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Riding in the COLD

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  • Riding in the COLD

    The high was supposed to be a whopping 14 degrees today, but it's nearly 4 and only got up to 2 degrees...so I think that 14 degree heat wave is not going to happen.

    The indoor at the barn IS quite a bit warmer than outside, but even 15 degrees above 2 is still COLD.

    When is it just too cold to ride, period? Do you change your warmup at all when it's bitter? I usually do a long warmup at the walk, but when it's this cold, I feel like I want to get the horse moving sooner, so she doesn't get chilled. I do ride in a quarter sheet, but it's nothing compared to her big, heavy blanket...

  • #2
    When it gets super cold like that we dont ride at all. We dont want to risk our horses injuring themselves when it is so cold.

    When it is a little chilly I do a long warmup at the walk but once the horse is warmed up I keep them moving at the trot in between exercises and try not to walk break until the end so they dont cool off too fast.
    *Ask me about my Thoroughbred!*

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    • #3
      It's not good for a horse's lungs (or anyone's) to be worked below a certain temperature. I can't remember what that temperature point is scientifically, but I usually don't ride when it's less than 20 or so, or else I keep it very light. Any time it's cold, I increase the length of my warmup and coolout. I usually use a quarter sheet too, although my horses are usually body clipped during the winter, this winter being the exception. Even without the body clip, I think it can only help to keep their hindquarters as warm as possible until the muscles are warmed up.
      Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper

      Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace

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      • #4
        I am too much of a weenie to ride much below 20 degrees (above freezing ). I rode a few days ago when it was 30, but the wind chill was in the 20's and we nearly froze our butts off. I actually would rather have really really cold with no wind than just cold with wind. And there is an indoor where I board. I always lunge my mare in the winter to warm her up a bit before riding.

        Caitlin
        Caitlin
        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
        http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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        • #5
          The last I knew, Findlay College Equestrian Studies Program (Ohio) does not permit their Equestrian Studies students to ride when the temps fall below 15 degrees. The risk of lung injury due to the frigid air is to great. I personally do not ride when the temps fall below 15 either.

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          • #6
            Wow I can't imagine riding in those temps. When I lived in N.Cal, the coldest it got was in the 20s-but that was at night and only for a few nights-day temps in winter usually ranged from the 50s to the 70s. I guess if it goes below 40 I stop riding-too cold for me!!!

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            • #7
              I don't tend to ride below 20 degrees. I don't have fun and I imagine my horse is happier munching hay. When I ride in super-cold weather at all, I generally ride bareback and just go mosey around at a walk, looking around the property. In cold weather in general, I walk for a long time before asking for a trot. I like to go for lots of rides in deep snow, at a walk... figure it's a good workout, my horse has fun sticking his nose in the snow and digging tunnels, and it's far more entertaining for us both than doing endless circles in the indoor.
              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

              Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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              • #8
                Holy moly, I wish I had the option of only riding when it was above 20!!

                I'm in Northern Ontario. Lessons go on as scheduled until about -13F (-25C). I likely won't see another day above freezing from now until March/April.

                I ride with a quarter sheet if it's colder than about 14F (-10C) and don't walk for very long - I try to get up to trot pretty quickly.
                Jigga:
                Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

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                • #9
                  winterwear

                  Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
                  Holy moly, I wish I had the option of only riding when it was above 20!!

                  I'm in Northern Ontario. Lessons go on as scheduled until about -13F (-25C). I likely won't see another day above freezing from now until March/April.

                  I ride with a quarter sheet if it's colder than about 14F (-10C) and don't walk for very long - I try to get up to trot pretty quickly.
                  what do you wear to keep warm and safe when you ride in this weather?

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    lotc2005 and saultgirl--thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for...advice from people who live in a colder place than me

                    I would up not riding today, but did hand walk my horse in the indoor, and it was positively balmy. I definitely could have ridden. It was probably 25-30 in there.

                    It was effing COLD outside, though. About 0 when I got to the barn and -2 when I left. I spent a good deal of time breaking and removing the 2 INCHES of ice in my horse's water trough

                    Oh, and medhorse: Patagonia R1 fleece and silk long underwear keep me warm, even at below zero temps. The Patagonia stuff is a technical fleece--very thin and WARM. It's great stuff. I do need to get better gloves and footwear, though....

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                    • #11
                      Lots of layers, a very close fitting base layer, a mid layer and a top layer usually a heavy fleece or wool and possibly a jacket which will probably be removed once I'm warmed up. I also have nice warm fleece breeches and wool socks, usually worn with polypro liners as well. Quite toasty, down into the single digits.
                      http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/MarnieCollett

                      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."-Aristotle

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
                        Holy moly, I wish I had the option of only riding when it was above 20!!

