Horse riding in the winter can be as magical as it looks. Following the snow-covered trail and enjoying the scenery atop your horse is a lovely experience. As fun as it looks, riding in the winter can be challenging because of underlying dangers the weather can bring.
Even horse riding in warmer weather already requires important riding wears such as a properly-fitted riding helmet, riding boots, full seat breeches, and a pair of riding gloves. During winter, wearing extra garments, for both you and your horse, is important to prevent any chance of catching hypothermia.
Here are four essential things you should consider when riding your horse in the cold:
Keep Your Feet and Head Warm
Without feeling your legs and feet, stirring your horse can be quite an impossible task. Keep them from the cold by wearing thermal riding boots. You also lose most of your heat through your head so choose a riding helmet with ear flaps to keep your ears warm.
Invest in a Good Riding Coat
Your riding coat should protect you from the wind and keep you dry even when snow falls. A coat made of polyester and feathers works well in keeping you from the freezing cold. A breathable sweater or vest underneath is also advisable.
Waterproof Blanket for Your Horse
Keeping your horse dry is essential when riding in the snow. Use a quarter sheet to prevent the muscles of your horse from cooling down while riding, but if the temperature isn’t that cold anymore, a thick coat can make a horse sweat very quickly. There’s a risk of catching a cold if your horse takes longer to dry, so use a cooler after riding for a proper drying off.
Prepare for the Early Nightfall
The sun goes down faster during winter months. Riding in the dark could pose a lot of danger when unprepared for the situation. Use bell boots, reflective vest, bridle covers, or other reflective gears so you and your horse are still visible at sundown. If you don’t want to risk riding in the dark, take a shorter trail and go back to the barn before sunset.
Riding your horse through the snowy woods is an enchanting experience not everyone gets to enjoy. Whether doing it for the first time or already an expert, wearing gears for safety should be everyone’s priority.