The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 125 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was minus 21 last night and is right at minus 20 right now. To put the horses out I bundle up in layers of clothes , a warm vest and a snow suit. For gloves I need to feel so I can only wear a lite pair of good fitting gloves. Even short expose to the weather like openning and closing the latches on the gate with gloves froze my hands. Cleaning stalls was fine but agian pushing the wheel barrow out , dumping it, going to the hay shed and bringing in a bale of hay again produced frozen hands. I can't wear heavy gloves since handling latches would be too difficult.
I ride at 10 all winter so in another 30 minutes I have to be off to saddle up.

How do you guys do it?? You need to use your fingers to undo the buckles on the blankets, saddle up, bridle, my case spurs straps to do.
I ride for about 2 1/2 hours in the deep snow so when I get back the horse is steaming, at least under the saddle. So it is again pull the saddle, watch the horse steam away , brush backwards to fluff the hair, reblanket and those blankets are really cold from sitting and put the horse back in the field.
How do you do it?? Your hands would freeze even with light gloves needed for the buckles???
Do you guys honestly ride in that weather?? HOnestly??
I have missed only 1 Sunday since winter started and never never a Saturday, regardless of what mother nature throws at you and he got that Sunday off because I rode him every day of the week up to that day so I gave him the day off because of the driving snow and strong strong winds.
I even warm my saddle by keeping it beside the furnace where the leather dries out really good and I keep it well oiled so everything is soft.

So ladies how do you saddle up in this weather, outside in the snow and manage to keep your fingers in tack??????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,220 Posts
Are you kidding! LOL!

It is -0 right now and I cancelled my lesson! LOL! The barn had lessons full today, and all were cancelled.

No way hosay! You wouldn't catch me out there riding in anything that cold.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you kidding! LOL!

It is -0 right now and I cancelled my lesson! LOL! The barn had lessons full today, and all were cancelled.

No way hosay! You wouldn't catch me out there riding in anything that cold.
It is the same here, minus 19 and I am just finishing this post and head out. The barn is right at 30 degrees F, very comfortable and I will saddle in the warmth, put on my face mask, my warm hat, my warm gloves and swing aboard a nice comfortable sheep skin saddle and ride off into the woods for the next 2 1/2 horse and have a ball.
Weather honestly doesn't bother me, I can dress for it as long as I have a warm barn to saddle in I am fine.

I am off. Talk to you guys later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,071 Posts
I'll be checking in with this thread hoping someone has a solution to frozen fingers too!

Never bothered me much years ago, but the past 5 years or so my fingertips will actually split due to the cold. With what I do for work, this is just not acceptable, so, yeah, waiting to hear any solutions.

Typing right now with 2 split fingertips just from caring for my 2 horses. And that was wearing heavy insulated leather gloves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
I refuse to ride if it is under 20 degrees. I don't like working in it so I'm sure they don't either. my lungs burn when I work hard in the cold and so I'm sure it is uncomfortable for them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,016 Posts
Riosdad- you are the toughest cookie I know of! I really admire you! I live in the mountains in Arizona, and it only get to about 10 F at the coldest, overnight. Sometimes the days are in the 20's but mostly it's warmer. I still don't have anyone who will ride with me!

Actually, alot of the time I don't ride either, not because of the cold, but because I worry about the footing. It is either icy and slick on the dirt roads, or sucking mud that the horses don't like walking in.

Sometimes I wonder if I am just being a wuss, but I really worry about them slipping and getting hurt. So if the footing is questionable, I don't ride. I just about have to ride the roads to get to the forest, so sticking to the snow isn't an option unless I can get over the snotty or icy roads. And if the roads are thawed, the forest is mud.

What do you guys do about the footing in winter? Not worry about it? I can't help worrying about it. I figure if the horse gets seriously hurt, that could be the end of him or her, and I just don't want to take a chance. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Riosdad- you are the toughest cookie I know of! I really admire you! I live in the mountains in Arizona, and it only get to about 10 F at the coldest, overnight. Sometimes the days are in the 20's but mostly it's warmer. I still don't have anyone who will ride with me!

