How to Cope with Wet Weather
When you are enjoying a wonderful hack in the summer sunshine it is easy to forget the trials and tribulations of wet weather. Heavy or persistent rain can arrive at any time of year. However, in the warmer months, pastures dry quicker and you don’t have the cold to contend with at the same time. As the year rolls on, heavy rain becomes more problematic and bad spells can last weeks, rather than days.
Wet weather means muddy fields, slippery yards, sodden turnout rugs and wet clothes. If you are not well-prepared then horse ownership can quickly turn from a joy into a burden. So what can you do to make the wet weather a minor inconvenience rather than a nightmare waiting to happen?
Pastures and Paddocks
High traffic areas in any field will quickly become a quagmire in the colder months. There are no warmer days to dry out the land and that rain just keeps on coming. When the mud bath has formed it is already too late to do much about it so deal with it early! Cover the areas around gates and troughs with hardcore or failing that, with mats. Fence off areas around gates so that horses don’t always wait on the same spot.
A hay hutch or any feeder designed to prevent hay wastage is a great investment. When the ground is muddy a lot of hay will get trampled into the bog and then wasted.
Evolve a plan for drying out and rotating your rugs. You need to designate an area for drying and then ensure that it remains free. If the sun does pop its head out from time to time then take the opportunity to air dry your rugs, otherwise place them in your drying area. It really helps if your finances will stretch to an investment in a dryer for your rugs as they will take forever to dry out completely just hanging in the stable.
The Scandinavians always say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing and they are right! It is a false economy to struggle on in clothing which does not offer sufficient protection from the elements. This will merely leave you feeling miserable and will probably result in you falling ill. Good coats and waterproofs are worth their weight in gold. check out our blog post about waterproof riding trousers .
Don’t let issues catch you unawares and at times when it is difficult to do anything about them. Use any spare time you have in the summer to repair winter rugs, improve the ground underfoot and to find the winter clothing that you need. If the weather forces you out of the saddle in the winter, use the time to repair summer rugs, to condition tack and to complete any other tasks that you have been putting off.
You will then find that you are always ready and able to ride when the weather is good. If you keep on top of everything, the weather doesn’t have to be the bane of your equestrian life.