This time, cold.
You learn ridiculous little tricks to stay warm when you're outside all the time in the winter. Since it's been below freezing the last three days, I've had to remember some of my favorites.
So, now, when you ask me "HOW can you ride in this?!" you'll know!
I keep my boots, chaps, hat, gloves, balaclava and neck gaiter in the office where its warm. Putting on cold boots automatically drops your body temperature and you have NO chance of warming back up!
Base layers! I wear long underwear pants, shirt and my balaclava, which is glorious.
If you spend time outside, you need. one. of. these. It can go under your helmet and will trap some heat, but I use it in conjunction with a fleece hat or helmet cover, and also with a neck gaiter.
WARNING: Wearing the balaclava will make you look like this at the end of the day:
If you put thick socks on, GREAT, but you need to have room to trap air, otherwise you'll be colder! I can wear my normal boots with thermal socks and keep my toes warm, but if I wear close fitting socks, I'm sunk.
BLOCK THE WIND. Seriously. I can wear a simple pair of wind pants and stay warmer than layering anything else.
A good pair of winter gloves, and you're all set!
When all else fails? Break out the full chaps.
Oh, and for those of you who will, undoubtedly, ask me "WHY are you even BOTHERING to ride today?" I'll go ahead and give you my canned answer now... "Are you going to pay me to NOT ride your horse?"
Happy winter, y'all! If it'll stay above freezing and the sun will stay out, I may make it through this winter with limited whining! (Don't quote me on that...)