It’s not the stupidest thing I’ve done (lately), but it ranks right up there.
I went to the barn tonight. So what if the entire mid-west is under a wind-chill warning. So what if it didn’t get into positive temperatures today. I’m not going to let this cold weather dictate what I can and cannot do – if I don’t take a stand and push myself to go outside in cold weather, I won’t be outside until April.
I figured that 1.) the cold weather would scare off some lesser people and give me more space and privacy in the arena and 2.) since the arena is indoors, I would be relatively protected from the cold since the wind wouldn’t be a factor.
HA! Dude! Where was my brain?? It was NEGATIVE ten degrees when I left. That’s without the wind. Yeah.
To be honest, I was doing okay with all my layers. I had on a long underwear tank, a performance long-sleeve shirt, a polar fleece and a Brooks jacket, plus my breeches and my full chaps, plus my winter boots and half chaps. All that was fine. But there isn’t any way to layer up my hands and still be able to grip the reins, aside from my insulated gloves. Every five minutes my fingers would go completely numb and hurt! I tried to ride through the pain, I tried switching my whip to give my fingers something to do, but as the pain increased I began to worry about frostbite so I slowed to a walk and stuck my hand under my shirt. Every five minutes I would have to walk and warm up alternating hands.
And this is TMI, but you have to understand how cold it was. Usually, in the first five minutes of riding, I have to stop and blow my nose because it runs when it’s cold. However, tonight I noticed I didn’t have to do this – everything from my face skin to nose hairs and sinus had frozen!! Or so I thought until about 20 minutes into my ride and I realized that a tiny bit of snot had run down my nose and onto my lip. And I didn’t even notice, that’s hold cold it was!! My face was a glacier.
When I got off Felix, I noticed that his whiskers and the entire rims of his nostrils were coated in white frost, thick, white frost! He didn’t seem to mind the cold, but I’ve never seen frost on a horse – indoors.
As you can imagine, nothing could warm me up except a long, hot shower and a hot mocha. I’ve decided that the low teens, high singles are my limit. Life is to short to freeze to death on a cold Wednesday night. Thankfully, this cold snap is predicted to end on Friday.