                        I'm in Northern Ontario. Lessons go on as scheduled until about -13F (-25C). I likely won't see another day above freezing from now until March/April.

                        I ride with a quarter sheet if it's colder than about 14F (-10C) and don't walk for very long - I try to get up to trot pretty quickly.
                        lol thats what I was thinking

                        The best advice for styaing warm..KEEP MOVING, if you stop moving, your toast.
                        Polar fleece or silk should be the layer closest to the skin. I don't like fake fabrics, but fleece really keeps me warm. It draws moisture out, so that you are dry and warm. Make the next layer(s) whatever you want. You want nylon on the last layer to keep any wind from getting in.
                        Keep your head covered, scarf around the neck.
                        Make sure you are well hydrated and eat healthy. I find that eating lots and eating well really helps as well.

                        If all else fails, those toe and hand warmer things are a blessing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by veebug22 View Post
                          It's not good for a horse's lungs (or anyone's) to be worked below a certain temperature. I can't remember what that temperature point is scientifically, but I usually don't ride when it's less than 20 or so, or else I keep it very light.
                          One time, I went sleigh riding in very cold temperatures (that would be the only time there was still snow on the roads) and I think I actually gave my horse a sore throat. ?
                          At first I couldn't figure out what the problem was. He didn't want his hay, then he began to dunk it and soak it in the water (not his usual habit) and everytime he swallowed he would bob his nose and his eyes would bulge. I felt really bad for not considering that I might burn his lungs.
                          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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                          • #14
                            I admit I'm a wimp, I don't like to ride in anything under 35 degrees.
                            When you are cold and uncomfortable and your feet/hands get cold and go numb, it ain't fun anymore.
                            I am trying to be the person my horse thinks I am.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              30 is pretty much my limit. But I slow down with my riding in the winter anyways so if I skip a day here and there because of the cold, not a problem. And our weather bounces around so much it's not real cold for too long anyways (ie. it's 30 today but will be close to 60 in 2 days).

                              What do you all do about your face??? That's what gets so cold for me. And my toes. And yes, I have access to an indoor.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                -10 in Canadian - whatever that would be in your language .

                                I would ride with a quartersheet on her. I would do lots of walking and minimal trot. Just enough to keep her active but not to hurt her lungs. Because I was always worried about her joints I liked to keep her active through cold weather, to keep the system moving. We didn't do a lot, but just enough to keep her "warm" and to get her a little "hungry" and "thirsty" so that she would drink water during coldspells.
                                Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
                                LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
                                Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LSM1212 View Post
                                  30 is pretty much my limit. But I slow down with my riding in the winter anyways so if I skip a day here and there because of the cold, not a problem. And our weather bounces around so much it's not real cold for too long anyways (ie. it's 30 today but will be close to 60 in 2 days).

                                  What do you all do about your face??? That's what gets so cold for me. And my toes. And yes, I have access to an indoor.
                                  Balaclava for the face. I have a super thin Merino wool one that fits perfectly under my helmet. In fact my entire base layer is Merino wool.

                                  If we didn't ride below the temps some of you are citing we would give the horses the winter off. I love Canada but it is friggin' cold. My warm up is different if I pull my horse out of the stall or the field. From turnout I generally get trotting a bit quicker than from his stall. I also ride in a 1/4 sheet and if it is -15 or colder I probably won't jump or do anything strenuous. My coach and I disagree about my warmup. She insists I get him on his butt and thru from go...I don't think it is fair nor safe so I let him trot around on the buckle for a while.
                                  "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

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                                  • #18
                                    I do not ride when temps dip below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, due to not wanting their lungs to get frostbit.

                                    For those of you who wont ride when temps are below 30 I think most of you are located in places where you wouldn't have to take that much time off of riding due to the temps. If I only rode when temps were over 30 I would have at least four months off of riding each winter, not so fun. I think you tend to get used to the temps when you live in it all the time.

                                    I would have to say what keeps me unmotivated in winter is the shortness of daylight not the temps.

                                    When I do ride I walk for a good 15 mins before asking for trot, to really let those muscles and ligaments stretch before asking them to work.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      WAY too cold for me! Our trainer doesn't let us ride when its below freezing.
                                      * Sunny * Ella (2006 filly) * Tank (2008 colt)*

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        LOL!

                                        Originally posted by Sunny's Mom View Post
                                        WAY too cold for me! Our trainer doesn't let us ride when its below freezing.
                                        okay, i'm from a cold country originally but this even made my current NJ friends laugh out loud.
                                        where do you live???
                                        you're missing out on so much riding. and the experience of riding on snow covered trails, in the woods when the tree branches are covered with frost, hearing the snow squeak under the horse's hooves... i love winter riding! bundle up, throw on a quarter sheet if necessary and go.
                                        http://www.eponashoe.com/
                                        TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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