I do not think you are a wimp! I think you are smart not to subject yourself, your horses, or your students to biting cold. When I was a junior, we rode no matter what and my frostbitten toes have given me trouble ever since.
I don't teach "riding" when the temps fall below 20. I do still teach. Our barn is typically pretty warm so all my beginner & intermediate students know they will be having a horse care or groundwork lesson. I teach them how to wrap or wound care or tack cleaning or whatever other thing seems appropriate for their age/skill level. Saves my nose & toes, I still earn some income for the farm and myself, and my students still are learning about horses. I stress to them all that being involved with horses isn't just riding. This policy is clearly stated to all students and their parents as soon as the weather starts to change in the fall.
Advanced students who have been with me for a few years have the option to reschedule.
I am quite a bit further south than you, have had fairly decent temps (40s) until this week and have not been riding regularly because of the "cold". I have turned into a total sissy and I am totally OK with that. Compared to me, you are a tough cookie!
We had a high of 25 here and my lesson was cancelled. No one was considered wimpy! I did get up and ride, but kept it short and mostly walk with just some easy and short trot. I will still ride in the 20s, but I keep my workouts shorter and less strenuous. I won't jump my horse if the temps are under 32 (and even if it's a bit warmer, I'll stick to flatwork if the footing is still frozen/extra hard).
You ride in this kind of cold and sweat up your horse and then what? Do you turn him out to chill? Do you have a fancy heated barn to put him in until his coat dries -and I don't mean his stall. It doesn't make sense to ride in this weather for man or beast, IMO.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
Thank you - I know I'm probably just cranky from being house-bound. I've cleaned my house within an inch of it's life and I think I'm high from the fumes. I don't do the whole house-wifey thing
Tomorrow it's back to work in the heat-wave of 20 degrees. I may just have to take my sweater off!!!
My barn had a policy no lessons below x degrees ( I think it was 30), for the reasons stated: horses get wet, lots of the schoolies were older and they didn't want them strained. Extreme cold (and especially cold and DRY) is hard on the heart.
But, if I absolutely had to teach, I'd find a nice older horse and sit on him bareback and circle around. Nobody said you have to stand there!
If I was your student I'd be GLAD that you cancelled. I've noticed when it is really cold out I get stiff and can't ride as effectively and my muscles tense up and hurt.
I used to ride with someone that I swear would not cancel for any temperature at all. I used to have to call and cancel if it was too cold or too hot.
I actually applaud you for your common sense. If others can tolerate the cold and wind, have at it. Everyone has a different tolerance as to the amount of cold or heat they can withstand. Determine what is yours, stand by it and forget those who are calling you wimpy. So what? They are not you and it is something each individual must decide upon. I'm lucky in that my trainer understands that I don't tolerate extreme cold or heat well, and am very thankful that she accommodates me.
Besides, when I'm paying for a lesson, I want to get the most out of it that I can, and if my trainer is miserable, I know she won't be at her best. I certainly know that I'm not in such cold weather. Despite the fact that riding warms me up, it still aggravates my arthritis and I know I'm not at my best either. The same is true for me whenever the temps get above 85F or in extreme humidity. And, I admit, I am an AA, and although I'm serious about my sport, I AM in it for the enjoyment as well, and if I'm hurting, stiff and cold, well, I'm not enjoying the ride and I'm certainly not being fair to my forgiving horse.
"It's not a mistake if you knew what you were doing was wrong."
Not wimpy at all but smart! Everyone has a certain tolerance to the cold but you need to decide what is too cold for YOU! One, these single digits are hard on lungs and heart of horses so basicaly some simple and short stuff would all one should do for the horse's sake and to cool him off properly is so much more difficult in a situation where you have no heat as most barns don't. Second. if a rider is worried about how uncomfortable they are, they are not paying attention to you and learning to the best of their ability or they are bundled up so much they can't ride correctly and then they get overheated! Thirdly, you are standing still, even if you walk around as you teach, you are getting thoroughly chilled and that is not good for you, especially with the flu going around like it is! A few days off work will not hurt horse or rider!
I agree - not wimpy at all. My BO did not even turn any horses out yesterday - they spent the day in their stalls - it was around 10 degrees without the wind chill and it is always windy there. I let him out to kick up his heels in the indoor arena when I got there. I'm sure they will all be stuck inside again today as it is even colder.
Armando del Fuego, Best Boy Ever (almost always)
Member of the Not Too Klassy For Boxed Wine Clique
Proud owner of The Roadkill Cafe
If I didn't ride when it was under 20 degrees, I would have to give my horses months off at a time... And lose all fitness for the beginning of show season.
FWIW, my three ponies got most of this week off because the highs were hovering around -10. Next week is supposed to be in the teens again, so it'll be back to work we go.
As a matter of fact, if it gets above zero today, I'll ride this afternoon. I find that consistent work makes a huge mental difference to my horses.
No way are you a wimp! I have no problem putzing around in cold weather but I prefer not to ride hard enough to justify a lesson on frozen ground and my horse is not clipped so I worry she would catch a chill if she got that sweaty. My old trainer used to cancel when the ground was too frozen, I am pretty conscious of it now and worry about it as well.
Enjoy staying in, take a break from cleaning to enjoy hot tea, cocoa, or coffee and read a book. You riding instructors hardly ever get a day off, make the most of it.
It's brutal. I'm much further South and am riding, I don't teach, my rides are very short and to the point. And even so nothing much is getting done. Everyone's unnerved by something, and it has to be the unreasonable cold, since nothing else has changed. It's all rather pointless out here today, tbh ! Stay in, drink some more coffee, catch up on emails, read your kindle. There's a new Mike Schaffer dressage book for free on the kindle if you're that was inclined ... Some times, it's just not worth struggling on with the riding and training thing.
Ugh. I feel your pain!! I haven't been able to teach much over the last couple weeks here either. I don't work the horses or teach when the feels like temp is under 10F. Between the horses not getting worked, the loss of teaching and training money, and almost at the moment worse the fact that I only have a few more weeks before I can't ride for 8 weeks I AM GOING NUTS!!
Another horse person I know made the comment that well the Amish always drive their horses no matter what. I told her good for them. I'm not going to risk my horses lungs.
Oh and to the OP: Can you come clean my house?! Sadly I have no ambition for cleaning if it isn't the stable
You're definitely NOT a wimp. And frankly, I find it sad that many "instructors" (& I use that term loosely) will not cancel lessons during horrible weather simply because they don't want to lose the income. And that's case more times than not, I'm afraid.
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth & I was taking lessons & showing, etc., etc., my first horse - a good old guy I bought from a riding school that was going out of business - was my FIRST priority. And doing a lesson - even in an indoor - when it was 20 degrees or less out, I cancelled. Well within time limits, but I still cancelled. And didn't care if I was called a wimp or not. I couldn't believe that my horse would enjoy it, & I knew I wouldn't. And enjoyment was the name of the game for me, so wtf.