Thursday, January 12, 2012


I don’t know about you, but getting back into the swing of things after a break can be difficult. It’s like my brain has atrophied. Embarrassingly, it doesn’t take much time for this to happen to me. :-) Up until this past Tuesday night, I have not had a lesson since the beginning of December. I am still stiff and I bet Gem is, too!

I have, however, managed to get in a few trail rides over the last month, which were great therapy. I am usually an a organized, calm person, but it's activities like getting ready to ride that made me realize my stress was showing. I had a dickens of a time trying to remember my normal routine of tacking up!! Granted, my brain has been full with family stuff, but you would think that some things would be automatic. I found myself fumbling and forgetting, going back and forth to the tack room numerous times. I had trouble lifting my saddle up to put it on Gem’s back. Once, I forgot to tighten Gem’s girth before mounting. Fortunately, I remembered (after I was on him!) and asked one of Young Ladies to tighten it for me before I took off for my ride. Duh. Dismounting has been...well...interesting and not very fluid. My brain and body forgot what to do!!

My trail rides were with DH’s mom; she is a very experienced trail rider and, of course, having Gem follow his paddock-mate made it easy for me. I didn’t have to think. Most of the time, we just walked along, enjoying the scenery, talking about frivolous stuff. I was grateful to be out in the fresh air, doing something that I love and I know Gem enjoyed it being out of his usual turnout area.

We have been experiencing quite balmy weather here...very unusual. The average temperature over the last month was about -3C. I know! Crazy, eh?! We are usually freezing our butts off here with -10C on average during the day, but not lately. We really have only had a couple of really cold days. The first couple of trail rides I went on, I actually wore my English winter breeches and 1/2 chaps. I find this ensemble much warmer and more comfortable than wearing long johns under jeans. That is, until a couple of weeks ago...

I got my new winter riding pants from Zephyr Equine Gifts!

No, that is not me in the picture....sigh.... I was a bit skeptical when I first pulled them out of the packaging. They were so light-weight; how could they be warm if they didn't feel heavy?? The outside material is smooth (but not slippery!) and the inside material is thick fuzziness. They are stretchy. Believe me, my shape gave that stretchiness a test!! :-) They hold their shape nicely, without feeling like you are being cut in half, and have a nice wide non-slip waistband. And, I can walk in them, unlike some of the other snow pant options out there!!! I have been wearing them over thick dance workout leggings (another humiliating conversation with a sales clerk - why do I keep doing this to myself?!) and have felt quite toasty in them.

I rode in them on Sunday and the temps were around -8C.... no problemo! Mind you, the days that I have been out on the trails have been windless. If it were windy, I would easily be able to slip on my snowboarding pants over them. I have been searching the last couple of years for the perfect winter riding ensemble and I think I have finally found the missing piece. I love them! And, guess what? DH's mom, a die-hard western reining jeans-wearing rider, wants a pair! You see? Once again, I am a fashion trend setter at my barn. :-) The price is competitive and what I appreciated was that you could customize them if you wanted. The sizes are accurate to your usual size, so if you are a size 14, order the Large and it will fit you beautifully. I will be ordering another pair of these pants, but in wicking summer weight. I find jeans so hot in the summer!

Well, I am looking out the window right now and the snow is coming down quite hard. I believe we will be getting about 10-12 cm of snow over the next couple of days. The temperatures are supposed to be colder on the weekend, but trails will be nice and fluffy. Bring it on! I am fashion ready! :-)

Life Lesson: Listen to what is being said before you respond. This is actually a lot harder than it sounds. :-)


  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. Illness and loss are shocking to the system. Your brain needs time to recover.

    I'll have to admit - when I saw the picture of your new winter riding pants I was like, "Dang - she's got it goin' on!" then scrolled to your disclaimer lol!

    Glad you're back, on horseback and blogging. Looking forward to more life lessons - today's is a good one! :)

  2. Glad to hear you're back out there setting the fashion trends for the barn. I checked out those pants and really like them. It's too late for the winter ones but I'll be investigating the summer weight. They are so much cheaper than the ones I have now and sound like they're much easier to care for too. Thanks for the info.

    Nice to hear that you finally got out on a relaxing trail ride. I think it was probably good for you and Gem. Hope things are going okay for you. Sounds like you might need a long hot bath and maybe a massage for those sore unused muscles.

  3. Oooh! Those look nice and comfy! Do they make 'em in Full Seat, too? I'll go check out your link. I ride Western and most everyone I know does, too. Jeans, as you know, are the norm. But ever since I wore my first pair of breeches about 2 years ago, I vow to never go back to wearing jeans again. Now I I only wear breeches and custom made riding pants from The Tights Lady. It's like riding naked...but better. lol!


  4. Oh man, you should have left that picture to stand alone- I was so going to comment on how good you looked in them ;) I've got a pair of Irideon's that are sort of similar with the fuzziness on the inside, they are wonderful when it's cold.

    Don't beat yourself up about forgetting things, you need some time to adjust to your new world order. It will come together again.

  5. Those look great! I got a few pair of the winter riding pants from Kerrits a few years ago and they work pretty well for me. They seem to last forever, but when and if they do wear out, I'll check these out!

  6. irideons are great, i love them! another good option is Kerrits winter breeches, they are very warm and cozy!

  7. CFS - "Dang - she's got it goin' on!" You made me laugh! Glad you liked the life lesson. :-)

    GHM - They are SO comfortable. I really liked that I could customize my order. Plus if you have any questions, you get an email response that same day! :-)

    Lisa - Your riding pants are better than riding naked??? Now how do you know what riding naked that feels like?! LOL! I hear you re jeans. I used to get snickered at for wearing breeches with a western saddle, so I started wearing jeans. Personally, I don't find jeans very comfortable. Glad I found Fuzzy Logic!

    Shannon - I looked that good!....about 30 years ago... ;-)

    Linda - Nice to hear from you! You won't be disappointed if you buy Fuzzy Logic when you are ready to retire your Kerrits.

    Thoroughbred12 - Welcome! I understand that irideons are a good brand also.

  8. haha! Loved the new entry!

    Give yourself time to get back into it, like driving in heavy traffic after a long holiday - we all need to relearn the smallest things after the shortest times.

    -3 = balmy? I'm too South African to even comprehend that! We had a heavy winter last year with snow on the farm (twice in total, once about a foot deep) we couldn't function. Our horses did better than we did. If we get -3 we struggle! We couldn't ride in -3, we're too busy feeling sorry for ourselves and being shocked and horrified at the weather.

    Nice-looking riding togs, I hope they serve you well! Especially in -3!!

  9. When it's really cold I *love* riding in my Carhartt quilted bib overalls!

    1. I see the guys wearing them around the barn....they look warm!

  10. Hey you're back! And I'm so behind with visiting *blush* Love the new-look blog, very seasonal.
    Don't be too hard on yourself, you've been through a lot and, as with everything, it all takes time.
    I too thought that picture was the new-look you ;o) Your riding pants look and sound great! Wow ... snow ... we haven't yet dipped below 3degrees here ... which is weird, considering the freeze we were experiencing last year.

    1. Hi Joy! The last week of weather has been crazy. Today it was -20C, but last night it was pouring rain! Nice to hear from you.