It Is Cold-Ideas For Clothes

So, here I am with a wonderful horse and a covered arena. I am finally out of self-isolation due to my son’s positive COVID test. And I am avoiding the barn because after spending ten days warm and relaxing at home, the barn is like an ice cube. I don’t like being cold.

I tried the Carhartt jacket and I felt like I couldn’t move. Plus I didn’t like how it looked. I want something that will fit my shorter, rotund-tummy body and keep me warm. Layers are a plus for on-top my body and cold weather breeches that don’t make me waddle for below the waist…something with a medium-to-high rise. Pull on is my first choice (because there is no zipper to creep down).

Help me! If I keep this up I will only be able to ride for a few weeks out of the year, when it isn’t too hot or too cold. I don’t want to be that person.

Anyone with some ideas on what I can wear that will be serviceable, warm and look decent?

  1. Uniqlo extra warm leggings + top. Smartwool versions if you’re feeling flush. Wear them under breeches + a sweater.

  2. I like pikeur winter breeches, but not everyone does. I did get winter tights from Freeride recently that I am enjoying.

  3. A heated vest. Mine is from Ororo. I run it on low most of the time because otherwise it would be a billion degrees.

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I’m a big fan of the Kerrits Sit Tight and Warm breeches for winter.

Wool or wool blend socks, a neck gaiter/warmer, a thin beanie I can put under my helmet. I have so many different gloves. A pair for every temperature…lol.

For normal cold-ish days, a thin base layer under a quarter-zip, fleece-lined top like the Kerrits quarter zips or Irideon Himalayer top, and a real down vest (I love the Lands End puffer vests) or a packable down jacket ($29 London Fog from Sam’s Club). For really cold days, I’ll change to a fleece underlayer (like Cuddle Duds) and the down or a heavier waterproof/windproof jacket.

I find most of my brand-specific clothes on eBay and always at a big discount.

I hate being cold, too!


I wear footless thermal tights under my regular breeches because I can’t find any winter breeches I like enough to spend money on.

On top I wear Under armour Cold Gear turtleneck and a vest. I have a running beanie that covers my ears and fits under my helmet, and a merino wool Buff that I can wear around my neck if needed.

This year I got Roeckl winter gloves that seem warm so far, and I have Ariat Bromont boots that I wear with wool socks.

One key to me is wearing a barn coat that goes over my thighs to hold in warmth. When it’s really cold I take it off right before I get on. It helps to have some hand warmers too and avoid getting cold. This year I bought rechargeable hand warmers I can stuff in my boots with my riding gloves while Il tacking up.


I will start that I have lived in MN and in New England. I am not in International Falls/ Arctic circle, but it’s cold enough in both places.

I have Sit Tight Wind Pro tights from Kerrits. I wear them if I am going to be outside in the extreme cold for even non-horsey things. If its wicked, silk or wool long johns under those.

Neck gaiter is better than a scarf when at the barn - it stays in place and doesn’t get caught on anything. Otherwise I need a turtleneck. I know some ppl hate those. In any case, your neck needs to be covered or it is all an exercise in futility.

Mittens instead of gloves if possible, but sometimes you need to use your fingers. I haven’t found any pair of gloves, ever, that really keep me warm as they need to. Best mittens I’ve ever had are the ones with wool mitten inside leather mitten. It can be the coldest, crappiest weather and those keep me warm. I do have riding mittens, but I don’t feel like I really have full ability to use my hands as I would like. They are good for trails when my horse is sleepy.

Dafna boots - these are made in Israel, marketed by Ovation and others in various forms. I think they are called Blizzard Boots. Muck Brand are also good. I do not believe that winter riding boots can look nice & still be warm. I have Ariat Bromonts, for example. They look great. They don’t do crap to keep feet warm.

I do have a thing to cover my face/ears warm in a helmet. Use wool or a synthetic that will keep you warm when wet, as your breath will make it damp. Of course, it does make glasses fog.

A giant cape /rug that looks like a tree skirt will keep you warm when riding. It traps your horses heat and yours. Someone on here, years ago, linked to heavy wool hooded cloak for riding - I think it would be fun to look like Nazgul on my dark horse, but I think it would actually be too hot for me.

I don’t have coat recs b/c the one I currently use is, I think, discontinued. I did opt for the giant coat that is too big instead of the closer fitting one. The trapped slug/immobility isn’t as bad if feel I can move around inside the coat. I am not sure if that makes sense, but for me it works. It’s also easier to take on and off quickly if need to move better. Get one with two way zipper AND outside snaps. Velcro won’t cut it you just want to close it up quickly without the zipper.

My barn coat has to have lots of pockets bc I will store hat, mittens, gaiter, helmet liner in them so I don’t lose or forget them out the door. Each more or less has to be in its own pocket or things get flung and lost. They also need to be separate from the pockets I will put my hands in. Lip balm gets it’s own, too, typically on the sleeve.


