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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Western NY

    Default Coldest temp you've ridden in

    Just for fun, since I probably will be giving my horse today off since when I woke up it was a whopping 3*F (the sun was even shining) and the high is supposedly 14...

    I did ride Monday when it was 18 out, thankfully we have an indoor! The windchill is beyond ridiculous this week. I think my record cold temp when riding was last winter during a Doug Payne clinic when it was maybe 14 that morning, it warmed up for the later groups to about 18-20, but I was in the very first group.

    So what's your record?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008


    I'll ride in the single digits if it's in an indoor, or outside if there's no wind. Granted, we don't do much besides walk, easy trail ride, etc., but I think it's good for them (and me!) to move around when it's this cold.

    My barn opted not to turn the horses out yesterday due to the wind chill (high temp +10F, wind chill probably below 0F; I wish they'd have gone out!), so I took Horsie's blanket off and gave him some "loose" time in the indoor to roll and frolic a bit.

    Interestingly, he didn't run around a whole lot, but after 20 minutes nekkid in 5-degree weather, he didn't seem the least bit cold, either...
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004


    When I lived in VT and rode outdoors (in the snow) I didn't ride unless it was 15+.

    This week, living in VA, I am wimping out these evenings when it is about 20-22 after work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    Long ago, they were predicting a blizzard and several days/weeks of big snows and super cold.
    We decided to bring 337 heifers from wheat pasture on the plains to the protection of the canyons, rather than trying to go to them in the blizzard and snow drifts.
    The wheat would be covered, so we had to bring them hay daily.

    That morning, the blizzard was to start that evening, three riders and one aussie gathered them and started driving them North into the cold wind.
    They didn't want to go, of course, but we got them driving when the blizzard got there way early and we found ourselves in heavy, driving snow, could not hardly see where we were going, the cattle didn't know where we were going either.
    Our aussie dog saved the day, kept them gathered and driving and we finally got down off the plains and into their pastures, a five mile drive that took hours fighting the cattle to go and the snow and cold winds.
    The cattle, our horses and ourselves were all white by the time we finally got there.

    The weather report was that the temperatures dropped 40* in two hours to -7F and the wind chill factor was about -50F.
    I believe it, we were extremely cold, dangerously cold.

    That blizzard and that cold spell lasted for 6 weeks, where we never saw the ground and ended up with 74" of snow and people stranded all over here in highways and churches and schools, waiting for it to clear.
    Cattle left on the plains ended up miles South of their pastures, just walked over fences on the drifts, some died.

    I have been riding in very cold weather other times, but that one was not just cold, but dangerously cold.

    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006


    I think about 3 or 4 degrees? And I ended up riding in a short sleeved t-shirt because I was too warm with a coat on.
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009


    Ummm...I've definitely ridden in indoors when the temps were below zero F. Our horses just went outside today for the first time in three days because it finally creeped up to 10F this morning! Woo hoo, heat wave! It was below zero Sun.-Tues. I did ride on Sunday, lunged a little on Monday (which was a mistake - he was too jacked up), and then hand walked him twice yesterday.

    I hate winter.

  7. #7


    Down into the -20s. In an indoor, granted, but it wasn't that much warmer inside.

    Generally lessons stopped when temps hit 0, and at anything below that it was just boarders coming out to get the horses and make sure they were moving/stretching. So really just at a walk, sometimes without bothering to tack up and just hopping on with a blanket still on the horse and an extra cooler wrapped around the rider.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2007


    About the only time was out on a hunting trip in the mountains many years ago; temps in the single digits and some wind. I hated it; I'm not a cold weather rider.

    I've moved horses a couple times in January but running a herd of horses down out of the mountains in the winter is too exciting to get cold!

    DH has hunted in -30 temps before...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006


    I really never felt comfortable asking for much "work" once the temps were below 10F. A walk outside in the snow? Sure. But when it's below 0, it hurts my lungs--imagine it would hurt my horse.

    I think the coldest weather I've ever ridden in was probably -10. No idea on wind chill. But I was out looking for a lost blanket and decided that searching while riding bareback through the snow would be more fun (and warmer!) than trudging through on foot.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2005
    Where the prairie ends and the mountains begin


    10 degrees F.
    Dreaming in Color

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    MI USA


    It was when I was younger, we would just get the horses out and ride bareback down the road for a mile or two. Single digits, not sure what the wind chill would have been. We had NO exposed skin, wore our ski goggles and face mask hats.

