Winter Workouts

Consider how current weather conditions will affect your horse and adapt your workouts accordingly.
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Winter Workouts
With a little bit more consideration for both horse and rider winter riding can be an enjoyable experience. | Photo: iStock

Winter doesn’t have to be—and shouldn’t be—a time of hibernation for your horse.

Come May, Trisha Dowling, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVCP,  of Saskatchewan, Canada, is ready to take on the challenges of competitive endurance—and, equally important, so are her horses. The same can be said of Carey Williams, PhD, of New Jersey. Her sport is eventing, in which she competes spring through fall. Andy Kaneps of Massachusetts used to raise and compete hunters and jumpers; today he prefers riding noncompetitive dressage year-round.

All three riders and horse experts have a few things in common: they recognize the importance of working their horses throughout the winter. Winter workouts are valuable for maintaining fitness, preserving training, and promoting mental well-being. Winter exercise also provides an opportunity to fix problems in a horse’s training and prepare both horse and rider for the upcoming competition or riding season.

In addition to their exceptional credentials as experienced riders and trainers, all three have equine scientific backgrounds, lending their knowledge of the horse’s physiology to their fitness plans

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Written by:

Marcia King is an award-winning freelance writer based in Ohio who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She’s schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.

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