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13 January, 2010

Do you ride in the winter in Montana?

A friend, Charley Suarez, who lives in Florida asked me a couple days ago what the weather was like and the next question was, "do you really ride the horses at this time of the year?". As I started to answer his question, I looked out the window to see . . . . .
The temperature was in the 30's, the sun was behind a cloud, there was snow on the ground, and this was 4 of the 5 horses and riders that had accumulated in our outdoor arena. Does this happen often? At least several days a week. What if it's snowing, colder, or the wind is blowing?
They can be found in our indoor arena. Do they just ride? At times they jump the horses, indoors for sure and outdoors when there is no snow and the footing is good. How are they dressed?
Several layers of clothes. The horses have grown their winter coats and as long as they don't work them too hard, the horses do not perspire and are quite comfortable. This picture of Melissa Ranstrom on Gracie certainly tells the story.
How long do they ride? The day I took these pictures it wasn't long as the combination of the snow, cold, and lack of sun did not agree with either the horses or the riders. So, did they call it a day? No, they headed out to the pastures for a ride in the fields and along the Grove Creek.
By the time they were finished, the sun was out. Another great day in Montana.