    No one had indoor arenas, so to get our horse fix, we just hopped on and went. We did learn ski-joring in that time, but had to saddle a horse to anchor the pulling rope. We traded the pulling horses a lot, that is hard work galloping in the cold. Didn't know it even had a name, but someone came up with "Lets try skiing behind the horse, LOTS faster than down these little hills" and off we went. We also pulled saucer sleds with the horses, they would FLY!!

    Being young, nothing to do, no one thought about it being "too cold" so we just got together and played outside with the horses. One person had electric socks which we were all QUITE envious of. Cold feet signal was usually when we would quit riding.

    Bluey, hope the Aussie got a nice treat after that hard work! Sounds like quite the ordeal for riders, with cattle not having a clue where to go for helping you move them. Glad YOU didn't freeze!!

    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2006
    Spruce Grove AB


    I think my coldest, but still fun, ride was at -25celius. I was so hardcore when I was young! Now I am a wimp and won't ride if it's colder than -10! LoL!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Lorena, Texas


    8F. I didn't know the temp. until I was saddled up and warming up. The instructor came in and asked if I was sure I wanted a lesson since it was 8. I told her I was game if she was (I was already on the horse, after all).

    It was indoors, mostly walking and some trotting. The horse seemed to enjoy being out of his stall.

    NOW, I am that I am back in Texas, I am a wimp. I don't think I ride if it is below 40.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    yonder a bit, GA


    Another wimp here! It is rarely below freezing, and I'll have a lesson no matter what so long as it isn't raining and the arena footing is safe- but the lesson might be pushed to the midday hours instead of morning. My trainer cancels lessons for her kiddies (non show kids) when it gets in the 30s (F), but that's about it. She has said the little kids have more trouble dressing correctly for the temps and their attention span isn't there after a certain temp. She also wants to keep it enjoyable for the little ones. Probably the coldest i've ridden in in Georgia is 35 degrees.
    When I was in va, I'd ride in the 30s and 20s throughout the winter, but don't remember it getting that cold often. Again, it was mostly a question of the footing being appropriate, and whether or not it was sleeting. If do have to say I miss riding in a soft snowfall!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Western NY


    I have ridden in single digits, but now generally won't ride if it's below 15. My lesson today was cancelled because it's below 20 (think it got up to maybe 13 or 14 as a high today). Below 15 is miserable for me and as long as my horse is still getting turnout and moving around, seems pointless for my horse as I'm not going to really work him. At my old barn where horses might not get turned out if it was really icy out, I'd get on and leave the cooler on and walk around for a while in the indoor and do some turning or lateral work or things like that.

    My current barn at least does indoor turnout even if they don't make it outside, so I haven't even gone to the barn in a couple days... think I'll go out tonight or tomorrow afternoon just to check on him and leave a check for the farrier... but I figure he's happy with a warm insulated stall and a good blanket and a lot of hay, and I'm happy with a space heater and a good blanket and a lot of beer, so it's all good. (:
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2001
    Dry Ridge, KY USA


    I was reading "The Horse" magazine yesterday. It is the magazine which is put out by the AAEP. They did a study which showed that riding a horse when the temp is below 20 degrees F. damages their lungs.

    That being said, I rode in a Denny Emerson clinic at Spring Run Farm one year and the temps that weekend were in the low teens. That was the last clinic that Denny ever gave there during the Winter, because it was so cold. Even though it was in the indoor arena, it was too cold.

    I tend to believe the folks at AAEP.
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002


    I rode yesterday am, outside temp was 14 F, but it was probably warmer in the indoor. We're supposed to trailer the horses to the indoor again tomorrow am to ride, but the temps will be in the single digits in the morning.

    I'm thinking about wimping out of it...
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2008


    -10c is my limit. I can ride any other time, no need to freeze my arse off.
    "My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
    ― Anna Sewell

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!


    I do believe today at 46 years old I rode in the coldest temps ever for me. I am a southern transplant to NE I think we got up to 14 with a windchill of -2 today. I rode 3, very lightly. Did ok except for not being able to feel my face.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005


    Somewhere south of zero (-5 or so) without windchill factored in. I rode my gelding bareback in the indoor and we did nothing more exciting than walking for about 5 minutes. Now, years later and quite a few miles further south, I will barely ride when it is below 40.

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