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What's your preferred winter riding top?

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  • #21
    My first layer is a silk long sleeve shirt, followed by a turtleneck (neck has to be snug; hate loose floppy ones), then a sweater. While riding it's a down vest over that, or if really cold, a short Thinsulate lined jacket (I HATE longer jackets that get sat on when posting). If not too cold, then a fleece instead of vest. Wind cuts right through fleece, but I'm riding indoors now and don't have to worry about that.

    My winter breeches are corduroy ones from Pikeur that I bought on consignment---such a steal!

    Now that I'm taking lessons again, I'll probably work up a sweat from being forced to work harder so some layers may be stripped off.

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    • #22
      I'm riding in a thin wool sweater (arms cut off) followed by base 4.0 Cold Gear Under Armour, with a merino wool layer and a vest. So far this is keeping me comfortable to temps of -10C/14F. When it gets down to -4F I have polar fleece tops. For me I stay away from cotton under layers. For me I find it gets wet when I sweat and then I get cold.

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      • #23
        I moved to Oklahoma about three years ago and It doesn’t get too cold here but I really enjoy a lightweight down jacket so I don’t feel so bulky when I ride. That and a turtleneck usually is good enough.

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        • #24
          Are we talking about genuine cold weather riding? Like we get here in Maine? Yes layers, but too many layers are bulky, making it harder to move. For me it is Irideon Wind Pro breeches, usually a turtleneck and a sweatshirt. Then a medium-weight bright red Mountain Horse jacket I got for about $40 from (the old) Tack of the Day. If it's really cold, I have a heavier Mountain Horse coat, which is longer than the jacket with vents and covers most of my thighs. Irideon has a thin headband, Chinchilla, that will fit under my helmet and keep my ears warm. Feet: Smartwool socks and Ariat insulated H2O Terrain boots. I use nylon lined leathers and don't need chaps or insulated tall boots. Hands were the hard one for a long time. SSG insulated leather gloves. But if it is really cold, Mountain Horse mittens, the 3-finger style. I have to put the bridle on with bare hands. Those mittens actually warm my hands up, including my pinkies, in 5-10 minutes. Expensive, but the best part of my outfit.

          We get spells of weather with high temps below 20, sometimes around 0, overnight well below 0 for days on end. My lower limit is around 15F, which is where riding can begin to affect the horse's respiratory system. To say nothing of my asthma. We have a huge indoor next to a 40 Acre hayfield. The BO's husband maintains a path around the perimeter so we can enjoy riding outside in the sunshine. If we get nice fluffy snow over a good base we can gallop in the snow, which is one of my horse's absolutely favorite things to do.

          The BO put in heated Nelson waterers outside years ago, the smartest thing she has done. The pipes are below the frost line so they don't freeze and there is a generator hookup.. Husband checks out each unit before it freezes and keeps parts, including heaters, on hand for occasional problems. If you can swing it put them in. I like not having to worry about water consumption and hydration for pasture board. It's a lot more fun riding instead of dealing with hoses, tank heaters, hauling buckets and pounding ice. Imagine it's 5 below and you have to abandon the house to do outside water. That's a different outfit that usually includes Carhartt overalls and Muck boots
          Tussman's law: Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.

          "Providence sometimes takes care of idiots." Agnes Morley Cleaveland, No Life for a Lady, 1977.

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          • #25
            I must be spoiled. If it's cold, turtleneck and a wool sweater over, then a coat either fleece or parka type. Cold here is in the 30s, rarely does it get into the teens and 20s.

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            • #26
              For indoor arena: Synthetic long underwear top (think Cuddle Duds) topped by a fleece quarter zip LS top (any brand works--does not have to be pricey) topped with a quilted zip front vest. Easy to remove the vest if you get too warm, synthetic long underwear top and fleece will wick any sweat so you stay dry. For outside wear, add short ski jacket on top. Toasty!

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
                First layer:
                smartwool

                second layer:
                turteneck (can be cotton)

                third layer:
                CASHMERE (cheap online, weighs nothing. Super warm)
                Stop. You had me at cashmere. Where can I find this cheap online CASHMERE???
                "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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                • #28
                  Y'all gotta check out Uniqlo HeatTech. It's a Japanese brand with US retail. Their HeatTech and Down is great and super affordable!
                  When you have a Thoroughbred and a mare and shes got big ears and big eyes, youre set and thats sealed. Jimmy Wofford

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                    Stop. You had me at cashmere. Where can I find this cheap online CASHMERE???
                    No luck on online but I *always* check thrift stores for cashmere - usually just running your hand along the sweater aisle will find you prime contenders (if any are present).
                    I have 4 cheapies currently - and this is the time of year to go searching for sweaters out and about!
                    Cashmere is a really nice barn fabric though, and washes very easily (for wool, in any case).

