Trivia Challenge: Brrrrrr-Weather Rides

Cold-weather riding poses trials for both horse and rider. Try our Trivia Challenge to test your knowledge of winter-riding savvy.

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. How might bacon grease help your horse in winter?

A) Add extra calories to his feed ration.

B) Help rain bead up and roll off his haircoat.

C) Keep snow from collecting in his hooves.

2. True or false: Sometimes it’s good to wear your horse’s bridle under your jacket.

T / F

3. What is a quarter sheet?

A) A piece of bedsheet you can use as a rub rag.

B) An over-the-rump partial blanket used during riding.

C) A drape hung over an opening to cut down on barn drafts.

4. True or false: Fine, powdery, dry snow is the hardest kind of snow for your horse to step through.

T / F

5. What is a CamelBak?

A) A hydration device.

B) A specialty saddle.

C) A high-tech saddle pad.

6. True or false: Boron is a hard-surfacing material applied to the bottom of horseshoes to increase traction in slippery winter conditions.

T / F

7. Riding your horse in deep snow:

A) can tire him, especially if the snow is wet and heavy.

B) can panic him if he begins to flounder about in it.

C) both A and B.

8. After a bracing winter ride that works up a good sweat, your horse’s cool-down:

A) will be quick because of the cold temperature.

B) should be a longer, multi-step process.

C) should be the same as in warm weather.

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct. Bacon grease, cooking-oil spray, Vaseline, and specially designed commercial products all can work to help keep snow and ice from packing into your horse’s feet.

2. T is correct. When it’s icy cold out, placing the bridle under your jacket while you’re grooming your horse will warm the bit in preparation for tacking up.

3. B is correct. Also called an exercise rug, a quarter sheet is a partial blanket that drapes over your horse’s hindquarters to keep him warmer during cold-day rides.

4. False is correct. Fine, powdery, dry snow is easier for your horse to step through than wet, heavy snow is.

5. A is correct. A CamelBak is a water-delivery system that you wear like a backpack and can easily access from the saddle. It or similar products are great for long winter rides, as dehydration–a real threat in cold weather–makes you more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.

6. False is correct. Sorry…tricky question…because it’s borium—not boron—that farriers apply to horseshoes to increase traction.

7. C is correct. Deep snow can be a dangerous hazard. When possible in wintery riding conditions, find and stick to trails and roadways where the snow isn’t as deep.

8. B is correct. Towel-dry your horse and use multiple coolers as need be to soak up the sweat until he’s truly dry. (Putting a winter blanket on a wet horse is a good way to give him a chill, defeating the purpose of blanketing him in the first place.)

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