Let it Snow

I would love to ride in the winter if only my ______________ wouldn’t get so cold! Select all that apply.

  1. A.     Feet
  2. B.     Head/Face
  3. C.     Hands

Even with our indoor arena, there is still a bite in the air when the temperature drops below 300. So the kids and moms are always trying to learn ways to stay warm.

LAYERING

Don’t rely on one item to keep warm. Layer your clothes. Start with a cotton t-shirt, add a snug turtle neck, then a sweatshirt before you add the winter coat. A warm fleece vest or jacket under the winter coat can help both on very cold days as well as days that are moderately cold. Some riders get warm when they ride and a vest can keep in the heat if they need to remove the winter coat.

Don’t forget the bottoms and feet. I recommend that footless tights or cotton leggings be worn under the jeans or riding breeches. Two pair of socks can also help keep the feet warm. My preference is wool socks. Natural fibers tend to wick away moisture better than synthetic.

FOOTWARE

You can wear the wool socks or two pair with regular riding boots. There are also insulated riding boots for riders who have a very hard time keeping their feet warm. Do not be tempted to wear snow boots for riding, unless you are going bareback. As warm as they may be, they are a danger if the foot gets caught in the stirrup and they have no heel, which is a requirement of any boot or shoes used for riding.

HEAD/FACE

Helmet covers! There are some very warm and colorful helmet covers. Most come with a neck warmer that covers the mouth and chin as well as the neck. For those of you who are creative, SuitAbility sells patterns so you can make your own! Make them in your barn colors!

HANDS

Thinsulated gloves are a life saver. You can also find fleece-lined and insulated riding gloves that have the pebbled fingers so the reins can be gripped better.

If you or your rider still gets cold, you may want to break open the hand warmers. They typically last about four hours and are well worth it.

Here’s to fun-filled riding this winter!

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to our barn.

Those of you who knew Tom, are familiar with his way of welcoming everyone who entered our barn.  Sometimes I still hear him greeting the riders when they come in for their lessons, even though it’s just in my mind.   So I wanted a way to have his presence felt, even for those who never knew him.

While I was going through some stuff, I saw his boots…they’re old boots…I think he wore them every day for years.  The sides are sagging, one boot can hardly stay upright, but, they’re his boots.  Scuffed, well-used, and comfortable.  Perfect!

Fall arrangement

Christmas arrangement

I decided to put them in the corner by the entrance from the barn to the arena and fill them with flowers as the seasons change.  Look at them as you enter the arena and tell me if you don’t feel that warm welcome in your heart.


          It’s the night before Christmas, we’re out in the barn,haffie-holidays-gypsy
          Blanketing horses to keep them all warm,
          They’re eating their dinners, tucked in cozy stalls,
          Not aware that it’s Christmas, or any special day at all.
          They can dream of spring pastures from their pine-scented beds, 
          No visions of sugarplums dance in their heads.

          But we people are thinking of merry parties and such,
          Maybe feeling a little sad at missing so much.
          This season is special but the horses don’t know,
          We’ve got work to do before we can go.

          We finish the chores and head on inside,haffie-holidays-sherlock-best
          To get ready for dinner and our own yuletide.

          It’s nearly midnight, the carols are sung,
          I remember a story I was told when I was young,
          How at midnight on Christmas Eve,
          The creatures of the barnyard can speak to us with ease.

slick-head          I am called to the barn, I wade through the rain, 
          I know I must go, I can’t really explain,
          I slide open the door, pause for a while,
          Then slowly walk down the dimly lit aisle.

 

          A nicker from Leslie, a wink from Queenie,haffie-holidays-buttercup
          Sleepy little Gypsy waking to see,
          Lu-Rain rustling her bedding, a snort soft and light,
          Each horse gave a greeting as I walked through the night.

          I thought about parties bright lit and warm,  
          The ones we don’t go to ’cause we have the barn,
          And vacations and holidays that we don’t get,
          When we’re working long hours for bills to be met.

          Walking all the way to the end of the aisle,  haffie-holidays-copper-boy
          I stop to stroke Caity, it brings me a smile,
          She snuffles my face, warm breath on my skin,
          It starts me to thinking about my horses, my kin.
          I could be at parties with laughter and mirth,
          But where I am right now is the best place on Earth.

                                             –Author unknown–
                                                –adapted to reflect our horse names–