Winter riding clothes! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Cool Winter riding clothes!

So about that time is coming up again, and I am dreading it! Time to absolutely FREEZE my butt off while riding for the entire fall, winter, and spring! YAY! I live in eastern Washington state, and I did NOT have the right clothes for winter last year. I know I want winter breeches, jackets, and possibly winter riding boots(If I don't spend a TON on breeches and coats). I do not want a huge or bulky winter coat. I take Dressage and Jumping lessons, and now have a horse on trial to possibly buy. I can not handle a coat with any bulk, I am more of a layer person (I am 5'0 so big coats pretty much engulf me):) Any recommendations, tips, or the like welcome! Please only post things that you have used yourself, or other people at your barn have used. This thread will probably be help to everyone! Please post any sort of review of something you used for winter, both positive and negative reviews welcome!

-Please make sure to include how cold your area was at the time, as well as a description of the item:)

Thanks SO much guys!
(If this is in the wrong spot, feel free to move it)

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post #2 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I'm in Western Washington, so a little wetter and milder than what you're dealing with. I wear on our coldest days (in the 20's):
Feet: Paddock-boots with Thinsulate liners.
Legs: Thick breeches so I have room for a thin wool long-john underneath
Torso: Wool long-sleeved undershirt, turtleneck shirt, wool sweater, polarfleece vest, windproof parka. Having the vest as the warmest layer allows more arm movement. Often, I ditch the wool sweater or turtleneck, depending on how hard I'm working.
Hands: The thickest Isotoner gloves that have the wool liners
Head: I have an ear-warmer thingy that is actually designed to go under bicycle helmets. Works just as great under a riding helmet.

I used to live in Norway, so that's at least as cold as Eastern Washington. There I'd wear the same things, only I'd add this weird wool sock that goes over the front half of the boot - on the outside.
Legs: Thick breeches that are too big so I have room for either a thick wool long-john underneath, or two thinner long-johns underneath.

Keeping the fingers warm enough is the biggest challenge for me. Really hard to find something warm enough that still allows enough dexterity to handle the reins safely.
freia is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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I'm in western Oregon. I always seem to forget how to dress for winter, freeze for a while, and then remember about half way through the winter Here's what I can remember from last winter:

Feet- Paddock boots & half chaps (the same ones I wear year round) with wool knee high socks and toe warmers.
Legs- Pantyhose, Kerrits Slender Rider Capri, breeches; if it's really cold i'll throw a pair of running pants on top.
Torso- Tank top, Long sleeved UnderArmor shirt (having something that wicks away moisture is really important), fleece pullover, down vest, shell jacket
Hands- silk liners and leather riding gloves (I switch to thicker gloves if I'm doing chores around the barn, though)
Head- I also wear an ear warmer designed to be worn with a bike helmet Very similar to this one When I'm not riding, I swap out my helmet for a wool bomber hat my sister made for me, but keep the ear warmer on.

This summer I started riding in tights as my breeches got worn out and the style that fit me well got discontinued and I wasn't able to find a new style that I liked I'm not sure I can go back to breeches after having gotten used to the freedom of movement the tights give me, so this might be an interesting (aka "cold") winter!
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
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Where I live it can get pretty chilly, although I usually don't ride if it's anything less than -15 Celsius.

I got a pair of riding mittens last year and they worked wonders. Admittedly they do look a little weird, but it was worth it because my fingers stayed warm and toasty. They're basically just riding gloves with an extra lining on the inside and the index, middle, and ring fingers joined into a mitten, leaving room for the reins:

SSG Gloves Winter Riding Mittens

I found it also helped to get hand warmers and feet warmers. They're air activated, so all you have to do is open up the package and put them in your gloves or boots. I don't know how I would have survived riding in the winter without them! I don't know about Washington, but where I live you can get them pretty much anywhere during the winter months (including grocery stores). If they aren't there they'll definitely be in a camping/outdoors store.

As for legs and feet, I wear thick winter breeches that leave room for tights or long johns underneath. I also wear two pairs of socks (one wool, one thinner) and of course foot warmers. For my torso I'll admit I don't think too much about it, I just pile on as many layers as I can fit under my jacket. Usually that amounts to an undershirt, a turtleneck, a thin sweater or two and one large, thick sweater over all of that. I don't quite remember exactly which brand of jacket I wore last year but it was nothing too bulky, just a regular winter jacket.

