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February 22, 2019: Chilled to the Bone

For the past three days I’ve been outside four plus hours. This has been in the late afternoon, when, rather than warming up, the temperature has been dropping. It would be far better if I got out earlier, say, when the temperature is going up. But no, I instead stay inside and putter, then get out later.

It’s now light out longer, which means that I CAN get out later and not worry about finishing up riding or chores in the dark. The problem is, I know this and consequently I dilly dally longer than I should.

This has been a life-long problem – I did have one year when I lived in South

Alys and Tyra head to the agility course
Alys and Tyra head to the agility course

Carolina, but that was the exception. And so, I have always had this bad habit of staying out longer than I should, and ignoring the fact that my body is giving off heat to the point of being near-hypothermic.

I became aware that I had developed this habit a few days ago. It could be that I became cognizant of the fact that, yes, I now feel this. “This,” being cold hands and feet and an overall chill. I also become a bit more clumsy and less efficient when determining what tasks need doing, and in what order.

Ahh, it’s hard to pull myself away from the task at hand. I think that I’m saving time by doing just one more thing. I am saving time, but at the same time I am also increasing the likelihood of say, tripping over the sled rope and falling into the manure pile, or of having a horse walk out through an unlatched gate.

Yesterday I made a step in the right direction. Between rides I came in and put on my RefrigiWear suit before heading out again. Today (in this respect), I backslid and just continued to do what I do, while wearing a not really warm Carhartt jacket. But today I also wore a pair of half-rubber/half cotton gloves under my fleece/deerskin gloves. This worked pretty well – I could then remove the outer layers and still have dexterity when doing tasks that required fine motor coordination, like, for example, buckling the overhead halter straps and clipping the leads on the halter rings. I will wear the gloves again when I work outside, and maybe wear neoprene sock liners.

I had a wonderful day with the horses, but it would have been even more wonderful if in the latter part of the day, I had been dressed for it. My sense of satisfaction about how it’s going has been superseding being chilled. I first took Tyra on Siggi’s trail and then on the road – she did wonderfully even though we now have a saddle fit issue. Then I did the same ride on Raudi, with Pete accompanying me on Hrimmi. By then, the temperature was dropping and there was a bite in the wind. Raudi did amazingly well – we worked on a variety of things, and this culminated with her doing a very slow, collected canter on the home stretch – from a standstill.

I lastly rode Tinni. He started out doing a really nice tolt, but this degenerated into a half-ass I don’t care about what I am doing pace. Now, if I’d been warm, I would have been able to use my body, and in this way, gotten him to continue to tolt. As it was, I was just along for the ride.

The hardest part was pen cleaning. I didn’t, as I usually do, enjoy this.

Okay. So I’m now, ahem, at an age when I feel the cold. But, I am also at an age in which I can and will do something about it. This is a good space to be in. Of course, I’m now saying this because I am now warm again, and in being warm, I’m in a very up mood.

Next: 54. 2/23/19: No, No, Not an Ideas Day . . .

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