As horse owners, we probably all feel the pressure of keeping our furry friends happy when it is wet and muddy out. From blanketing to keeping those feet well treated for thrush, there are always things to do for our horses when the weather is bad. We should also not forget that the stalled horse (and owner!) needs a bit of “outside time” even when the “sky is falling” or the ground is too wet for a lunge, a turn out or a ride. So, let it rain! Local equestrian friends give us ideas for rainy day activities with our horse friends.
Rainy Day Activity Ideas for Getting Your Horse Out
Barn Hang Out Time – Julie : San Luis Obispo
“I know we need the rain, and I usually look forward to it, but then I start worrying about my boys being stuck in their stalls. I try to take the rainy season as a good time to just hang out at the barn, do chores, maybe clean my tack or tack room, and I always try to get my boys out of their stalls every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes to brush them. Here’s to a great spring riding season filled with lots of green on the trails and blue in the sky.”
Hand-walking Your Horse – Jessica : Santa Ynez
“Being a competitor, it’s always a bummer when the rains start to fall. This is our off season, but I also can’t expect my horse – who is an athlete – to go from being ridden every day to being stuck inside without worrying about her being sore. I look for every break in the rain and take the opportunity to go out and do some hand-walking with my horse. We’ll go up and down the driveway, walk over some poles, tackle scary puddles, and I try to get her heart rate up a little bit by asking her to trot for a few minutes too. I will even do stretching exercises in the barn aisle to make sure her muscles stay as loose as possible. I think it’s important to keep her mind off of being stuck inside.”
Easy Keeping – Amanda : Nipomo –
“I’m pretty lucky that my horses have always lived out on pasture. I don’t blanket them and when it rains, they are pretty much able to take care of themselves. I do have a cross fenced area of my pasture that I put the horses in when it’s raining heavily, though, because I don’t want them out in the larger pasture running around like crazy and hurting themselves. I still try to get them out for some ‘human time’ at least every few days.”
Try to Get Horse Out Everyday – Amanda : Nipomo –
“I do a lot of trail riding, so I’m used to going to the barn and riding or trailering out on a pretty regular basis. I’m retired and this is how I like to spend my time. When it’s raining, even though I know we need it, I feel a little claustrophobic in life, and I can imagine that my horse feels the same way. During the rainy season, I still try to get out to the barn and get my horse out every day, even if it’s just for a walk around the property or a quick curry under the wash rack cover.
I think he appreciates it as much as I do. Just spending time together keeps me motivated and keeps him from going crazy. I also try to keep his Freedom Feeder a little fuller when it’s raining a lot, so at least he has something to ‘graze’ on during the downpour. I’m looking forward to a pretty green spring!”
So, there you have it, readers…just because the weather is a little bad doesn’t mean that getting out in the rain is impossible. You need to get out there as much as your horse needs the attention and activity. Remember to take advantage of the breaks in weather and get out to the barn, get your horse out of his or her stall and just spend some quality time together.
Whether it’s setting up some ground poles next to the arena or using the natural terrain of the property, a nice hand walk with some distractions can be a great rainy weather work out. If it’s too wet or slippery to do anything safely, then just get your horse out of the stall and give him or her a good grooming. We’re all looking forward to a wonderful spring riding season!
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