Riding during the cold winter months can be uncomfortable. It is dark outside, constantly cold, and some even have to deal with piles of snow. While we love our horses, going to the farm when it is freezing outside can discourage anyone. In this article, we will look at the best tips on how to stay warm at the barn this winter.
Remember to layer up
The best trick to staying warm is layering up. The more layers you have on, the better you will stay warm. Multiple thin layers is, in fact, better than a couple of thick ones.
It can be difficult to find pants to fit over or under your riding breeches: try thin leggings under your breeches or specially made, thick winter breeches. And, for instance, a technical shirt underneath, a hoodie over it, and a thick winter jacket are great choices for layering up, too.
Keep your toes warm
Having cold feet (literally) is one of the worst feelings and can make you very uncomfortable, especially if you have to spend hours at the barn. Keeping your toes warm will make a huge difference. While putting on multiple socks might not be the best idea (as it does not give any room for warm air in your boots), it might be a good idea to try a pair of wool socks over your regular riding socks.
In addition, getting winter boots for riding is recommended in the winter. Did you know, that your safety stirrups might make your feet cold? The cold iron around your feet definitely does not help in keeping your toes warm.
A hat under your helmet
You should never ride without your helmet - not even in the winter. Understandably, having a warm hat that covers your ears feels like a more comfortable option compared to a cold helmet. However, accidents can happen in the winter too (and usually, even more frequently), which is why you should get yourself a hat that fits underneath your helmet.
Handwarmers in your gloves
One of the best ways to keep your hands warm is getting reusable handwarmers. These little heat packs activate and radiate heat. You can place them inside your gloves and they are thin enough to ride with. No more cold fingers!
Horses get cold, too
Our horses get cold too during the cold winter months. Remember to give them a good warm up and a long cool down. Also, many choose to ride with a cooler or a quarter sheet to keep the horses' muscles warm during the ride. In fact, riding with a cooler can help you to keep warm too: sitting on a cooler is much warmer than sitting on a cold saddle.