Adverse Conditions, A Reference

Training Journal


After a heavy rain, the pasture looks like an overhead shot of a river delta.

I’m writing this now so that when it is too cold, too wet, too hot, too whatever, I have no excuse for sitting about feeling glum and pointless.

Obviously, if the sky is electric, I stay inside. Once the front has passed through and taken the thunderstorms with it, we settle into Goldberry’s washing day. What can be done in the run-in shed?

Groom & body work, if they are dry, which they often are.

Simple clicker training. Refer to Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor.

Tack cleaning

Barn cleaning & organizing

We have a muchness of this. Our land has a heavy clay content, which means it takes days to dry and is slippery when the slightest bit wet.

Riding at a walk
Ring work. Walk/halt. Horse/rider bonding time. Both horses have a lot of walk in their repertoire at the moment, especially at home.

Obstacles. Alabama Obstacle Challenge Series, List of Possible Obstacles, Obstacle Regulations.

Pasture laps

In-hand at a walk
Groundwork. Think Spanish Riding School.

Clicker training that requires more moving about. Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor.

Obstacles from the ground. Alabama Obstacle Challenge Series, List of Possible Obstacles, Obstacle Regulations.

French Equi-Feel exercises, per Tails from Provence
Feeling our way along…
Joucas Equifeel
Equifeel Regional Championships 2015
Training Trailer loading as a competitive exercise
More Training Flags

Horse agility. The International Horse Agility Club. Has online competitions.

Trick Training

Bombproofing. This can be done mounted, but let’s start with all six feet on the ground, shall we?

Clearly, there is overlap between the above categories. Since each method has a different emphasis, I’m assuming each has a slightly different exercise set. More choice equals more variety.

Ride bareback. Rode Rodney this way for a while. May try again some day. [Looking Forward, Rodney]

Trailer to place with all-weather footing, or a covered arena.

We have only a few days when it is so cold you can’t even [Cold Weather Riding Is Like Dating]. The rest of the time, cold weather riding is about footing. Around here that means mud. We have very few frozen solid days. Refer to protocol for mud activities.

Excessive Heat
Hose horses. Check that fans are on. Feed hay snack. Go back in house.

Moderately Excessive Heat
If I stayed in every time it got hot, I would not ride all summer. So, options.

Riding in the morning. Evenings do not cool off as much as one would think they should.

Pasture walks. Since we walk around the edge, much of the path is shaded.


Ring work at a walk with bouts of mild trotting, after 3 pm when the ring area is shaded.

Trailer to a barn with a covered ring.

Take pictures. Feed carrots. Go back in house. Wait for snow to melt by mid-morning, or next day at the latest. Revert to mud scenario.

What do you do in less than perfect conditions?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

4 thoughts on “Adverse Conditions, A Reference

  1. I wash like Goldberry, when it rains.
    Love the photo.
    Remember the mud ring at Avenel which frequently froze solid? An obstacle course at a walk around the raised areas. Was nice when we got all-weather footing. Which had issues, but not so much.

    1. No fields…houses costing millions and so close together you could hold hands out your side windows. Townhouses. Cul-de-sacs. A swimming/tennis complex (I only saw this briefly from the road once) I think they may have left a few short trails in what’s left of the woods, and maybe part of a field. I’d rather remember it the way it was.

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