Winter Riding in the Snow Presents Special Problems

With heavy Wisconsin snows and no indoor ring, the horses had to be sharp-shod in the winter.  The farriers put on special shoes with sharp cleats that would dig into the ice and keep the horse from slipping.  In heavy, moist snow, it was a different problem.  The snow would ball-up in the shoes so the riders had to knock the balls out with a hammer.  If they iced up, they would scrape and dig the ice balls out.  If they balled up on a slippery surface, like a road, they could fall.  This would be very dangerous to both the horse and rider.  Sometimes, if a horse overstepped, he’d clip his front leg with the sharp shoe of his hind foot and draw blood.  We had to be careful of how we rode them and what we asked them to do in slippery weather.

UPPER RIGHT:  This was spring with patchy snow and mud.  Joyce holds Punch, a gentle and favorite Tennessee Walking horse who wold nicker when he saw her coming.  He was the only one that showed her this special affection.

ALL OTHERS:  Joyce with The Captain’s Choice, “Cappy”.

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Winter Riding

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