yep, you just throw out a bunch of hay, and go back inside
ive actually held my eyes open cause its kind of cool to see your eyes crystal over from the inside... he he... oh, does that make me weird?
yep, had the frozen ring on the top of the heated bucket
ive had my glove stick to metal fences, but, I learned that lesson on the play ground at school a long time ago.
Originally Posted by Auventera Two
Oh yes Jumpin - good point about the liquid in your eyes freezing! There are days I go out and the horses' eyelashes are big heavy frosted icecicles. I have had my bare hands freeze to the stall gate latches. Once you lose a little skin here and there you learn that lesson pretty quick. And there are those days that it's so cold that even with a heater in the water tank, there is still a ring of ice around the top because the heater can't keep up. There are days so cold that the horses actually say - yeah screw you. I am not going outside today. None of them will leave the barn! So days like that you just put them back in the stalls and not fight about it.
Sounds like lots of folks are describing their barn care/mucking stalls getup, which doesn't always correlate to the "I'm a boarder stepping out of a warm car to ride, not do chores" getup. If I were mucking, I'd def. be all over the Cuddl' Duds, Carhartts, and wool.
I also think folks underestimate how cold 40 degrees can feel. Frankly, I am colder at 40 degrees with dewy/wet air than I am at 15 degrees with a dry wind and snow on the ground. Wet cold will cut you right to the bone; dry cold can be dressed for.
Below I describe my riding-oriented getup, originally designed for Michigan but equally appropriate in Ohio. Notice the prevalence of Wind Pro fleece, which is a proprietary variety of fleece that is exponentially better at blocking the wind than regular fleece:
On the horse:
Cuddl' Duds long underwear
Irideon Wind Pro winter breeches
Wind Pro fitted fleece (mine is Mountain Hardwear but lots of brands make them)
SmartWool socks - spend the money and get the real deal, they last a helluva lot longer than even Thorlo or the other name brands
Ice Horse paddock boots with regular half chaps over them
Roeckl Chester winter riding gloves (the only ones I could find that were sufficiently thin enough to feel my reins but also kept me warm)
If it's REALLY cold, a fleece helmet cozy like this one: http://www.ridingright.com/mm5/merch...tegory_Code=WW
Off the horse:
The above, plus a Dublin Empress winter jacket + snowboarding pants (not necessary at 40 degrees but very necessary at 20 degrees). Both pieces are EZ peel--I can get the pants off without removing my paddock boots. THAT IS CRITICAL.
Manzella windstopper water-resistant gloves
Windstopper fleece hat, mine happens to be Kerrits brand and I have three of them so that I'm never without one
Other luxuries that make my winter riding bearable:
Bitten Bit Warmer with reusable heat packs. Laugh if you like, say that you use a hair dryer or a bucket of hot water, point out that I probably spent $40+ on the Bitten and my set of six reusable heat packs--but finding and plugging in the hair dryer takes time, and touching water when I'm already cold is risky business. Unless I were at a barn with a hot water spigot in a heated tack room, I'll stick with my Bitten.
Wool quarter sheet below 25 degrees. Warm back muscles = shorter and less tense warmup = horse and rider getting to the pleasant/warm part faster.
Stabilicers, which are grippy attachments for my riding boots suitable for traipsing around in icy conditions. Yaktrax are another popular brand.
I wear Underarmor, then a long-sleeved cotton shirt, and finally a wool sweater with a down vest. That keeps me comfortable to about forty. I also have wonderful winter breeches, but will sometimes layer very light schooling tights under jeans, or two layers of schooling tights. For my extremities I have a fleece band to keep my ears warm, a scarf, several pairs of winter riding gloves (SSG 10 Below are my favorites) and I wear wool/Smartwool socks with regular cotton socks over them.
Protect your extremities and keep sweat away from your skin! That's my advice
Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.
I live in Indiana. Its currently 25F. This is "warm" compared to what it will be in February. I wear Under Armor Cold Gear both top and bottom with Smart Wool socks. I either wear jeans or TuffRider Ribbed breeches over them. On top I wear a thermal top over the Under Armor, a wool sweater and a Predator jacket. The jacket is really thin, but somehow is fairly wind proof and manages to trap heat very well. I can ride in that in an indoor arena and be almost hot. I also have a thin Under Armor hat that I wear under my helmet.
I'll wear a down vest I got from Cabela's for $10 in their "Bargain Cave" over top of that for riding in my outdoor arena.
I also find riding with a quarter sheet is awesome for keeping warm. I put it over my legs and sometimes get hot. I have both a thin one I made out of polar fleece and a thick waterproof Rambo one. We both get too hot with the Rambo one after more than about 20 minutes of trotting.
If I'm riding out I'll wear a North Face coat over everything if we'll be mostly walking. If we're actually working I'll skip it.
I also have a Smart Wool neck cover thing (its basically a tube you wear around your neck) that I can pull up over my face.
I just ride in my normal Dublin tall boots.
For doing barn chores I have knock off Carharts (Berne is the brand from Tractor Supply) I wear over all the layers. I have both bibs and a coat. It has to be below 20F for me to wear the coat also if I'm doing chores (I have my horses at home - I'm responsible for *everything*). I wear Arctic Muck Boots for chores. My feet sweat in them if its much above freezing.
For riding I have Heritage Extreme Winter gloves. For chores I have Thinsulate lined leather ones that were cheap at Rural King.
Personally I don't see that much of a difference between riding (schooling) and doing outdoor chores in low 40s to low 30s: they both keep my relatively warm as long as I am active.
