Carriage Driving in the Cold?
We live in Wisconsin. Yup, it’s cold. For at least half of the year. Last winter, it actually got down to -40 F (not wind chill, actual temperature). Forty below is the temp that Fahrenheit and Celsius match up. Cold. I don’t drive horses when it is that cold, but I do have to drive when it is cold, or my horses wouldn’t get worked half the year! So what do I do? IVC Carriage has some great tools to help keep you warm while driving your horse in the winter (or half of the year in Wisconsin).
First, we have these great Winter Helmet Covers. I really like them because they go over your helmet instead of trying to put something under the helmet, which can actually affect the fit and safety of the helmet. Helmets were designed to be worn next to the head and putting something between you and the helmet can either make the helmet too tight, or not sit properly on your head. This negates the purpose of wearing the helmet. The fleece of the helmet cover wraps around your neck, or you can wear it up on the chin like in my photo. Since it is one piece, it doesn’t slide around like a scarf will. It doesn’t get in the way of your vision, either. There is no fuss, just fasten your helmet and then Velcro your helmet cover over the fastener. Easy and warm.
Next, we have the wonderful Arctic Winter Gloves. They are built like a mitten but have the pinky finger “loose” for grasping the reins. The fingers and palm have a grippy material which is way better for driving than typical winter gloves. (I had a major accident once driving a green horse one March with just regular chore gloves. I had no grip on the reins whatsoever.) Another cool feature of these gloves is that they have a zipper pocket for a hand warmer, keys, money, credit card, or whatever! They also have a reflective back, so when you are stuck driving in the dark at 5:00 p.m., the reflective material can help you be seen.
Underneath my Arctic Winter Gloves, I wear our SSG Silk Glove Liners. That way, I can take off the mitten-type gloves to have the dexterity to adjust harness and put the horse to the vehicle without completely exposing my hands to the elements. The silk is a great insulator without the bulk of a heavier material.
One last thing I really like is our Lip Butter. It protects from the drying cold and has really good “staying power”. When I put it on at night before bedtime, I can still feel it there in the morning! I do, however, suggest that you not put it on in the barn during spring shedding time! 😊
I’ve never been a terribly happy cold person because I get cold very easily and stay that way. However, these products sure have made it a lot more bearable to be outside with the horses in the winter!
- Myrna Rhinehart