When it’s pitch-black, freezing cold and tipping down with rain outside, even the most gung-ho riders among us may find our usual enthusiasm wanes somewhat. But with the help of these handy winter riding gadgets, you can get your winter riding mojo back. Most of these would make excellent Christmas presents too. Now there’s no excuse not to get out there…
1. Sealskinz waterproof socks
Say goodbye to wet feet — Sealskinz’ award-winning mid-length socks are completely waterproof, breathable and windproof, with a cosy merino wool lining, and a silicon-free elastic barrier at the top.
Available from: www.sealskinz.com
2. Sealskinz smartphone gloves
These clever gloves from Sealskinz feature a smartphone control unit so you can make or receive calls, and play tunes through your phone, without having to take your riding glove off and expose your hand to the bitter cold and rain. Lightweight yet waterproof, windproof and breathable, with a technical moisture management lining to keep hands dry, these are an excellent hi-tech addition to your winter riding wardrobe.
Available from: www.sealskinz.com
3. Fouganza Kipwarm jodhpurs
Equestrians are hardy types, but it’s not much fun riding with soaking wet jodhpurs on a rainy ride. Waterproof chaps and overtrousers partly solve the problem, but they’re sometimes too bulky and hot. Outdoor experts Decathlon have come up the Fouganza Kipwarm waterproof jods, made from a coated fabric so the water slides off, with a warm fleece lining. They’re breathable, too, so you won’t get clammy legs, and come in men’s, women’s and children’s versions.
Available from: www.decathlon.co.uk
Let's take a tongue-in-cheek look at what your horse might text you this winter — if he could use a…
4. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
The equestrian community has a soft spot for this lotion, as it was allegedly invented by Miss Arden for use on her thoroughbred’s hooves. Whether this is true or not, it’s also excellent as a barrier against wind and rain, preventing and treating sore lips and dry, scaly skin patches. On humans, that is.
Price: From £5
Available from: www.elizabetharden.co.uk
5. Equetech faux fur boot liners
Funk up your country boots or wellies with a pair of faux fur liners — they’re cheaper than buying a new pair of fleece-lined boots and will also keep your feet toasty-warm.
Available from: www.equetech.com
6. Ariat Bromont Tall H20 Insulated
If you feel like splashing out on some new winter boots, then the insulated version of the Ariat Bromont H2Os will keep your toes splendidly cosy, while also being smart enough for competition use. Combining advanced Ariat ATS technology with traditional field boot styling, the Bromont Tall H2O Insulated features a waterproof membrane and Primaloft insulation.
Price: From £289.99
Available from: www.ariat-europe.com
7. Thermos Ultimate Flask
You’ve been for a long, freezing cold ride, and now you’re back at the yard, or on the lorry, and in desperate need of a nice, hot cup of tea. Don’t waste your money on cheap imitation flasks that don’t actually do the job of keeping hot drinks hot — invest in a decent flask, like this one, which comes with a five-year guarantee. It performs in any temperature and terrain, from the Alps to the beach, and is is designed to be easy to open, even with gloves on.
Available from: www.thermosonline.co.uk
8. Hot Hands handwarmers
Prone to cold fingers? If you feel like yours are frozen solid after a hard ride, then a burst of warmth from one of these classic handwarmers should do the trick. You simply open the packet, shake to activate, and get 10 hours of glorious warmth. Keep it in your pocket for that warm, cosy feeling.
Available from: www.halfords.com
9. Golly Galoshes
There’s no way of escaping your horse’s legs getting completely splattered with mud in the winter — or is there? Golly Galoshes gaiters are designed to be worn over boots or bandages, and keep your horse’s legs clean and dry. They’re particularly useful on show days. There’s a high-vis version, too, for extra safety on the roads.
Price: From £25.99 for a pair
Available from: www.gollygaloshes.co.uk