Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blanket Time and Help Me Shop

As much as I wish it were not, winter is finally coming to middle Tennessee. We dipped below freezing for the first time this year over the weekend on Friday night. We've come close on a few other nights but finally went below this weekend. On Monday evening we went down to 28 and had a lot of frost on the ground this morning.

We don't typically blanket the horses for this type of weather. They have winter coats and perfectly fine. However the next 36 hours will be bringing my least favorite weather, cool rain with a temperature drop. Today we had a high of 60, tonight we will be going down to about 43, then a high of 51 tomorrow, and then the low tomorrow night is supposed to be about 37, with rain starting late tonight through tomorrow night.

Jason and I spent a couple of hours putting rain sheets on everyone this evening. They really don't need them until tomorrow night but we didn't want to be blanketing wet horses so they went on this evening instead. It always takes twice as long as usual to put blankets on the first time each year. All of the straps need to be adjusted the first time on after cleaning and storage. A few residents had, ahem, gained weight, and needed their straps let out. I didn't shorten any straps but I certainly let several of them out!

Although the horses in reality would probably be perfectly fine without their rain sheets, I will certainly sleep better knowing they are wearing them. Anyone who has read this blog much knows that I detest cold weather, so I will do my best to get through the next 90 days with as little misery as possible and count down the days until March. December, January and February are the months that I always wish I lived in southern Florida. The other nine months of the year I am mostly content with the weather.

One thing I am going to do this year is buy real winter clothing. I always try to pretend that it is still 80 degrees outside and don't really have good winter clothing. I have a coat and some gloves and that is it. I ordered myself a pair of waterproof, insulated paddock boots, bought another pair of Muck Boots to replace the pair I wore out, and will now be on the search for the perfect pair of waterproof gloves. Someone please tell me if these exist and where to find them: waterproof gloves that aren't really bulky. I don't want to have to take them off to deal with blanket straps and such. I've also been eyeing one of the heavy, waterproof coats in the LL Bean catalog that were supposedly designed to keep crew members from the Weather Channel dry and warm when on location. Any other winter clothing tips are greatly appreciated!

Video clip taken on Sunday of some grazing horses. In order of appearance Snappy, Chili, O'Reilly, Silky, Lightening, Lucky, Teddy and Clay. Nothing too exciting here, just a group of relaxed, grazing horses. A very typical daily scene.

Napping and Grazing. In order of apperance: Lily, Missy, Harmony (who goes down for a snooze), Cuff Links (behind Harmony), MyLight and Buffy.

Billy the goat; seriously creative name he has, don't you think?

Jason hanging out with Jo and Mina, world's cutest fainting goats

Jo decided she would like some coffee as well

Three lazy dogs; Bugle, Bush and Trooper

Sebastian and B-Rad

Levendi watching Apollo roll while Leo and Baby graze

Levendi must have liked what we he saw while he watched Apollo as he decided to roll as well

Dustin leading the way with Trigger and Baby following

Clay and Slinky are down napping while Snappy, Lucky and Chili hang out


Traveller and Norman in the front grazing quietly; Bridget and Sky are grazing behind them


ZionFarm said...

My mucking boots are worn out too. My mom and I just ordered BOGS Classic Mid Boots, they are supposed to be pretty warm and waterproof. I cannot vouch for them yet though since they have not yet come in. :)

Beautiful photos as always. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Mudruckers insulated boots - slip on, slip off and warm as well. Let me know if you solve the waterproof gloves problem - I wear a pair of fleecy insulated Ovation gloves for most things - they're cheap, designed for riding so the feel is pretty good, and I go through at least two pairs every winter. I just take them off when I'm working with water or doing really finicky things like supplements.

Winter comfort = layers. I'm a big fan of long underwear - haven't brought it out yet, as well as snow pants. (I was going to say Hah! I spit on your winter! from up here in Chicago, but I decided I'd be polite!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'll bet I know two someones whose blanket straps had to be let out - Lily looks like a house!

Jason said...

The biggest challenges in our "winter" are:

1. Sudden swings in temperature. We alternate between mild/warm and cool/cold periods; two weeks of 60+ degree daytime weather does little to prepare anyone for 35 and raining, which leads me to my second point..

2. When it's cool/cold it is often damp as well, which exacerbates the effect and which goes straight through me. Honestly I would prefer zero dry degrees to 35 and humid; believe it or not I can wear LESS clothes and feel warmer in the former.

stilllearning said...

My glove strategy is quantity. I HATE getting my hands wet and frozen. I always carry at least two pairs of those really cheap stretchy gloves with pebble grips during this damp pre-winter weather. (Seriously, I buy them 10 pairs at a time when I find them on sale. They're only $1.99 so it's no big deal.)

I have heavier gloves that I wear for the "dry" chores. And lined leather gloves to ride in. I try to always have a spare pair of dry gloves (and socks) nearby. I've never found one pair that will do everything....

Gal Wednesday said...

From a semi-frozen Canadian:
Try this link for tips about gloves http://www.uncrate.com/answers/style/what-are-your-favorite-watersnow-proof-gloves/

Also, anything from the Canada Goose people is expensive but worth it.

I agree, layers are the key! I swear by the waffle shirts that they have at the Gap and many other places. tank top, waffle shirt, sweater, coat.