Lost on What to Wear in Winter?!
Winter can be a harsh season for animals, especially those that are accustomed to be outside.
The most important factor for winter preparation is planning. The last thing you want to be doing is ensuring your horse is safe and comfortable in the middle of winter, when you could have done this months ago.
If you’re the type of person that enjoys staying active with your horse throughout winter, then there are some simple, but very effective steps you can take in order to ensure you and your horse are comfortable embracing the harsh winter weather.
This all starts with clothing.
1. Plan for the weather in your region
If your hometown is accustomed to heavy rainfall and generally miserable weather, you should know full well the precautions and steps you need to take in order for your horse to have a warm, comfortable winter.
If trail riding is your thing and you want to continue this, then be sure to invest in appropriate clothing. Water-shedding Australian-style raincoats & hats are fantastic options for keeping dry whilst riding in such miserable conditions.
If you don’t want to splash out on extravagant horse accessories and clothing, just be sure to wrap up warm! Wear layers and ensure your horse is well-covered from the harsh weather.
2. Shells & Outer Layer
A shell, or outer layer, will help defend you against the wind and rain. It’s important to choose a shell that is comfortable and will easily fit over your riding clothes. If you feel any discomfort or movement issues whilst riding, then you’re putting both yourself and your horse in danger.
If you are working in wet or snowy weather, look for waterproof fabrics.
3. Wear a Technical Fabric Base Layer
This important piece of kit manages moisture under your clothing. Choose a fabric that doesn’t withhold a lot of moisture, so avoid cottons! Lightweight performance attire with flat seams will minimize harsh rubbing and chaffing during riding and barn chores.
There are plenty of designs for you to choose from, so select one that is comfortable and covers your arms and backside to avoid those chilly draughts!
4. Wear a Warm Insulating Layer Between Your Base and Outer Layers
If you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable insulator, there are plenty on the market. Down fill are renowned brand, though this depends on preference. Fleece is highly breathable, which makes it a fantastic option for riding. However, it does struggle to keep you warm in the wind, which is why it’s best used as an interior layer under a shell that specialises in wind-resistance.
5. Keep Your Wrists Covered
Whilst this may seem like an obvious one, it is extremely important. Wrist-cuff thumbholes on your insulating/base layer will keep the sleeves of your shirt.
6. Lightweight Gloves
These gloves differ from your average insulated gloves. These allow for dexterity and ample movement when riding, whilst keeping your hands warm. Thanks to the advances in technology, the’re also touchscreen compatible!
While these are excellent for riding or simple chores, they are not designed to hold up in other labour-intensive tasks. They’re not waterproof, nor are they sturdy enough for manual labour.
7. Waterproof Gloves
These are the heavy-duty gloves. These are waterproof and made of durable materials and lightweight insulation. Some designs even come with pockets to insert handwarmers!
8. High-Tech Hats
Headgear is another essential to keep you warm during your winter rides and chores. Wool is arguably your best option as it insulates even when wet. Add a fleece lining to offer your ears extra protection.
You can also find some hats have LED lights built into them, making it easier for you to see and be spotted if you ever venture onto busier roads!
9. Ear Warmers
Ear warmers, another essential item that completes the headgear set. These come in may fun varieties, all of which work well and are designed to fit under riding helmets and compensate for hairstyles (ponytails etc).
10. Insulated Riding Boots
Covering your extremities is again, very important. Investing in insulated, waterproof work boots will help to make those chores easier during the harsh weather. They’re also rider-friendly so you don’t have to worry about the comfort of you, or your horse when riding!
If for whatever reason you aren’t interested in riding boots, be sure to keep your toes warm!
Stirrup protectors help shield your toes from wind and rain for outdoor riders. These are usually available for both English and Western stirrups. Remember to wear thick socks underneath!
12. Woollen Socks
There are a wide range of woollen socks on the market, though not many are capable of insulating you on those chilly rides. You want to look for socks that are durable and ideally with a reinforced foot area.
These will be great for riding and doing outdoor chores during the winter months.
13. Tuffa Suede Chaps
While these may not be to everyone’s taste, they certainly do a good job of keeping you warm in the winter.
Most importantly, they help protect the legs from cold, wet conditions by adding another layer. Chaps are usually made using strong, durable suede and are consequently great for both riding and laborious chores!
Are there any other items you have on your Christmas wishlist? It’s getting chilly now, so if you do know of any other must-haves, I’d love to hear about them!