Love my Irish draught horses. All bred in Ireland. I am a BHS Instructor, Listed as riding instructor on www.bhs.org.co.uk. Specialised in dressage & show jumping. We have a riding school in Westport, Co Mayo, www.gallaghersfarm.com.
yes- i remember mary king! she truly was a great event rider! how i remember carrying out water in the winter, only to return in morning and it was frozen solid! the people in nz can't imagine it, im afraid! well im still sweltering here in kaukapakapa (near auckland). its hot, humid and very dry. im worried about buying hay. as it was a dry spring and the contractors aren't saying when they'll cut their hay or how much it will cost! but at least i don't have frozen arenas to worry about! best to be inside with a hot cuppa on days like that! take care!! vickie
oh how i remember riding in freezing weather, when i grew up in canada! now in winter, we just have rain, and more rain. with winds thrown in. dec 19th i went to a show in torrential rain. i have a rule that if i've paid, i have to go. funny, many people don't have that rule! everything was soaked. i could feel sloshlng water in my boots--- yuck. hope you stayed warm!
It's much harder to deal with the cold and snow when you're not set up for it. I spent 3 weeks over Christmas in Dublin in 1980, and I found it very cold, as it was so damp (beautiful, but damp).
My arena floor has 2 tons of hay salt worked into it, so it doesn't freeze significantly unless the temperatures drop to -25 or colder for at least a week. Even then, we don't train, and as soon as the temperatures warm up to decent training levels the floor thaws out again and is quite rideable.
We do have to "dress for success", which means many layers of gloves, shirts, vests, coats, socks, etc...I have Mountain Horse Ice High Rider winter boots, which are super to ride in and are really warm, and Kerrits Sit Tight "N" Warm insulated full seat breeches. I wear a thin pair of silk gloves under my insulated leather winter riding gloves. The horses wear quarter sheets. All in all I'd say I resemble the Michelin Man most closely - or perhaps the Pillsbury Doughboy, but it does get the job done! The horses do tend to be a little more "airborne" in the warmups in cold weather, making it a great time to school things like piaffe and passage, and we often get unplanned "airs above the ground" until they're really warm and working.