Now there is for me a noticeable difference between schooling and trail riding. I will wear slightly more insulation in my top section, I will pick a pair of boots that will let me wear thicker wool socks without constriction, and I will definitely wear insulated leather gloves.
My favorite winter accessory is my HS Duo loose ring snaffle, which from Dec to March is pretty much the only bit I use. No worries about bit warming devices, the horses don't mind the plastic.
As for riding clothes, Polartec breeches and an LL Bean parka, along with a neckwarmer, good hat and polarfleece gloves, are all I need to ride in about any weather. I have a polarfleece helmet cover that is great but frankly too hot unless it is in the low '20s, if I'm actually riding. If I'm just walking around then I might use it.
I wear slightly different clothes if I am just doing chores -- my Carhartt overalls and Muck boots. Or muck boots over fleece yoga pants with an LL Bean parka, on warmer days (30 plus).
If it is below 0 I tend to ride bareback in my Carhartts and muck boots. Too cold to do serious work, since my footing goes to crap in those temps.
When I walk out of the office and turn into an icicle before I get to my car, I jsut dread having to go to the barn to do anything, much less actually get on my horse.
how you feel when walking out of the warm office in office clothes to your car has nothing to do with how warm you'll feel once you swap your office clothes for some real clothing. I'm always freezing office-to-car, and if I use that feeling to guide my dressing decisions for later, I end up seriously over-dressed. Office clothing is designed for sitting around in offices, after all.
After dressing appropriately, if you're not a little chilly as you begin your activity you are certain to start sweating shortly after you start moving, and wet clothing + any temp below 50 degrees can rapidly lead to hypothermia.
Yes I am a WIMP in all caps, I admit it!!! I love the heat, I don't wilt until it is over 100. I will ride in the summer when everyone else is squirting each other with the wash hoses! But when it turns cold, I don't do well.
someone mentioned dry cold isn't as bad as wet cold. YES!!! 100% agree. I had to go to Iowa in Jan in the middle of a blizzard because my sis was dying and that was easier to take than 40 degrees and damp here.
Jn4jenny got it right, it really is the shock of getting out of a warm car into the frigid air that is offputting. And I do change at the office. and put on hat and glove before I walk out.
Everyone is right, as long as you are moving it is fairly tolerable, is is getting moving and warmed up that is so hard.
Thank-you for all the great suggestions and links. I really like the body suit, the zippered butt had me laughing, then wondering if it would rub when you are riding? BUT.. the zipper in front is great for men, but what about us girls... can we "go" in it?
michaelaflynn - those sweaters are to die for!!!
Guess I am going shopping on payday.
Any ideas on winter boots that fit short legs (eg not too tall) and wide calves? I was really hoping fuller fillies would have one but... nope.
Sierra Trading Post (as posted earlier) is your friend...as is any decent outdoor adventure store (REI being one).
Under Armour is my favorite base layer when I'm going to be working and riding...it wicks the sweat away from your body so you don't freeze once you stop moving. But, you HAVE to wear something over it...it's FREEZING if you wear it alone. On top, I do Under Armour, fleece or wool (depending on what's clean), and a jacket or coat. I wear my Carhartt coat if it's really cold.
If I'm teaching lessons or simply at the barn to hand walk the mare who has been stuck in her stall because of weather, I'll wear Cuddl duds as my base layer...not quite as "technical" and sporterrific as the Under Armour, but enough insulation for just being in the cold. Again...layered up as noted above.
If there's any precipitation...the last layer is waterproof (on top, bottom and feet).
Those that recommend a winter cap are right.
Yesterday morning it was 3 here, windy and snowing.
I had my cap, that covers my ears and ties under my chin.
I have that cap on in August, if we have a cool, windy day.
I'm late to the party here, and everyone's covered what you need to know, but I'll chime in anyway!
Smartwool! I have socks, shirts and camisoles, all from EMS (www.ems.com)
Wool sweaters. I buy used sweaters of good quality (like J Crew). It doesn't matter that they get smelly, I wear them a bunch of times before washing them. And I do wash them, with some woolite and line dry them, I'm not spending $ to dry clean a barn sweater. If you buy them large and wash them with warm water, the wool shrinks up even tighter and then it's warmer.
Under the sweater you need a warm, wicking layer. Again, any techy top from EMS or REI will do.
I have the polarfleece/windpro breeches from Irideon. Very warm.
Down vest. There are a lot of synthetics out there, and I'm sure they work well, but I like down, it's light & warm.
The Roeckl chester winter gloves are the bomb for riding. For chores I use a pair from Tractor Supply.
A hat is essential, and finally, warm boots. I have Ariat winter boots and love them, and I use L. L. Bean "duck" boots for chores.
I don't have much to add to all the great suggestions (and links, thanks!) - except one of the things I find helps keep me warm is a very thin cashmere sweater which I wear over my Tneck and under my Aran sweater, down vest on top of that, and a lightweight water proof jacket over that.
I hate wearing a hat, so I find those polar fleece headbands useful - you can wear it over your ears, or pull it down over your nose, or pull it right down around your neck if you are too hot.
This is probably too warm for you in CA but in NJ and when the temps drop, out comes the ‘Body Sock’. Many years ago, a trainer/friend gave me a Body Sock and it is beyond amazing warmth. No one can understand why I don’t need a jacket when the temps are extremely cold!
It isn’t cheap but it is well worth the $$ - check it out!