HI Spy: What is Your Favorite Thing about Winter

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    Horse in snowHorse owners and riders don’t typically look forward to winter. For most of the United States, winter is inhospitable to riding and working in the barn.

    But enough negativity! Even if you don’t have a heated indoor arena or a ticket to the winter show circuit in Florida, surely there’s something you look forward to in winter. Your horse looks cute when his fuzzy winter coat grows in. The trails are peaceful and free of flies. When the ground is frozen, your horse can’t get himself caked in mud every day. You just bought a new, bright pink blanket and you can’t wait to see how it looks on your horse against a snowy backdrop. Or maybe you just enjoy spending a long, chilly morning working at the barn followed by a cozy afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate and the latest issue of Horse Illustrated.

    Let’s think positive this year. As you pack away your show clothes, fly spray and lightweight riding clothes, what are you looking forward to this winter? Share your response by clicking “Submit a Comment” below. Some of the best responses may appear in a future issue of Horse Illustrated.

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    123 COMMENTS

    1. I love seeing horses out in the snow.It’s so beautiful! Plus I love to run my fingers through my horse’s fluffy winter coat. He’s like a giant teddy bear!

    2. The thing I’m most looking forward to about this winter is having a healthy horse! Our horse Jack had a horrible winter last year battling various joint and hoof ailments. Although his navicular disease and arthritis are still there, his shoes and supplements are helping him so he’s very comfortable now. If he stays healthy this year, you better believe that the cold won’t phase us a bit.
      Jack came from the south, so he is always amazed to watch snow fall. I also love how adorable he is in his blankets and how toasty warm he gets. A good roll in the snow is always fun to watch too, and so is snuggling in the barn on cold winter nights!

    3. Despite the bitter cold of winter, I look forward to riding my horse through the snowy trails. I love listening to the crunch her hooves make as she steps down onto the snow and watching the icy trees go by as we tread through a winter wonderland.

    4. This is going to be mine and my horse’s 1st winter in snow! I am originally from Southern California and I have moved up to Utah for college. I am excited to see what my horse will do in the snow, because I don’t know if she has ever seen snow!!

    5. I love winter because I can ride without the horses getting so sweaty! It is also a good time to try some more daring stunts that might hurt more when falling off….Snow is an excellent cushion for the behind..granted it is cold, and wet!!

    6. I LOVE WINTER!!!! My horse is always a fuzzy woolly mammoth, the horses are always more spirited and willing to work. The farm looking like a winter wonderland after a fresh snow. Most of all BAREBACK!!! I love winter.

    7. After the initial shock of the change in temperature, I tend to like ol’ man winter. Especially after we get a heavy snowfall and get a snow day, or in other words, an entire day to spend with my horse in the freshly fallen snow.

    8. i love winter anyways but the one thing that i absolutley enjoy about winter is the snow. the is something that makes winter fun! like when i was a kid i would love going outside and just laying in the snow and letting it fall into my jacket, and on my face. or like riding through the snow. thats like the awesomest thing too because the snow under the horses hooves looks so majical! =)

    9. I am not a big fan of winter, but I do love the fuzzy horse coats, riding in the snow, taking it easy, getting ready for the next show season. I also love riding in the Christmas parade with my barn buddies. This will be my first winter while boarding my horse so I am really excited for it!

    10. I love how cute my little mare looks when her winter coat grows in. I also love riding her through the snow and watching her play in it in the pasture. I like the coziness of working in the barn in the evenings. I like wading through snow after a night of winter storms to check on her at first light and finding her snug and asleep in deep sawdust and her thick blanket. I don’t ride her as much in the winter, but spend more time just loving on her. It’s a nice change of pace for both of us.

    11. My horses get into wooly mammoths! I love hugging them and warming up on a cold day. It’s sooo much fun to ride my horses bareback, especially when it’s snowing! I think it’s magical when I ride through woods ands it’s snowing.

    12. My favorite thing about winter is that it’s nice and cool. I love going riding when it’s crisp and cold outside. It also makes it easier to ride bareback since I don’t get my pants all sweaty. I also like that I don’t have to chug water all the time and get cramps. I love cuddling up to my horse and keeping warm. There’s sooo many things I like about it…the list could just go on and on!!

    13. In winter I love seeing all the riding trails covered in snow,the tree’s branches all white with icicles and frost and snow swirling around in the air. It’s like riding in a winter wonderland!

