So the high here today is 17 degrees (6 degrees with windchill) - which is balmy compared to yesterday when the high was 10 degrees. I have chosen to not teach/ride today due to the weather conditions. Because of this, you wouldn't believe the number of people who have called me a wimp for not riding my horses in today's weather. I understand that everyone has differing opinions on what's "too cold" to ride and/or teach. For most people it's a personal decision. What burns me is that I got called a "wimp" for not riding and teaching today. It is my choice to not stress my horses lungs. It's my decision to not stand in the middle of my arena and teach to the point that my fingers and toes throb. Just because someone else rides their horse in this weather does not mean that they're "tougher" than me (which I was told.) It simply means I view my responsibility to my horses a little differently. And it's not fun for me...I'm losing quite a bit of money by not teaching today.
So I'm a little peeved that someone views me as a wimp when I'm choosing to err on the side of safety for my students and horses.
OK...vent over. Thank you
I won't ride if it's below 15 degrees even if I have an indoor. Not only is it stressful for the horse but it's not good for my lungs either. It will not hurt anything for Miss Mare to have a few days off. i can walk on the treadmill and make plans for when it warms up. My old H/J trainer stopped teaching when it got to 25 degrees and no one called him a wimp. We realized he cared for the horses and his riders!
Were they really calling you a wimp, or just teasing?
I waltzed into the barn yesterday (which was bustling, for a freezing cold day!) and announced to the aisle that I admired their dedication to the sport but you could not pay me enough to get on my horse that evening, and I likely wouldn't get on for the rest of the week. I got called a wimp/sissy/etc but everyone was just teasing...nobody actually cares whether anyone else rides or not!
It's one thing to ride when it's 17 degrees and it's a whole 'nother thing to stand in the middle of the ring instructing! I wouldn't do it either! Though I probably would ride...but there are days when geez it just feels really cold and you'd rather not. Big deal!
You are MUCH braver than I am. I don't teach when its below 32 degrees or when the air quality level is orange or above. Its just not worth being miserable. Im miserable, the kids are miserable, and the horse is miserable. Kudos to you!!!
Sounds like you have people who like to ride, lacking Horsemanship skills.
Unless they were going to supply you with hand/toe warmers, shorten the lesson to 30 minutes or less and only walk.
Good call on your part.
May be time to have a "waiting list"
It was -27 here last night with the wind chill. My coach emailed us and said she was cancelling b/c it was too cold - arena's, as we all know, are not conducive to keeping heat! Let's just say my horse and I were totally ok with that!
You are definitely not a wimp! Especially for the coach - people riding can keep warm by the work out...so no advice, but just wanted to give you my thoughts...
The instructor who comes to my barn cancels below 20 degrees. I appreciate that; my personal cutoff is 15 degrees, but below 20 degrees, I don't want to really work my horse hard--including cantering, jumping, doing things that tax his little brain and make him wound up and sweaty, etc. But although we could find things to work on instead, I guess, I don't really want to pay for an hour of w/t exercises that don't tax my horse's fragile little brain enough to get him worked up and sweaty. My horse is fine if he's left alone for a few days, and I'll go to the heated gym instead and work on myself, and my trainer doesn't have to stand in the indoor freezing her arse off for hours on end. So you're not a wimp, and I bet you have clients that thank you.
And it's not fun for me...I'm losing quite a bit of money by not teaching today.
Maybe it would alleviate this problem in the future if you established a policy that gives a set "below X degrees" that all lessons and training rides are canceled? You didn't mention this, but I'd be kind of peeved myself if I was taking time off work or had to make arrangement to haul out for a lesson and got canceled on, the morning of.
Hope you stayed warm and toasty inside! It's been cold out here, not 17 degrees, but low to mid 20's these last few weeks. We've mostly gotten used to it, and ridden plenty, but we fall into the "extremely motivated" category and the horses seem to enjoy a dry break from the rain we usually have.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
lies with in us. - Emerson
I would have canceled too. Unless you work outside, you would not understand what standing in the cold teaching is like. The stress it puts on your vocal chords, the cold making every joint and muscle in your body hurt, and to stand out there for hours on end? Not fun.
At least when you are riding, the activity keeps you warm, but at that temperature you cannot let your horse get sweaty and you don't want your horse getting sick either.
* posted by someone who canceled all of today's lessons because I sound like the T-Rex on Jurrasic Park when I cough.....
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. Bernard M. Baruch
I'd rather work outside for 8 hours in single digits or teens than stand still holding for the farrier/giving lessons/etc for 2 hours. Any day of the week.
Standing still is COLD. And I'm at that age when the colder the weather the better! My farrier and I joke when he's here during frigid weather that as he works he takes more clothes off and I keep adding them as I stand still. (and for some reason jogging in place does not help)
I was coming up from the barn this afternoon as the sun was setting...9 degrees, 20 mph breeze/wind and I was removing my hat and gloves and unzipping my coat due to overheating from working/moving around for only 40 minutes or so.
Yet yesterday I was fixing something on a tractor rake and squatting in one position for half that time in much warmer temps and I was freezing.
each person and each horse has comfort zones...and those will depend on each situation too. Not fun being maliciously called wimpy...but not fun hinting that those who do ride may not be as conscientious an owner either.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
Hell I almost canceled my shoeing clients for the day. I hate watching someone stand around and shiver, I also hate having to go outside to work shoes in this weather almost need to climb in the forge to warm up.
You're not a wimp at all! DD's first riding teacher used to cancel if it was under 50 degrees... she forgot to tell me this and I was beyond annoyed when I showed up with DD in tow for a lesson in perfectly reasonable weather for a lesson (to me) but not to Ms Tropics - who had never been north of South Carolina before. Once I learned what "cold" was (to her) I knew when to show up and when to stay home. In her defense, she was also retired from her job and there was no indoor (but, really... it was WARM to me ) we just all have different thresholds.
On the flip side, we all have upper limits too. There are days when it is simply too HOT to ride, not just for our comfort, but for our - and our horse's - health too.
I "wimped out" today, and if it's 23 for the high tomorrow I'll do it again. I have moved from working on ground manners to riding pony and I was able to dress like the Michelin man and be OK while walking, but I can't even get on the pony with all those clothes on. I really am having a hard time with the cold right now, everything freezes up, hands won't close tightly, any body part with arthritic changes has something to say, no way would I make my trainer stand out in the freezing cold, we'd try to reschedule. (actually if I had a lot of money I'd get her a torpedo heater and a set of earbuds/mike so she didn't have to freeze or scream, and we'd still not ride in 20 degree temps)
Not only is it COLD and the windchill is absolutely bonechilling, but over here (admittedly, less than thirty miles east of the lakeshore) we've had snow for two days straight and it's starting again. I haven't gone anywhere for three days except a very slow drive to the post office this afternoon. I would hesitate to turn my horse out in this weather, never mind ride, and driving to the barn would be way more than I'd want to attempt!