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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This probably won't do for the crazy cold days, but I have this jacket and LOVE it. It's very lightweight, but shockingly warm (and a good price!). I love wearing it riding when it's cold:
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 07:03 PM
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Location: Chicago
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I'm from Hawaii, now living in Chicago area, where the winters can get pretty cold with lake winds whipping through the burbs at 50-60mph, chilling the air to below 0 temps. BRRR! I'm seriously considering buying these two items from Under Armour, to use as a base layer for riding during the winter!


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post #7 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MN
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I know what you mean! I'm from MN and I ride all year long as well. ha ha I also hate bulky winter clothes and am short. I hate feeling like a marshmallow when I'm riding! ha ha

Personally, I think baselayers should be your biggest focus. I love layering silk and wool baselayers. Silk agaist the skin, and wool on top of the silk. I wear this combination only on the bottom and a wool baselayer on top. Silk isn't the best at moisture management, although still decent, but it is an excellent (and comfy) insulator. I use it on the bottom since my legs usually get more cold and they don't generally ever overheat and start sweating. After the wool layer on bottom, I just wear pants that can comfortably fit over everything. I ride western and don't wear breeches, but in the winter, I do wear athletic pants a lot.

Up top, I wear a wool baselayer with a 1/4 zip. After that I wear a lighter softshell jacket that is windproof and waterproof. For a lot of people, a vest might be a good idea. You might also need another layer in there, depending.. Another wool baselayer (staying away from silk in the event of sweat) or a fleece would be good. I have a very warm core, and if I'm cold while riding, its typically my hands.

For socks, invest in wool. Wool socks are wonderful and perfect for all seasons, but we all know how great they are for winter. Look into the heavier weights.

Gloves.. I haven't found a perfect combo yet. ha ha Silk liners with Manzella Silkweight Windstopper gloves is what I used last year. They're light and flexible, but warm.. I'm thinking about getting some Columbia gloves with Omni-Heat (think space blankets) for this winter. I have a Omni-Heat jacket that I love.

On the head.. I don't wear a helmet (for shame, I know.. But I don't ride English and just have never worn helmets, I'm awesome at dressing for winter..), but I have an awesome skunk hat that's lined with wool.. So warm! For the non-skunk hat owning population who wears helmets though, I'd suggest the ear warmers that have been talked about or a balaclava. They can be worn with helmets and also offer face coverage. Seirus makes a nice fitted one that I sometimes wear. It protects my nose, but has venting so you can still breathe without feeling like you're suffocating.

I also suggest getting a job at REI, Gander, Dick's or somewhere that sells these things.. Winter clothes aren't cheap.. Employee discounts and promotional plans are your friend.. ha ha

Another note.. For wool.. Always look for merino wool. The scales on the hair shaft are smaller than regular wool, so they're not itchy. Smartwool and RedRam (by IceBreaker) are my two favorite brands.

Last edited by soileddove; 09-28-2012 at 07:59 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 08:14 PM
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Location: New England
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I love my Mountain Horse Stella Polaris boots. And I've got a good selection of a top that Irideon makes for an underlayer. Warm, like underarmor, but nice enough to wear with nothing over it. And it doesn't collect hair or dirt.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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i have a couple pairs of winter riding breeches (Ariat and some custom ones from this woman: Just For Horsin' Round Riding Tights) that i wear with Active Winter Rider Mountain Horse USA. on top typically a cuddl duds long sleeve shirt (the long underwear pants too if REALLY cold), t-shirt, fleece and vest as necessary. i still ride in my normal SSG gloves as my hands don't seem to get too cold.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-28-2012, 08:27 PM
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I live in Indiana, our avg winter high is around 30, lows in the teens but do have colder snaps with negative temps.

AbsitVita, I would highly recommend it! I LOVE my under armour. I have the mountain cold gear compression tights and top, they are fantastic. I ride in my indoor (not heated) in under armour, jeans (breeches sometimes) and a hoodie almost all winter. There are a few days here and there when we have neg. temps that I will also wear my carharrt coat.

I wear battery operated socks so I can wear my regular crepe soled boots, I dislike the treads on most of the winter riding boots. Then gloves are ToughChix by ironclad, they are made for women who work in construction - they fit snug and have grippy fingers that work even on small things like throat latch buckles. Then to top it off I have a really dorky sock hat with fleece lining and ear flaps that my daughter picked out for me lol!

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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