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.
Last edited by Padrona; 02-01-2010 at 03:23 PM.