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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

#Blogtober Day 23: Tip Tuesday

It's Tip Tuesday!! And this week's tip is all about how to keep warm when you're out and about hacking throughout autumn and winter... As you saw in day 13, my ideal horsey winter is an early morning hack out in the cold, crisp sunshine, so I thought I'd let you know some of my top tips that help to keep me snug as a bug.

Get a wind and waterproof lightweight coat

For the forever changing weather we have here in the UK throughout the autumn season, my best tip is to invest in an outdoor jacket that is wind and waterproof. Instead of purchasing an equestrian brand of jacket like this, I headed to Go Outdoors to look at the ranges that they had. 


Because they don't have the added extra £££'s price tag that often equestrian jackets hold, but also because the wind and rain is exactly what the core of these jackets are made for. They are also really long lasting - I've had my high-viz Berghaus jacket for almost 10 years. I only wear it in the saddle when hacking if the wind is chilly or if it is raining. It's got good pockets for phones, keys and treats, as well as carrying all the technology that outdoor jackets have, especially breathability.

Don't underestimate how warm a snood is...

While you're browsing around Go Outdoors, make sure you take a look at their snoods. I wear mine when out hacking from late autumn right through to spring, and on a VERY cold winter morning, I can pull it up over my mouth and nose, and keep it in place by clipping my hat strap around it.

I find a snood much better than a scarf as it's less bulky and more versatile for whatever temperature it is while we are out riding.

Make sure your gloves can keep your fingers toasty

There's a vast range of equestrian gloves available out there, most of which I love for summer and warmer weather. But, once we head into the cooler months, I find that outdoor gloves keep my fingers much warmer, however, I haven't tried a large range of equestrian gloves that promise to be non-slippery in the wet, or super warm in the cold. My choice is a lightweight, non bulky pair of Rab gloves for the autumn and early part of winter, however when it is REALLY cold, I wear a pair of skiing gloves. These are bulky, and although I have schooled in them in previous years, they aren't idea, but I have used them for warming up and then changing once I'm a bit warm. They are great for hacking though - very warm & waterproof!!

Keeping your legs warm

This year, I've started to see more and more products to wear underneath your breeches for riding, but until now, I've found two ways to keep your legs warm once your ready to hop on. Walking around the yard, I wear padded Mark Todd over-trousers, but once you take those off, you soon feel the chill.

Instead, when hacking, I wear denier 60 tights underneath my breeches. I can't stand anything that moves underneath, and found these stay in place well, and provide a good extra barrier to the cold and wind. 

If that's not for you, how about a pair of fleece lined full chaps. Made by Rambo they are also waterproof and have some reflective strips on them, so not only keep you warm, but dry and added visibility whether you're on horseback or walking along the lane in dim light.

Don't forget to keep your horse warm!

So all of the above is how to keep you warm, but what about your horse. Well, if you've not clipped or have a blanket clip, you're probably fine without anything until it's really cool. But once you get to that point, or you've done a full clip, make sure you've got an exercise sheet to keep your horse warm while you're plodding along. 

Many of my hacks aren't too fast paced so it's important to keep Louie's back warm and make it enjoyable. Plus if you do meet that shower while you're out, this will help keep part of him dry too if you have a showerproof one. You can also get Newmarket exercise sheet, but personally, my preference is to have one over your saddle and velcro's at the withers - it's easy to put on, doesn't interfere with the sit of your saddle, and is easy to adjust if it does slip at all while you're out!

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