In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Winter Wind a-Whining

Aaruba is snoozing in his paddock just now, his jersey cooler rippling in the wind, having enjoyed a post-workout meal of beet pulp and alfalfa. After two weeks’ weather-enforced layoff, I’m not sure whether he or I was more enthusiastic about hitting the conditioning trail.

We went 19 miles yesterday — seventeen at a trot and canter, and the final two at a walk. Though his attitude was game as ever, Aaruba’s aerobic stamina has clearly declined since we last enjoyed a regular conditioning schedule in October. I tried not to be disheartened by this fact as, today, we took our time traversing 12 miles of rolling hills.

I knew this was coming, after all. And, I confess that I enjoyed our white Christmas almost as much as did Aaruba.

Still, after spending most of New Years Day completing my conditioning and training schedule for 2009, I feel impatient. Spring is still at least three months away!

Ah, well. At least I have perfected my winter riding wardrobe: heavyweight Patagonia long johns under cotton tights and half chaps, Bridgedale snow sport socks (best socks ever!), silk blend turtleneck, REI windproof fleece, Columbia down vest that makes me look like the Michelin man, fleece riding gloves, and a thin stocking cap under my helmet.

That ensemble kept me warm for two hours today, with temperatures in the low 20’s and 15 mph winds that make it feel like 10 degrees out there. According to the forecast, said wind is bringing more snow. Hooray. _________________________________________________________

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7 responses

  1. We rode today too, same temperatures!and what do you use for shoes?? My toes froze.and, more snow on the way, yea!

    January 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm

  2. I just wore my Ariat Terrains today. My toes got a little cold when we were riding straight into the wind, but not too bad — they warmed up quickly when we changed directions.I got a pair of light suede, insulated boots with a square toe and low heel last year at Sierra Trading Post. Some foreign brand. They were great until I wore a hole in them — my toes NEVER got cold in those. 🙂

    January 4, 2009 at 11:41 pm

  3. P.S. Merri, if you call down more snow, I will sic my greyhounds on you at the Tough Sucker in April! I’m sure Steph will approve. 😉

    January 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  4. What are these magical socks that keep your feet warm? We don’t have winters that cold here, but I have had hunt mornings when my feet were like frozen blocks of lead even before the horn was blown. And I thought I had good socks. What gloves are you wearing? That’s my other problem area. Enough fat everywhere else to keep the cold at bay. I’ve been knitting lightweight silk caps for under helmets for a while. Keep you warm in winter. Maybe I should post some of these on my site. They really work!I share your impatience with the weather. SPRING! HURRY!

    January 5, 2009 at 12:34 am

  5. Hi Kim — The socks are a wool/polypropylene blend, and they’re on sale at Sierra Trading Post online. 😉 I added a link in the body of today’s post.My gloves are just “winter riding gloves” from a local tack shop. Thin fleece with rein grips.Do post about those hats…I must know more! Do you sell them?

    January 5, 2009 at 12:58 am

  6. While I fight out the third cold of the season, thank you flu vaccine, I am glad someone is able to get out there to ride… another storn of 6-12 inches of snow is in the forecast for tonight through tomorrow.Poor JB won’t even go out to his pasture because the snow is up past his belly in spots.

    January 5, 2009 at 3:06 am

  7. Consider a pair of boots from http://www.equitector.comI bought a pair just before christmas – the company is in england, so you can’t try on first, but the customer service is great. I have had two pairs of Ariat terrains, and these Equitector boots are far above any other riding boot I have ridden in.Check out the site – the heels down technology REALLY works, and so far my feet have stayed warm (although the rest of me gets cold! my riding wardrobe is not warm enough for winter at all!)

    January 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

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