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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Midwest
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    415

    Default Favorite Cold Weather Riding Gear?

    I don't even want to think about it, but it's going to get down to 29 tomorrow night, so it's unavoidable at this point!

    I'm looking for advice on cold weather gear. Last winter I started consistently losing circulation in my fingers and toes while riding, and then when the circulation came back (for example, immediately after dismounting) I would pass out or come very close (dizzy, tunny vision, etc). I've ended up on the floor of the barn aisle, collapsed near a horse's legs after dismounting, and nearly passed out while on the back of a horse, and it's terrifying for me and everyone around me. It didn't happen in the heated indoor at school, (which wasn't heated very warm, but warm enough), but now I'm graduated and will be without that luxury.

    This winter, I'm looking to make a serious investment in cold weather gear, especially for my fingers and toes. I've seen the "toe tents" in Dover that you attach to the stirrup and put hot pockets in, has anyone tried those? What are some gloves that you swear by for warmth (but still allow you to feel the reins?) How about socks and boots? Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2005
    Location
    Just east of Short Hill Mtn.
    Posts
    2,699

    Default

    We’re trail riders for the most part now, and I’m a winter person (hate the heat), so we’re out riding in the elements for hours and hours. Once the temps are under 45, I switch from gloves to mittens. Fingers stay warmer when they’re together, not separated. I have a pair of these: http://www.crazyhorsetack.com/polridmit.html, and they work great.

    For feet, nothing works better than wool. I have a pair of Ariat paddock boots lined with thinsulate, and wear Smartwool socks.

    Wear a hat under your helmet. You lose a lot of body heat out of your head. Something like this: http://www.equestriancollections.com...UER1H7-013-0FL

    Then layer, layer, layer. Good, well fitting long johns under
    winter riding breeches (I love my Irideon fleece lined breeches). Turtleneck, sweater (wool!), jacket. Layers that can be peeled off and put back on.

    I’ve found that the people that complain about being cold in the barn aren’t dressed appropriately and don’t keeping moving. The key to staying warm in winter, aside from dressing right, is don’t stand around – keep moving! Same goes for when you're on a horse!
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Midwest
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    415

    Default

    Riding mittens? Thanks for the tip, I will definitely be picking up a pair of those!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA and New Orleans, LA
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    1,584

    Default

    I bought the Ariat Brossard Tall Boots last winter -- one of the best things I have ever invested in! It was a brutal winter by Georgia standards (riding outdoors in the mid-to-low 30s quite a bit), but my feet were never cold (and I even I wore my regular socks with them).

    I agree with the earlier response re: layering. I wore Kerrits long underwear under Kerrits or Irideon fleece lined breeches, and a thin Kerrits hat under my helmet.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2007
    Location
    (throw dart at map) NC!
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    5,701

    Default

    iIn weather below 25 degrees, I have relied on riding in Ariat Frostbiter boots. They don't have the same feel as regular paddock boots but they are one of the few boots that keep my feet warm. Wool socks help, too. (I have ski socks for paddock and tall boots) Sometimes, I wear nylons or thin liner socks under wool socks in my frostbiters.

    Fleece breeches are a must. I really liked the Riding Sport ones because they are "smooth" on the outside (so stuff like hay doesn't stick to them) but they protect against wind and are fleecy on the inside.

    Gloves are tricky because like you, I really want "feel". I have ridden in leather outer, thinsulate inner gloves that are sold in regular stores. I have also ridden in fleece/ plastic-lined riding gloves, as well as down gloves designed for feel (NOT necessarily gloves "designed" for riding, which can be expensive - alternatively, gloves designed for skiing, etc.). Because I have poor circulation to my extremities, I made sure that my core is warmed with layers and fleece breeches so my feet and hands remain warm.

    I also layered well: silk undershirt, turtleneck, wool sweater, and jacket over that.

    Under 18 degrees or so, it didn't matter what I wore because excercising was difficult for the horse's respiratory system. I rode walk and trot in these events just to keep the horse in shape. But I did not do strenuous work in weather under 18-20 degrees or so (in an indoor arena). Horses just can't warm the air well enough as they breathe it in when it is that cold.

