Friday, November 19, 2010

Rainy Day Blues

I rode tonight, the first time since Sunday. This gap is due in part to some long work days early in the week. I get up at 4:15 am, so getting home at 8pm leaves little time to do anything but rustle up some chow, and head back to bed for the purpose of repeating the it all again the next day. Not that I'm complaining. I work for an amazing company, and if long days are occasionally required to get things done, then sign me up. Besides, the building never goes to sea.

But there were a couple nights where I could have, no, should have ridden. But I just couldn't muster up the motivation.

This is not my favorite time of year. The Pacific Northwest has a well deserved reputation for rainy, dreary days. Not seeing the sun for weeks on end doesn't bother me. I spent many years at sea aboard submarines, after all. It's not even the rain really. I've ridden in the rain. Filson Tin Chaps and a good poncho will get the job done.

The thing that drags me down and demotivates me is this: In the past few years I've grown increasingly intolerant of being cold. Call me a weenie if you will, but it is a simple fact. I've found ways to keep my torso, legs, and melon warm (Under Armour Coldgear and Rivers West are perhaps the greatest things since sliced bread). But keeping my hands and feet warm has proven to be a bit more challenging. If either get too cold, I'm done. Stick a fork in me, I'm not enjoying myself anymore.

Cotton roping gloves have proven to be the trick to keep my hands warm, at least when riding in the covered arena. They keep my hands just warm enough, without removing the "feel" that I want when the reins are in my hand.

Finding riding boots that will keep the lower set of phalanges warm has proven to be more challenging. There seems to be a dearth of insulated, stirrup friendly boots on the market. But, heark! All is not lost. It would that at least one bootmaker has recognized an unfilled niche. I'm hoping that Santa Claus will leave a pair of these under the tree this year.

Don't get me wrong, there are things that I like about this time of year. To wit:

"Liquid Goodness Since 1982"


roughneckturtle/Jeff C. said...

It's been a long while since I've been in the saddle, so I can't recommend any of the insulated boots I've tried on the rigs or on the bike. But, even then my feet got colder than the Tin Man on Pluto. I under stand your plight and feel your pain. Maybe, our Father in the sky will kick someone at Carhart, Ariat, or Justin to answer our prayers.

Kate said...

Yup, I'm with you on not liking the cold anymore. Seems like all my joints start hurting in the cold weather. I've had some luck wearing gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off. Lets you buckle things and still have a feel for the reins. The boots look totally awe-some. I want!

jill said...

I am not gonna call you a weenie, but try riding here, northern Illinois, in the winter. We don't have an indoor or a heated barn! Heritage winter riding gloves are the only gloves that keep my hands warm and able to move. Add a thin wool liner glove and ...very toasty! I have Raynaud's(?) syndrome. Blood vessels can constrict in the cold very quickly and ,Yikes!, numb and cold fingers instantly. The other thing that I have found for my feet are Bogs boots. They ain't pretty, and you need a wider stirrup, but wear these with a pair of 100% wool socks, and my toes stay warm even below 0! I always dress like it's colder than it is, cus when you're riding out in the elements or in a cold arena, you have to remember there is still a wind chill factor on a moving horse. Especially if you're doing more than just walking...which I'm pretty sure you are! ;-)

Buck said...

Ya might wanna research electric socks, BR. Seriously. Battery powered and efficient. I had a pair in the way-back and they worked fairly well.

NICE pic (the bottom one)!! ;-)

Jessica said...


Our barn manager teases me because I show up in a hat and gloves, but if I even start to get cold it's all over.

And, yes to those Illinois folks, I know we Westies don't have your level of cold. The first winter my family moved from Iowa, we weren't cold either. That changed as we acclimated and now, yes, I think 40 is cold!

Hang in there, Dave. I think I'm going to have to check out that Under Armour.. hmm.

Buckskins Rule said...

Jeff: There are definitely some good work/hunting boots out there, but none that I would feel safe slipping into a stirrup.

Kate: Those are nice boots, huh?

Jill: I lived in your neck of the woods many moons ago, and I remember how cold it gets there. I honestly don't know how you folks can do it.

Buck: Electric socks? My be worth giving a try. I thought you would appreciate the pic.

Jessica: You wouldn't regret the Under Armour Coldgear. It works.

Andy said...

Ahh, this weather. I just MOWED THE FRIGGIN LAWN today. November 20th. Ridiculous. Still, the chill is invigorating.

Not as invigorating as the Winter Hook, though. I just finished a sixer of that yesterday. Good Beer.

breugels said...

That was a really nice read. Funny. I will put a good word in for you with Santa. (not sure if that's quite right grammar?)

Deb said...

I can totally relate. It started to rain here last Monday. Turned to snow over night and hasn't really stopped since. -18*C (0*F) today with a wind chill factor that puts it at -30*C (-22*F). This kind of weather, I'm kind of glad that I don't have horses any more.