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Horze Guide

10 Tips for Winter Riding

Cold weather can often cause an unpleasant experience for both horse and rider. Therefore, it is important to take proper precautions when it is wet, cold, and uncomfortable outside. With a few helpful tips you can make a more enjoyable winter for yourself and your horse.

Tip 1: Avoid Cold Feet

There is nothing more annoying than losing feeling in your feet due to freezing temperatures. Once you lose feeling in your feet it seems impossible to do anything. It is better to not let it get that far! Thermo riding boots keep your feet and lower legs warm even in the snow. For riders who don’t want to give up their normal leather-riding boots in the winter, we recommend the Horze Thermo Tall Boots. These can be worn while riding or just around the stable. A perfect pair with the Horze Thermo Tall Boots is the Pak-Heat Toe Warmer. This is sure to keep you warm throughout your day at the barn.

Tip 2: Always Keep Your Head Warm

People tend to lose most heat through their head. Therefore, it is best to wear a hat to prevent this. When wearing a helmet, it is a good idea to wear a hat with earflaps to keep your ears warm. In addition to a hat, it is beneficial to accessorize with a scarf to prevent heat loss from your jacket.

Tip 3: Everything Thermal or What?

Riding equipment comes in summer and winter versions for good reasons. During summer it is important to have equipment designed for optimum ventilation with moisture wicking material to help keep you cool. In the winter it is important to have thermo-breeches, thermal riding gloves, thermo riding boots, warm socks, and a warm sweater. They are an absolute must for winter riding!

Tip 4: The Right Jacket

In winter it is especially important to have a warm jacket. Mixed materials of feathers and polyester isolate particularly well against the biting cold. A good winter jacket is also dirt and moisture repellent to keep you warm and dry even when snow falls.

In addition to the right jacket, you should have a breathable sweater or vest underneath. Once you warm up, you can take off your winter jacket without catching a chill.

Tip 5: Between Rides

It is nice to enjoy a quick break in between rides to warm up with a hot tea or even some warm soup, especially if you ride one or more horses a day. Those that have a heated tack room or lounge area can enjoy a quick break to warm up before enduring the cold once again.

Tip 6: Always Be Seen

When the weather changes, it gets darker earlier. It is important to use reflective gear to make sure you and your horse are always seen. There are reflective vests, horse blankets, boots, bell boots, and even bridle covers for optimum protection when riding at night. If riding at night it is important that your horse becomes accustomed to bright lights such as shining headlights when riding near the road.

Tip 7: Keep Your Horse Warm

Horses generally are easier to keep clean and healthy coats during the summer months. Some horses, however, enjoy playing and romping around in the paddock with the winter snow. It is important to have a waterproof turnout blanket for these occasions. When riding in the snow, you should always use a quarter sheet, so that the muscles do not cool down while riding. This is crucial for horses that are body clipped during the winter.

Tip 8: Don’t Risk a Cold

With winter comes a thick winter coat. Once the temperatures aren’t as cold the horses tend to sweat very quickly even in light work. If the horses get wet, they take longer to dry and risk catching a cold!

Therefore it is important to use a cooler after working your horse to make sure they dry off properly and don’t become cold too quickly.

Tip 9: Body Clipping if Necessary

Often with horses in heavy work during the winter it is necessary to body clip. Therefore, it is important to blanket accordingly. Blankets help replace the warming effect of the skin and fur, while the horse is not moving. In training, body clipping is helpful because it prevents the horse from sweating too much and allows them to dry more quickly. If you do body clip your horse it is important to provide them a heavier weight stable blanket or turnout blanket.

Tip 10: Risking Nothing

Riding in the snow can be so beautiful but also pose some dangers. Holes in the ground can be overlooked and become a dangerous tripping hazard. Under the loose snow, there can be ice on the road that can lead to serious injury. With an unknown ground situation it is always better not to ride outside.

Unlike most horse people, we love winter! With the right equipment, you can prevent potential dangers and truly enjoy the season.

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