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. :-)