January 9, 2013

Navigating winter riding obsticals

Since I was very pregnant last winter, I didn't ride for most of it, which makes this the first year I've really delt with riding in a Montana winter. This is also the first time in a long time that I've had to ride at night. Between winter, snow, ice, and darkness, there are a few obsticals that I've recently had to overcome.

1. Frozen toes.
My feet actually stay above freezing with smart wool socks in my paddock boots while riding in the indoor arena. They get ice cold and frozen when I stand in the arena longeing Rose or waiting for her to roll. I am hopeful that the arrival of my new Ariat Bromont Tall Winter Boots (thanks to the ever fabulous Hubs) will fix this problem all together. I plan on venturing outside for a stroll in the snow upon their arrival as well!

2. Frozen doors.
You definately know that you live in a cold place the when inside of the door to your arena looks like this. Gloves solve the problem well.

Frozen door on the INSIDE of the arena.

3. Darkness.
We have no exterior lights at our barn aside from the main entrance light to the barn. In an area with little to no ambient lighting and clear nights, this means it gets very very dark. Pitch black dark...at 5pm. As I was bemoaning the lack of moonlight the second night I rode, I remembered that Hubs insists on keeping a headlamp in each of the vehicle's glove compartments. Salvation! Luckily, Rose appears to be unfazed by the random little light on my head. Bonus!

Rockin' the headlamp! Winter fashion trend
of 2013.
Now, I have always hated headlamps. Yes they function, but they are ugly. Coal minter ugly. Not a fashion statement I like making even on the grimiest of camping trips. Hubs has always thought I was ridiculous (probably rightly so) for my stance on headlamps and insistence on using good-ole flash lights. Well, now that I have a very good need for a headlamp (need light & don't have a spare hand) I have to say that this little beauty has won over a soft spot in my heart. I think I might have to see if there is a slightly more fashionable version on the market though. For now though, little greenie and I will get along just fine.

On a side note (ahem, note to Huby), it might behoove him to apply horse related uses to all sorts of random things that I don't like that he thinks I'm ridiculous about.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Ha, fashionable head lamp, I totally get that. Our barn is also super dark/ poorly lit. It is a bit rough trying to carry a flashlight, grain and horse back to their home. Sometimes I'd have my hubby follow me in the car so I'd have headlights to walk in. Your new Ariats sound super nice I'm sure they will be a great improvement

  2. Well horses seem to make things that we wouldn't have liked or used before, glad that the head lamp was useful and I hope you find a fashionable one! Can't wait to hear about your New Ariat boots they sound awesome!

  3. Winter sucks...you will learn all the tricks to keep you warm and functional. Loose layers are the key!

  4. Hah!! I had my mare Bre in alaska. everytime I want to moan about the NWst rain I remember that I could be shoveling her paddock out of three feet of snow that just feel since I cleared it in the AM. I had ariat winter paddock boots but wore snow boots until just before it was time to get on. Make sure they are too big. If they aren't when you put warm socks on you lose circulation and get colder. I wore pants over my breeches when I was traipsing aroung the barn. Full chaps are amazing in the cold weather then you can get away with just wearing breaches around. Everyone wore them up here but I don't see them much down in the NWst. And you rock the headlamp. We rode all over in those things. If you didn't ride in the dark you didn't get to leave the arena. In hindsight I might have been crazy to ride my green horse around in the dark but we lived.

  5. ROFLOL! The headlamp thing cracked me up hehehe. I am reading all of your posts by the way, I'm just trying to cut back on commenting because I need to speed up if I'm ever going to get caught up again. I promise I'll be back to my normal comment-a-holic self once I catch up. :D



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