Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Riding in the Rain?!?

In planning for my first LD ride in the middle of April, my husband posed the question:

"What are you going to do if it is NASTY weather on ride day? Rainy, AND cold?"

I didn't know how to answer that question. To be truthful, I'd rather not ride if it is rainy and cold!!! But if I have hauled and set up camp and trained and paid my ride entry fee, I can't imagine not riding because of the weather (unless lightning or a tornado).

I mean, being April in Indiana, I could expect anything from 30's - 70's! It could be snowing, it could be sunny, it could be rainy, it could be blowing strong wind - and all on the same day with the Indiana variety weather we so often get.

So while I can't imagine the extreme disappointment of hauling to and entering a ride and not riding because of the weather, I also know I would be waterlogged and miserable in my current riding attire of breeches, suede chaps, and whatever layers I need up top to stay warm if it was raining.

How do you prepare for wet and cold weather at a ride?? What clothing do you use to stay warm and dry??? Any must-have gear for rain riding? Tips?

(picture from a few weeks back, from the post where I went "trail riding" with Matt and Cora. See the ridiculously unsuitable clothing for rain riding!!)


Nicole said...

I turned off the requirement when leaving comments to "unscramble" a nonsense word. It seems blogger is having trouble with that today, which I heard from Michelle, and I also was unable to leave a comment for Boots and Saddles, for that same reason. Just F.Y.I.

I guess it leaves me wide open for spam, but I'll wait til I have spamming trouble til I turn it back on again.

Endurance Granny said...

RAIN???? Don't even think, or say that nasty word.

I think I'm going to have to re-train my horse if tonight was any indication. She wouldn't even trot a straight line without wanting to hump up.

On second thought, maybe rain is GOOD. Perhaps it would give her something else to think about :/


Boots and Saddles 4 Mel said...

Hey - I turned the word scramble off of mine too, based on your comment. So feel free to try again.

About the rain.....riding a ride in it sucks. An LD isn't too bad. After I rode a 50 in the rain, I was so wet and cold, I would go into almost hysterics at the thought of having to ride in the rain. Almost 10 months later, I'm not excited about it, but I MIGHT try it again with proper preperation....

One thing to keep in mind is the footing. I pulled from a rainy LD (didn't even start) last year because the footing was too slick. On the rainy 50 mile, the footing stayed decent.

So how am I more prepared now?
1. Before: I wore a water-resistant coat. Now: I have a waterproof duster
2. Before: 3 season gloves Now: A variety of gloves/mittins etc. Nothing water proof (yet!) but lots of those hand warmer things. Another idea - ice fishing gloves
3. Before: hooded stirrups kept my feet dry, but got wet splashing through puddles. Now: insulated, waterproof boots. Another idea - plastic baggies for feet.
4. Before - NOTHING is dry. the blankets are wet, the saddle is wet, your shoes are wet, your horse is wet, your rump rug is wet......Now: the same. :(

Be prepared, be determined to have a good time, and don't bother bringing a sponge!

Talking about rain...there was a 60% chance of rain for my 65 this weekend. This has gone down to 10%. I really really hope it doesn't rain.

Boots and Saddles 4 Mel said...

sorry I can't help with the "clothes to stay warm and dry" part. I haven't found that combination yet. LOL

~ C said...

Don't know if anyone will read this far back or not but here goes...

Feet - waterproof boots. I have a pair of Merril hiking boots that fit the bill. They're wonderful. Add a little pack of those toe warmers and you're set.

Body - Gortex is the only way to go. I actually prefer to have very waterproof but lightweight rain gear, so I can layer as needed underneath. Stayed warm and dry in my waterPROOF Gortex pants from Cabela's ($30) but I still need to get a good lightweight waterPROOF jacket, as Mel mentions, water-resistant isn't quite good enough, unless you have several to change into (which thankfully I did). I put my half chaps on over my rain pants, that seemed to work well. They got wet but my legs didn't.

Having a hood and/or liner to slip over your helmet is a nice plus.

Gloves - Ski gloves work great and they come in several different weights if you want thicker or thinner ones.

I also made a waterproof layer that I can attach to my homemade rump rug if needed. It has slits at the top to attach through the ties to the saddle and then several snaps around the corners and edges to hook onto my fleecy one.