Riding out in the rain...
Yes, I'm talking willingly riding outdoors in inclement weather with a perfectly good indoor that has great footing available.
Goobs has made it very clear he despises working in the ring. Took him out for a hack last week (back when it was sunny and 60) and basically did a flat work session on the trails... he was flippin fantastic! Had a nice bouncy canter that we've always struggled to attain, nice and forward, light in the bridle, coming up actually OVER his topline, everything you could want in a dressage test while out traipsing through the fall foliage.
So I'm ditching the ring, even if it means some discomfort on my part. I have gear for myself (nice oilskin duster that covers to my knees and various jackets/layers). But I'm concerned about my horse's comfort in less than ideal weather. He is a pretty hardy little guy, lives out in a 10 acre pasture. When it's cold and rainy, he gets a rain sheet. I've noticed when it's cool and damp out, he's starting to get a little cold backed and a bit stiff (he's got some arthritis in the hocks). I have a BOT blanket that I use on him when I'm grooming and it seems to alleviate both issues. I don't really want to use the BOT when out riding in crap weather, seems like it would not hold up for long under those stresses. I do have a fleece quarter sheet I use when it's cold out, but not out in the rain.
Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I know he's not the Wicked Witch of the East, but I don't want him to get trail sour from being miserable out there!