    14. I love how fuzzy horses get in the winter. I have a Shetland pony, so she gets extra furry. Hugging her in the winter is like hugging a life-size teddy bear!:)

    15. I love seeing my Weser Ems (German Riding Pony) Get abnormally fuzzy and then clip him back to his sleek, shiny self, and that his chestnut coat becomes sort of a peachy fuzz with a dark mane and tail. He’s my little apricot! Cantering around in the comfortable indoor ring while snow blows outside is exhilarating and my gelding has a wonderful zip compared to the sweltering summer heat. But my absoloute favorite is layering up our ponies in blankets (exercise sheets) and their bridles with my barn buddies. We hop on and take an easy ride around our stable yard with hot chocolate in hand and holly and jingle bells twined into our horses’ manes and tails. Then we take a quick plunge into the snowdrifts and get as snowy as possible. Actually, I love my Equestrian winter… not to mention WEF in Florida!!!

    16. I love watching all the horses in the barn get nice and fluffy and get a big hay belly. I also love watching the snow fall down on my horses black mane and cover his cold fuzzy nose. But my two favorite parts of winter is watching my horse roll in the snow and after words shake the snow off and its like a mini snow fall. The second thing is Ridding in the Snow. Watching the horses leave there hoof prints in the snow. Its like there leaving you a path to follow. Winter has to be my favorite time of year because it makes the horses more majestic then ever!

    17. I’m one who doesn’t look forward to winter at all… but my all time favorite thing to do in the winter is to tie a sled to my horse’s saddle (a rope on each side,and with long rope so it doesn’t hit his hind legs… this actually works for me!) and ride him while my little cousin or brother sits in the sled! So much fun! And I think my horse enjoys it just as much as we do!
      I also love how fuzzy my horse gets!! This is the best time for riding bareback, because on cold days my boy is like a furnace and will keep my legs warm!

    18. well i must say, i absolutely HATE winter. i HATE the cold, i DONT LIKE the long fuzzy coat that the horses get, or the ice balls stuck in their hooves. i just dont care for winter much at all. (why dont i move to a warmer climate you wonder? i love my hubby to much, if i could get him to move, i would!) anyways, there are a just a couple of things that i actually LIKE about winter. NO BUGS!! and NO SNAKES!! what a relief it is for the horses, and me, to not be aggravated by bugs (of any sort), around the barn and out on the trail if we go. plus, last summer i dreaded going into my hayloft because i had a 3 ft long black snake living in my barn! i walked upstairs and it was laying in front of my stack of hay looking at me, then it hid in the hay!! i dont think it was in there this year, if so i didnt see it. but i was still uncomfortable going upstairs all summer long. come winter, no fly spray, and at least i wont have to tip-toe around the hay and wonder if im going to have a snake land on my head when pulling a bale from the stack!!

    19. I’ve always loved winter, especially up here in Alaska. There’s something magical about it, and its not just Christmas. I don’t think there’s anything better than going outside, slipping on your horse, and riding through the trails. The world is this silent, silvery, magical land. You can see you and your horse’s breath and feel her beneath you as you make your way through the snow. The bare trees are covered in a blanket of frost and if you’re lucky, you get to ride through lazy, fat, snowflakes. When we return home, warm bran for the horse and a cup of hot coco for me always completes the ride.

    20. I totally love wearing warm, layered, winter clothes and riding my horse in the snow! But I hate when my toes are cold before we get home:)

    21. I like seeing the horses transformed into wooly mammoths. I also like that although it is cold that the snow, on their backs makes them sparkle with thousands of jewels.

    22. I love to ride my horse, Cheyenne, bareback during the winter. It’s especially fun to ride in the snow on full moon nights and at dusk when it’s all grey and the snow falling makes it blurry and dreamy looking.

    23. The thing I love most about winter is all the horse’s winter blankets! I like to walk down the hall and see all the bright, colorful colors on each horse and pony!

    24. I like when the horses get frisky and start bucking & playing when the weather gets colder. They are so cute to watch when they rear, throw their heads around, buck and run and blow warm air from their nostrils. You can tell that they enjoy the weather!

    25. My favorite part of winter is spending time with my wooly mamoth Blue! He is so friendly and loves to cuddle with me in the cold! Oh and I love trying to stay on bareback when they are so furry!

    26. My favorite part about winter is riding bareback in the snowy fields outside my house! I love cantering through the snowdrifts.

    27. My favorite part is when I turn my mare out after the first snowfall. she always dips her head down in the fresh snow and when she comes up, there a snow ball on her nose!

    28. My favorite part of winter are the clear, crisp early mornings spent riding in the outdoor arena at my barn. I love bundling up and taking my horse for a stroll. It’s beautiful and peaceful when I can see the fog nestled in the hills around our barn.

