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Warm, REALLY WARM, riding clothes

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  • Warm, REALLY WARM, riding clothes

    Help, I guess I am a hothouse flower. I have never been very tolerant of the cold, but it seems to be much worse this year. And mind you, cold is 40 degrees here in NOrCal. When I walk out of the office and turn into an icicle before I get to my car, I jsut dread having to go to the barn to do anything, much less actually get on my horse.

    For all of you who live in truly cold climates, what do you wear to the barn, how do you keep from turning into an icicle? And, how do you do it without looking like the Michelin man? Tonight I could barely bend down to wrap my horses leg, I had so many layers on (and it wasn't even down to 40).

    There was a thread on goosedown horseblankets and someone on there mentioned some new technology that is some metallic liner instead of down or fiberfill. I've never heard of such a thing, has anyone else here?

    TIA - I really do want to work my boy this winter and not just pet him on the nose and run home to a heated blanket.

  • #2
    Your post made me laugh because I too live in Norcal and think anything below 50 degrees is cold!

    What works for me is to first put on a base layer, which is always thin, therefore non restricting. I buy both tops and bottoms. Additionally, I change at work, so that I'm prepared for the barn before I get there. I have learned I keep the most warm when I where a couple of thin layers, a scarf and most importantly, something that covers my head and ears.

    Tonight, I rode in a thin base layer, with a Horseware fleece top over it. As soon as I finished, I put a knit hat over my damp hair, then put on a thin coat with a hood, and put on knit gloves. I then let my horse out to graze for two hours in an open field. Yes, her "horse time" is way more important than my comfort, but I was warm enough to tolerate it for a good amount of time.

    Anyway, being warm yet not restricted, can be done, you just need to experiment a bit. REI is a good friend...
    Last edited by jenm; Dec. 7, 2011, 01:25 AM. Reason: added a sentence
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


    • #3
      Buy very high quality long johns -- silk or one of the really, really good technical fabrics. They will be super warm but very lightweight, so you can wear them under your regular pants/breeches without affecting fit.

      Keep your head, hands, and feet warm. You'll be surprised at what a difference that makes.

      Then stores that cater to skiers/snowboarders/hikers are your friend. They'll have lots of options for shirts/vests/jackets that are lightweight and warm. You'll have to figure out what combination works for you, but something like good long johns, a thin wool-blend turtleneck, a fleece vest, and a windbreaker would probably keep you plenty toasty, and you could always lose the vest or windbreaker if it turned out to be too much.


      • #4
        I wear normal breeches, with a wind break layer over top if it's truly cold and windy out (-20C/-4F).

        Otherwise, I wear a long sleeve top, a sweatshirt, and a jacket on top of that. I remove the jacket to ride.

        Add winter riding boots, and you have my winter outfit!


        • #5
          IME working outdoors for 16 years, 9 hours at a clip in all kinds of cold and precip, there is little on the planet that will give you the ultimate under-layer of warmth like one of these....


          .... worn UNDER one of these....


          I guarantee you that you will. not. get. cold.
          (Of course, hands, head, and feet are the most important, but body-wise, this will have you covered.)
          VP Horse & Carriage Association of NYC



          • #6
            Lately, I've been hoarding Smartwool socks. I can keep wearing regular paddock boots well into the 40s, and still have feeling in my toes when I'm done for the day. Love them!

            Put something on your head, it's where you loose most of your heat; I tend to just put my helmet on when I get to the barn and leave it on until I'm ready to leave, because it's easier that way

            I find layers are very helpful, because they trap warmth. Into the 40s, I'm good without a full coat, I tend to do a turtleneck (sometimes UnderArmour type, sometimes just regular cotton), (wool) sweater or (good, technical, insulating) fleece, and a down vest on top. Nothing, IME, is warmer than down. Lately I've been coveting one of the down "sweaters" that Patagonia carries, but I can't quite justify the price of that versus the regular down coats from LLBean.

            Granted, I live in Virginia, and ride in Maryland, where the worst we generally get is a few days down in the 20s in the deep of winter. I know there are folks on here who deal with much worse cold, and I leave them to it!

            ETA: Oh, michaeleenflynn, you shouldn't have linked to those gorgeous sweaters! I am drooling over them!
            A Year In the Saddle


            • #7
              One tip for a day you're having trouble facing in the cold department: pre-warmed clothes. Toss everything in the dryer while you take a warm shower, preferably after a brief workout to get the blood really moving. Dressing warm and clean in those dryer-heated fleeces and wool= ooh la la.

              I rode in AK for 20 years and am still in the Pac NW, so we've verr diff temp tolerances (I'll be in shorts and a sports bra at 50 degrees, catching rays) but it still translates. A bit of Michelin man factor may have to come into play though...


              • #8
                BAH! Anything over 40 is T-shirt weather!
                2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                • #9
                  Well, it was 14 when I went out to turn in, so I was utilizing the ideas above i.e. layers, long underwear....here's a few other tips: I put my hair in a ponytail "hunter princess" style. The hair over my ears added additional warmth under the hat. You stay warmer if you keep moving, but when you need more warmth, grab a barn cat, sit down, and let that critter warm up your lap.
                  I'm still trying to decide which is warmer - lined winter breeches or regular breeches with a layer underneath. I'm sure at some point winter breeches plus an under layer will be necessary.
                  Any time someone talks about their horse in a bar, there's love in the room.


                  • #10
                    Good thermal underwear makes the difference. And always wear a hat.

                    Also, once you get moving around in the winter, it isn't all that cold.
                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                    • #11
                      Take a look at Boinks (make sure you put in www.boinkcatalog.com)


                      These are a heavy cotton blend exterior to shed wind and polar fleece lining
                      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                      Alfred A. Montapert


                      • #12
                        The Body Sock

                        This is probably too warm for you in CA but in NJ and when the temps drop, out comes the ‘Body Sock’. Many years ago, a trainer/friend gave me a Body Sock and it is beyond amazing warmth. No one can understand why I don’t need a jacket when the temps are extremely cold!

