With the crazy monsoon weather in the UK, I’m wondering how fun is riding in the rain? If you’re prepared & you’re ready to get wet, you can have fun with it. It’s time to get creative.
Believe it or not, there are pros to riding in the rain. There are even some specific exercises you can do with the rain. And I’ve also got some tips lined up for you on riding in the rain. So here’s my try for making your rides in the rain slightly better!
Pros of riding in the rain
- Practice for a show. When you compete, you never know what the weather will be like. Imagine you’re warming up for a test and finish your session with riding a test. It’s perfect practice and the only time you can practice this is when it rains.
- Face puddle fear: Some horses have fear of puddles (also known as limnophobia). This is the perfect and only time to train for it! Ride them through it, slow, fast, sideways, backwards. It’s the only way to get them over it.
- Soft landing: If you’re horse is still not up for it and you end up on the floor, the landing is much softer than it would be without the puddles.
Exercises for riding in the rain
- Collection & engagement: Some horses are more active with their legs on wet ground if they don’t like getting their legs wet. This is a perfect time to practice collection & engagement of the hindquarters with them by asking them to collect more and more. Others horses get heavy legs with puddles as they get lazier, and this is also great practice to activate their back end and get them working properly through as they’ll build better endurance for collection through this.
- Fitness & endurance: Sometimes it’s better to do a quick ride if it’s really pouring. It’s a perfect time to do some simple endurance exercises to improve their fitness. Start with 3 mins canter, 30 sec walk and repeat. Over time you can increase the the time you canter (depending on your horse’s fitness) and ideally alter the pace within the canter throughout the 3 mins.
- Passage anyone? Ok this isn’t as easy as it sounds. But it’s worth a try. If you find a massive puddle and the ground underneath is level & safe, do proper collected trot into it and through it. Ask your horse to slow it’s pace but get quicker with the hindquarters, perhaps using a long whip to help activate on the top of his bum.
Tips for riding in the rain
- Rain gear: If you’re going to survive it, you need a proper rain proof coat (Goretex is one of the best). If you have rain pants to pull on top of your jodhpurs, it doesn’t hurt. And remember the rain rug on your horse’s back & hindquarters if it’s under 12 C (especially if it’s an older horse).
- Drying: Solariums always help but a good, humid absorbing cooler rug will also work wonders. Make sure your horse is dry before you switch onto his stable/nighttime rug. Dry the legs properly as well, especially white socks to avoid mud fever risk!
- Change of clothes: If you know you’re riding in the rain, bring a change of clothes. You don’t want to catch a cold as you got to keep riding the next day!