Ride into Fall with Insulated Paddock Boots

insulated paddock bootsThe perfect paddock boot is a staple piece of riding apparel for many horseback riders. As temperatures drop, however, a regular paddock boot may not provide enough warmth. Insulated paddock boots can take the place of your regular pair during the late fall and winter months, keeping your feet warm while you ride and work around the barn. Here are a few of our favorite options for insulated paddock boots this year:

  • ariat extreme h2o insulated paddock bootAriat® Extreme H20 Insulated Zip Paddock BootsBrand new for 2015, these winter paddock boots are waterproof to keep you dry in rain and snow. Thinsulate™ lining provides warmth without adding bulk, while moisture is wicked away through the lining to prevent chills. As an added bonus, ATS® Pro Technology helps stabilize lateral foot movement and reduce fatigue. This boot is also available in lace up, men’s or kids’ as well. Prefer tall boots? Consider the Extreme H20 Tall Boot version, with the same features and warm lining all the way up to cover your calf.
  • mountain horse winter zip paddock bootMountain Horse® Active Winter Zip Paddock Boots – These ladies’ insulated paddock boots have a faux fur lining to keep you cozy and are waterproof to keep you dry. Designed specifically for cold temperatures, a material known as Extensia is featured in the makeup of these paddock boots. Extensia withstands over one million flexes in below freezing temperatures, so you know these boots will last. Discomfort is no match for the shock-absorbing IPS system in the heel, which keeps you happily walking around all day.
  • Ariat Camrose H2O Insulated Paddock BootsIf you prefer a more rugged, hiking boot style, these are the paddock boots for you. These women’s boots feature 200 grams of Thinsulate lining for warmth, a waterproof membrane to keep moisture out and a shock-absorbing midsole for foot comfort. A Duratred™ outsole helps ensure you don’t slip as you walk through the snow to bring your horse in or make your way to the ring. Looking for a similar men’s boot? Try the Ariat Creston. ariat camrose insulated paddock boot

While we may wish for summer to last forever, selecting great insulated paddock boots will help to ease the transition to frigid winter temperatures. Keep your feet warm and comfortable so you can enjoy your time at the barn all year round.

Stable Sheets & Blankets Versus Turnout Sheets & Blankets

turnout sheetsCooler weather usually brings horse blanketing for many equestrians. While some horses do just fine without being blanketed, many horses benefit from wearing a sheet or blanket for a variety of reasons. (See our post on Why You Need a Turnout Sheet to understand the different benefits.) Many varieties of horse sheets and blankets are available, each with its own materials, design and features, but the two main categories of cool weather horse clothing are stable sheets and blankets and turnout sheets and blankets.

baker stable sheetLocation of Use
Stable sheets and blankets are intended to be used while the horse is stabled indoors, while being trailered or while being otherwise supervised.
Turnout sheets and blankets are intended to be used while the horse is outdoors in his paddock or field.

Stable sheets and blankets are not waterproof, although many feature some level of water resistance or repellency to help resist stains from manure or urine when the horse lies down in his stall.
Turnout sheets and blankets are waterproof, yet breathable, to protect the horse while he is outdoors exposed to the elements such as rain or snow. It is harmful for a horse to wear a wet blanket, so waterproofing is an important factor of a turnout.

Stable sheets and blankets are breathable and typically made from lightweight fabrics such as cotton, polyester, polypropylene or nylon. The fabric of stable blankets is often quilted to make the blanket loftier for indoor use while movement is limited.
Turnout sheets and blankets are breathable and made of highly durable materials that will stand up to the rigors and wear and tear of turnout. Since the horse will move around quite a bit while wearing a turnout, they often have nylon linings to allow the blanket to slide over the horse’s coat to help prevent rubs.

Fit of Cut
Stable sheets and blankets have a more fitted cut since they are worn indoors where the movement of the horse is restricted.
Turnout sheets and blankets are cut to allow for freedom of movement and often feature shoulder gussets or darts and other areas of flexibility that aid in comfort while the horse moves around outside.

Stable blankets can be a good additional layer underneath a turnout blanket to help keep the horse warm when temperatures drop significantly.
Turnout sheets can be layered over a stable blanket on a cold day to allow use of your stable blanket outdoors by adding a waterproof layer on top.northwind turnout blanket

Whether you are trying to keep your horse clean and stain free overnight with a stable sheet or protect him with a turnout sheet or blanket from falling snow while he’s in his paddock, knowing the key differences between stable and turnout sheets and blankets will help you achieve your blanketing goal this fall and winter.