                        It isn’t cheap but it is well worth the $$ - check it out!



                        • #13
                          I live in NW Pennsylvania in the snow corridor. Lots of wind and last year at this time we had over 5 feet of snow. Cold. Very cold.

                          My first layer is Cuddle Duds, with cotton mid calf socks, that is usually followed by another pair of smart wool socks and sweat pants, then on top a turtleneck, covered by a tight t-shirt or other thin but body fitting top, and over that either a big loose hoodie or a big loose sweat shirt and if necessary a coat over top. I often wear a hat or head band as well. I've found insulated barn boots with the two layers of socks to be far better than most winter boots.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Indy100 View Post
                            This is probably too warm for you in CA but in NJ and when the temps drop, out comes the ‘Body Sock’. Many years ago, a trainer/friend gave me a Body Sock and it is beyond amazing warmth. No one can understand why I don’t need a jacket when the temps are extremely cold!

                            It isn’t cheap but it is well worth the $$ - check it out!

                            WHOA - The Body Sock looks AMAZING!!!!
                            ‎"Luck favors the prepared, darling." ~~ Edna Mode


                            • #15
                              Well, I live where it is truly cold. We can have weeks at a time where it doesn't get above 0. Wind chills can be -40 below. I actually rarely seem to get cold, but then I love the cold and snow. I wear several thin layers - the Cuddle Duds are awesome. I wear those too. I have vests made of fake down and they are very warm. Fleece lined Carharts over top of Cuddle Duds will keep me warm for hours even when it's -15 below zero. Keep your head warm with thick fluffy hats - not thin cutesy fashion stocking hats. I usually buy the Carhart brand because they are very thick and have a lot of extra material so you can fold the hat up over your ears for a 2nd layer.

                              This morning it was 18 degrees with a stiff 20 mph wind and I did chores in a pair of fleece pants, a cotton t-shirt with a zip-up fleece over it, a hat and microfiber gloves. I was warm but then I think I'm fairly immune to the cold.


                              • #16
                                It's in the mid to high 30s here right now and this is what I wore to the barn yesterday from top to bottom:

                                No hat
                                Cotton waffle long sleeve thermal tee shirt
                                Polartec 300 jacket
                                Uninsulated deerskin gloves
                                Tuffrider Patrol breeches
                                Mid weight wool socks
                                Uninsulated field boots

                                For riding in the indoor (unheated) arena I took off the fleece jacket and rode in just the long sleeve t shirt. Riding itself plus a helmet on the head keep me plenty warm.

                                Today I'll be wearing much the same except I packed a lightweight polypro LS undershirt and a short sleeve polyester golf polo and cotton athletic socks instead of wool.

                                I don't consider 40s to be cold at all.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mildot View Post
                                  I don't consider 40s to be cold at all.
                                  Nope. 40s is nice spring weather to me. But to be fair, anything above 60 to 70 I consider to be vile and miserable. Above 80 I am basically useless and debilitated. I hate the heat and sun and want to hibernate from June through August. If it's going to be 85 I put the horses in stalls for the day with fans running so I don't have to think of them standing out in the baking hot sun. And people in California would think that was insane. LOL


                                  • #18

                                    it gets SO cold here, the liquid in your eyes can freeze over if you dont blink enough.. LOL.... try like -20 (with windchill) icicles hanging off your horse's nose and eyelashes

                                    (why do I live in Michigan again???)

                                    LOL - anyway, definitely layer, long johns and snow pants or winter riding pants, and I like my carhart coat over that. definitely a HAT is very important, you can double up on hats. your body loses heat through your head, hands and feet.



                                    winter riding boots


                                    also, one thing to keep in mind.... if you dress up TOO warm, you will sweat in your clothes. this is the biggest problem because when you and your clothes get wet (even a little damp) you get compromised no matter WHAT you are wearing. so, dont over do it too much


                                    • #19
                                      Oh yes Jumpin - good point about the liquid in your eyes freezing! There are days I go out and the horses' eyelashes are big heavy frosted icecicles. I have had my bare hands freeze to the stall gate latches. Once you lose a little skin here and there you learn that lesson pretty quick. And there are those days that it's so cold that even with a heater in the water tank, there is still a ring of ice around the top because the heater can't keep up. There are days so cold that the horses actually say - yeah screw you. I am not going outside today. None of them will leave the barn! So days like that you just put them back in the stalls and not fight about it.


                                      • #20
                                        So, forget the people who can wear t-shirts at 40. I do the following

                                        somewhat cold: french terry equissentials
                                        PD Cold - boink fleece breeches
                                        FMAOC - Irideon http://www.tackroominc.com/irideon-p...ib-p-4383.html (they do also come in full seats)

                                        smart wool or acorn fleece socks, Ariat brossard winter boots (I have the tall ones, but paddocks also warm), plus toe warmers if below 30 - http://www.drugstore.com/products/pr...LAID=405812950

                                        Always a helmet and I find that I don't need more on my head

                                        wicking material sports bra
                                        fleece cami
                                        underarmour or patagonia type long sleeve layer
                                        heavier fleece quarter zip that is sleek in cut http://www.championusa.com/workout-c...omens-pullover
                                        Thermatex vest
                                        thinsulate vest http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/69938...e-fitness-vest
                                        Windproof slightly warm jacket: http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/w...7725-C78372-L2

                                        Hand: ariat insulted tek grip gloves with hand warmers

                                        I almost never need to wear the outermost jacket once actually riding and this get up holds me down to 10-15 degrees (below which I abandon the exercise)
                                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!