                    As to the original question, I've found a tank top / sleeveless base layer under a collared top, even a sunshirt, makes it feel lots warmer, and still has the ventilation factor of the sun shirt in the baselayer/lower mid.

                    I also love the costco 32 below long underwear. They are *so* thin, so I can put them under anything, and they are priced well too.

                    My favorite winter layer is a smart wool neck gaiter. It keeps my nose from freezing off, and if I get overheated partway through my ride I can twist it around my wrist to keep it out of the way.

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                    • #30
                      I just bought three cashmere sweaters from Sierra (used to be Sierra trading post)
                      they were $39 each, IIRC.

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                      • #31
                        Pick up some of the winter ski tops and just layer like crazy. Ski tops are all smart fabric, so they wick away moisture while keeping you warm. I ride outside in the snow all winter in a ski top and a puffy coat, and I'm just fine. They're also very useful for actually skiing

                        I have about 5 of these shirts, they're phenomenal ( https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/w...ter-zip-271474 )

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                        • #32
                          Under armour cold gear! That stuff is amazing. I get too hot, the minute I start moving so I sometimes do a Hanes waffle thermal then the cold gear then a carhartt!

                          It keeps me warm, even when we are sitting on a horse moving cows for 8+ hours in February (Montana)

                          I have yet to find anything that keeps my feet warm. Kerrits makes awesome winter riding fleece pants!
                          https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

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                          • #33
                            My layers of choice to ride in when it's in the 30ies:
                            - cotton t-shirt, short sleeves
                            - 1/4 zip fleece sweater
                            - light down jacket (to start, I take it off after a few laps at trot)

                            When it's colder (20F):
                            - LLBean Merino wool 1/4 zip base layer
                            - a thicker 1/4 fleece or wool sweater
                            - Mountain Horse warm jacket (just for warm up and cool down)

                            Irideon WindPro breeches

                            Wool socks and Ariat Terrain Pro paddock boots + chaps

                            The challenge, to me, is GLOVES.
                            I can't find any that are warm enough (for temps in the 20ies and less) AND thin enough that I can still feel the reins. I need to buy some soon since all of my SSG winter gloves have holes in them.

                            Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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                            • #34
                              If I want to look presentable I wear one of my cashmere sweaters over a tech-style top. It has to be something that wicks sweat -- no cotton -- otherwise I get way too cold. I wear my Kastels frequently as a base layer if it's over 20F since they wick sweat so well. Kastel also makes a merino wool top that's an amazing middle layer (I can't do wool next to my skin unless I want to be covered in little red welts).

                              My mother also sent me a bunch of these Kyodan shirts that she found at her local TJ Maxx and they seem to be excellent quality and look pretty nice. Plus they have large pockets with ZIPPERS. I might end up living in these all winter.

                              https://www.sierra.com/kyodan-nude-s...tops~d~9751%2F
                              I love my Econo-Nag!

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                              • #35
                                OP cotton tops do not belong in cold weather exertion. They do not transpire / wick You wind up with a soggy cold layer. Cotton T necks are not useful here.

                                as others have mentioned

                                a wicking base layer of technical fabric or silk.
                                A HEAVIER wicking technical fabric preferably CREW neck or wool or cashmire sweater.
                                down or polar fleece vest. That should do you well down to the 30s.

                                My go to cold weather ( mid 20s to upper 30s) as a dressage rider

                                silk undershirt base
                                mock T thermal top and polarfleece jacket or down vest.
                                OR
                                wool crew neck sweater and down vest. Often I took off vest when we really got working. The sweater would often become damp on the outside as perspiration moves outward.

                                when in the barn and while walking to warm up I often had a wool zipup sweater jacket. I have had that jacket since the mid 80s I worn it over a technical fabric t neck when jumping.

                                after riding you need to peel off the things that might be damp and change into a warm dry sweater or jacket.
                                DOnt forget a hat for after the helmet is off.
                                _\\]
                                -- * > hoopoe
                                Procrastinate NOW
                                Introverted Since 1957

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                                • #36
                                  I have an Ariat Lowell 1/4 zip that gets tons of use - I wear it alone in the 50s, then use it as a base layer all winter. I also love the Uniqlo Heatteach as a base layer, both the tops and the leggings.

