by Michelle Kingston
Winter riding can be so much fun! There are no bugs to worry about, no sunscreen running down your face as you sweat! My horses like to go in the winter, particularly Adam prefers the cold air.
As Christmas approaches, we have been getting lots of questions about gear. How do you stay warm as the temperature drops? The key is to stay dry. If we are exercising our horses well, we will inevitably sweat, so how do we stay dry?
Here is a list of my favorite brands and the things I use to stay warm and dry. You will note I really like Mountain Horse brand winter gear. I'm pretty tough on apparel, and this stuff holds up. It's been the best value for the money that I have found.
- Mountain Horse Winter Riding Boots (My Favorites!)
- Toe Warmers- For normal winter days I wear one pair, occasionally I wear two
- Full Foot Warmers- On the coldest days I wear these, they cover the entire foot bed
- SSG Gloves- I have never needed hand warmers in these and I have worn them skiing!
- Mountain Horse Brand Socks- I normally ride in compression socks, but in the winter I switch right to these. I can't have enough of them!
- Mountain Horse Winter Full Seat Pants- I have had mine for years. While they look like ski pants, they have a full seat. They are wind and water resistant. Mine have side zips which I open after my ride to cool off.
- Ariat Winter Fleece Riding Pants- Heavy duty fleece which is stretchy and warm. Hay doesn't stick to them, so no worries about chore time.
Ok, I ride in a ski parka in the winter or my oilskin coat, but I will replace my parka with one from Mountain Horse eventually.
- Troxel Helmet- I wear my Troxel Venture helmet all year.
- LL Bean Beanie- As soon as I dismount I stick an LL Bean beanie hat on. Two reasons- one, my hair is wet and the beanie is wicking, so it keeps me warm as I "cool off", the other- it hides the helmet head look! I fits easily into my pocket, so it can be with me and ready to go when ever I need it. I've tried bigger hats with ear flap etc, they are great, but don't slide into my pocket well.
I hope these items bring you as much warmth and value as they have me!