Spring is here and so is all the rain that comes with it. I do not like riding in the mud, but if I am going to ride I haven’t much choice. There are always different boots you can put on your horse that prevent skidding. You can use shoes with studs that help, but…. I, personally, don’t want to spend the time or the money pursuing that preventative option. So here is what I suggest. Ride barefoot.
Horses were made to slop through the mud in a natural foot. So don’t be afraid your horse will slip and fall. They don’t want to fall anymore than you do. Just be aware of where you are going and your speed. Also be aware of your balance on your horse. Sit up tall, don’t lean side to side, forward or back, keep your heels down and your hands still. All this will help your horse keep it’s balance and make a safer ride.
Teach your horse to go through mud. Many horse don’t like to walk through sloppy parts of the trail. They will avoid that area trying to go around it, which can cause trouble in so many ways. Perhaps there are trees that you can rub up against, or hanging vines you and your horse can get caught in if your horse decides to avoid a mud pit.
Make a practice area in your yard or pasture that you can fill with water and make really muddy. Then take the time to teach your horse that it is ok to walk through this. Walk by hand first then ride him/her through it at a walk moving slowly up to a trot and canter. Please be sure your horse has had all the preliminary training of following all your cues on command and is a sound horse before you start. You don’t want to force this issue or get hurt in the process. After a few times passing through this mud pit you created, riding through one on the trail will be a piece of cake.