Winter is the time to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa, but when you’re an equestrian, it also means braving the elements to keep you and your horse fit. Having the right riding essentials to keep you warm and dry will make those blustery days bearable for your body and keep your mind on your ride.

Warm and Thick Breeches

Nothing is worse than stepping outside thinking your pants will keep you warm, but the cold air is seeping through. The right legwear will keep you focused on the ride ahead. Choose riding pants that are made for warmth, which generally means breeches. Tights are great, but most are made for warmer months. Breeches are made of thicker material which means tighter stitching. Consider breeches specific to winter months, including those made with fleece or designated thermal, and stay away from breeches or tights designated to cool you down (the weather will do that for you!).

Stretchy Baselayers for Additional Warmth AND Comfort

Mom always said to layer up in the winter! While she’s not wrong, dressing for a ride is very different from dressing for a day in the snow. You've gone too far if you are waddling to the barn in your layers. Luckily, baselayers for equestrians are more about warmth than bulk. Your baselayer is the first garment you put on and should wick away sweat and moisture and regulate body temperature for warmth. When deciding on a baselayer, look for something that fits close to the skin so you can add more clothes without bulk. Do note that a baselayer and a thermal are different articles of clothing. A thermal, while designed to keep you warm and is a great layering item of clothing, is meant to be worn over a baselayer, not in place of it.

Waterproof Outerwear Made for Equestrians

Winter isn’t just cold; it’s often wet too. Whether it’s rain, snow, or sleet, getting wet in the winter can leave you chilled and miserable and lead to potential illness and skin issues. Plus, it’s not just the weather that can be frightful as it falls on you; it’s also you falling in the weather that can be an issue. Your outerwear should protect you from the elements while also providing warmth, whether in the saddle or on the ground. The last layer you put on, from boots to jackets, should be waterproof or water-repellant. Outerwear that is waterproof to complete your riding outfit provides the ultimate winter protection.

Waterproof Boots

The body works overtime when it’s cold outside to keep your core warm and toasty. Unfortunately, that means your blood doesn’t circulate as quickly to your extremities, making for some seriously cold toes. Up your footwear game by trading in your paddock and tall boots for winter riding boots or river boots. Waterproof boots keep the elements out of your feet and off your calves while providing extra insulation. These boots are perfect for riding and working at the barn in comfort. Make sure you choose boots that fit snuggly but not tightly, so water can’t get in at the top.

Warm Socks to Keep Your Toes Warm

It’s not enough to get waterproof and insulated boots; you need warm socks to provide ultimate insulation. Consider knee-length socks that keep everything from toes to knees warm and dry. Don’t forget to purchase a few pairs in your favorite colors; these socks are great for riding and lounging on the couch after a satisfying ride in the winter.

Winter Riding Gloves for Toasty Fingers

Your toes aren’t the only extremity that needs protection from the cold; your fingers are equally susceptible. Numb, cold fingers will fumble with the reins and during barn chores, which can be dangerous and annoying. Winter riding gloves are a must. These keep fingers, hands, and wrists warm. When riding, consider gloves with soft fleece lining that still give you maximum grip. When working in the barn, consider gloves that are thicker, with a fleece interior but a tough exterior to keep your hands warm and injury free.

Winter Headgear for Warmth and Protection

While the theory that you lose most of your heat through your head has been debunked, it doesn’t mean your head and ears should be uncovered. Of course, a helmet is the safest choice in headgear for riding. But consider adding a tight hat underneath your helmet (just make sure it doesn’t make your helmet fit incorrectly), headband, or ear muffs to keep your ears warm. As far as bringing a scarf, put it away for errands in town. Scarves can get tangled or fly in your face while riding, presenting a hazard. Choose a neck gator instead, turtlenecks or high-necked baselayers and outerwear. Also, while we think of winter as a gray and cloudy month, there are plenty of sunny days! Sunglasses will help protect the eyes from the sun bouncing off the snowy ground. And don’t forget sunscreen for the parts of your skin showing!

8 Winter Horseback Riding Clothes for Equestrians

Finding the right items to wear for winter riding can be daunting. But we at Schneiders have you covered. These are eight best riding essentials to keep you warm and dry with style.

    LeMieux® Dynamique Jacket

  1. LeMieux® Dynamique Jacket
  2. Stylish and warm, the Dynamique jacket is perfect for a chilly day. It has a super soft lining and padded chevron satin paneling. The Dynamique Jacket also creates a flattering outline and comes in a beautiful jewel-toned blue.

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    LeMieux® Liberte Zipped Neck Base Layer

  3. LeMieux® Liberte Zipped Neck Base Layer
  4. Part of the LeMieux® ActiveWear line, this ultra-comfortable climate layer with a unique super soft peached effect material is perfect for wear during the colder months. Antimicrobial material effectively wicks moisture, while the versatile zip neck collar can be turned up or rolled down to suit all wind conditions. Thumb holes and a tailored fit keep this base layer close to your skin for the ideal winter laying or fall apparel choice.

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    Ariat Ladies Ideal Down Vest

  5. Ariat Ladies Ideal Down Vest
  6. For superior performance in any weather, the Ideal Down Vest by Ariat® will keep you warm, from doing barn chores to spending time in the saddle, without the bulk of traditional down riding vests. Premium, ultra-compressible down fill will keep you moving freely and looking stylish as you layer your English apparel during cold weather. The Earth-friendly EcoDry™ water-repellent finish also keeps you dry in wet weather.

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    Knit Headband

  7. LeMieux® Knit Headband
  8. The LeMieux Knit Headband is the perfect winter accessory for extra warmth around the barn. This classic cable knit headband with micro-fleece lining features subtle elasticity for a secure fit.

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    SSG Ride N Ranch Riding Gloves

  9. SSG Ride N Ranch Riding Gloves
  10. The SSG Ride N Ranch Riding Gloves are durable enough to be a work glove and comfortable enough to wear while riding, dual purpose. Premium goatskin palms and fingertips have reinforced stress points, while the heavy-duty lycra back increases ventilation. Your hands will be warm without being sweaty with these dual-purpose gloves.

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    Ovation Telluride Winter Boots

  11. Ovation Telluride Winter Boots
  12. The Telluride winter boot will keep you warm and dry in and out of the saddle. It features a grippy TPR rubber sole that is waterproof to the top of the foot and paired with a polyester canvas upper Teflon treated for water repellency. The inside of the boot has a warm faux fur-lined footbed. The back zipper is flanked by neoprene for flexibility and stretch, while the front laces allow for perfect adjustment and fit.

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    Dublin Erne Boots

  13. Dublin Erne Boots
  14. These stylish Dublin Erne Boots are waterproof, featuring full nubuck upper, and breathable for all-day comfort. A full-side zipper makes it easy to take them on and off. The moisture-wicking RCS footbed provides heel and arch support for long days at the barn. The Positive Traction Grip (PTG) outer sole provides safe traction in all weather conditions.

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    LeMieux® Fluffies Socks

  15. LeMieux® Fluffies Socks
  16. Keep your toes warm with LeMieux® Fluffies socks. With their super cute designs and super soft touch, these knee-length socks are wonderfully warm and soft, perfect for snuggling up on the couch at home on cold days. One size fits most ladies.

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Winter doesn’t mean your days at the barn and in the saddle will be wet and miserable. With the right riding essentials, you’ll only think about the trail ahead as you stay comfy and cozy in the saddle.