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how do you stay warm in this weather?

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  • how do you stay warm in this weather?

    While I put on layer upon layer as I prepare to head outside to do some work in the barn and then take a couple of the horses for lessons this afternoon, I find myself wondering a few things. A) why do I always end up turning my nice sweaters into barn clothes in an attempt to stay warm? B) Am I just crazy to try to keep riding in this weather...possibly but im ok with that. C) what does everyone else do to stay warm?!?! For a point of reference... I am in central VA and there is currently snow on the frozen ground, Ice in the water.. currently 26 at 1pm but wind at 24mph making it feel like 10 degrees..I dont wanna go outside

    For me the wind is the worst. I can deal with the cold but I just cant figure out a good system to break the wind

    So any suggestions?
    Thanks and Stay Warm!

  • #2
    Easy!!!....What do I do to stay warm, live in Northern California. We freak out if it frosts, it actually snowed last year for 2 days. You could look up on the hills and see it, but didn't last. Average for the winter here is mid 40's to high 50's. I am sure the Florida people have ways to stay warm as well.


    • #3
      What clothes do you have? I'm in N Idaho-its not uncommon to get single digits below zero, plus wind (of course, we don't RIDE in that...but still...life goes on and you gotta work in it).

      I find a good turtleneck (I like underarmour coldgear, personally) under long sleeve T, under a good sweatshirt, with a carhart coat on top works QUITE well. After much work, be it riding or moving hay, or mucking, I end up stripping off the coat. A good quality hat and a good balaclava go a long way blocking wind as well. Perhaps if you are really sensitive, a snowmobile mask would be a good investment. Polypropalene (sp) long johns are good too, if you just. can't. stand. wool.

      What material are your layers? VERY important.

      Keep your noggin, your neck and your ears covered.

      As far as pants go, a pair of smart wool socks, 33 Minus longjohns, (I've heard good and bad things about UA pants, haven't tried them yet) and then jeans (for working) cuts the wind pretty good, and if it's really nasty out (single digits and blowing, for example) I'll throw on a pair of carhart bibs.
      I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
      Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

      ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


      • #4
        Well, here in Chester County PA it was 15 degrees this morning. and WIND.
        I swear by silk long johns, turtleneck, sweatshirt, zipfront polar fleece jacket & oilcloth barn jacket, Irideon 3 season breeches, silk sockliners & regular knee socks. Toasty warm!


        • #5
          Here in good ole NC, we are experiencing some pretty cold temperatures and wind as well. Working at the barn last weekend was a "character building experience" for me, for sure!

          Layering is key. I start with "cuddl-duds" as a base layer top and bottom. (They came from Kohls but I think Target sells something similar). Then it's jeans, hunting socks, Muck brand chore boots, a turtleneck, a sweatshirt, and either my insulated overalls (Tractor Supply brand) with a thick windbreaker or my Walls coveralls. If I wear the coveralls, I usually don't need a coat because they have long sleeves. My gloves are fleece & leather, lined with thinsulate, and the headgear is fleece and knit, pulled down as far as I can get it and still be able to see!

          Ditto what Eklecktika said, keep your head, neck and ears covered.

          I hate cold weather, but barn chores pay my bills so I cowgirl up and just keep moving when I am at the barn. Forget riding, though. I leave that to the much younger leasee.
          Alis volat propriis.


          • #6
            It was 7 when I was at the barn last night - underarmour coldgear & tights are also my fav first layers - I stock up on the hand and toe warmers (you can buy them in lots pretty cheap on ebay) they are the key for my feet, that way I don't have to wear so many socks I loose circulation.
            My biggest problem is my fingers - nothing keeps them from going numb, I am wearing a silk liner and Marmot ski gloves, then switch to thinsulate lined arait winter gloves for actually riding with a hand warmer in my fist - so when I close my fingers around the reins I can keep my fingers a bit warmer but when I am tacking up or doing anything else I loose feeling in my fingers in a matter of minutes. Has anyone found gloves that work?


            • #7
              Stay in the house under your electric blanket!!!!!!

              No but seriously I have a carrhart coat that I love, I wish I had gotten one years ago. I have a furry hat with earflaps and a chin string that makes my head sweat!! Love that thing!



