Winter is coming

Contrary to what the title of this may lead you to believe, I am not a Game of Thrones watcher (is that a word?). I’m just a displaced Southerner freaking out of her ever loving mind about the fact that it is going to get cold even though it’s currently 92 degrees.

I mean, yeah the first four weeks of college football season are supposed to be about trying not to get sunburned too badly in the stadium because it’s still 97 degrees and you’ve been drinking since 8am for an 8pm kickoff. Wait, maybe that was just me. But that was in Alabama, not Indiana.

Not exactly what I’m thinking

Needless to say, my wardrobe is not really prepared. This is where you come in.

I need ALL THE OPINIONS. Winter riding breeches, boots, gloves, scarves, how do you keep your ears warm, best quarter sheets, best excuses to give your trainer when it’s too cold to ride, favorite jackets, all of the things. I’m on a mission to stay warm warmish and I’m going shopping.

Likely to be me

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  1. ugh good luck! it seems like a lot of functional winter riding gear depends on your own personal preferences regarding comfort etc. i tend to like layering – esp when i’m working at the barn and might be heating up and cooling down multiple times in a day. i wrote about some of my favorite base layers here:

    i also like kerrits fleecy winter weight breeches, and basically live in vests for their flexibility in temperature control. a good scarf and ear warmers complete the picture.

    1. I’m definitely a vest lover too – used to be because it was never cold enough for a real jacket in the south, but will be perfect for layering here! Definitely going to look at those breeches too.

  2. As Emma says there’s a lot of personal preference going on BUT there are some basics:

    – layers; one coat won’t do. baselayer, second layer, then coat. air is also an insulator, hence down jackets, so don’t make all the layers too tight. I prefer a thin merino or silk baselayer that’s snug, then something a little looser like a fleece or sweatshirt, then my jacket.
    – socks! smartwool or darn tough. invest in really, really good socks.
    – you lose some horrifying percentage of your body heat through your head – lots of blood vessels close to the surface. when you don’t have a helmet on, wear a hat. when you do have a helmet on, I looooooove those fleece helmet covers.
    – riding-specific gear: my hands-down favorites are winter breeches (I like the Noble Outfitters ones currently) and winter boots (I have the Ariat Bromonts).

    I’ve done some reviews of winter gear in the past under this tag:

    It’s pricey but worth it, overall!

    1. Super helpful, about to go read everything and take notes! Definitely going to stock up on SmartWool socks – I have one pair for skiing and I love them. Didn’t even think about them for riding!

  3. As others said most of this is personal preference. Southern parts of Indiana are a lot like KY was and even TN. Layers will be key.

    Depending on your helmet some have liners that actually cover your ears. I haven’t ever invested in those and usually just struggle through. When I’m not riding though an ear covering headband or hat is a staple for me.

    For gloves I like to have a good feel so will usually ride in my regular roeckl until I can’t bear it. After that the roeckl winters are great. When I am not riding I like the SSH lined rancher gloves. So so cozy while keeping some dexterity.

    I personally don’t like most winter breeches but I also won’t ride if it’s under like 25-30 because we don’t have an indoor and when it’s below freezing it’s just plain miserable. Sometimes I’ll wear a pair of leggings under my breeches though!

    The ariat bromot winter boots are the bomb for keeping your feet warm and dry when it’s cold/ snows and you can usually find a deal if you’re patient enough.

    Coat wise like others said it’s all about the layer game. I get and stay very cold in the winter but when I ride I can sometimes get sweaty. I like to do a long sleeve shirt, vest, fleece, coat combo. You’ll figure out what works for you. 🙂

    1. I’ve been thinking about the winter Roeckls, so that’s good to know. My regular ones are nearly done for, so I’m thinking it will be a very glove filled Christmas list.
      I also think I’ll just have to have a temperature cutoff – we have an indoor, but I’ve been warned it doesn’t keep you warm, just out of the rain/snow. At some point, that’s just not fair to you or the horse!
      Definitely hunting for a pair of Bromonts. I hear the eBay angels singing…

    1. Good call. Going to stalk all the athletic sites for sales! Ironically, I have a ton of the UA heat gear… but none of the cold stuff.

  4. Get yourself some packable down layers.. There are pretty and expensive ones from JOTT, or you could do like me and hit up Eddie Bauer. They’re lightweight but super warm. Get the jacket AND the vest because you need layers. All the layers. Seriously. ALL OF THEM.
    I LOVE the Ariat Bromont tall boots when it’s really cold. They’re thinsulate lined top to toes.
    For not as cold days get a pair of FUTI that you can wear over your boots. They’re neoprene toe cover thingies… Here’s a link:
    That’s just to show them to you, google and find them cheaper!
    I hate gloves plus I have Reynaud’s syndrome so even with amazing warm glove my fingers turn blue. No great suggestions there then… Sorry!
    For ears, I’ve found just doing my normal “hunter hair” keeps the ears warm enough. I did just buy some ear muff things that attach to the helmet harness, but I haven’t actually tried them yet. I’m sure they’ll look ridiculous.
    I have a few pair of fleece lined breeches that I really like. They were from Beval and I’m not sure they still make them. But I do think SmartPak has something similar.

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