Stay Warm this Winter: Tips for Winter Riding Apparel

Mountain Horse Rider Jacket - Unisex

Withstand the elements and keep comfortable the Mountain Horse Rider Jacket!

It’s tough going outside and braving winter weather to take care of your horse and ride. It’s especially difficult knowing exactly what to wear to stay warm when you are grooming your horse, but won’t make you overheat once you start riding. The best way to dress for the barn is in layers. Layers make it easy, because if you are too warm after you start moving around more, you can take a layer off, but if you stop moving around as much and get cold again, it is easier to put the layers back on.

Upper Half

For the coldest of weather, you’ll want to start with a base-layer. This layer is all about comfort. Ideally, you’ll want a layer that feels good against your skin and that provides some type of moisture management.  For women, the Irideon Thermalux Turtleneck  is a great option, offering a fabric that is breathable and moisture wicking, while being silky soft.  For men, the Horze Unisex Underwear Shirt provides an extra layer of breathable warmth with a unique, bacteria-resistant fabric. These shirts help hold in heat, but are also thin so that it doesn’t add too much bulk to your outfit.  After the base layer, you would want to add a long sleeve shirt of your choice. The next layer you’ll want to add is an insulating layer. You can choose a few different options for this layer. If the weather is very cold, a lightweight jacket is a versatile layering choice.

AT90864-navyThe Ariat Team Softshell Jacket is available in both men and women’s sizes. This jacket not only keeps you nice and warm, but the outer shell layer is both wind and water-resistant, so if you end up taking off your heavy coat, you will still have something to help prevent against the cold wind and any rain or snow. Softshell jackets are surprisingly warm for how thin they are. If the weather is milder, a vest offers added warmth where you need it most. In extreme cold, you can also layer a vest over your lightweight jacket to help add more heat to your body without adding too much bulk on your arms. For women, the Irideon Crossrails Vest provides the extra warmth of 80 grams of polyfill and is waterproof and breathable. For those long hours at the barn, it even has an MP3 cord loop.  The Outback Trading Unisex Sawbuck Vest for men provides durable warmth with a heavy, 12oz waterproof oilskin fabric. Of course, if you want the ultimate in warm vests, the Techniche Iongear Battery-Powered Heating Vest is the way to go with its adjustable heat settings. These vests are not only comfortable and help hold in body heat, but also have lots of pockets so you can keep your cell phone safe as well as store treats for your horse.

The final, shell layer is a heavy winter coat. This layer is your first line of defense against the cold and, ideally, needs to be wind and waterproof.  The Ariat Draft Parka for women provides all that and more. Designed with the rider in mind, this jacket is features a waterproof shell with taped seams, a buttoned saddle vent and a hood that is large enough to go over your helmet.  The Mountain Horse Rider Jacket in unisex sizing is also a great choice, and features a waterproof shell with taped seams, double riding vent and reflective details for low-light visibility.

Lower Half

Again, for the coldest weather, you’ll want to start with a base layer.   Long underwear designed specifically for the rider is a great place to start. For women, the Irideon Thermalux Leggings feature the same great comfort as their tops with the added benefit of flat, no-chafe seams that won’t irritate you while riding. Men can use the Horze Unisex Underwear Pants to keep their legs warm asTO80035-v1 well. This base layer helps to keep your legs warm, but is also thin so they won’t prevent any movement you would need in the saddle. Winter breeches only keep you so warm, and having this extra layer really makes a difference.

Winter-weight breeches are a riding essential in cold weather.  Not only do they keep your legs warm, but many styles are so comfortable you’ll be tempted to wear them lounging around the house. The Kerrits Pro Fleece Crossover Breeches are a great softshell option and feature an abrasion-resistant fleece backed material with convenient front zip and front scoop pockets. The Irideon Wind Pro Breeches are available for men and women. The Polartec WindPro material combines the warmth of fleece with a wind and water-resistant membrane that is also breathable for breeches that are as tough and warm as they are good-looking.


ER90827-v1Heavy socks are the next essential that you’ll need for winter barn work and riding. Frostbitten toes are no joking matter and are a real risk when the temperatures drop. The Horseware Softie Socks are a fun choice for women These Socks are soft and warm, and come in fun colors. You might even want some to lounge around in the house in as well. The Horze Unisex Winter Logo Socks are made with a Thermolite fabric blend, offering warmth without bulk. Winter riding boots are great because they won’t be ruined in the mud or snow and they have better traction to help prevent slipping in the ice and snow.

Winter rated boots have insulation and are waterproof. While leather is more traditional, synthetic materials are much easier to maintain and are generally less expensive. The Mountain Horse Active Winter Rider Boot is available for both men and women, and features a warm faux fur with waterproof synthetic material. It also features a slim contoured design that will fit in your normal stirrups with dirt-repellent treads that enhance your grip in the stirrup.


For the coldest winter days, you may want add a balaclava. The Irideon Thermalux Balaclava is thin enough to fit under your helmet while providing warmth, for those with long hair it also has a convenient ponytail port.

Of course, your winter riding gear wouldn’t be complete without a pair of winter riding gloves. Ariat’s Insulated Tek Grip Gloves are a great option for riding and are made of Polartec WindPro material with a suede palm for extra grip without bulk. These HG03496-v2gloves provide a good level of warmth without sacrificing feel. If you need riding gloves that can also double as a sturdy pair of work gloves, look at Heritage Extreme Winter Gloves.  These gloves have all the features that you want in a pair of winter riding gloves. Designed for the coldest weather, these gloves are wind and waterproof and have both a fleece lining and Thinsulate for extra warmth. If you’re still cold, they also feature a unique pocket designed for heated hand warmers (sold separately). They even have touchscreen friendly fingertips, so you don’t have to sacrifice warmth to answer the phone.

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