Time to Face the Cold- Keep Up Your Training Program.
By: Hannah Young- Triple Crown Insider
Now that the cold winter months are here, some people give their horses a break and pick back up in the spring. Others keep competing, battling to keep their horses in shape and performance-ready during the winter.
With the nasty weather upon us, how do you keep the same schedule if you don’t have an indoor arena to work in? If indoor isn’t an option, I find long trotting in fields, trail riding and doing light slow work in pastures can be just as effective. If riding every day isn’t an option, most horses can stay in shape by getting worked only a couple times a week.
For performance horses, I recommend keeping the same feeding schedule year around. Feeding around the same time each day will help keep your horse’s digestive system on the right track for performance. Also, knowing what nutrients your horse needs during the off season is key. Pastures become slim, so your horse will require more hay and/or grain. During the warm months, I feed my horses Triple Crown Senior, but during the cold months, I transition over to the Triple Crown Complete. This puts just a little extra weight on them for the cold because it provides a boost in calories, but it still keeps them in perfect shape for rodeos. And don’t forget it’s very important to keep your horses drinking more water during the cold months.
Another battle I face is keeping my horses feeling good. Regardless if I’m at a rodeo or just exercising throughout the week, properly warming up and cooling down is very important. Not warming your horse up while it’s cold can result in injury or poor performance. Also not cooling your horse out enough after performing or a workout can result in a cold, tying up or extra soreness.
Horse owners and competitors alike may find it hard to embrace the cold months. But by keeping schedules the same year around, working a couple times a week and practicing good warming up and cooling out skills, horses can continue to be healthy and performance ready.