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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So lately I've been riding at about 15 degrees F, which is the minimum that my instructor recommended...

That is to say, it is 15 Outside, and about 20 inside the arena.

Today it is 7 degrees F outside, the weather guy says it might get up to 11. I am hoping the arena is still somewhere around 15 or I might not ride at all :( Also, my younger horse Cloud is a very cold hardy horse. My other 2 would not tolerate riding in these temps at all, and I just wouldn't try it with them. Cloud however seems way more energetic and happy in the cold, lol.

How cold will you ride at? Can you tell if your horse is cold or doesn't want to work in the cold?
 

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If it were me I would be out there every day it is nice. If it is 5 F and nice, I might go riding. But my current horses I have now work slower and don't want to work as much out in the cold.

I think it might just depend on the horse I guess. If your horse is energetic when it is cold then try it out and see how it goes!

(of course my horses are 22 so of course they would move sower anyways )
 

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I don't usually ride when temps fall below the 30s, largely because I can't tolerate it. I wear layers but my hands physically hurt. I rode the other day when it was 42 and the temp dropped 6 deg while riding and my hands physically hurt. I wasn't wearing gloves to start but seems gloves don't help a whole lot in my case. What winter items do you wear to stay warm? As far as what's too cold, I think the most important thing is what kind of work you're doing and how you cool out. I understand you can actually freeze their lungs if not cooled out properly. My horse has energy in the cold, but he's only 4 and gets spooky in the colder temps though he's done a little better as he gets used to the cold/winter at his new home. But I imagine this cold drop will "spook" him again since its such a change.
 

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How cold will you ride at? Can you tell if your horse is cold or doesn't want to work in the cold?
this is - 30 Celsius. the horses don't seem to care how cold it is, they are usually spunky brats in the cold. just like me, they don't like wind when it gets really cold, or having snow blown in their faces. the big thing at really cold temps is avoiding sweat. you never want to work up any kind of a sweat on a horse, its really hard to dry them off without chilling them.


 

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I'm a runner and when I run in very low dry cold my lungs bum a little bit. Don't know if the same happens to other runners, or horses. Since I have discomfort in cold dry weather, I do not work my horse hard in temps below 20. If I just want to walk him around in the deep snow because it is pretty, or maybe some trotting to make him work a wee bit, I will ride. I just do not push him into breathing deep and hard.
 

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Depends on if they're used to it or not. Working horses are used to sucking it up to work the cows etc. Show horses can be a little more fragile if they're body clipped. Personally, I'm not going to be miserable. I draw the line at 20. No lessons no training if it's below 20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Phura- Doesn't sound fun :( I usually ride in kind of thickish riding pants with long underwear underneath. Maybe a hoodie, and my Carhart jacket which is fleece lined, with fleece lined gloves, and of course wool socks. You have to wear real fleece or wool, none of that synthetic junk keeps the heat in.

BlueSpark- very true that is the one thing I always worry about, is getting the horse too hot in the winter. I always start out with my hard work and then we slow down for a half hour just walking or working on leg yields, whatever isn't strenuous and gets him cooled off slowly. I know if I'm sweating, my horse is probably too hot as well.

sarahfromsc- Another great point. I used to run as well but I never had a problem with my lungs hurting unless the humidity was low (I live in MI), which is rare. Although if we have a super hard cold (low humidity) I won't ride under 15F.
 

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If I followed that rule, my horse wouldn't see tack from October to April. If they can rip around the pasture, they can cart my behind around, too.

The critical issue is sweat. Without a barn, I have no way to cool them down safely. If I had a warm-ish place to park them until dry, I'd feel fine about turning them out again.
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My trainer canceled a lesson last winter saying it was too cold for the horses to work, but only once (it was below 20 degrees, as I recall). I asked my current trainer about temps at which she would cancel a lesson and she said there wasn't one - she would run a lesson as long as the student was up for it.

I'm also a runner, and I find it fairly uncomfortable to run when it is below 10 degrees due to burning of the cold air in my lungs (in fact, I run with something over my mouth when it is below 10 degrees) and due to the cold on exposed skin (such as my face). So, I do consider that it may be uncomfortable for my horse at such low temps and it is also uncomfortable for me, so I generally try not to ride when it'll make me miserably cold.
 

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If I am up for it, the horses are- they're way more adapted and accustomed to the outdoor temperatures than my own cold hating self. Agree on the sweating though- if you get them wet, you've got to have a way to get them dry before turning them back out again.
 

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In my more hearty youth, I'd often ride in ski goggles. Cut the snow glare and kept warm the last of my unprotected skin. Now, if I can't keep my face warm by breathing into my scarf/neck warmer, I don't ride... That still means I ride when my eye lashes frost & freeze shut, lol.
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Sorry you were miserable, but gorgeous pic!
It is very pretty up there, wasn't bad for the first hour or two, but after that hubby looks at me and says-
"Let's go back to cowboying, it'll be fun they said! I wanted to buy a bar in Mexico but noooooo!" LOL
At that point a bar in Mexico sounded pretty good.:lol:

Definitely feel those folks with -50 F weather now!
 

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I too used to ride in Manitoba when it was about -25F. We took it easy to keep the sweating to a minimum. It is too cold for someone standing around giving instruction.
 

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Gonna be 1 degree outside tomorrow when I will be attempting to ride in the indoor tomorrow. We shall see how long I last.
 

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I don't ride much below freezing. I get cold quickly and stay cold a long time.
 

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It was -34 at 8am when I went out to water. The bit of wind felt like it was ripping my skin. Then it really hurts when the warmth hits it.
 
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