Dressing Warmly

My son waits for the school bus early in the morning, when it is still dark. The other day he left the house wearing his lightweight warm-up jacket. He did not wear gloves. It was -4 degrees F. He said he was fine.

Tonka does not have the option of being a teenage boy and refusing to dress warmly. A storm was predicted, and so I put on his extra-cold weather gear. He looked a bit like a fireman. Or a bumblebee in armor.


Unlike my teenage son, he didn’t seem to mind my fussing over him, or getting dressed.

Like most of the horses at Little Brook, Tonka lives in a field. A 3-sided shed provides protection from the worst of the weather.



For many horses, like Tonka, this is a healthy alternative to stall life. Some horses don’t even need blankets. Cricket, despite his advanced age, grows a thick coat that amply protects him. I can tell he’s just fine by that glowing patch of dapples across his rump. A patch of sun, and he’s cozy enough for an afternoon nap.



Tonka doesn’t have Cricket’s thick fur, so I do have to blanket him. But once the storm passed, I swapped his heavy-weight for a lighter turn-out blanket.


Temps are predicted to rise into the high-40s later this week. Tonka won’t need any blanketing then. Most likely my teen will wear a t-shirt to school.


  1. My teen does the same thing.. he was out shoveling paths with his gym shorts on the other day. He did have a winter coat, atleast there’s that.

    I blanket my horses but our minis grow such a thick coat they don’t need them. Here in CT it’s warming up.. you’ll probably have the same weather.

    • Warming up (and the blanket will come off) but then rain. The big question is weather the rain will turn into frozen, icy ground – which is quite dangerous! I’d rather have snow than rain in the winter.

  2. Tonka’s white socks make him look like a suspended stealth horse in the snow.

  3. i don’t have a horse to get dressed in the morning but i remember my boys going to school in lighter than needed winter clothes – and then wearing the jacket in school all day!
    i asked at the time – ‘what’s the sense in that?’
    but i never got a logical answer.
    kids these days. . .

    • Beautiful horses.

      When I was in school folks would steal things. Lockers were easily broken into or were already broken. So you either wore your coat all day or didn’t bother to bring it to school. This was a nice suburban town decades ago. I also walked a mile or two to school and wore a skirt. How are shorts different?

      Most teens aren’t loony they’re just trying to spare your feelings and stay out of trouble.

  4. My daughter had a gore tex blanket for her horse, I called him a wimp. She quickly straightened me out as to the needs of her horse! :)

    • So far, Tonka has not rolled in mud. He has only rolled in clean snow. And his pasture-mate, Merlin, doesn’t grab or play with the blanket. Amazing, huh?

  5. Little Brook is a beautiful farm, and the horses living there appear to be well loved. Cricket’s a handsome guy—how old is he?

  6. Teenagers have no common sense. Mine was out in the snow to go get the mail wearing sandals.

    Ah, horsey memories! And I’m with you on the ice! Busted knees and broken ankles – shudder!!!

    • Dratted submit box. Wished to ask if the sheds have gates so you can stall the horses when it gets really bad.

      • No, they’re smart enough to stay put when it’s bad. So far, the barn manager, in ten years, hasn’t found any horse popsicles :)

  7. I bet you are loving having a BIG boy that enjoys being fussed over. Teenage sons are in so many ways needy but impossible to rein in.

    • I have to say here that my teenage boys are wonderful! No attitude, lots of good humor, and really interesting conversation. How they dress is another story…

  8. I was wondering about the rolling thing.
    When my son was a teenager I gave up trying to get him to dress sensible. When he left I always told him if you get stranded on the side of the road and your cold don’t call me. He knew it was a lie. ;-)
    I make fun of our UPS driver that delivers at work. He wears shorts all year round. He says his legs are not cold even when they are red Santa’s suit.

  9. The winter we lived in MN and it got to -45 a few times, we didn’t even OWN blankets for our horses. We brought them into the old dairy barn a couple times, but other than that we just gave them plenty to eat so they could generate heat. They were fat and furry!