Tuesday 12 November 2019

Warm Thighs

Winter has most definitely arrived to the Canadian prairies.

Alberta had the dubious honour of being the coldest place on earth this weekend (not our first time to get this award). We had a high of +7 celsius on Friday, rain during the day on Friday, snow overnight and falling temperatures through to Saturday night, where it hit a low of -19.6 celsius (felt like -26). And by Wednesday, it's supposed to be back up to +5.
There was no snow two days earlier. 

Go home Mother Nature. You're drunk.

On Friday I bundled the ponies up in their snowsuits and made sure I had groceries in the house just in case the roads were crap. They were. So I spent far too much time on the couch and on the internet over the weekend.

By Monday it had started to warm up a bit and the roads weren't atrocious. I went out to the barn in the evening for a ride. And I took a new/old piece of kit to try out during my ride.

When I first started riding, my coach foxhunted. She had this wool cape/poncho that she would wear when the weather was crappy. My mom copied it and made one for me. I never really wore it that much - I never really needed the extra warmth.
Not a picture of the actual poncho, but think this but longer.
Last week, I remembered it's existence in a closet at Pony Grandma's house. I thought it might be worth a try to see if it would keep me warmer when I rode in the winter. Specifically, keep my thighs and butt warmer.

Because I was on the internet all weekend, I rediscovered riding skirts. And got really excited about them. Pony Grandma and I went to the fabric store on my only outing this weekend and picked up material to make one. She has some mad sewing skills, and really, it's just a fleece-lined poodle skirt with a zipper down the front. It shouldn't be too difficult to make.
It's going to be gray softshell with a silver lynx/tiger lining. It's going to be beautiful.
When I went out to ride on Monday evening, I decided to try the wool poncho to see if it would keep my thighs warm. The arena was a balmy -4 celsius - cold enough that my legs would usually be chilled while I rode.

I didn't think Cisco would have a problem with me wearing it, but I made sure first. I just draped it behind the saddle while I mounted, then as we walked around I brought up one side, then the other. I don't know if he noticed at all.

It definitely worked. My legs and butt were totally comfortable through my ride. When I got off the coldest part of me was my feet, and I never have to worry about having cold feet.

Unfortunately, I didn't like riding in the poncho. It was just as I feared - too bulky. The top part of my body was too warm, despite only having a couple of the middle buttons done up at the front. Then the wool would pull backwards and the poncho rode up in front. Not to mention that changing my short whip from one hand to the other was a little awkward.

In a pinch for something warm to wear, I would use it again. But now I'm super stoked for the riding skirt. It will definitely keep my legs warm, and I can wear whatever layers I need to on my top half to stay comfortable. Plus I can wear the skirt over my breeches when I'm doing chores - when I went out to feed hay after riding my thighs froze.

Hopefully Pony Grandma is able to get it made really soon!


  1. Can't wait to see the finished product!!!

  2. ugh i'm so not ready for winter tho.... but it's arriving even here too. sigh.

    1. I think winter hit a large part of North America this week!

  3. I am excited to see what your grandmother comes up with!

  4. That riding skirt is going to be incredible!