There are many options for hot drinks; experiment with different combinations until you find something that suits your tastes best!

Horse riders should take special care during the winter months

Ensure your horse is well-fed, watered, and warm. In general, horses should be kept indoors during the winter months. If this is not possible, ensure your horse has a winter shelter to protect him from the elements. Adding an extra layer of hay or straw to his stall will help insulate him from the cold.

Take precautions when riding in icy conditions. Ice can form around your horse’s hooves and cause him to slip and fall or slip on ice patches if you’re riding on pavement. Apply traction aid (such as sand) when appropriate for those slippery rides!

Be careful about overworking your horse through these colder months. He may tire quickly due to low temperatures affecting his energy levels, so limit how far you go before returning home! Also, note how many hours it takes each day to work out inside their stalls – if they seem exhausted, then don’t push them too hard because this could lead to health problems later on down the road.”

Plan so that the horses are comfortable

Horse riding in the winter can be a challenge. You must ensure that your horse is comfortable and safe, but you also want to get out and ride! Here are some tips for keeping your horses happy and healthy when the temperatures dip below freezing.

Could you make sure they’re warm enough? If you’re riding outside, dress yourself and your horse in layers of warm clothing. You can use lightweight blankets or mats on top of their blankets if necessary.

Choose safe footing when riding on icy surfaces or snow-covered terrain; otherwise, you might injure both yourself and your animal if they slip while moving at speed. Suppose there’s no option but to walk across ice/snow (or travel at slower speeds). Consider bringing along a pair of sturdy hiking boots.  

Dress for the weather

Every horse rider knows that a day in the saddle can be as much about dressing for comfort as it is about safety. In winter comes cold, snow, and ice—not just on the ground but also in your horse riding boots and clothes. So if you’re going to be out riding in frigid temperatures, here are some tips to help you stay both warm and dry:

Wear a hat with ear flaps or a neck warmer (which can double as an emergency head wrap). You could add extra warmth by attaching an old fleece blanket around your neck; just make sure it does not have any holes or tears!

Protecting your extremities is essential, too—wear long pants under thick socks topped off with heavy-duty boots or waterproof shoes (or both). If possible, invest in insulated gloves so that even when they get wet, they’ll keep you warm while riding back into camp after dinner.

Move a little slower

Fall is the perfect season to start preparing your horse for horse riding in the winter. After all, the colder months are just around the corner! It’s important to realize that riding a horse in cold weather requires extra work and dedication.

Ensure your horse is fit. This means they are eating well, drinking enough water, and getting plenty of exercises before you get out on their back. Be aware that an unfit horse may not be able to handle being ridden in freezing temperatures as quickly as one already fit this time of year.

Make sure you are fit. You need to ensure that both yourself and your animal are adequately conditioned for riding in colder weather conditions. If either one of these things has fallen by the wayside over the past few months or years, now would be an excellent time to get them back on track so that neither party has any issues when it comes time for those first rides on crisp fall days!


With the proper preparation and a little caution, horse riding in the winter can be as enjoyable for you and your horse as any other time of year. The main things to remember are to be prepared for the weather. Also, don’t push your horse too hard, and take regular breaks, so both of you stay warm through the chilliest months. If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other horse-related posts!