Epic Snow Gallops

This. Is. Joy.
I've written repeatedly about my love of galloping my horses, but maybe I haven't mentioned how much more I love galloping my horses in the snow. After moving to DC from Indiana, I realized snow gallops would go from being something I enjoyed regularly to an extremely rare treat. The Mid-Atlantic simply does not maintain cold enough temperatures or receive enough snowfall to safely enjoy cavorting in the snow on horseback.
The warm snowless winters of this region dismay both myself and my beloved huskies.
But then Sunday happened.
This farm is so beautiful, especially when covered in snow.
Saturday, the repeatedly changing forecast called for 4-6 inches of snow at my house in the city, and 2-4 inches out at Bast's farm. Substantial snow by this area's standards. But by Sunday evening, that forecast was looking laughably inadequate.
This is way more than 2-4 inches of snow.
By Monday morning, downtown DC had received over 10 inches of snow. The farm was coated with almost 12 inches. The sustained cold overnight temperatures meant the white stuff was perfect, fluffy and light. Underneath the muddy ground was still frozen and stable. That meant only one thing...
"Hell. Yes." -- All three of us.
It was snow gallop time.
This baby horse wasn't sure about things at first.
I joke that part of the reason I keep my horses barefoot is to enjoy snow frolics at the drop of a hat. With their unadorned feet, my horses have never struggled with balled up snow or traction. We've always simply enjoyed a good romp, the deeper the snow the better.
Is it cheating to use deep snow to encourage higher steps in collection?
Bast wasn't sure about moving off in the snow at first. He took a long walk to find his confidence in the footing. He clacked his bit nervously, and moved slow behind for awhile. However, once he realized I would happily support him, he was ready to dig in.
Let's go!
We got off to a bang of a start when Lyra flushed a deer and Asterid set off after it. Despite my calling, Asterid continued to make her way across the large field toward the retreating deer. I knew I'd have to go after her. Thankfully, Bast has proven himself to be a handy cow-pony. This summer we frequently had to run down his cantankerous older brother, who loves to break his halter and go running back to his pasture. I figured he'd be up for running down the dog.
Obviously a struggle for him. Haha.
He leapt to the challenge with joy. And we made some beautiful galloping tracks over the virgin snow.
Asterid came back once we got close enough, and never strayed again. In fact, both huskies had so much fun bolting around in the foot of snow, I worried they'd be too tired to walk back to the barn.
Asterid, you're a good dog. Even if you have selective hearing at a distance.
I let Bast stretch out a few times, which challenged the dogs to try to keep up. They can't, of course. But it's fun to watch huskies flat out run just for the joy of it. To enjoy for yourself, check out my video highlights.
Deep snow makes the girls struggle even more to keep up with my thoroughbred.
The ride wasn't long. I didn't want to stress Bast's legs too much in the deep footing. However, we did work on some dressage training while we had the added resistance of snow. I enjoyed how much more it made Bast use his back and lift his legs. We did some compression/lengthening work at the trot.
I'd happily take this lengthened trot.
We also did plenty of work at the canter, reminding Bast to keep his balance. He loves to pull me forward and lean onto his forehand, and the snow made him want to do this more and more. However, with some work his canter really became an uphill and beautiful gait.
Dressage pony in the making.
I wish we regularly had snow like this to practice. In the meantime, I'll be carrying the memory of our work in the perfect powder.
Always this trot.
I'll also be carrying forth the memory of our joyful galloping and partnership. These sorts of snow days are so valuable for both the break they provide in the monotony of winter training, but also the building of enjoyable memories between horse and rider. I value them so much.
Love this horse.
Anyone else love galloping in the snow? Do you use it for training, or just a fun mental break? Or are you just here for the epic photos? I know I am...


  1. I hope you get more snow days like this to gallop this winter! (Mostly, I wanna see more photos lol)

  2. *raises hand* just here for the photos 🤣

    God your photos are AMAZING 😍😍😍

  3. Um yes definitely a proper use of the word epic!! Lovely dogs too! I miss snow ;(

  4. I love this post SO much! I'm so glad to see you guys having a ball and forming such a sweet partnership! He's going to be one heck of a fancy dressage pony!

  5. We're supposed to get our snow on Saturday and I've been eager to get up into the farm fields behind me for some of this! It's been cold enough that the ground is nice and solid. No mud here anymore. (MI)

    1. Oooh! Frozen ground is soooo nice after dealing with mud for months, isn't it?

  6. We're getting our big snow dump on Sunday and I am soooo excited to finally have something on the ground to play in!

    1. I can't believe it's taken you guys so long to get some!

  7. gorgeous photos! and I am cold now from looking at them all :) But glad you all had fun!! That is a lot of snow for sure!

  8. Gorgeous photos!!

    What are those breeches? I love the color!!

  9. Galloping in the snow is one of my all time favourite things. It makes me giggle uncontrollably. I am envious- all we have is hard, frozen ground.

  10. Aw I love these photos - so fun!!


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