Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 5: Layer Up!

Excellent advice. It was cold, cold, cold for the 4H demonstrations. I wore a long sleeve shirt, a wool shirt, an athletic form fitting jacket, and my big heavy Carhart on top of it all… Oh and winter breeches, with winter cover up type pants over boos and all. I was maybe not as stylish as the advice given, but it worked.

Ashley Perry, founder of the blog—a guide to the equestrian life and style—offers her tip on staying warm while riding and working outdoors during the winter months.

My tip for staying warm while maintaining a fashion-forward look is to wear layers. Dressing in layers will keep you warm without looking large and bulky. I usually wear base layers with a fuzzy vest on warmer winter days and I add a zip fleece on colder days. I also always wear gloves to keep my hands and nails in good shape.

Really? Gloves to keep my nail polish from chipping not to keep me from losing a digit due to the cold? Methinks that Ms Perry is from a slightly different climate with very different priorities....

That's right. NEGATIVE Seven.
And back to the story...

After I set up my little table with a WEG video playing, issues of Dressage Today displayed and a few old dressage tests laying around amid various tricolored ribbons, I sat out in the cold arena to watch the reining demo. I’m pretty sure that I lost feeling below my waist at some point before I threw in the towel and went to go ready RC for his moment in the lime light.

While everyone was eating the potluck in the only marginally warmer unfinished tack room, I told everyone to take a look at the tests, and watch the video etc etc. Then on to the arena with me and Mr WonderPony.

I had originally planned to braid and polo wrap RC to make a wonderful first impression. I just couldn’t do it. There was no way that I could muster the fine motor control needed to even tie up rubber band braids. So I just brushed him and called it close.

Now, RC is at least as sensitive to cold as I am, if not more so. His tail had all but disappeared into his muscle-ly haunches. On with our new Schneider’s tack quarter sheet… which didn’t come off all through our demo.

Of course, one I actually began to ride, I warmed up quite nicely. RC was wonderful; he was light and responsive and willing. I’m sure that our demo was kind of a scattershot of information, since there is just so much to cover in so little time, not to mention how difficult it is to demonstrate the moves correctly while narrating my own ride. Next time I’ll ask for volunteer riders… It’s easier to give explanations while someone else is riding.

The best part of the whole demo: Afterwards I had an older woman come up to me to tell me that watching me ride RC just made her “cry, it was so beautiful’. I'll count this day as a success.

+1 for RC's followers...

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