Mar 02, 2022

Insider’s Guide: What to Wear Horseback Riding in the Winter

Photo courtesy of Kerrits

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) recently announced the new partnership with Kerrits, as the Official Competition and Training Apparel of the USEA. “Kerrits is a very popular brand among eventers nationwide,” said USEA CEO, Rob Burk. “Their items are made for performance, comfort, and fashion, and it was a natural fit to have them join.” The USEA is proud to partner with this innovative brand and pleased to give some winter performance tips below. Be sure to visit ShopUSEA.com for more Kerrits and USEA apparel.

Here at Kerrits, we take winter riding seriously. With our home in the Pacific Northwest and a team of riders stretching from Colorado to New England, we’ve ridden through it all: rain, sleet, wind, ice, and snow.

That means we’ve faced all the winter barn problems: sloshing ourselves with icy water buckets, putting on lip balm before currying a shedding horse, and riding in an indoor with ice sliding off the roof. With those years of experience in our back pocket, we’ve designed performance riding apparel that will help you confidently face everything winter has to offer.

Here is our ultimate guide to winter riding clothes—these are the secrets that smart riders use to stay warm, dry, and happy while riding in the winter. We’ll help you find the best winter horse riding tights, the best winter riding coats, and all the rider accessories you need to saddle up and ride all season long.

Photo courtesy of Kerrits

Winter Challenge #1: Constantly changing temperatures

Solution: A smart layering strategy

It’s cold outside, but when you’re riding or working around the barn, you can heat up quickly. That’s why we recommend a layering strategy to help deal with temperature fluctuations.

Start with a base layer made from soft, high-tech wicking fabric that pulls moisture away from your skin to help prevent chills. Look for fitted styles that help trap body heat and provide core warmth. These base layers are ideal to build the foundation of your layering system, but they can also be worn alone on warmer days. Shop Kerrits’ wide variety of base layer tops and lightweight tights.

Next add your mid-layer, which provides insulation (aka warmth). These functional layers keep you warm during the coldest rides and are versatile enough to be worn alone during the cooler transition seasons. Made in technical fabrics, Kerrits mid-layers hold in heat while offering full freedom of movement. For example, our riding vests and quilted jackets have two-way zippers that open easily in saddle.

Last, add your protective outer layer. From waterproof and windproof jackets to all-weather riding tights and breeches, these layers epitomize functionality. Kerrits specially designs winter riding apparel in durable, barn worthy fabrics that protect from the elements. And of course, we always include made-for-rider features to provide comfort and performance while riding.

Photo courtesy of Kerrits

Winter Challenge #2: Feeling like a marshmallow

Solution: Fabrics and features that provide warmth without weight or bulk

If dressing for winter riding has you feeling like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, we can help you figure out what you should wear riding this winter! You don’t need more layers, you just need smarter layers.

When choosing your mid-layers for horse riding (remember, those are the ones that insulate to keep you warm), aim for the lighter and thinner fabrics. Our lightweight fleece tops have a contoured fit and flat-lock seams, which make them easy to layer while providing full freedom of movement. Plus, they come in with longer zippers for ventilation and easy on/off without removing your helmet. We also offer a merino wool jacket and riding tights which provide warmth without bulk, and it is quick-drying, breathable, and naturally odor-resistant.

Vests are a great mid-layer because they provide core warmth without contributing to that bulky-arm feeling. Two-way zips and back pleats add even greater freedom of movement.

If you want to stay warm without sacrificing a polished look, we recommend the 3-Season Tailored Breech. A triple combination of elegance, warmth, and grip makes it the perfect cold-weather breech solution. For anyone horse showing or foxhunting through the colder months, the Winter Circuit Show Shirt is a must-have. You heard us right, a show shirt for winter horse shows or for a polished winter riding outfit. This unique soft knit shirt has a cozy brushed fleece interior for warmth while retaining the look of a traditional show shirt.

Photo courtesy of Kerrits

Winter Challenge #3: The elements (rain, snow, sleet, wind, etc.)

Solution: Weatherproof outer layers

If your ultimate goal is to stay warm and dry at the barn this winter, you’ll need the best of the best in riding outerwear.

Kerrits has you covered with winter riding tights and breeches that are wind-resistant, water-repellent, and extra cozy warm. Our customer favorite is the Sit Tight Wind Pro® Knee Patch Tight featuring Polartec® Wind Pro® fabric that insulates while deflecting snow, sleet, and frigid gusts.

We also offer several styles of fully waterproof, fully seam-sealed equestrian riding jackets. With made-for-rider features like extra-large hoods that can fit over a helmet (and then be neatly stowed away in the collar), back pleats that open to cover your saddle, and two-way zippers that allow for in-saddle freedom of movement, you are sure to find the best winter riding coat for you.

Photo courtesy of Kerrits

Bonus Winter Challenge: Riding “fresh” horses

Solution: Kerrits winter full seat breeches

When the weather cools down, it can sometimes make our horses a little frisky. If you need extra grip to keep you tight-in-the-tack, we have some of the best full seat breeches for winter riding.

Riders everywhere rave about our Sit Tight Wind Pro® Full Seat Tights. The GripStretch™ Suede full seat provides a medium grip strength with a light stretch that allows you to move with your horse. Plus, these winter riding tights are fleece-lined for comfort and have a deep side pocket for your phone.

If you prefer a traditional breech style, the 3-Season Tailored Full Seat Breech is the best winter full seat breech for you. With a sophisticated design, fleece interior for warmth, and our unique Kerrit Sticks™ silicone full seat, this breech will keep you warm and provide the extra grip you need when your horse gets that extra spring in his step.

Now that you’ve built a smart layering strategy, we hope you’re ready to get out and enjoy the ride this season!

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