    Good luck!
    J.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Midwest
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies! Yeah, I never ride below 25ish, it's just too hard on them and not worth it. We don't have too many days that it's not above 25 by afternoon here, thankfully. The mittens, helmet hat, wool socks and fleece breeches are going on my purchase list for sure. Thanks!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    371

    Default

    Absolutely SmartWool socks. I wear them when I run in winter as well as for riding, and they're great. I also second the riding mittens, my hands actually start to get too warm/sweaty after awhile and I have to take them off! They do make tightening the girth/fiddling with stirrups a bit difficult though, so I wear a normal pair of gloves while tacking up in the barn and then switch to my mittens before I mount.
    CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
    Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    2,936

    Default

    For gloves try these: http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Powe...efault,pd.html I can not recommend them highly enough, they are AMAZING. Though obviously not entirely waterproof, I have worn them in pretty awful weather in the hills...Though I always bring proper waterproof gloves with me, I try to avoid wearing them because I want to be able to feel what I'm doing if I'm on a steep incline/scrambly part of the walk. Even in Scottish wet weather I have only had to put proper waterproof gloves on if it's raining really hard continuously. If it's snowing I wear mt hardwear liners and my hands stay warm and dry.

    My Mutso jacket (unfortunately they don't make my design anymore ), is equally amazing. It kept me warm even in PA where the winter average temp was 9 degrees F - not much riding happened, however! I wore it outside the barn too, and it washes really well. I also wore it on my first ever walk in the highlands - didn't keep me entirely dry, but I don't think anyone was dry by the end of that walk (involving a 6k slog through a bog in steady rain/mist), and it did keep me warm. Fleece lined breeches are a definite must - I like the irideon ones. I just wear regular ariat paddock boots with thick smart wool walking socks and my feet stay warm, but I don't hang around at the barn in the winter - I keep moving when I'm not in the saddle, ride, then leave as soon as my horse is put away. I think feet get cold especially when you stop moving!

    Also, especially if it's wet or windy, invest in a good pair of Waterproof trousers (mine are North Face, but Berghaus, Colombia, etc are also good). It is worth spending money to get a good pair. I wore my waterproof trousers more often during the "summer" (first month it snowed more than once!) in Wyoming than in the winter in the Scottish Highlands. Especially for wind they are an absolute lifesaver. I even rode in them. Though that was riding western, I know people at YRC hacked out English in full waterproof gear. Make sure you let your horse get used to the noise on the ground first though - good spook training! I wish I'd had a pair of waterproof trousers when I rode in PA over winter.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,999

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    I always wear tights/nylons under fleece-lined breeches and having those on helps a lot. I also have a Thermasilk shirt that I wear a lot as a base layer and it's really comfortable and warm; I've been wearing the Kerrits tattoo base layer lately (just to bed, they're so cute!) and end up overly warm in them, so I think I'll try wearing those this winter too.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 8, 2010
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    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    Smartwool!! I have the socks and the longjohns. They are pricey, but soooo worth it!! I also have the silk longjohns and tops and the smartwool blows them away!!



  11. #11
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    Sep. 23, 2003
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    somewhere. out there.
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    Default

    If you can find good riding mittens, DO IT. I had the nicest soft leather pair when I was a teenager riding in NJ. THose suckers would actually make my hands HOT. But they got stolen, and I've never found a pair as nice in the past 20 years.

    As for Smartwool - I can't recommend it highly enough. Then again, I also wear smartwool socks YEAR ROUND!



  12. #12
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    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Midwest
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel Undercover View Post
    They do make tightening the girth/fiddling with stirrups a bit difficult though, so I wear a normal pair of gloves while tacking up in the barn and then switch to my mittens before I mount.
    This seems like the best plan, and then maybe getting a pair of the gloves Event4Life was talking about. Do you know if they make riding mittens with the flip-down tops for this reason, like the deer hunting mittens? That might make them a little less warmer, but definitely easier to use.



  13. #13
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    Apr. 7, 2005
    Location
    summerville GA
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    Default

    Hmmm I was going to recommend silk liners since they make such a huge difference but since Tasia says smartwool blows them out of the water, I am going to invest in smartwool I guess.

    Now, my kids just purchased me a pair of hightop Boggs for $200 I almost died finding out they would pay that for a pair of lined rubber boots. I was thinking more along the line of Baffins for $50 or so but............they bought me a red pair of Boggs with a steel shank and spur rest. Nice boots, I hope they turn out to be as warm as they appear. Last winter was brutal in GA and once I am wet, everything slows down as in body movement LOL I also have a pair of columbia ski pants to keep my legs warm. I can layer the upper half of me enough to keep warm but movement always becomes an issue. And more important than anything, hats. While my ears need to be kept warm, they can hinder my vision greatly. So, I use something called ear socks. They clip over each ear individually with nothing going over my head at all. Keeps my ears warm in the wind, can easily be worn under helmets and it doesnt impede my vision when dealing with 30 hungry horses all vying to be the first one in the barn.
    Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

    Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement



  14. #14
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    8,087

    Default

    Good socks (Woolrich 10 mile), turtlenecks and headbands go a long way to keeping the rest of me warm.