I use surgical gloves under Cotten work gloves to keep hands warm. Works shockingly well.

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I do feel you! I LOATHE being cold and really wasn’t not meant to live in Canada lol. Here are my go-tos:

Kerrits sit tight & warm winter breeches, or their power stretch winter breeches. I love them so much I wear them dog walking and hiking too. Not the wind pro ones though - I don’t like the way that fabric feels. If it’s really freezing you can add a base layer underneath.

For base layers I like really thin merino wool leggings and long sleeve shirts. You can find them at most outdoor-type stores and Costco usually carries them as well. I don’t usually wear them in the bottom with the winter breeches unless it’s mega cold. Silk base layers are really good for trapping warmth without adding bulk too.

On top I start with the base layer long sleeve shirt, then a light fleece, and a down vest. I have a heavy weight down jacket that’s big enough to wear on top of all that as well.

On my feet I wear lightweight wool trail socks and really warm winter boots in the barn (Ugg Adirondack). I put my riding boots on right before I’m ready to ride and switch back to the UGGs as soon as I get off. For gloves I wear lined / insulated deerskin ranchers.

Here’s my strategy - when I’m going outside to get my horse I wear all the layers, plus a winter hat on my head. I usually keep all the layers on while tacking up too, then lose the big coat and hat when I’m about to head to the arena.

Once I’ve been riding for about 20 minutes and am warm I take off the vest. Avoid getting sweaty because it will only make you colder! I put the vest back on when I start the cool down part of the ride.

As soon as I’m back in the barnthe big coat and warm boots go back on so I don’t get chilled.

A couple of extra pro tips: we have a space heater running in the tack room during the day. As soon as I arrive I put my helmet and riding boots in front of it. By the time I’m ready to ride they are toasty warm. I leave my winter boots there while I’m riding so when I change back, they are warm too.

And the best thing ever, my new (to me) car has an app that lets me start the car from my phone, and it automatically turns the heat up on bust. So I do that from inside the barn at least 5 minutes before I’m ready to go home :slight_smile:

  1. I wear tights under my regular breeches. They add a layer without being bulky and cover my feet as well.
  2. I LOVE my down jacket. It’s a Natural Reflections from Cabelas. It is form fitting, but I can move in it. It is long enough that I can raise my arms without it coming above my waist, but it is not too long to ride in.
  3. Base layers or similar. I like the Guide Series stuff from Gander Mt (Gander Outdoors now I guess), but the ClimateRight by Cudl Duds is good too.
  4. She boots from Cabelas. Warm enough for me, feet stay dry, and they go up to my knees.
  5. I have yet to find gloves that actually keep my fingers warm. I have small hands and short fingers but just big/long enough to not fit into youth. Gloves are a struggle period…
  6. My trusty Adidas knit hat. Fits over my head, over my baseball hat, and over my helmet. It’s over 20 years old but only looks about 5, and I can’t winter without it. :smiley:

I am in the PNW so I am dealing with damp chill not dry arctic Prairie cold.

I have microfiber, wool, and fleece long underwear. This year I am enjoying grid Tek fleece leggings plus knee high wool ski socks under my full seat Kerrits fleece windproof breaches, and insulated Ariat paddock boots.

Up top, I’ve moved away from waterproof down parkas to synthetic fill parkas because it’s too persistently damp for down. I’m wearing a grid Tek fleece top and wool sweater under the parka. I’m liking my fleece ski glove liners with silicone grips.

The big thing about cold is that no clothes will keep you warm if you aren’t moving enough, or if you get chilled. Slow trail rides are a challenge. I think best practice might be to get off and walk before your toes actually start to go numb.

It’s challenging to keep the head warm if you are already wearing a helmet. A close fitting insulated parka hood over your helmet can help if it will stay up when you start trotting.

Because I do self board and my tack lives in the loft, I generally get enough movement to warm up a bit between car and ride.

I also find a thermos of hot tea can really warm you up. And I’ve never actually used those one time handwarmers, but they might be great for pockets around the torso. I did buy some battery operated heating socks, havent yet used! I’ve also seen gloves with pockets for handwarmers on top of the hand.

The big thing is keep head, feet, hands, as warm as possible.

But really you also have to psyche yourself up for it!


This is a great idea - do you have a brand/recommendation?

For the OP:

Key things that I’ve found (as someone who is perpetually chilled at anything below 75 F):

* A neck gaiter (better than scarves, which move around too much while I ride, even if tucked in)

* A helmet cover that keeps the back of my head and ears warm. Truly a game changer.

* Good technical fabrics as base layers on top, several vests, including a heated vest (Ororo, also mentioned up-thread). The heated vest is amazing when you are done riding and sweaty. Also a game changer. My trainer swears by her Back on Track vest.

* Winter breeches (anything that’s a little thicker will help - I haven’t found any that I love yet).

* Wool socks (I use mid-weights) + winter riding boots (I think mine are mountain horse).

