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Winter is Here
Winter is officially here, and like most equestrians, I’m prepped and ready to move my barn south for the winter… A girl can dream right? In reality, the majority of us horse crazy girls don’t get to follow the pros to fun places like Ocala and Aiken for the winter. Instead, we layer up, and stay up north. The upside in this situation, is that no one knows how to survive long hours outside like a crazy horse girl. We know how to layer up to stay warm, chip ice off buckets in record times, defrost hoses, and wrangle horses with way too much energy to add blankets and pick snow filled feet.
10 Cold Weather Horse Girl Essentials
Now each one of us has our ways that we get through this weather. Some of it comes from years of experience, some trial and error and some by watching the others that have come before us. One thing we do all have in common, is that we are tough, determined, and want to make life as easy as possible.
#1 – Nightvision
Even if we are having a mild winter, a headlamp is a must have for seeing in the dark. As fall ends and the days get shorter, it becomes more difficult to find our ponies in the dark! Cell phone flashlights only last so long, and really the battery should be saved for pony selfie taking. This is the one I use. I lit. No battery to worry about, plug in to charge just like your cell phone.
#2 – The Perfect Pair of Gloves
I don’t know about anyone else but my hands are one of the first things to get cold. And cold hands mean painful hands and and slower chores. I have to glove solutions that I like. Cheap fuzzy gloves with something thin and water proof on top. This combo makes doing waters easy. Or thick insulated gloves, like SSGs 10 Below. They can make doing blanket changes hard, but the more you use them the better you will get. Plus you can always make a game out of it and race your friends to see who can put on heavy weights the fastest.
#3 – It’s Layer Time
Besides fleece leggings, my favorite thing to wear on my legs while doing barn chores in the cold are my insulated overalls. I like these better then the coveralls because if I get to hot while working, I can easily take off a layer. They also hold the layers in place better than pants.
#5 – Ice Free Water
I am lucky. My water is close to outlets, and I can easily plug in heated buckets. These are so amazing. They keep water from freezing so the horses always have fresh water in their stalls and outside and reduce the risk of colic. Plus not having to beat ice out of buckets really helps save your back.
#6 – Hot Pockets
For a little extra added comfort, when you have to be outside for long periods of time, reusable hand warmers can go just about anywhere. If I know I need to be outside for longer then just feeding the horses, I will snap a pair and add them to my boots. I also keep a pair in my pockets incase my hands get wet. Helps warm them right back up again. I’ve also rubbed them on frozen snaps before to get buckets off walls.
#7 – Something To Look Forward Too
Lots of things keep me going while I am in the cold. I look forward to snuggling up with my mini me in front of the fire and watching a movie. I dream of having an sucessful second husband that can pay to send me to Akien. And on the nights that nights that I am alone without said future husband and my daughter is with her father, I poor myself a glass of wine to warm up and relax after a day of doing horse stalls in 10 degree weather.
#8 – All Things Fuzzy
Hats and scarves! I have multiple warm hats and matching scarves sets. They are a must have for keeping ears , heads, and faces warm. Don’t forget your fuzzy socks too! Warm feet will keep you going, even if the rest of your body is freezing.
#9 – Cute Boots
Ok this one is a half lie. While boots are essential, its more important that they are warm and water proof then cute. My personal favorite boots are Muck Boots, and they are anything but cute. They do keep my feet dry! Even when temps get crazy low and I need to jump on icy water troughs to break them up. My feet are tired from the extra work, but my toes are toasty. I also highly recommend the tread on the boots pictured here versus the other type Muck Boot makes, they give you way more grip when things get slippery.
#10 – A Warm Heart
A warm heart, and a love of what we do is what keeps us all going. Dreams of blue ribbons and 75 degree days. Even when our horses are spooking at the wind, and we have chipped ice off the same bucket for the millionth time, we keep going, because we love it. We might be half nuts, maybe its frozen brain cells, but we love it.
What would you add to the list? Drop it in the comments.