    29. My favorite part of winter is, surprisingly, the responsibility that comes with it. I love feeling like I’ve put my horses’ needs first and given up that toasty indoor fire. Being a teenager, I also like making decisions for my horses. I get to pick what to feed them, when to ride them, and what’s best for them. And most of all, I love laying on their warm, furry backs and snuggling up around those big, thick necks.

    30. Winter brings you and your horse closer together. Neither of you really want to go out in the cold, but you do it for each other.

    31. My favorite part of winter is my horse’s fuzzy teady- bear winter coat! I love snuggling with her while I wait for her to cool off after a lovely winter wonderland ride.

    32. Fuzzy horse coats,riding inside where it is warmer, and watching horses leap through the deep snow. I love the winter, but only when it has to do with horses!

    33. I love almost EVERYTHING about winter! I love to play in the snow, drink hot chocolate by the fire, and it’s funny to see my horse’s muzzle covered with snow from searching for grass! Even though it’s cold, I enjoy winter with my horses a lot!

    34. I really love winter! I like to go on trail rides when there’s snow on the ground, and I like to go out to see my horses when the snow is deep and they’re covered in it! I just really like winter, and when it’s not to harsh the horses really enjoy it too!

    35. The best thing about winter is the cold windy snow flurried weather really makes me appreciate the other seasons. But until then my horse has a cuddly fluffy winter coat.

    36. My favorite part of winter is reading by my horse Blue, when he is really warm and cuddly! Even though there is alot of bad things about winter, there are also some good parts to. Like having a reason to cuddle with your horse, learning to ride bareback like a pro, and coming in from chores with wet jeans, a frostbittin face, and aching body to take a shower, eat some soup and have hot chocolate while reading a good book.

    37. My favorite part about winter is my horses winter coat. He has tall ears, but when his winter coat grows in, his ears look like they are short & wide. I love his ears! He’s even cuter with his winter coat. I also like how quiet & peaceful the barn is because most of the other riders prefer to ride when its warmer.

    38. I love riding when it’s crisp and calm outside. At my barn we all go caroling on horseback and the horses just prance through the snow banks.

    39. The thing I like most about winter is the quietness around the barn, with no horse shows, riding clinics, and horse camp (though I do enjoy these things) the barn isn’t so busy all the time and it’s the perfect time to ride without having to dodge around all the other riders. although I could do without icey water buckets!

    40. My favorite thing about winter is watching my fuzzy little Miniature horses munching on their hay in their cozy, straw filled stalls on a cold winter’s evening.

    41. I love to see the horses kicking up their heels in the snow. The love to be turned out to play. This is my favorite thing about winter.

    42. I absolutely love riding bareback in the winter when there is snow on the ground. Me and my friends will just hop on those fuzzy horses and ride around singing Christmas carols. The horses love it, and it’s especially nice to go inside and get some hot chocolate or coffee after.

    43. My favorite thing about winter is riding my horse through the national forest as the snow falls. Absolutely peaceful & beautiful, especially nice when you come across a group of deer drinking by the creek!

    44. I love riding bareback in winter! Seeing the snow fall, and just the peacefulness of it, combined with being connected with your horse. There isn’t much that can beat it. Also, everything is super gorgeous when there’s snow on the ground!

    45. One of my horses has seasonal allergies, and in the winter time not many plants are growing so they decrease immensely and I can ride her much more than in the growing seasons. I also love fluffy coats and snowy muzzles. πŸ™‚

    46. I love winter because when you’re riding around bareback, your butt doesn’t get cold because the horses keep you warm xD =D I love the fuzzy coats & the way the snow flies as the horses prance through it πŸ™‚

    47. One of my favorite things about winter is, of course, the fluffy, fuzzy and oh-so-warm winter coat of my horse. I also love the warmth of the barn in the crisp early mornings while I’m doing the feeding routine. Making hot bran mashes warm me up almost as well as they do to my horse!

    48. I love when my horse’s winter coat comes in and she looks like a giant teddy bear! Also because my horse and I both love bounding through snow in the pasture.

    49. I love that I don’t have to spend a lot of time cooling out my horse after a ride. We don’t get much snow in Houston but the cool weather sure beats sweating in the 90- 100 degree temperatures!

    50. I love winter time with my horses and ponies because of their fuzzy, teddy bear like coats, their welcoming nickers, the splendid bareback rides through the snow, and using their necks as hand warmers.

    51. I really like all the fuzzy horses! Especially my horse, his fur gets like 2in long! I also can wait to ride in the snow, where there is no ice of course. Since i ride bareback in the winter time, I can work on my balence!

