Stay Warm At The Barn When The Temps Drop

Here in North Carolina we get to enjoy some pretty mild winters. A couple weeks ago it was in the low 70s. But it's dropped now, we're in the 30s. After growing up in Wisconsin, I'll take it. If you can believe it, my cut-off as a kid for not going to the barn was 10 degrees. Yep. 10. I've seen water freeze in mid-air. That's why we live in NC.

There are a few things I've learned over the years about staying warm in cold temps. We all know most of these, but if you're trying to go to the barn straight from your workplace, or going early in the morning or late at night, it can be really hard to plan accordingly. I've got a few tricks.

1. Layering: Of course you know layering is important. But it's how you do it, that matters. Your base layer should always be close-fitting. Even if it's a tank top. A close-fitting tank under your sweatshirt is going to be warmer than a loose t-shirt. And it's easier to tuck it in, which really makes a big difference on the coldest days.

2. Wind Resistance: You know those fleece lined leggings everyone sells as being warmer than regular leggings? They might help a little, but it's more important to have some wind resistance. The open cell of stretched fleece won't do didly in a cold wind. Look for wind resistant breeches, and of course a wind resistance outer layer.

3. Hot Zones: There are a few spots on your body that are effectively designed to release heat: your head, your armpits, and your groin. Covering your head and pits is pretty simple, but finding a jacket or fleece that covers your groin can be a game changer. 

4. Wool Socks: We love wool for its insulation abilities, even when damp. But the best part is that you don't have to wash them as much. They retain their shape, resist stink, and you can leave them in your car so they're always there when you need them. Smart Wool and Farm to Feet (made in NC!) are our faves. 

5. Hot Hands: I lived by these little friction activated pouches in Wisconsin. I kept two in my jacket pockets for when my hands got too cold, and I used the foot ones in my boots. I'll tell you a little secret though, the instructions for the ones you place in your boots tell you to put them on top of your toes. No no. Put them under your toes, outside your sock. It creates a nice barrier between your feet and the cold ground. 

6. A Car Stash: We know your car is already a repository for horsey things, make it work in your favor. Get a cute basket or tub and stash a cozy sweatshirt, socks, hats, Hot Hands, and gloves so that you can always stop by the barn and stay nice and warm. Don't forget a bag of carrots too!

I hope that helps make your winter trips to the barn a little easier to manage this winter. It's hard finding the time, but we don't want you to be unprepared when the time is there. 

*Please note, this post is for those of us boarding our horses and not taking care of them ourselves. If you are taking care of your own horses, best get some of those Carhartt coveralls