To Enjoy Winter Horse Back Riding

On February 15, 2020

To Enjoy Winter Horse Back Riding

There might be times when you wish you could ride your horses during the winter months, even in the coldest of weather. Extension Horse Specialist Ann Swinker explains when conditions are not slippery, riding can be excellent exercise for rider and horse. 

Here are a few things to remember. If you are riding in cold weather, you must take special care when cooling out horses or you will be guilty of inflicting another form of winter stress. Other stresses are decreased water intake, increased energy needs (increased calories) and seeking comfort (standing out of drafts or standing in the sun). In addition, your horse’s work/training schedule may become somewhat altered or stopped in the winter months. Therefore, your horse maybe got somewhat out-of-shape and not be ready for a full riding session, so instead consider a long walk or gentle jog that might do the equine and rider plenty of good. If your horse is out of condition do not force a lot of exercise during bitter cold temperature. However, equine are very capable of handling the cold temperatures and weather conditions that make most humans huddle inside.

If a horse has exerted itself to the point where it is wet with sweat beneath the saddle, use special care to prevent chilling. Sudden changes in body temperature, such as a cold wind blowing on a sweaty back, can have harmful results. However, placing a heavy insulated blanket on the horse immediately after unsaddling might do more harm than good. The heavy covering can trap moisture between skin and blanket, preventing the horse from drying. Place a light blanket over the sweating horse in cold weather and lead it around until the hair is dryer. The exercise of walking helps keep the body from cooling too rapidly, and the light blanket protects from wind and cold while allowing moisture to evaporate. When the horse’s coat is dry, remove the now-damp light blanket and either turn the horse out or cover it with a dry blanket. If your horse is breathing with flaring nostrils after exercising, then you may need an extra-long cooling out period before returning the equine to the stall or turnout area. 

You need to prepare yourself for the cold. Dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature. Just as you want to prevent your horse from becoming chilled from perspiration, people should also avoid excessive perspiration. Layering apparel allows you to add or remove clothing easily as your body temperature changes.

With a little bit more consideration for both horse and rider, winter riding can be enjoyed and both can experience the exhilaration of being in a winter wonderland.

To Determine How Many Credits You Need For Your Pesticide Applicators License

This time of year, Extension offices are flooded with calls from farmers asking questions about the number of credits they need to maintain their applicator’s license, and where they can find additional meetings. For private applicators, licenses expire on March 31 (on a 3-year cycle), so winter meeting season is an ideal time to obtain the necessary recertification credits. So, how do you know if you’ve met the requirements, and are able to renew your license? Extension Agronomist Dwane Miller explains the answer can be found on your computer-just a few short clicks away!

The PaPlants website ( is a great place to obtain all kinds of information about your pesticide license. Once on their main page, is best to register to login into the site. This feature will give you the ability to view all the meetings where you received credits, renew your license by paying with a credit card, and a variety of other tasks.

The first step would be to register on the PaPlants site. In order to do that, you will need your PaPlants ID and PIN numbers. Your PaPlants ID and PIN are printed on your renewal form. If you do not have your renewal form, you can contact the department at 717-787-4843. To login or register, click on Logon/Register at the bottom left of the screen.

If you still need recertification credits, now is the time to find meetings. To find a location near you and to register, visit the Agronomic Pesticide Update website or call toll free 1-877-345-0691.

To Attend The Dairy, Livestock and Crops Compliance Conference

Dairy, Livestock, and Crops Compliance Conference will offer core and category pesticide credits, nutrient management and manure hauler credits, as well as production updates in crops, dairy, and livestock. It is a new program to work in tandem with the Cattle Congress and former Dairy Days. The sessions are organized in the following tracts, Nutrient Management, Dairy Forum, Beef Congress, Goat and Sheep Production, Alternative Crops and Other Farm Resources. 

The event will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 from 9:00 AM – 3:15 PM. Lebanon Fair Grounds and Exposition Center, 80 Rocherty Rd., Lebanon, PA 17042. To register on-line go to: or call 1-877-345-0691 

Quote Of The Week: “Swallowing pride rarely gives you indigestion.” Suzanne Woods Fisher, Amish Proverbs