              • #8
                I worked at a barn for six months through part of winter in Maryland one year. For REALLY cold weather, riding or working, I wear on top:

                Thick sports bra (not wicking! Cotton is warmer)
                Thin tank top
                UA Coldgear mockneck long sleeved shirt
                Oversized jacket that I bought from Dover in the late 90s.
                Start off with a warm beanie, but usually lose it once I warm up. Same with gloves.

                On the bottom I wear:

                An old pair of breeches
                Jeans over the breeches
                UA ski socks, sometimes two layers of socks if it's really cold
                Muckboots like Muck Boot Company or Dubarrys. I think you can buy fur liners for the Dubarrys which is nice too, but too warm for me where I'm located now.


                • #9
                  Dovers polar fleece turtlenecks-warning they can create static
                  Winter cycling gloves-wind does not penetrate
                  Irideon 3 season
                  Change shoes/socks 3x daily
                  I use bandanas under my helmet-they keep your ears warm and you can still hear, but more important helmet still fits properly
                  This morning 11*windy-added hand warmers in coat pockets


                  • #10
                    Layering works wonders. Also, identify which part of your body you cannot tolerate being cold. I'm in Maine and I'm "always" cold, but I almost never wear long underwear under my breeches during the winter, I've never worn winter boots, and this is my first winter in insulated riding gloves. For me, it's all about keeping my core warm.

                    LAYERS are very important. I layer cotton, technical pieces, and fleece. For riding: In the teens and 20s, I've been wearing a cotton-blend long-sleeve shirt, a power-dry top, a Polartec fleece jacket, and a goose-down vest. Any colder than that and I'll switch out the vest for a goose-down jacket. I'll throw a cotton tank-top on under it all if I want a little more warmth. For barn chores in single digits, I'm fine in a fleece jacket and my insulated Carhartt bibs. I'll usually start out with a down coat on top as well, but end up stripping it quickly as I get HOT when I'm moving around. I wear smartwool socks pretty much all year long because they're comfortable and they wick well. Hats tend to bother me and ride up on my head for some reason, so I like turtle-fur earbands.

                    Look for fleece layers that specify windblocking power, like this: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/56674. I really like my Polartec jacket. SSG also makes windblocker riding gloves which I like. My deerskin winter ranchers also block wind well and keep me warm for barn chores.
                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                    • #11
                      I use ski gear. I love my hot chili stuff, under armour is good too. Dakine gloves are my favorite, but pricey. North face makes terrible gloves IMO. EMS makes a good glove too. I Have a variety of jackets but prefer Columbia or LL Bean for mid-priced jackets that can take a beating & wash nicely. I have a North Face which is great, but at $400 and still clean I try to save it from the barn. I have rubber-bottom winter boots from LL Beam which are seriously great, I've had the same pair for years and they keep my feet toasty warm.

                      I think your best bet is ski gear, EMS, REI, and LL Bean. And, all companies have excellent customer service. If you purchase a 'waterproof' item from any company, and it looses it 3 yrs later, they will replace it. They want to offer quality products & stand behind their products. Nice refresher from the horse world!


                      • #12
                        1)UnderArmour, silk glove and sock liners.
                        2)my heaviest breeches and a thick cotton thermal henley shirt, thick cotton socks.
                        3)Insulated polar fleece jacket and winter riding pants (Mtn. Horse -- whatever else, they are warm); heavy wool socks (the kind mtn. climbers and hunters use)
                        4)Winter coat (with the zip out sleeves), thinsulate gloves, polar fleece ear warmer, wool stocking cap, wool/alpaca scarf (really too nice for the barn but it's the warmest thing), and my rubber wellie type boots.

                        In this I can stay out from 5 am., do chores, groom horses, and then strip down and ride (exchanging paddock boots, which are put in the heated tack room), then bundle back up again -- even on days like this last week where the wind chill gets below zero -- and stay out there for 8-9 hours straight. I also try and keep hydrated (drink a bunch of water before I step outside...have a thermos with hot tea in it for when I can catch a break). If it's too miserable (like it was a few days back), you have to break down and step into the heated room; that 50 degrees in there seems like a sauna when it's that cold.

                        Then I go home, make a cup of hot coffee, and climb under some blankets until evening feeding time...and dream of Florida or some place tropical...