    52. I Love to ride my horse bareback, in the snow. It is nice and warm, i don’t care about the cold at all.And with all the snow, it is a beautiful seneriy.

    53. I love riding my horse bareback! Living in Alaska, it is really the only way we ride in the winter when you don’t have a heated arena. It keeps us warm and we can still enjoy our horse. But the best part? No saddles to wrestle with!

    54. I love the beautiful snow and seeing the horses with their warm coats in the winter. It makes me all fuzzy inside and it gets me excited for my favorite holiday, Christmas:)

    55. What do I like about winter? Hard to say. My frozen toes, nose, fingertips? Nope. The stiff leather that cracks when you so much as glance at it? Nope. The icy ground that makes the horses trip? The frosty air that makes breathing labourious? Okay, it must be the fuzzy winter coats, the warm breath puffing from their soft noses, and their bright eyes underneath all that snow. Yep, that’s it.

    56. Winter is my favorite time of the year. The cooler weather and less bugs. I think my horses like it as well. They seem to have more energy and a up beat attitude. They are always willing to please but more so this time of year. The parks and areas I ride are less crowded which makes horse camping and trail rides more enjoyable. I grew up in an area with snow and some of my best memories are of winter. The holiday season just adds to the magic of the winter season.

    57. I live in Florida so my favorite thing about the winter is that I can ride without worrying about dying in the heat. My horse doesn’t get very fuzzy but what little she does I love it.

    58. First of all,I LOVE not having to battle the flies every single day, and I love not having to worry about snakes in the hay.I also am VERY excited about riding my horse bareback.Thirdly,it will be nice for us (me and my horse)not to be dripping in sweat before I even mount up! Last of all,I love winter coat is beautiful!

    59. I love not battling the flies my horse and I both hate. I love watching the horses outside play in the first good snow fall, and I LOVE the fuzzy cuddly winter coats!

    60. I love piling on the the coats and long johns and hopping aboard.
      it’s so much fun becoming burning hot on the pony and stripping down to a T-shirt. The incredulous looks I get are hilarious!

    61. My favorite thing about the winter is watching grey horses play in the snow, they look so beautiful with their coats matching the snow. I also love riding indoors because the surface is a lot better for riding than in the outdoor arena.

    62. My favorite thing about winter is riding my horse bareback outside when the snow is falling. I also enjoy bundling up and going out to the barn, because even though I’m freezing, it feels good to be taking care of my horse and her buddies.

    63. I love bundling up, riding a fluffy, warm horse, not having to hose them off, and taking a break to go home an grab some cocoa.

    64. My favorite is walking from a cold snowy or rainy day into a warm barn, filled with the smell of horses and hay, and having your horses greet you with soft good morning snorts and whinnys. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    65. During the winter, i love how fluffy my horse gets! it makes me want to hug her the moment i see her! And when it snows, it’s cute how the horses play with each other, frolicing through the snow.

    66. During the winter, i love how fluffy my horse gets! it makes me want to hug her the moment i see her! When ever i have a spare moment, i walk out to her stall with a warm peice of toast we can share! And when it snows, it’s cute how the horses play with each other, frolicing through the snow!

    67. I don’t have a horse, but i ride them at the local ranch. My friend, Natalie has a horse and i just love riding her. my favorite thing to do it comb out their mane and braid it!

    68. There are so many things I love about winter. Living in TN, winter doesn’t get that cold and is much more bearable than trying to ride in the summer. I love the fact that there are no more bugs (especially flies!), and it is so much easier being cold than being sweaty before even bringing your horse in from the paddock. I love riding and taking care of my horse and then getting in the warm car before going home to take a hot shower! Also, it is so pretty when, on the rare occasion, it snows here:)

    69. I love riding my horse bareback in the winter because I love to feel her warm body next to mine, and the fact that she keeps me warm. Bareback riding also makes me less dependent on the saddle and forces me to be a more balanced rider.

    70. One of my favorite things about the winter is the spirit of the barn! Everyone is always in a good mood: cheerful and smiling! Even the horses are in good moods! The winter season seems to cheer everyone up, and it’s the season you can really spend time with your horse without the worry of overheating! Besides, it’s always fun to end a ride by sharing a candy cane with my friends and horse!

    71. Winter is my favorite season at the barn! The horses all look adorable in with their fuzzy coats! It can be just as comfortable as the warmer seasons as long as you dress warmly, plus there are no flies! I love tucking my horse in at night in the winter. He looks so cozy in his bedded up stall!

    72. Just about the only thing I look forward to in winter is the mystical spell cast over the fresh snow each morning as I ride through it.

