Usually about this time of year, horse people who live in the Yukon are getting in the last couple rides before hanging up their saddles for the winter.

Although there are those intrepid few who continue to ride in the cold winter months, albeit with many more layers of clothing, the majority of us tend to stay indoors once snow and cold weather are permanently upon us.

But this year will mark the beginning of a change for horse people in the territory. Thanks to Sharon Jensen, who put in many years and untold hours of research to make sure that her facility would suit the needs of our northern climate, Whitehorse now boasts an indoor riding arena.

I was lucky enough to take a clinic inside this new wonder and had a great time doing it. Despite the cold windy day outside, we were all warm and dry inside the large structure.

There is plenty of light inside, thanks to a white interior and windows that line the top three sides. And despite my uncertainty, the mare I was riding walked right inside without a second look, even though she has never seen a structure like this in her life.

She was not as thrilled with the speakers the instructor had set up for the weekend, but all in all we both had a wonderful experience.

The large blue building is located at Mile 7 on the Mayo Road, north of Whitehorse, and it shares an entrance with NorthFork Taxidermy.

In order to use this facility outside of a clinic, you must become a member. There are monthly, half a year and full-year memberships which are further divided by single person, two family members or unlimited family members.

For full information and prices go to the website www.theridingarena.com.

We of the riding persuasion will have to learn a few new things, like how to trailer and cool off our horses in cold weather so as not to give them pneumonia and care of leather equipment when it goes from warm to cold so rapidly.

I think this is a wonderful addition to the Whitehorse area, as well as a boon to the territory’s equine industry.

I very much look forward to seeing what changes this new addition will bring and would like to thank the Jensens for building such a great facility.

Now the arrival of cold weather doesn’t have to mean the end of riding.

Contact Jaime Hanna with your questions at crittertalk101@hotmail.com.

PHOTO: JAIME HANNA