Winter has arrived here in WI. My horses are fluffy with their winter hair, there is snow on the ground, and a chill in the air.
Some riders pack up their riding tack, and turn their horses out for the winter.
Others get gritty. They have big horse dreams, and they know if they want to achieve them, they need to at a minimum keep their horse legged up over the winter.
Yet the second most common reason I hear from riders as to why they don't go out and work with their horse over the winter is that they get too cold. And much of the time this is because they do not have the right gear! After all, there is no such thing as bad weather, just improper clothing!
To help you be prepared for riding in cold, snowy weather, I've put together this list of the products I use to stay warm while riding in the winter in Wisconsin. As an Amazon Associate, these are affiliate links and I do earn from qualifying purchases.
For your Feet
A good pair of boots that are warm yet can fit into a stirrup and have a heel are hard to find. My husband bought me a pair of Kenetrek Cowgirl Insulated Pac boots a few years ago, and they quickly have become my favorite winter riding boots!
Also necessary is a boot dryer. Having a dry pair of boots everyday keeps your feet warmer! I really like this PEET boot dryer because it also has the gloves attachment.
And of course, good socks! I borrowed a pair of Minus 33 wool socks from my husband. They are warm without being bulky.
for your head
A good hat to keep your head warm is key!
I really like my TrailHeads hat. It has a ponytail hole in the back, the traditional baseball hat brim, and fleece fold down ear flaps. On super cold days, I put a beanie on over top of it.
I bought my husband a Stormy Kromer Trapper hat last year. He wears it all the time in the winter, and says it is really warm.
It can be hard to keep your ears warm when wearing a helmet, and trying to wear a winter hat under a riding helmet isn't safe as it affects the proper fit. I bought this helmet cover years ago, it stretches over the helmet, with fleece ear flaps that velcro under your chin.
For Your Hands
Honestly, I still haven't found the perfect winter riding glove that is warm and allows precise finger movement for handling reins. These are what I use. On cold days I keep a packet of hot hands in my pocket to warm up my fingers.
I love my Hot Chilis base layers!
For Your Horse
Sometimes our horses get sweaty during winter rides.
Having a cooler on hand to make sure your horse is completely dry before you turn them out so they don't catch a chill is necessary.
On really cold and windy days I'll use a quarter sheet to keep my horse warmer while we ride.
Coat Defense Powder also works to help absorb moisture and dry your horse quicker if your horse gets sweaty.
What are some of your favorite cold weather must have items? I'd love to hear from you-please share in the comments!
P.S. For those of you who are curious, the most common reason for not getting out and riding in the winter is a lack of motivation. It is hard to psych yourself up to going out and working with your horse when the weather is crummy! If you want some motivation, inspiration, and accountability to keep riding over the winter, then my get gritty winter horsemanship challenge is for you!
Colton has been working hard in the arena learning to guide and steer Mustang Reva. To test his skills, we hauled out to a local park for a trail ride. Ride along with us in this video!
Self-care has been a buzzword for awhile. If you've been introduced to this concept, you've probably also heard about taking time to do activities that "refill your cup."
Having trouble holiday shopping for the rider in your life? Here are a few of my favorite things to fill those stockings! (Contains affiliate links).
1. Save time, money, and hay with Hay Chix Nets! I've been using these nets for a few years now, they are durable and work great! And get 20% of with my referral code at http://682haychix.refr.cc/chevy1
2. Great gift for rider's with little kids, the Booma Rein keeps kids from losing their reins. I think this is a key piece of safety equipment that should be on all kids saddles: https://boomarein.com/
3. Riding in the winter snow? Whether I'm out checking cattle, pulling the calf sled, or breaking ice in the creek, these Kenetrek Cowgirl Pac Boots keep my toes toasty! https://kenetrek.com/products/cowgirl
4. Give the gift of mental toughness with my 10 Things Gritty Rider’s Don’t Do Book. Get a signed paperback on my website at https://www.getgrittywithchevy.com/my-book.html
5. Give the gift of Coach Chevy to help your favorite rider set goals and track their progress with my new Gritty Rider's Goal Planner & Horsemanship Journal! Learn more at https://amzn.to/3p081GE
When is it too cold to ride?
Well, if it is so cold that your nostrils clog shut as soon as you step outside, it might be too cold to ride.
The truth is that most of us use the cold as an excuse.
In this video I share some tips and considerations for winter riding-so that you can keep making progress towards your horse goals even during wintry weather!
Do you ride in the winter?
If you are looking for inspiration, motivation, coaching, support and more, consider joining the my Winter Horsemanship Challenge! Learn more here.