                        • #13
                          last night I went out to ride here in the midwest, it was about 4 degrees. We have an indoor but it's not insulated and not heated, but it keeps the wind and snow out so it works. Our grooming area is heated though so I end up layering so I can be comfortable outside, in the heated to about 45 degree area and the cold arena. I had on an Under Armour mock turtleneck, t-shirt, light fleece quarter zip sweat shirt, hooded sweatshirt and my mountain horse winter coat on top (so warm I love it) and a pair of tuff rider long under wear on and normal kerrits breeches plus a pair of wool socks. My hardest part about winter is that the tips of my fingers get so cold, even in gloves most of the time, I don't think my circulation is great there or something. I wore a pair of ski gloves and then switched to my heaviest riding gloves and under my helmet wore some of those 180s ear warmers-I love those b/c my helmet still fits but my ears are warm. When I went to ride I lost the mountain horse coat and put on a down vest and I felt like the perfect temperature. With the down vest and the t-shirt I feel like my core stays warm enough when riding but I don't feel as bulky
                          I love the fleece stuff from north face or something similar, nice warm socks, underarmour (or nike or whatever) turtlenecks. I've also had good luck with the coldgear running tights from UA-they make a nice base layer too.
                          I also second the wind blocking fleece from lands end-had some that I used to wear that was really good!


                          • #14
                            I lived in Iowa for many years and perfected the art of staying warm in sub zero temps. (Sub zero before factoring in the windchill, that is, so REALLY cold!!) I wore a long sleeved undershirt, t-shirt, several thin but very warm fleeces, followed by a down coat on top. Fleece breeches, jeans, and insulated carhartt pants on the bottom. I never did find anything that really kept my feet warm all day, but I never tried the battery operated socks or anything either. I bought a Carhartt jacket the last year that I taught and it kept me as warm as the down, but I found it a bit more cumbersome to ride in. Now, after years of braving the cold, my horses are having some time off while I hide out. I love my BO, she does an amazing job and I know they are well cared for, so I can stay in the toasty warm house until this ridiculous weather buggers off.


                            • #15
                              Worked in the barn this morning for two hours at 12°. One word: Patagonia Expedition Weight Long Underwear. (O.K that's 5 words.) The heavy long underwear is only for the bottom. If I wear it on top I get too hot. (Yes, even in 12°.)

                              On top: regular weight long underwear, polyester mock turtleneck (like an UA, but mine is Northface--things real tight aren't as warm because they don't create "void area" that fills with warm air from your body. That's also a problem if your boots are too tight.) REI fleece pullover, LLBean warmup coat, fleece stocking cap.

                              On bottom: Patagonia EWLU, Carthart jeans, SmartWool socks.

                              I don't ride when it's below about 25°, but the PEWLU is really great under my everyday tuffriders.


                              • #16
                                What everyone else has said...but I also found my old leg warmers (hear "Maniac" from Flashdance in your head), and they are DA BOMB.
                                --Becky in TX
                                Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                                She who throws dirt is losing ground.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Kairoshorses View Post
                                  What everyone else has said...but I also found my old leg warmers (hear "Maniac" from Flashdance in your head), and they are DA BOMB.
                                  at the mental picture!
                                  I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
                                  Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

                                  ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


                                  • #18
                                    Tongue in cheek: Ride bareback!

                                    More serious:

                                    What I've been wearing (and I'm central MD) is thick, fuzzy socks with my Ariat Bromonts (paddock boots). Then I wear my thicker winter riding pants under a pair of jeans (or if I'm just going to be around the barn, and old pair of fleecey sleep-pants). On top, I have a long sleeve shirt, usually layered with a short sleeve shirt, under a fleece pullover under a big hoodie sweatshirt. And, until I ride, I wear a silly hat (though mine is possibly sillier). Oh yeah, and neoprene half chaps.
                                    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                                    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                                    • #19
                                      Full chaps over winter breeches or winter workout pants are good too. Cheap, off the rack chaps - looser fit, thick material. For me this is the only way to really ride because it doesn't compromise my ability to sit correctly (or to stay on my winter horse).

                                      I second the bike gloves comment - I like the lobster claw ones.


                                      • #20
                                        I have raynauds that effects my hands, I in a round about way discovered the key for me to stay warm is to have my core warmer than my arms. I wear a thermal undershirt, turtleneck, and a down vest, and always keep my head warm with a beanie. If it is windy I will wear a lightweight windbreaker over top of everything else.

                                        My life changed the day I discovered down vests...
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog