Riding gear in the winter changes somewhat, especially if you are in a climate that receives snowfall in the depth of winter. With the right equestrian equipment, you and your horse can comfortably enjoy a ride in weather of anything above about 6 °C. Anything below this and you risk discomfort for yourself and the horse. In snow, horses may find it hard to break through snow that has frozen over and it could result in the horse lacerating their legs or even a dangerous fall.
Luckily, in South Africa these extremes are rare. Simply visiting horse equipment shops to make sure your tack and riding gear are ready for the cold weather will prepare you for winter riding.
Riding Gear to Prepare the Rider for Winter
Dressing appropriately for the cold weather is more important than many realise. This is not only for your comfort but for your safety. If you are going horse riding in clothes that are not warm enough in a remote location and something goes wrong it will quickly become a serious problem.
Be sure to wear layers close to your skin to avoid getting cold as a result of perspiration. This paired with wearing layers you can remove or add depending on the temperature. Be sure that your warm clothes don’t cause you to slip off of the horse as many wind-breaking materials will surely make it more likely.
You will need insulated boots to ensure your feet stay warm. Just be sure that your winter riding boots fit in the stirrup iron size before setting off or it will make for a bumpy ride.
Equestrian Equipment to Prepare the Horse for Winter
Horses need a good blanket for when they are at rest in the winter and it should accompany them on rides in exceptionally cold weather. A warming numnah may be enough but if you aren’t sure perhaps you should invest in a toasty Navajo blanket for your horse this winter. In extremes, you can even get your equestrian companion a quilted neck blanket to ensure they stay comfortably warm in any conditions.
Horses should go barefoot (without horseshoes) in snowy weather or with special snow shoes because without them there will be complications. Since a horse’s hoof is cup shape it becomes compacted with snow and makes walking very uncomfortable for the horse.
If you are looking for a horse equipment shop where you can buy all the riding gear you need and any equestrian equipment your horse may require visit Trident Saddlery or contact us for more information.