Actually, alot of the time I don't ride either, not because of the cold, but because I worry about the footing. It is either icy and slick on the dirt roads, or sucking mud that the horses don't like walking in.

Sometimes I wonder if I am just being a wuss, but I really worry about them slipping and getting hurt. So if the footing is questionable, I don't ride. I just about have to ride the roads to get to the forest, so sticking to the snow isn't an option unless I can get over the snotty or icy roads. And if the roads are thawed, the forest is mud.

What do you guys do about the footing in winter? Not worry about it? I can't help worrying about it. I figure if the horse gets seriously hurt, that could be the end of him or her, and I just don't want to take a chance. Any thoughts?
I'd love to see the answer to this one. Next year when I CAN ride in the snow, I'd love to, but I'd be worried to about footing as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Where I live is doesn't get cold enough to really snow and have the snow stay around for a while (and in the rare instances it does I don't get to see Lacey because the roads to her house are too dangerous). The coldest it's gotten this year was 19F with windchill making it colder, but no snow, and I didn't ride in it. I was planning on riding but Lacey seemed really unhappy about having her blanket off (really stiff, not wanting to really move etc) so I decided to just free lunge her and go home.

I don't think I would ride if the temperature was negative anything but maybe if I lived somewhere where I either had to ride in that or not do anything with horses, I'd get over it.

I'm impressed. o_O
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just got in the house . It was gorgous out there. If you are dressed properly it is no problem. Actually I got hot and removed my heavy gloves and put on my thin skin tight plastic ones.
It is still about minus 12 or about 10 F but the sun is very strong. There are pockets where you feel the heat.
I do a normal 10 mile loop but today at the far side of the loop the snowmobile trails heading north beckoned to me so I took them up. We headed north for 3 or 4 miles and then turned around a headed home. Home is still 9 or 10 miles away so I thought I better get going.
Tomorrow I will run the same trail again but this time I will not turn around as quickly.
I find winter riding the best, cool running temperatures, no bugs, no crops and the snowmobile trails run for thousands of miles.
Dressed properly you can escape the cold.
Rio was getting a little wet, his breath coated his neck in white frost, very pretty. I don't worry about breathing in the cold. I use to worry but spend decades running in cold and you find it doesn't harm a horse.
I did have a wet boy when I got back but I brushed against the hair and then blanketed and put out with a fresh bale of hay for him to eat.

Regardless of the temperature, the weather we will once agian make the run tomorrow as we do every weekend.

I prefer to run alone, while company is nice it forces me to compromise.
A few weeks ago a yound girl, 15, tall , lean , a supposedly good rider asked me to take her for a run. I supplies the horse and saddle and showed her how to hold the reins, she is an English rider and we had a fantastic run. She just sad back, lots of loose rein and let her horse work. He would alternate between the lope and the trot depending on how he was keeping up to my boy. We cut 1 hour out of my normal run time just because she could ride and keep up. Any rider forces me to slow down, to compromise.
I am really hoping the cold keeps a lady friend who often runs with me Sundays home where she should be and I get to run the hard packed snowmobile trails alone.

It is gorgous out there. Sunglass day for sure:D:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
It doesn't get quite that cold here but i ride all winter. The best thing I have found is the wool gloves that are fingerless but have the mitten part that you can close over your fingers. When it is really cold I put a pair of light cotton gloves on first so my fingers are not totally exposed but I can still do what I need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
I buy thermal riding gloves, they're kind of bulky but not so much that I can't move my fingers, and to seal the deal I use those hand warmer things that you stick in your gloves and they heat up. They're awesome.
I do that with my toes too, along with 3 or 4 wool socks.
I wear a pair of wool leggings, with a pair of fleece lined thermal riding breeches, and a warm pair of sweatpants over that.
I wear a long sleeve thermal shirt, a sweater, and my northface jacket, I only dress so lightly on top so I can move around easily, my upper body generally stays warm. I wear a hat until I ride.
I warm up my horses bit under some really warm water [then I dry it of course] or I blow it with the heat of a hair dryer. I don't like to ride to long in this weather because I lose feeling in my toes and such. I rode today it was 2 degrees out, I had to go into the lounge of the barn to switch from my bulky warm gloves to my thinner riding gloves, and to put my hair up.
I usually warm up very fast when me and my horse are working, and we have an indoor ring to prevent us from the elements.
Just keep your chin up, spring will come eventually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
I hope you do not ride with a metal bit. It will freeze the corners of the horses mouths.
Oh good grief, it will not. I've been riding in -40 degree winters since I was knee high to a grasshopper and a bit has never frozen to any mouth. The heat from the mouth does not provide any opportunity for freezing to occur. Maybe if you're stupid enough to slap a cold bit in without warming it up you may have problems, but otherwise, no.

