Snow Ride

    Holly and Jester in the snow

    In central Kentucky, it’s pretty rare to have a good coating of snow on the ground. If we get one, it’s usually gone within a day or two. Mostly winter is a cold, muddy, miserable mess.

    We had our first good snowfall of the year last week, when about 3 inches fell right after Christmas. My trainer mentioned that they were going for a ride on all the barefoot horses, and since Jester just had his shoes pulled for the winter, I decided to join in.

    It turned out to be even more fun than I had imagined—everything was beautifully coated in snow, and the horses were surprisingly sure-footed over the surface, which was nice and fluffy but not icy. We rode in one of the fields and even trotted and cantered around. What a blast after being confined to the ring for the last couple of months!

    We ended with a little trail ride through the woods, which were extremely scenic and peaceful. My horse, Jester, was so happy to be getting out and going somewhere that he had much more energy than usual; thankfully he was still well-behaved.

    Holly and Jester in the snow

    Riding in the snow made me wish that we got a lot more of it around here, although the people that live in the Great White North might see it differently. I think if there was snow on the ground all the time, I’d ride a lot more in the winter (with a barefoot horse) since I like getting out of the ring and wandering the hills and trails all the time in the summer. Of course, you need to be prepared for the cold, but since I wear about a thousand layers I usually look like a marshmallow and don’t feel a thing. My horse is equally fluffy with his thick Appy winter coat and doesn’t seem to mind the winter.

    In Kentucky there are hardly any indoor arenas, so we usually have to ride outside if we want to ride at all. So tell me, riders from the Rockies all the way to Maine—do you like riding in the snow? Or is there TOO much of it where you live, forcing you to wait for spring to ride outdoors?

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    Holly Caccamise, Editor
    Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider magazines since 2007, and in 2019, she became Editor in Chief of both titles. Caccamise has a master's degree in...


    1. I can just see a picture in my head right now of how beautiful that must have been. Here in PA, we aren’t getting a whole lot of snow.
      Last winter, me and my friends rode in the deep snow and there was drifts so deep the horses got stuck. They were lunging though the snow and it was so much fun.
      I like riding in snow. 🙂 actually, today, me and my friend even went for a (short) ride in the rain 🙂 We wanted to ride so bad we didn’t care how wet we got.

    2. I have been wanting to go on a snow ride all winter and thanks to great old Minnesota there’s been plenty of snow to ride in! The big problem is the ice!!

    3. Normally our Michigan winters are hard to ride in because of the snow, but it appears as though this winter is going to be just as snow-free as last winter! (But a strong system is coming, so the snow’s coming!) It’s a lot of fun when we get a sudden ten inches of snow and can ride through the drifts. The only bad part of winter here is that a lot of times, a storm comes after a warm spell, so the first half inch melts and then freezes as the ground cools, making slippery ice. My friend and I always go bareback in the winter so we get the heat from the horse. It’s so fun!


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