Saddling in minus 20 degree Weather??? - Page 11

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Saddling in minus 20 degree Weather???

This is a discussion on Saddling in minus 20 degree Weather??? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    02-01-2010, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
I don't ride in below freezing temps. Thankfully, we don't that cold that often out here. I still go out and do barn chores of course, but I always wear my Heritage Winter Work gloves. My hands get HOT if it's above 35 degrees out, lol. They are the best winter investment I have made. I can still do up blankets and latches with them too, though it does take a bit more patience .

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A friend of mine has their Extreme Winter Glove and says that it's even more "well fitting" than the work glove.

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    02-01-2010, 12:36 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by qtrhrsecrazy    
I don't live where it's that cold... nor will I lol
Exactly... I wouldn't move North of the mason-Dixon line, unless it's in California. I lived near Sacramento when I was a kid and it's quite nice there during the winter (normal rain w/some ice, no snow). I might move to Northern Arkansas (I'm in Little Rock, Central, right now), or Kentucky, but that's is about as far north as I'll go, lol.
    02-01-2010, 12:54 PM
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
I mentioned that a healthy horse was not likely going to get frostbite. Foals and horses that are old and sick are a different story. I have also seen calves and foals with frozen ears but I have never seen an adult animals ears or anything else freeze.
This is completely not normal but thought I'd add. A few years ago we had a horrible winter (get alot of those lately) and we were seeing healthy adult cattle loosing the ends of their ears, it was THAT cold!!
    02-01-2010, 04:19 PM
Well, for those of us who live in the frozen tundra, if you don't ride in really cold weather, you wouldn't ride at all for 5-6 months of the entire year. We go weeks at a time where it never gets above the teens. It was -16 below zero the other morning and it just felt "cold" but nothing unbearable or unthinkable. Many years we have multiple days of -27 below or thereabouts. The horses don't even seem to notice, or care. They do live in a barn though and are stalled 12 hrs. Overnight and wear blankets during the day because that is too darned cold to expect my thin-haired Arabs and Appendix to fend off the cold. The exception is my wooly mammoth mare who grows enough hair for 19 horses, 3 apes, and a a siberian yak. She only wears a blanket when it is wet/windy/cold at the same time.

My horses are FAR happier and more energetic in -5 below zero than they are in 98 + 90% humidity! And folks who live in Florida get to ride in that god-forsaken heat and humidity most of the year! My horses would die if they had to work in that. When it hits 75, they're begging to get in the concrete barn and go in their stalls with fans where they sleep all day. At about 80-85 they have very little energy or drive at all. They're lazy, slow, and even act depressed if the humidity is high.

Whatever you and your animals get used to is what you are CONDITIONED to. Yes, it would be cruel to take my frozen tundra yaks down to Florida and work their butts off in the wicked heat and humidity there. And likewise it would be cruel to take a horse conditioned to hot/humid Florida and go for a 10 mile run over the ice in -5 below zero.

So to the contrary, my horses end up "shelved" more through the months of July and August because it is way too darned hot, humidy, and buggy to even think about hard riding.
    02-01-2010, 05:16 PM
Another thing to realize is that -20 on one side of the border is considerably warmer than -20 on the other side. When I originally read this post I thought no way anybody could ride in weather that cold. Then my brain kicked in and I did some math and it's not that bad.
    02-01-2010, 05:27 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Appy Luvr    
Just finished reading back through the whole thread so now have more to ad!

Seriously people, if we were harming our horses by riding/working them in the winter, do you think we'd still be doing it?? My boy will turn 11 in the spring, I've been riding him for the past 9 YEARS and he has NEVER had a sick or off day in his life. He is a tough healthy ranch horse that has never worn a blanket and I could count on one hand the number of times he has been in the barn overnight. I work cattle, move cattle, ect and do lots of galloping with him in the winter and he often works up a sweat but he has never been harmed by any of it. His lungs are perfectly fine (he can still outrun any horse he's ever met Oh and since no one else is brave enough to admit it, I'll be the first: I DO keep his bit in the barn(just a regular barn, no heat!) , he willingly takes it and he's never frostbit his mouth.
SO, now you can blast me with posts on how cruel I am, lol You know it WOULD be cruel to put a horse that isn't use to this environment out in it but for horses that are use to it, it's just a way of life for them.
What you'll get from me is a big Thank-You for being honest and not giving an answer that is 'politically correct'!

This is what this forum is for me. A place to get answers and insights that may or may not be known or popular.

Like you stated, your horses are acclimated to this way of life. They are not show horses, or barn potatoes (like my two right now, my fault not theirs), they are working horses.

Appreciated your matter of fact and honest answer.
    02-01-2010, 05:29 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Another thing to realize is that -20 on one side of the border is considerably warmer than -20 on the other side. When I originally read this post I thought no way anybody could ride in weather that cold. Then my brain kicked in and I did some math and it's not that bad.
Very true! Parts of Florida were experiencing 30+ weather a bit ago. For them it was freezing, for us a heat wave.
    02-01-2010, 05:31 PM
^^I think he's referring to the difference of -20 degrees Celsius vs. -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
    02-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Another thing to realize is that -20 on one side of the border is considerably warmer than -20 on the other side. When I originally read this post I thought no way anybody could ride in weather that cold. Then my brain kicked in and I did some math and it's not that bad.
Yeah, but I'm south of the border (I'm not in Canada). So -10 or -20 to me, is F, not C.

I've left skin on the gate latch before and the horses barely seem to notice the cold.

It just amounts to - what do you get accustomed and conditioned to. I personally find it unthinkable to ride in some of the weather they have down south in August, but the folks that are used to it have no problem. In fact, I start suffering when it's warmer than 70 degrees. I get miserable, crabby, and start yearning for winter again! When it hits 75, I'm downright ugly, cursing the heat. Most people think 70-75 is heaven. Sorry, but I can't imagine it. The perfect temperature to me is around 25-30 degrees (Farenheit!).
    02-01-2010, 05:32 PM
-20 degrees Celsius = -4 degrees Fahrenheit

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