Items

Forums
How Not to Freeze to Your Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   25th Oct 2013   •   2,110 views   •   0 comments
How Not to Freeze to Your Horse

Those of us in North America are heading into the coldest months of the year. And of course, we can't stop riding just because it's cold! But, as the temperature dips, how do you prevent yourself from freezing to your horse?

Headgear
Just wearing a helmet in the winter leaves your ears vulnerable to becoming ice chips. There are a few different styles of ear warmers available for riding. Thin knit caps can fit underneath your helmet, but these might not be warm enough for anything but indoor schooling. Hoods can be bought that go right over your helmet, but I find these interfere with my peripheral vision. Some ear muffs go around the back of your head, and do a nice job of keeping the wind from whistling through. You may have to try a few different things before finding something that works well and doesn't shift or bind.

Riding Jackets
An old ski jacket can be worn riding of course. But often regular winter jackets aren't cut wide enough through the shoulder and hip area to allow for movement. Jackets for riding are made so they don't bind across the shoulder and are flared at the hip. Often, gores can be opened and closed with domes or hook and loop fastener, so they're more snug when you're just working around the barn. Fasteners at the wrists make it easy to snug the cuffs around the tops of your riding gloves.

Related: How Horses Stay Warm in Winter
Related: To Blanket or Not to Blanket

Gloves or Mitts
The fact that I have a bit of arthritis in my fingers now might have something to do with the number of times I finished riding with my fingers frozen around the reins. A good pair of riding gloves or mitts for winter is one thing I don't mind spending a bit of extra money on. Leather is the best for breaking a cold wind, but if they happen to get wet, get stiff as they dry out. Chaff, hair and shavings stick to fleece, but picking up shavings bags is easier with the ones with dots of rubber on the palms. Synthetic outer gloves lined with fleece may be the best bet, combining wind resistance and warmth.

Boots
Leather or rubber? Depends on whether or not you'll be riding and mucking out in the same boots. Leather takes maintenance, but also breathes. Your feet get cold quickly in rubber boots that don't release moisture. But, if you think that you'll be slopping through slush and mud more than wind and cold, rubber may be the way to go. Just make sure they have at least a one inch (2.5cm) heel, and a tread that won't catch on the stirrups.

Riding Pants
There are many different types of riding pants available. Polar fleece is warm, but don't go near a bale of hay or bag of shavings, because they are magnets for chaff and dust. Ski pants can be too slippery to ride in. Ones made for riding may give better grip. Tights that are fleecy on the inside, but with a tight knit on the outside will stay cleaner and be a bit warmer too. For real wind-proofing, you can't beat a pair of leather schooling chaps.

Winter Undies
There's nothing worse than schooling a horse or doing some barn work that makes you break a sweat under a layer of warm winter clothes, and then after, finding yourself damp and cooling down rapidly. This is when you'll appreciate a warm, but moisture-wicking layer under your clothes. Look for garments that say things like rapid-dry or moisture-wicking. These under-layers are thin, but do a great job of keeping you comfortable while you ride or do barn work.

Your Saddle
Hard, cold leather can be uncomfortable. Warm sheepskin pads are great for keeping your backside comfy and warm. Many people like these in the summer months as well, for comfort and air flow.

How do you keep from freezing into the saddle?

Image Credit: © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime.com
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 More News by Winniefield Park
Girl Rides Horse To Exam
21st Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Kerala is a province on the lower south western shore of India. The horse she’s riding appears to be a Marwari horse, developed in the northern regions of India. While you have to admire her sticky seat, we’ll reserve comment on t ...
Another Santa Anita Breakdown
16th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
After only two days of racing another horse has suffered fatal injuries at Santa Anita racetrack. Santa Anita was shut down March 5 and during the shut down, investigations into why twenty-two horses suffered fatal break downs sin ...
Horse Stable and Stall Door Designs
14th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
If you’re building box stalls, you’re going to need doors. There are several of choices in material and design, and it all depends on your budget and taste. Many of us will have to build or buy basic wooden doors, but there are ot ...
Difference Between Trotters and Pacers
13th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
What is the difference really, beside the gait at which they race? The biggest difference between a trotter and a pace may be something we can’t see. Horses can be trained to pace, but with mixed success. The natural tendency of a ...
Santa Anita Park Horse Racing Resumes After 22 Deaths
9th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Horse racing has resumed at Santa Anita Park. Racing was temporarily suspended following the fatal breakdowns of twenty-two horses in less than sixteen weeks. That is over double the number that died in the same period last year. ...
The Queen of Show Jumping Wins In Paris
6th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Beezie Madden continues to prove she is the queen of show jumping. Her second World Cup win at the 40th Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris followed three days of competition with nearly faultless rides. She won both day one and ...
Horse Thief Still Attends University After Selling Horses for Slaughter
5th Apr 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Horse owners in Alabama and other nearby states are in angry and saddened after being betrayed by a vet student who had promised to care for them. The owners were not able to look after their horses themselves, and entrusted Fallo ...
HoofStep Remote Horse Monitor
31st Mar 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A few weeks ago, a startup called HoofStep contacted me about a kickstarter campaign they had begun to launch their product. HoofStep uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor your horse 24x7. By using a halter-like harness that car ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
136 Members Online 244,402 Registered Members 2,555 News Articles 10,701,771 Unique News Article Views 242,861,244 Website Views