January 9, 2011

Cold Weather Riding

Why is it always incredibly cold when I have a first lesson with a potential new instructor?

Not that I've had many instructors, but the last time I had a first lesson with a great instructor in a beautiful indoor during college, it was incredibly cold, and, true to form, I lost circulation in my fingers and toes and nearly passed out when they came back.  This happened several times last winter, usually when I got off of the horse, but this particular lesson went so long that I couldn't take it anymore, and I put my fingers in my pits to warm up.  I had to get off of the horse, rather than risk passing out and making an unplanned dismount.  The instructor was concerned/alarmed, and I don't blame her.

Thursday, the high is supposed to be 25 degrees and my lesson is an hour after the sun goes down.  The low is going to be around 10, so it definitely will be less than 20 at my lesson.  Depending on how this barn does things, they might even reschedule for weather that cold.  We'll see.  I'd be terribly crushed to miss out on my first chance to ride in weeks, but a little relieved that I wouldn't have to deal with the cold like that.

My typical cold weather riding gear is as follows:
- Legs/feet

  1. Mountain horse tights
  2. Breeches
  3. Maybe another pair of breeches
  4. Smartwool socks
  5. "Farmer Brown" wool socks
  6. Mountain Horse paddock boots (maybe...can't get my half chaps over them, so it might be paddock boots for me.
- Torso
  1. Spandex tanktop
  2. Tight shirt
  3. Slightly looser shirt
  4. Hoodie
  5. Wool-lined winter canvas vest
- Head
  1. Thin running headband
  2. Helmet if riding, Carhartt hat if not
- Hands
  1. Suede wool-lined SSG winter riding gloves
And over all that goes my trusty insulated Carhartt overalls and my impenetrable SMWC equestrian team jacket.  I don't know what I would do without those two pieces of gear.  Obviously they come off while riding (though I've left the Carhartt's on before, in the old days before the indoor had heat, and my instructors never said anything about it.)

We'll see what happens.  One way or another...I'm excited!

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