    I have some thinsulate crochet backed gloves that I can't find a replacement for that I use only for really cold weather.

    Then, have some hot pockets and a pail of hot water ready to warm your hands.

    Another key is to start out warm. This means a pair of good gloves while tacking up, (don't chill your hands warming the bit, find another way).
    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot View Post
    So much stupid, so little time.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    You can also slip those little chemical warmers right in your boots. I've never done it, but I've been told it works.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
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    7,640

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    I ride in all weather, including below 0. Horses are made for cold temps, it is not at all hard on them. It is much harder on the rider. I don't do more than walk and trot if it is below 0, but above that and I work them normally given footing conditions (I don't jump on frozen ground or snow/ice).

    I ride in Polarfleece breeches if it is in the 40s. If in the 30s or so I wear silk liners. If in the 20s or below I wear these horribly ugly ski pant looking things that are insulated on top of that, or just ride bareback in my Carhartt coveralls. I wear a warm coat, a polarfleece layer and a turtleneck. I also have a fleece cover that goes on top of my helmet that is uberwarm.

    Polarfleece is your friend. Those fleece circle neckwarmers are awesome, as are fleece earwarmers (they usually fit well under helmets if you leave your hair out).

    Gloves are the hardest. I have some ski gloves and rope western reins for ultra cold riding. But for everyday, I have fleece Ovation gloves and just deal with my stiff fingers and blue fingernails. I can't stand the feel of mittens, but I do have some hunting mittens from Walmart that flip back to let your fingers out to adjust tack, etc. Those are pretty good because they are less like a straightjacket.

    I do not look cool, but I do ride all winter.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
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    9,025

    Default Polar Fleece Neck Gators ~

    Polar Fleece neck gators enable one to change levels of warmth depending on how you position them ~highly recommend them from Fall through Spring ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    371

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CobJockey View Post
    This seems like the best plan, and then maybe getting a pair of the gloves Event4Life was talking about. Do you know if they make riding mittens with the flip-down tops for this reason, like the deer hunting mittens? That might make them a little less warmer, but definitely easier to use.

    I've never seen any, but I've been thinking about just getting a pair of the regular ones and just leaving my pinkie finger sticking out lol!
    CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
    Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,999

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobJockey View Post
    This seems like the best plan, and then maybe getting a pair of the gloves Event4Life was talking about. Do you know if they make riding mittens with the flip-down tops for this reason, like the deer hunting mittens? That might make them a little less warmer, but definitely easier to use.
    They do! I've seen them! And now I can't remember where!

    (off to hunt...)



  20. #20
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    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
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    2,561

    Default Winter wear

    Lived in central and southern Oregon for several years each and now in the high (4000 feet) desert of northern NV and it is cold in all three (several weeks of well below zero F nights and maybe 20's in the daytime and most often a "breeze"...meaning slightly less than hurrican force winds). I use silk socks under wool ones (and insulated boots...best ones I ever had were a pair of Circle double H foam insulated...wore them out!). Long johns (bottoms and tops), flannel lined jeans, long sleeved T, sweatshirt, full length long sleeved insulated coveralls (Carharts are wonderful!), wool scarf tucked down the front and wool knit cap or rabbit lined "Canadian" type of hat with ear flaps. Thinsulate gloves, ride one handed with unused hand inside overalls...trade off hands every 10 minutes or so. Rode 11 miles home from a night time Christmas parade once that started out at 8p in minus 13 with windchill of about minus 25...don't know how cold it was when we got home (my ride just disappeared on me!!) at a bit after midnight but even looking (and feeling) like the Pillsbury doughboy didn't keep me warm that night....barely able to stand once I dismounted. Threw blanket over the (very wooly) horse and went in the house to warm for a few minutes (couldn't loosen cinch)....back out almost took my breath completely away. Got the horse put away, back inside for warm shower and a night of shivering...was sore all over the next couple days from so much shivering. Made decision not to ride at below zero in the future...getting to be a wus.



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