Winter usually keeps most people indoors and occupied with indoor activities. For some this could also mean taking a break from activities with your horse. However you shouldn’t exclude riding your horse during the winter months.
Horseback riding is an activity that can be enjoyed during any season. However no one likes to feel cold and long winter rides can take you far from your origin into isolated forested areas. Being out for long periods in the wintery conditions can pose the risk of hypothermia. Therefore it is extremely important to be comfortable and appropriately geared when heading out for a winter ride.
It is important to keep warm whilst out riding during the winter months. However try not to wear heavy clothing that could be difficult to remove as you warm up during the ride. Here are some good points to remember in gearing up for your winter ride.
It is hard to stay warm if you get wet. Choose lightweight waterproof clothing that will keep you dry and insulated but allow perspiration to escape. There is no need to wear heavy clothing to keep warm as manufacturers now have functional lightweight fabrics that provide excellent insulation properties.
Keeping the extremities dry and warm
Your head, hands and feet are susceptible to risk of frost bite if exposed to extreme cold. It is important to keep them dry and warm during your winter ride. Your helmet provides protection whilst riding and also keeps your head warm. If your hands are wet and cold it can be very uncomfortable and can adversely affect your joints which could lead to limiting your range of dexterity and ultimate control of your horse. Select a heavy duty waterproof glove that will provide the necessary warmth but also allow flexibility and good grip. Footwear should also be waterproof and like your helmet provide the necessary protection for your feet during your winter horseback ride.
The above-mentioned is simply a guide to ensure that you remain dry, warm and comfortable throughout your ride during the extreme winter conditions. Choosing your riding gear is a personal choice but if you are comfortable your horse will be comfortable and you can both enjoy the experience of riding during the winter season. The most important thing is to have a safe, comfortable and fun winter ride with your horse.