Winter sucks.

It is snowing right now.  I hate winter.  I’ve thought about moving but other than the winter, I like it here.  I used to really freeze but this year I swore would be different. 

I’ve found that appropriate clothing is critical, especially when you are at the barn for more than 5 minutes.  My outfit starts with thermal underwear, and not just any thermal underwear, good stuff.  I found Duofold heavyweight long johns and shirts work great.  I’m sure there are other brands too.  Sometimes I double up my thermals.  I’ll wear a piece of silk long johns under the Duofold. I have breeches that are too big normally but are perfect for putting multiple layers on underneath.  If I’m still cold with two pairs of long johns, I don’t want to be riding.

On top I wear multiple layers.  Usually a thermal top, a long-sleeve tee-shirt, a light polar fleece top and then a heavier polar fleece top. On top of that I put a short insulated riding jacket (mine is Kerrits), with the plan of taking the top layer off either before I even get on or after warming up.  If it’s really cold, I throw a noninsulated coat over the jacket, taking it off before mounting.

I love those headbands that cover your ears.  I often leave it on when I ride.  It fits well under my helmet.  I couldn’t do that with a hat.  On my feet I have insulated paddock boots.  I have the Ariat winter lined paddock boots.  They are not the warmest but they fit into my stirrups like my regular boots, so I don’t feel different winter vs. summer, and I’m not afraid that my feet will get stuck in the stirrups if anything happens.

I have multiple pairs of gloves.  I have one pair that I picked up in Walmart. They have the fingers cut off and then a mitten top you can put over your fingers.  I use these only to groom because while they are nice and warm, they are not grippy.  I have a pair of SSG winter gloves that are only insulated on top.  Although they are only marginally warmer than my summer gloves, they don’t interfere with holding the reins.

Lastly, I couldn’t live without those chemical hand warmers.  I haven’t tried the feet warmers yet but I’m tempted.  I sometimes take the hand warmers and put them in the ankles of my boots, which works well.  Normally I either put them in the pockets of my breeches or stuff them in the top of my gloves while I ride.

The horse seems to be dealing well with the cold even though he grew up in California.  I have a quartersheet I put on him, but usually end up taking it off before we start trot work.  He’s blanketed but I found that I need to have one less layer on him than I think or else he gets sweaty.  I worry about him way more than I need to.  He seems to be doing fine with his first winter in the Northeast.

Here’s to only 72 days until Spring!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s