Essential horse riding gear for Winter. Where do I start?
If you’re a horse rider, the cold is always a real challenge through the Winter months. Here are some top tips for keeping warm in these chilly weeks ahead, so that when you go out for a ride, you are sensibly dressed, feel comfortable and enjoy it!
Change what you wear
The Autumn and Winter can be a difficult time for riders, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t go out and enjoy time together with your horse as the weather gets colder.
Our best advice is to use additional layers, to help maintain a comfortable body temperature while riding. If you wear extra clothing, it’s easy more to remove it as your body temperature fluctuates. This will build pockets of warm air within your clothing that acts as superb insulation.
Always opt for fabrics that are specifically designed to wick away any natural perspiration that can make you feel damp and cold. Many riders find that tight-fitting garments can be a problem in this respect. We, therefore, recommend that clothing be loose fitting, with plenty of air space, so heat is not trapped in specific areas, and can move around and insulate your whole body.
Keeping warm is a combination of good insulation and moisture control
High-necked shirts, made from a fleecy (or silk) material, are a great option. This will keep you warm and allows any natural perspiration that you generate to move away from your skin rather than trapping it.
But it’s not just the top of your body that can benefit from fleecy material. Jodhpurs and breeches with a fleecy lining can be a good option for winter, keeping your legs warm and flexible when riding.
Many find that the Santiago Endurance Breeches by Whitaker are a useful addition to their Autumn/Winter wardrobe. The inclusion of a fleece lining around the seat and inner leg area aids comfort and prevents unnecessary chaffing.
Jackets designed for equestrian use
In terms of outer layering, always go for a moisture-resistant and insulated jacket, specifically designed for equestrian use. Don’t be tempted to wear your everyday coat. It will not keep you as insulated and, if not cut properly, could hamper your position in the saddle and restrict your freedom of movement.
Don’t forget your boots!
Good quality boots are a must-have for riders; many find that taller riding boots or paddock boots offer the best insulation and comfort. These are generally wider than regular paddock or tall boots, thus allowing air to circulate.
Don’t forget to check your stirrup iron size when wearing your insulated boots, so that your foot can still move freely.
You lose a lot of heat through your head
Your head is the greatest source of heat loss within your body. A fleece helmet cover should help to regulate your body temperature. Some riders prefer body sensitive balaclavas that cover the head, ears and neck.
Check the local weather before you set off for a ride so you know what lies ahead.
Before you go out riding, it’s really important to check the local weather report, so you understand what might happen and can dress appropriately.
Check the wind chill factor in particular. If your body loses heat quickly, you can soon become cold and miserable. And, of course, if the weather looks really bad, you may wish to postpone your ride.
John Whitaker and the Whitaker family are well known in the equine industry, particularly within the show jumping circuit. The exclusive Whitaker brand of equestrian clothing and products, including Brogini riding boots, are available through John Whitaker International (JWI). Combining superior quality with exceptional performance, the Whitaker brand has earned the respect of both amateur and professional riders across the globe.