Cold Weather Cancellation Guidelines
How cold does it have to be to cancel classes at the Windy Ridge Ranch?
Classes will be cancelled when the actual air temperature is below 0°F. Why this temperature? We could have picked 5 or -5, but below zero establishes a cutoff that riders at WRR can plan around and rely on. If the local forecast predicts below 0°F at classtime, we send emails and put a message on the website at least two hours before classtime. We do not factor in windchill, in most cases. Read Windchill Facts below to learn why...
Other ranch events and club events may continue even if it's below zero. That depends on those involved -- the decision is made at the time. For example, we have never cancelled a Winter Carnvial Parade, even when temperatures were -15°F!
If we cancel classes we usually schedule a makeup day, or provide credit.
Don't the horses get cold?
Riders can choose to practice ride at whatever temperature they are comfortable with. Horses just may need more warm up time, and they should not be ridden into a sweat. Horses like to stay out of the wind, just like you, so ride indoors when windchills are low.
How Fast Will My Skin Freeze at the Windy Ridge Ranch??
When the temps are low and the wind is high, we usually ride inside to avoid the effects of windchill. Walking from the car to the barn and getting your horse from the feedlot exposes you to the windchill factor.
You may wonder: how fast can your exposed skin freeze at the Windy Ridge Ranch? Here's a chart from the National Weather Service and the Meteorological Services of Canada. As the wind increases, the body loses heat faster, driving down the skin temperature. If the temperature is 0°F and the wind is blowing at 15 mph, the wind chill is -19°F. At this wind chill of -19°F, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes.
The best preventative to the effects of windchill is to cover your skin -- wear hats, face masks, goggles, warm mittens and boots -- whatever it takes to cover up and keep warm!