Equestrian Belts – Stylish Accessory to Show Ring Essential

equestrian beltsThe right accessory can do a lot for your overall appearance. When competing at a show or schooling at home, attention to detail can mean the difference between looking polished and professional versus rushed and disheveled. Accessories such as stock ties, hair nets and equestrian belts can bring together an entire horse show outfit just the right way. A riding belt does more than just look good, it ensures your breeches and tucked-in shirt stay in place to allow you to ride to the best of your ability. From traditional, classic designs for the show ring to fun, colorful styles for schooling, these are our favorite equestrian belts:

  • Tredstep™ Flex BeltMade partly from leather and partly from elastic, this riding belt allows for excellent freedom of movement and comfort. There are 10 different color combinations to select from, so you just might want more than one! We recommend ordering it a size smaller than your breech size for the perfect fit.tredstep stretch belt
  • C4 Classic Belt If you want customizable, bright color, then this is the belt for you. c4 classic beltGreat for schooling, wearing just for fun or even competing with your cross-country colors! These equestrian belts are made of Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), which is very durable and easily machine washable so that they will always look like new. With 24 different solid colors, two print colors, three plaids and 23 buckles colors, you can mix and match these very easily for a different look every day!
  • tory fancy stitched beltTory Fancy Stitched BeltFancy stitching looks just as classic and elegant on an equestrian belt as it does on a bridle. This understated riding belt is perfect for the show ring. It won’t call too much attention to itself, but will give your overall appearance a refined look.
  • Tailored Sportsman “Quilted” Clarino™ BeltThis one is a favorite staple of ours. With the timeless style found in other Tailored Sportsman apparel, this belt is designed to complement Tailored Sportsman breeches. It fits perfectly through Trophy Hunter belt loops, but looks great with jeans as well. The quilted stitched pattern comes in four muted colors that look great with breeches.
  • Tredstep Curve Snaffle BeltThis riding belt is unique because of the curve in its design, which is intended to complement the waist fit of the Symphony breeches. Made of high-quality leather, details such as small snaffle bits and a line of contrast color make this traditionally-styled belt stand out. A great choice for competition or daily wear.tredstep curved snaffle belt

These are just a small sampling of the vast range of equestrian belts available to choose from. Classic leather, traditional colors, vibrant personality and customized style- there is the perfect riding belt for everyone and every discipline, no matter where you are riding.

Know Your Bridle: Types of Nosebands

types of nosebandsEnglish bridles are composed of a variety of pieces, some of which are generally consistent, such as cheek pieces, and others that vary in appearance and purpose, such as nosebands. Nosebands are also known as cavesons and serve a few purposes. By keeping your horse’s mouth closed, nosebands encourage contact with the bit for better control, as well as reduce evasive behaviors in the horse, such as crossing his jaw or putting his tongue over the bit. Nosebands also can be used to attach a standing martingale and generally help keep the bridle in place. Learning the most common types of nosebands can help you make a selection for your horse. Continue reading

In The Saddle with Whitney Weston

whitney westonWhitney Weston recently set up her farm in Southern Pines, North Carolina where she rides, trains, teaches lessons, sells horses and competes in upper level eventing. Whitney was kind enough to spend some time talking with us about what events she enjoys, her horses’ special personalities, how she ensures their comfort and catching the horse bug at an early age. Continue reading

How to Cool Down a Horse in Summer

how to cool down a horse

A proper cool down is always important, but with summer rides taking place in hot and often humid weather, your horse is more likely to become overheated while working. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat index (combination of temperature and humidity) and tailor your rides accordingly so both you and horse exercise without overdoing it. After a ride, follow these general guidelines on how to cool down a horse to ensure your horse is comfortable when you put him back in his stall or pasture this summer. Continue reading

Does My Horse Need a Fly Sheet? – 3 Reasons He Might

riders international fly sheetWith plush, green pastures, bright sunny skies and warm temperatures, summer can easily be your horse’s favorite time of the year for turnout. While chilly temperatures are gone, and winter blankets have been sent off for washing or storage until next season, your horse may still benefit from being covered with a fly sheet. A fly sheet does more than just ward off flies, so before you decide your horse is fine sheet-free, consider these reasons he might need one: Continue reading

Brands We Love: Kerrits Casual Riding Apparel for Summer

kerrits casual riding apparelKerrits® has been creating equestrian clothing that is a favorite among many riders for 28 years. While show clothing is important for the competitive rider, high-quality casual riding apparel is just as crucial. Kerrits focuses on technical clothing for the equestrian athlete, which allows the rider to perform optimally while in the saddle regardless of weather and season. Wearing these casual riding apparel items from Kerrits this summer will help you stay cool and comfortable as you enjoy your horses. Continue reading

Red, White and Blue – 4th of July Horse Tack!

4th of july horse tackWhile everyone is planning their barbeques and parties, you may be preparing to compete in a horse show, walk in a parade or just show your spirit around the barn. We may not be able to help you paint your horse like a flag, but we can certainly help you find the best red, white and blue 4th of July horse tack to show your patriotic spirit on Independence Day. Here are our favorite spirited tack items that can be used all together for a complete, parade-ready look, or individually for a tasteful competition accent. Continue reading

Help Horseback Riding Pain – Ice Rider® from Ice Horse®

horseback riding pain

We all know riding is a very physical activity. While your main goals may often be focused on building your horse’s stamina and muscle, the time you spend in the saddle and around the barn is taxing on your own body as well. If your horse is sore, injured or just needs a little preventative support after a tough workout, you apply liniments, wraps, ice or any range of other treatments to help him feel better and be ready to keep working as the athlete he is. Why not do the same for yourself? Continue reading