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Re: [RC] how cold is too cold? - heidi

i would like to see some input on this question.  you can put on enough
clothes to be comfortable in some very low temperatures, but does it get
to a point where it might not be good for your horse, working in very
cold weather? the camp osborn ride last january (down here in the
southeast region)  was cold,  19 degrees at the start of the ride.  the
horses had icicles hanging from their whiskers within a short time.

Main issues in cold-weather riding with regard to the horse are good
warmups and cooldowns, making sure the bit isn't frozen, making sure that
the winter hair is relatively dry before turning back out in the cold, not
working at high speed (both due to footing and due to cold air, although
horses have better nasal air-warming capabilities than we do), etc.

Heck, 19 degrees isn't all that uncommon at ride starts in early spring or
late fall up here in the NW.  One just has to ride accordingly.

As for conditioning rides in the cold--just depends on how badly the horse
"needs" the ride in his schedule, I suppose.  It isn't uncommon in this
part of the country to ride in sub-zero temps, given adequate clothing and
the above precautions, but I personally prefer to make our really cold
winter weather our lay-off time.



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[RC] how cold is too cold?, Ed Kilpatrick