As the leaves turn and evening rides after work begin to get cooler, it is time to think about pulling out all of the winter horse ‘stuff’. The classics have started to show up in my barn aisle over the past few weeks, everything from blankets to coolers have arrived and are ready for winter use. Those items are in my repertoire, but I also have developed a few favorites over the years that I just can’t live without now in the cold months of winter.
- The one article of clothing that you will always see me wearing is a really warm vest. I don’t wear jackets to the barn in the winter (even in below zero temps) as I find that the bulk of a winter jacket restricts my arm movement while riding, cleaning stalls, etc. so the vest is my best defense as it keeps my core toasty warm and allows for me to move more freely. I am not picky about what brand of vest, it just has to be durable fabric because I wear it every time I go to the barn in the winter and it has to have a layer of warmth to it. For this coming season I have had my eye on the ELT Scarlett Vest. This one looks to have all of the right components to a great winter vest option!
- I am not a big glove wearer when I am on a horse riding, never have been. I would rather ride without gloves and feel the reins than deal with the extra bulk of a glove. However, when I am out in the barn grooming or helping with barn chores, gloves are a must with the colder temperatures. I try to avoid the fleece ones because they attract everything from shavings to hair and I have found have caused some static electricity episodes (ouch!). Therefore, my go to gloves are a glove made of a smooth fabric, are thin and carry the warmth, like the Tredstep Arctic H20 Gloves. I just keep them in my tack trunk so I know they are there when I need them.
- Another winter essential that I know my horse appreciates is my Back on Track Western Saddle Pad. This is the perfect product for cold winter rides because of the specialized ceramic infused fabric in the pad helps to warm up his muscles faster for a more comfortable ride. I use this pad right underneath my normal training saddle pad, it stays in place and I have found it helps tremendously. I added this to my winter riding routine last year and will definitely be using it again this year.
- As the ice starts to form in buckets, one of the most frustrating things for the person trying to refill that bucket is getting the ice out. I have been there; trying to chip away at ice with a hammer on a cold plastic bucket, which only leads to the eventual cracking of said bucket and having to replace it. My workaround is the Heated Flatback Bucket. I just plug it in and never have to worry about it freezing. Easy peazy!
- Even though my horse is on a skin and coat supplement all year round, I find that with constant blanketing in the winter, his coat, mane and tail still get dry. I also use a topical spray conditioner in the winter and Healthy HairCare’s Hair Moisturizer is my hands-down go to.
Have a great WINTER ride!