* Ski pants OVER the breeches when I’m not riding (they come off only when I’m putting my boots on and about to get on). This really, really cuts down on the chill when you’re not riding. Like, remarkably cuts down on the cold.
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The best tights, after spending a decade in Northern Vermont doing a lot of snow sports, etc are under armor cold gear.


I just find my tights for like $5 at TJ Maxx. Look for seamless ones.


Underarmor 4.0. Not the shiny kind, not 2.0 or 3.0, but the 4.0. It has a cozy waffle structure to it that traps heat against the body. I have circulation problems and live in the frigid midwest and even I can’t wear it above 30F or I overheat, it’s truly amazing. One set cost me $150, but I’ve had it for five years and it still looks new, cannot recommend it enough!


“Heat Holder” socks - you can google them - they are fleece and heavenly/

I wear Kerrits Sit Tight and Warm breeches - Mountain Horse winter boots (quite toasty)
Cashmere lined leather gloves (a bit pricy but they seem to work better than anything I’ve tried)
Fleece undershirt, knit turtleneck over that, sweatshirt over that, down vest over that.
While grooming and tacking up - I have an LL Bean jacket I wear over the vest which I remove for
riding and put back on when I get off.
In my experience, nothing works better than fleece for underlayers. Lightweight, toasty - wicks - my
gold standard for warmth.
I stay perfectly comfortable in the indoor down to about 20 degrees (it’s usually five degrees warmer in the arena than outdoors so I’ll ride down to about 15 degrees)
However - it’s after I get home and clean up and change that I get chilled! Then it’s hot cocoa time.
Make it with real milk - it tastes like a melted brownie and feels like a fleece blanket for your innards.

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I have had the best luck laying lightweight down filled pieces. I have a thinsulate style coat that I can layer under down filed vests. I get them from Eddie Bauer. I never feel bulky and since everything is zippered I can easily unzip a bit mid-ride to increase ventilation.

Tempo Equestrian Miranna Winter Riding Pant | DRC9922 | Greenhawk

These have been my go to for extra warmth in the winter.

But as others have said it is all about your layers and not getting to warm. As soon as my feet feel cold I change out my wool socks to a new pair. I take layers off before I get to warm and put them back on as soon as am I slowing down. I mostly buy clothes for winter hiking or cross country skiing as they hold up to the abuse of 10+ hours on the farm everyday. Then I day dream about moving south :wink:

I’m in WI and will ride in the indoor in temps in the teens and just do a walk or hack in single digits. The barn is not insulated and we have a 3 minute walk outside between barn and arena.

I have a very thin with real down short jacket from Eddie Bauer that is super warm. This year I also got a long “3 season” jacket from Horseware with a removable liner that is incredibly warm. It has a zip back panel so I can wear it in the saddle and it really does help keep the lower half of me warmer, which is good because I don’t have any winter breeches. When it’s really cold, I’ll put cuddle duds under my regular breeches.

I finally stopped wearing cotton base layers a few years ago, and it’s still hard to fathom staying warm in thin workout tops or base layers, but as long as I am moving it’s great. The cotton kills if you get sweaty/damp and keeps you cold forever. I wear a long sleeve synthetic base layer (or sometimes even a Kastel sunshirt), a synthetic 1/4 zip athletic pullover/top (I have them in 2 different weights/warmths), and just the Horseware jacket right now, but I’ll also put on a down vest when it gets colder.

When I ride, I do the pats of hair over my ears under my helmet, which keeps my ears pretty warm. I’m using a Tommy Copper gaiter/mask this year and have used regular pashmina scarves for years. I have Mountain Horse winter boots and wool socks, and riding mittens with the split pinky when it’s below 25F. When it’s in the low teens, I’ll put hand warmer packets in the mittens.

Having my boots, gloves, and hat “warm” when I put them on is key - if I put cold hands into cold gloves/mittens, they’ll never warm up. We have a heater in the tack room so I’ll set items on or around the heater to warm up before riding.

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When I lived in Ohio I’d wear fleece-lined tights under regular breeches, cable-knit socks, fleece-lined tall boots, warm winter gloves, hoodie+turtleneck+marshmallow coat.

Then I moved to Florida, because it’s truly miserable being that cold for that much of the year.

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No one has mentioned “hot hands” yet. I keep them in my pockets or I stuff them in the tops of my gloves (on my knuckles). I’ve also stuffed them in the tops of my boots (outside of ankle). I hear they make “hot toes,” but I was afraid they wouldn’t fit in my boots with my big toes.

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Tip for putting on your under-layer tights before your riding tights or breeches: (this is from UDBB years ago!)

  1. Put on underlayer tights (I liked Cuddle-duds)
  2. Put on your socks, OVER the underlayer tights
  3. You can then pull up your outer layer of riding tights or breeches without dragging up the underlayer and creating uncomfortable bunches.