To be honest? I deal with the freezing. For the most part, my fingers are nimble and my leather supple enough that I can get away with wearing little gloves just for tacking up if it's hovering around -20 with the windchill. Once it hits -40 and lower with the windchill, we essentially are forced to ride bareback. The leather freezes, you can't work with it, and even if you DO get your horse tacked up, it's a 10 minute ride because your legs are numb within minutes.

The cold, for the most part, honestly does not bother us. I very rarely get cold hands and feet to begin with - if I have to tack up a horse in bitter weather, I slip my gloves off for a minute, work quickly to get something done up, and then put my mitts back on for a minute. It sucks, but within a minute my fingers are warm and I'm ready to do something else up.


As far as footing in winter, you'd be amazed. Deep snow is quite possibly the BEST footing for horses. We avoid roads mostly, we don't shoe our horses so about mid-winter when the roads turn to solid ice, we stick to the front yard and the field. When you live as cold as we do, you only have to be careful about riding in deep snow when it's freezing cold - the top layer forms a crust that will cut your horses legs and allow fungus to develop. We actually form well laid paths in the front yard, so on cold days, we avoid the untouched parts of snow. Other then that, I feel 20x safer cantering a circle in a foot of snow in our front yard then I do cantering the same circle on slippery grass in summer. On the off chance they flounder in deep snow, you have a foot of cushioning to stop your fall!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,061 Posts
There are a lot of reasons as to why it would have been better for me to have been born in either the US, Canada or Australiasia but the climate is not one of them. We had one winter spell over Christmas, but as of today, there is no sign of it. In the South, the 2010 rich green grass is already growing. We are promised another spell of cold weather but it should not last long.

DiDi is back out working - she's training to be a show jumper for the coming season. She seems to be loving it.

If I lived out Rios way or over in Winnepeg with Mij, up in the snow, then I'd have to buy a very thick fur hat to protect my wrinkled bald pate. As for my dainty fingers - perish the thought. My Irish huzzy DiDi is used to wet winds
and rain but she doesn't do snow.

I think I'll stay here. Sounds a trifle nippy over your part of the globe to me.

B G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Warm up the bit before you put it in her mouth, a cold bit is painful and it might be difficult to make her take a bit again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
We keep our metal bits in the house to keep them warm, as it's way to cold to warm them up with your hands properly. If by chance a bridle does get left outside, a few minutes on a heat vent in the house or running it under hot water and drying it properly also gets the job done quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Ah, wintertime! I tack up in the heated barn (not warm, per se, but warmer than outside!), keep the tack warm in the tack room for as long as possible, and wear insulated gloves whenever possible. I have found that there really aren't too many things that you can't do with gloves on. I even bridle with gloves, and I can get most of the buckles done up without having to remove my hand-warming-devices.

Also, when I ride outside in the winter, I ride bareback to keep toasty warm. It greatly improves your core strength and balance, and there is no way you can be riding bareback and get cold!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It doesn't get quite that cold here but i ride all winter. The best thing I have found is the wool gloves that are fingerless but have the mitten part that you can close over your fingers. When it is really cold I put a pair of light cotton gloves on first so my fingers are not totally exposed but I can still do what I need to.
Kevin those are exactly the gloves I ride in. I can peel the flap back and have my bare fingers or pull the flap over the fingers and be nice and toasty.. I am warm by nature so cold hands and feet don't really bother me.
I also have a great hat, one the buckles under my chin like a helmet but it is only a hat and a weather suit material face shield.
I ride with heavy chaps and duck boots and my legs and feet are toasty. Also travelling at a good pace warms you up.
 
1 - 20 of 125 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top