    73. my favorite part of winter is watching the horses run through the first heavy snow! this will be my first winter with my mare and she is a black mare so she should be stunning agaist the snow!

    74. This should have been what do you not like about winter…my list would have been longer.
      But I do like the calm nights when all the horses are eating quietly, and I lay in the hay and have them sniff me and breath so quietly.

    75. my favorite part of the winter is riding my horse in the snow!!! even though she may hate it she looks adorable and her fuzzy coat is awesome!

    76. The way my horses look in the frozen pastures. The morning snort and roll as I let them all out. And the fact that the poop is frozen makes it easier to clean out of the stalls.

    77. I love how my horse gets all fuzzy and soft. He also get’s more spunk in the winter, cause of the cold, and it’s fun to ride him. I live in South Carolina and we don’t get much snow, but it does get cold and i love just hugging my big horse and putting my face in his soft fur.

    78. My favorite part about winter is ridding my horse in the snow. And how he sinks down in the fluffy white snow almost to the point where your feet can touch it!

    79. One of the things I love best about winter is riding bareback. Since the horses’ coats are so thick, it’s like Mother Nature’s own personal seat warmer!

    80. Those quiet moments standing in the sun, soaking up the meager rays amongst the hay just inside the barn door is my favorite part of having horses in the winter. There are few more peaceful moments than when you’re holding a barn cat and feeling the warm breath of your horse puffing on your neck as you watch a chickadee or squirrel play outside.

    81. I love going on trail rides on sunny, snowy days. I also love watching the horses prance and run through their snow covered feilds πŸ™‚

    82. I love warming myself up by pressing myself to his neck and sticking my hands underneath his blanket. That always makes me feel so much closer to him. Also, I think he enjoys getting his withers scratched ;D

    83. I love winter its a great time to take time of from working my QH mare for the shows and to have fun i love to trail ride this time of year with no leaves on the trees you can see for miles and view the woods in a new light, and nothng beats my son mini horse he goes fit and sleek to fat and fury in just weeks i love it!!!

    84. Winter is by far my favorite time of year. I always feel that my hacks last a lot longer and there is just so much time. Its also great to give horses their stockings!

    85. Even though the word “winter” strikes fear into my Minnesotan heart, it elicits a sort of giddy excitement for bareback trail rides along my favorite trail with my Appaloosa beneath me. I love the steam that shoots from his nostrils after a long canter and the hugs we share, made warmer by his furry winter coat. I love the muffled blanket of snow that quiets the world if only for a few hours. Or, rather, for as long as I can stand the feel of my fingertips and toes beginning to freeze!

    86. My favorite thing about winter is spending time in my horse’s stall while drinking hot chocolate. We both stay warm with our blankets (and jackets) and it’s a great time to bond during those chilly days!

    87. My fav thing about winter would have to be on those cold days when you decide to go riding and your freezing and you have tears coming from your eyes from the wind as your galloping in a near by field. When you get back you see the steam from your horses nose and you cuddle up to them for warmth. Those where the days.

    88. My favorite part is the snow! I love to gallop bareback through the snow and to walk under the snow covered trees because it’s so peaceful!

    89. My favorite winter thing is when me and my sister take my horse to the park and go tubing/sledding. Basicly we tie a long rope to the saddle horn and then attach it to our tube/sled and one of us rides while the other one is on the tube/sled. It’s way fun and my gelding loves it, he always banners his tail and everytime one of us falls off the tube/sled he stops and goes to check on us making sure we are ok. πŸ™‚ good memories.

    90. A favorite of mine is after a snow I let our horses out of their stalls and they roll in the snow, making “snow horse angels”. I’m not sure who enjoys this more, me or them.

    91. No flys. Fuzzy coats. Pure white snowflakes falling as I ride bareback through trails of snow-covered willows. And………………..KAPOOOF! In fluffy powder, it is accually FUN to fall off!

    92. My favourite thing about winter is riding through trails with snow covered branches creating canopys above. Taking photos in the winter always creates a picturesque background, and it brings the spirits and fun out of even our older horse friends.

    93. No bugs!! It’t gorgeous outside and to see all those amazing horses runnin’ outside through all that snow is just awesome! I love the horses’ winter coats! Makes them all fuzzy and cute!

    94. My favorite part of winter is not getting hot and sweaty while riding also my horse can go longer because she doesn’t get sweaty and overheated. Also I like riding in the indoor ring better!

    95. My favorite part of winter is the snowy trail rides!! It’s awesome cross country jumping through the snow!!!! Sooooo much fun, except when my horse decides to buck after every jump;) he keeps me on my toes every ride!!

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