                                  Also, Amazon always has lots of workout clothes for much cheaper than riding brands/Underarmour/Nike etc. Search "women's thermal running top" or similar and a bunch of options for around $20 a pop will show up.

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                                  • #37
                                    For actual day to day working riding in an indoor, Columbia fleece quarterzip under a vest or light fleece jacket of some kind, having peeled off my warm barn coat before I get on, or I've got a couple of the nice Ariat Coldwear quarterzips and somewhat smarter vests for clinics and lessons--wore this combo this weekend in a hovering around freezing dressage clinic and was very comfortable and could have handled colder. I really like these shirts and will be seeking them out on sale in future!

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                                    • #38
                                      Never cotton. That will get you sweaty, clammy and gross.

                                      Costco has long sleeve wool T-shirt’s for about $12. These are amazing and washable. I don’t find them itchy but I love wool. My layers for -10C and multiple horses:

                                      - wool T-shirt
                                      - fleece work out gear - ski type tops are perfect, as is UA coldgear
                                      ​​​​​​- (if really really cold maybe another sweater here)
                                      - north face down vest
                                      - knee length parka with two way zipper (LL Bean Baxter state is my fave)
                                      - pocket warmers in top of my feet in riding boots

                                      This may seem extreme but you actually want to be careful to not sweat. The parka stays on to and fro the barn. It’s off once I’m in as it tends to be warm in there. I will throw it back on to take horses in and out to avoid getting chilly. Sometimes I will wear parka to warmup but typically down to vest and base layers to ride. If I’m jump schooling and warm up even the vest may come off (our arena is not heated). When we are cooling out, vest back on for me and cooler back on the horse wrapped around my thighs.

                                      No cotton as it it will keep you sweaty. In the winter, for outdoor survival, I was taught cotton kills. Look for wool, silk, specialty items. Thrift cashmere is a fabulous idea. Or even some men’s oversized fleece tops which may look a bit sloppy but catch heat to keep you warm.
                                      "He was wearing all cotton, which is the worst fabric for cold, wet weather. The weather just got the best of him," reads an official statement by Alaska State Troopers about the death of a hiker there in 2005. This is how and why cotton can kill you.

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by trakehners View Post

                                        Bottom half of my body is always fleece-lined breeches, and if it's really cold I'll add a pair of fleece-lined tights (like you would wear with a dress, not riding tights) underneath.
                                        Hey trakehners - is your fleece-lined tight layer the kind with the full foot coverage? I've been wearing a pair of fleece-lined tights under my fleece-lined breeches for a couple years now and it's fantastic. The only problem is the tights I have are really meant to be the trendy ones you wear alone, so they end at my ankle. When I pull my breeches on over them they tend to get pulled up my leg, resulting in a lot of cursing and struggling on my part to pull them back down and some cold ankles when I fail.

                                        I've been thinking of getting what I consider the dress tights, which have a full foot, and if you're wearing them I'd love to know what you think. Do you still wear a sock? That feels like it would be too much with my winter boots.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Horse Rider View Post

                                          Hey trakehners - is your fleece-lined tight layer the kind with the full foot coverage? I've been wearing a pair of fleece-lined tights under my fleece-lined breeches for a couple years now and it's fantastic. The only problem is the tights I have are really meant to be the trendy ones you wear alone, so they end at my ankle. When I pull my breeches on over them they tend to get pulled up my leg, resulting in a lot of cursing and struggling on my part to pull them back down and some cold ankles when I fail.

                                          I've been thinking of getting what I consider the dress tights, which have a full foot, and if you're wearing them I'd love to know what you think. Do you still wear a sock? That feels like it would be too much with my winter boots.
                                          Noticing this super late, so my apologies for bumping the thread - I've done both the full-foot and the tights with no foot under my breeches. If I wear the ones that are legit tights (with a foot), they don't tend to pull up and they're fine under my breeches. Most times I go without a sock over top, but I'll double up if it's really cold. I tend to wear wool socks that aren't terribly thick but are pretty warm, so they fit fine over the foot on tights. For the tights with no foot, I just put my socks on over them before I pull my breeches on - that way my breeches don't pull up on the ankle when I pull them on. If you're someone that's really particular about having your socks on over your breeches, this method might not work, but for me it's worked pretty well on the footless ones!

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