If you’re stuck in a cold climate for the winter, you’ve probably invested in a really warm jacket, insulated boots, wool socks and the protective gloves so you can keep riding comfortably. But have you picked out winter breeches or tights yet? When you ride, your legs are exposed to the elements, with knees and thighs taking a blast of cold air as you trot and canter around the ring or through the trails. Here are our favorite winter riding pants to help your lower body stay cozy during your time outside at the barn:
- Kerrits® Fleece Flow Rise Tights –
These winter riding tights are some of the most comfortable! Their soft fleece lining envelopes you in warmth and makes pulling them on a treat. The exterior of these winter tights is durable and does not easily pick up hay or shavings. They are equally comfortable doing barn chores, riding or running errands in cold weather after you leave the stable. Currently available on sale in herringbone color patterns, and also available for kids!
- Riding Sport™ Corduroy Full Seat – Naturally warm corduroy makes these breeches soft like velvet, yet stretchy enough for riding with a touch of Lycra® added to the fabric. Made with a modified low rise, these winter breeches will sit higher in the back for complete coverage from the cold air. A stylish choice that will keep out the cold this winter.
- Irideon® Polartec® Power Stretch® Knee-Patch Breeches – If you want warmth without bulk, these winter breeches are for you. A soft fleece inner creates a cozy feeling against your skin, while smooth outer fabric repels barn debris. Polartec fabric is quick-drying to wick moisture away from your skin and to help you stay dry during any snow you may encounter at the stable.
- Mountain Horse® Polar Full-Seat Riding Breeches – Willing to ride through a blizzard in the worst of winter? These waterproof riding pants are the choice for you! These winter breeches offer the ultimate protection from winter elements. With 120 grams of poly insulation, waterproof material to withstand heavy wind, rain and snow, waterproof zippers, snow gaiters and a reinforced seat, you will be well covered and warm. These winter breeches are fabulous for riding, teaching lessons, working around the stable and you may even find yourself slipping them on to shovel the driveway!
This list represents just a few of the winter breeches we love. Take a look at our full selection and read the reviews to see what other riders have found that they love. Once you have the full winter gear outfit, you can get in the saddle and enjoy the ride without worrying about the cold.
Whether you are picking up your first winter riding jacket or replacing an old one with a new style, you’ll find a range of options to suit your taste and meet your needs. Just like horse blankets, winter riding jackets come in different weights to ensure comfort in varying temperatures. To prepare for the cold chill of winter, here are some of our warmest jackets to keep you toasty in even the most arctic cold: Continue reading
The holiday shopping season is in full swing! While we typically know what our loved ones wish to see under the tree, sometimes filling their stockings can be a little more challenging. We’d love to help you come up with some horse stocking stuffers that any equestrian would be thrilled to find on Christmas morning. Here are some of our favorite suggestions: Continue reading
When it comes time to select a new horse blanket, there are many features to consider. If you’re new to blanketing, you may be wondering what some of the horse blanket terms mean. By understanding all the horse blanket vocab, you can make an educated choice for your horse this season. Here is the most common horse blanket terminology and what it should mean to you: Continue reading
The 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 H20 Insulated Zip Paddock Boots – Brand 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® 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 Boots – If 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.
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.
Cooler 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.
Location 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.
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.
The 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 Belt – Made 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.
- C4 Classic Belt – If you want customizable, bright color, then this is the belt for you. Great 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 Belt – Fancy 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™ Belt – This 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 Belt – This 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.
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.
English 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
While 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
A couple of weeks ago we began leading you through the complex array of horse bit types. We covered the variety of mouthpieces most commonly used, but cheek pieces also play a crucial role in how a bit functions. As a reminder, all horse bit types are built of two main components: the mouthpiece and the cheek pieces. Continue reading