The polar vortex is ruining my mood and canceling all of my riding for the foreseeable future. I thought maybe instead of whining (which I have done plenty of lately) I would offer some apparel solutions for dealing with the cold. Having been born and raised in Almost Canada, I’ve grown up dealing with the elements and have developed numerous ways of staying warm during a variety of athletic pursuits. Here are a few items that have worked for me and made cold weather riding more enjoyable.
I own one pair of Kerrits Sit Tight and Warm Knee Patch Breeches. These things were awesome in Almost Canada because although my lessons were mostly in an indoor arena, it was still quite cold since my lessons were late at night. The knee patches were a little weird at first because the material is kinda squeaky but a few washes later it wasn’t very noticeable. These breeches are definitely warm but a little thick so I usually have to wear paddock boots and half chaps since my giant calves, once coated in fleece, no longer fit in my tall field boots. The funny thing about these breeches is, I can’t say they’ve seen a lot of action since I moved to the Quasi South. If it gets cold enough to warrant wearing them, my lesson gets cancelled. Luckily, they double as a super pair of sweatpants for hanging out around the house.
This year for Christmas my mother stuffed a pair of wool insoles in my stocking. I popped those bad boys in my pair of Mountain Horse Richmond Field Boots and my toes enjoyed a warm and cushy winter ride last week! These were thin enough to fit over the original and now fairly worn out pair of insoles that come in the boots but not make the footbed restrictive.
I have a couple pairs of the SSG Work N Horse Lined Gloves that I really like for winter riding. I use an unlined version of these same gloves the rest of the year. They may not be quite warm enough for outdoor riding in winter but they work just fine for arena work when it is cold and they are not too bulky.
At one point during my riding career in Almost Canada I had the privilege of riding at lovely dressage barn with a heated indoor arena. Now that just seems like a crazy dream I had once…
Stay warm out there!!