Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Cold Weather Pause

I live in Alberta, this is not a place where you can be a fair weather rider if you have goals and want to progress. Winter pretty much lasts 6 months of the year so we make use of warm clothes, good winter boots, indoor arenas, horse blankets and coolers, and go and ride anyways.

These temps are not fun though

Look at the ceiling that the vapour from nearby industrial facilities is hitting,
you can actually see the temperature inversion in the air

There are limits though. In the last two weeks we have had 7 days with temperatures below -30C (-22F). At those temperatures I haven't felt like it is fair to ride Kachina. She has a bib clip and we have an indoor arena to work in but she does not tolerate staying in her stall to dry off and so I don't want her to get hot or sweaty when she has to go back outside in that degree of cold. I have been out a few times to make sure her blankets are warm enough, give her a chance to stretch her legs by turning her out in the indoor arena, etc. but the hard work will wait until it warms up a little bit (there is a big difference even between -20 and -30C).

I spent one day doing some much needed TLC on Kachina's tail

We've all been lounging around and doing a lot of eating,
me on the couch, Kachina at the round bale
She is happy to see me even when her eyelashes are frozen ice

The last time I was out to check on Kachina I brought our dog Aegir to the barn for the first time (it was a quiet part of the day so I wouldn't disturb people). Unfortunately it is going to take a lot of work to make Aegir a barn dog. He seemed to think that he had to protect me from the large horse monsters and was barking and lunging at them when they came to the fence. We walked around a bit and he eventually calmed down when passing horses but he still wasn't relaxed enough to actually meet them and I had to lock him in a stall to go get Kachina. He did help me carry my saddle pads to the barn from the car though!

Pro-tip, buy a dog big enough to keep your saddle pads out of the snow when
you are carrying a bag of feed

This past weekend was the Family Day long weekend and my husband and I went to visit my in-laws to go ice fishing! We didn't catch anything but we did see a few fish under the ice and it was a cool experience (my husband used to go regularly with his dad but this was my first time trying it). It was kind of nice that the weekend was so cold because it meant I wasn't as sad to miss out on a long weekend of riding.

The ice was a solid 2' thick

It was a busy day on the lake despite the cold

Driving back to shore

Winter is far from over but the forecast for this weekend is a more average -10C so that will be nice, especially because we have another clinic with Elaine coming up this weekend. Hopefully this cold weather pause will end soon and we can get back to show season prep!

I hope everyone else had a good weekend or long weekend!


  1. Ye gods I don't even know how you do it!

    1. Humans and horses have an amazing ability to adapt to different temperatures. In September -10 seems freezing but by February it feels warm in comparison!

  2. Brrr...the coldest I was brave enough to ride in was -5F when I lived in Wisconsin. Now that I live in the US Southeast, I'm a wimp and about as fair weather as you get.

    1. Definitions of "cold" are definitely region-dependent!

  3. Holy crap -- that's COLD!!!!

    1. Is it wrong if I get a sick sense of satisfaction when people from other places express shock over our extreme weather? ;) I feel like bragging rights are a consolation prize for living where the air hurts your face lol