This task should only be done early if you know your roses. Only do this if the rose is established. Old roses are very robust and resilient even when infected. They can become knotty and if you think the weather is fine and mild, new growth will be encouraged by the light. If you feel comfortable with this, should you start it. Spring is absolutely fine but you’ll sacrifice lots of buds. Cut very finely to a leaf node (a bulging bud) and in a situation of incredibly cold weather, cover with a semi permeable membrane.
The Rose is perfectly fine but a sharp shock might thwart flowers.