Posted by: rstor | January 28, 2015

RS-tor Rider Michaela Huntington’s Top Winter Riding Tips!

michaela and her horse zena ii

Michaela Huntington, RS-tor rider, competitive show jumper, trainer and instructor, shares her pointers on winter riding in RS-tor’s latest, timely blog!

Michaela’s 8 Top Tips for Winter Riding

  1. “If riding with a young or inexperienced horse on the roads, it is advisable for the more experienced horse to be placed on the off side. Remember that your horse may be more ‘flighty’ in winter – maybe as a result of clipping, windy weather, or changes in feed and exercise.
  2. Be über-aware of the ground conditions when hacking – it is inadvisable to hack on public roads when the ground is icy or snow covered. The risk factors for accident and injury are simply too great!
  3. When hacking, I advise always keeping a rein contact – a loose rein may be relaxing, but could also be dangerous in the event of an accident – you will also not be supporting the horse in the event of a trip.
  4. If the conditions allow, you can use roadwork to maintain muscle strength and strong tendons – especially useful if your arena is out of use. Walking and ‘jog trotting’ (a slow trot) two or three times a week is ideal, with hill work if possible.
  5. Many centres in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and the Isle of Wight run showjumping all year round, and will run indoor winter series with classes of all heights which will help keep your horse jumping fit. Venues include such as Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre in Fareham, Eaglesfield in Kent, and Blue Barn in Kent to name but a few in my local area.
  6. The RS tor Rider Safety Aid TREC GB Winter league runs nationwide from October 1st until March 31st, and comprises control of paces (CoP) and a cross-country/obstacle course (PTV). It’s a great series with some local venues. Visit www.trecgb.com for details of the South East TREC Group’s activities, as well as venues in surrounding counties run by equestrian centres. Why not make 2015 the year you have a go at TREC?
  7. Don’t forget the ground work! Utilise loose schooling, if your arena is suitable; it is great fun and allows the horse to be exercised without tack. Do as much in-hand work as much you can, e.g. long-lining, halter training and loose work – it makes a horse think and use their brain. If you can’t ‘get up speed’ in your arena due to its conditions, slower ground work can be useful.
  8. Working on a lunge, when done properly, can be really beneficial to both horse and rider. It can be used as on-going training and also as an alternative method of exercise without riding, especially if you’re time-pressed. It is particularly useful as an aid to calm an excitable, fresh horse before being ridden!”

The RS-tor is ideal for winter riding the RS-tor strap has a ‘bungee’ element that helps prevents rider falls by ‘absorbing’ the velocity of being unseated. The RS-tor’s is easy to hold and the fall prevention aspect comes into effect when the horse spooks, bucks, rears, cat-leaps or stumbles, although its confidence-boosting benefits are always experienced!

For more information about the RS-tor riding safety aid promoting rider safety and confidence visit the website at http://www.rstor.co.uk.


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