Depending on where you live, winter can be a treacherous time of year. With a foot of snow and icy windshields, it can be hard to musk up the energy to go visit your horse. But, if you take a few deep breaths and choose your clothing accordingly, seeing your horse’s fuzzy face will be worth it. Here are a few things to remember when getting ready to endure the elements: fleece lined boots are a must, gloves are your saving grace and long, thick socks are your toes’ best friend.
Enjoying the barn and riding in the dead of winter is not always easy, but with some essential winter accessories, you’ll be snug as a bug!
Regular leather boots can feel harsh on your feet in low temperatures especially if they have steel toes. Investing in a pair that are fleece lined will hold in your body heat and keep your toes happy. TuffRider is our go-to for warm, durable winter boots! The TuffRider Ladies Tundra Fleece Lined Tall Boots are affordable with easy to clean synthetic, waterproof leather. Don’t worry about stepping in a slushy field to fetch your pony, just wipe off gently when you’re done. If you love to ride in half chaps, TuffRider also offers fleece lined paddock boots for both ladies and children!
Gloves are next on our list of winter essentials. You will need warmth as well as flexibility to groom and tack up without being too bulky to hold the reins (remember: inside leg, outside rein!). Don’t forget to choose a glove with touchscreen capability; it is essential for capturing that perfect selfie or cute social media post! #snowypony
Equestrians always have an entire drawer dedicated to socks: boot socks, knee socks, mid-calf socks, socks with cute little ponies, socks with flames and socks that have not had a match in 3 years. Adding insulated socks to your collection will give you warmth without wearing multiple layers. Layering your socks gives you that never-ending feeling of lumpy shoes and creases that feel like they will rub down to your achilles tendon! The right socks can take your feet from numb to nirvana. TuffRider’s Thermal Knee-Hi Socks come in a pack of 3 fun, neon colors made of a bamboo/cotton blend. Additional features such as cushioned soles and reinforced toes make them the perfect winter boot sock!
Here’s a few last minute tips you can do to make your cold ride just a little bit more bearable:
Do not put your hair in your helmet, rather tie it back in a ponytail while covering your ears. It will help to warm your neck too!
Don’t have long enough hair? We suggest investing in a wig. If you don’t want to invest in a wig or can’t find one that matches your horse’s coat, an infinity scarf will do the trick. Take caution when using a two-ended scarf, as they can unravel and become a hazard.
Remember all those hay covered lip balms you find in your grooming box and the center console of your car? Well, wipe ‘em off and pucker up! Chapped lips are no fun.
Okay, now you’re bundled and we’ve shared our secrets to surviving winter, now let’s take care of your horse! Here’s some horse management tips to make winter comfortable for your horse.
First, make plenty of time for a good warm up and cool down. It’s more important in the winter to warm up those cold muscles if your horse lives inside more than outside due to weather. Sometimes we can easily forget about cooling down because it seems so easy for you to get cold again, but horses keep heat much longer than us and needs enough time to expel that heat. Purchasing a fleece cooler is a smart choice to keep your horse warm while wicking away moisture from sweat. We recommend the TuffRider Classic Unifleece Cooler which is available in sharp navy and red trim with quick and easy Clozease buckles.
Now that you have all of the winter gear essentials, let’s ride!