Keeping Warm During Winter Rides

by Matt

Whether you winter in sunny Florida or someplace significantly snowier, you’re going to be shivering at some point this coming season.

And your horse might be, too! Let’s take a look at some products that can help keep your toes from going numb and your horse from getting a chill as you train through the winter. We also have links to examples, although we haven’t necessarily tried all the products linked.

It’s hard to keep your hands soft when they’re frozen solid. Heating packets like HotHands hand warmers can slip right inside your gloves generate a little warmth while you’re riding, but what to do about your fingers? Try riding mittens. Made specially for equestrians with the pinky and thumb separated to allow for handling the reins, riding mittens let your other fingers group together and pool their heat. For extra protection from the cold, buy your mittens a size large so that you can layer with warm gloves beneath.

Example: SSG riding mittens,

Your hard hat might give your head a little protection, but what about your poor ears, out there in the cold whistling wind? Try a headwarmer that slips right under (or over!) your hard hat. Polar fleece head and neck warmers are designed to protect just about every last inch of you, and the ones that cover your hard hat will protect your helmet from the nasty weather, too.

Example: Fleece riding helmet cover with neck warmer,

What about your horse? Exercise rugs or quarter sheets can be a necessity in all but the warmest climates, especially if your horse is kept clipped or isn’t accustomed to cold weather. If you just need to protect your horse during your warm-up and know that he’ll generate enough heat to keep himself warm during your training session, quarter sheets that fasten over the rider’s leg are the way to go. These can be easily removed without having to take off the saddle. Other quarter sheets are placed under the saddle along with the saddle pad, and will only be convenient if you need them for the entire ride.

Example: Quarter sheets,

These suggestions are just a few ways to keep winter’s chill at bay while you keep training all year long. What are some of your favorite ways to keep warm while riding?

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