Winter! Rain! Mud! Muddy horses! Chilly fingers! Feeding out in the dark!
It's easy to feel a bit despondent when it's winter and what makes you happiest is riding your horse. Nobody enjoys riding in huge raincoats, or rain dripping down their back while trying to coordinate a classy canter change. No horse owner looks across the fields in winter and admires the pugged mud and dirt encrusted horses. Early darkness means rushing home to feed out can be the - slippery, hurried - highlight of the horse lover's day.
We're willing to bet that the horses aren't that keen on soggy rides and sloppy paddocks either! Mid winter is not an equestrian's friend.
We've gathered six ways to have more fun with your horse in winter. We hope you enjoy!
Sand, sea and salty air. It may be brisker than usual but it's great to get out in the open without the ever-present mud. Plus that clean footing and salt water will do wonders for your horse's hooves and skin, and you may see a white tail for the first time in weeks!
The Saddle & Canter Vest
Designed specifically to provide warmth without bulk, the Women's Hybrid Riding Vest features a warm fleece back, and a down filled front, 4 useful sized pockets and a detachable hood. Perfect for looking stylish and keeping colds at bay while riding your horse!
Our Young Rider Puffy Vest is the same great design but with down on the back as well.
Protect your horses from the mud, wind and rain
The best protection comes from great nutrition and gut health to keep your horses warm, healthy and their immune system strong.
It's also ideal to give them time off the mud even if they stand in odd spaces like driveways, yards or on patches of lime.
And, unless they have great condition and a very thick coat, investing in a decent cover is wise as you'll help protect their skin, and on nights below 5 degrees, or if there is heavy rain or chill wind, you'll save them lots of energy (and the extra feed they will need to help themselves stay warm in those conditions). You can also look to put up paddock shelters or plant shelter trees.
It's a hassle and takes some time and money - but prevention is 100% better and cheaper than trying to address weight loss, mud fever, rain scald, hoof abscesses (and lame horses) once they have happened.
We're very lucky in New Zealand to have a lot of great horse riding arenas for hire - so regardless if you want to work on your jumping, flatwork or ground schooling, you will be able to hire a lovely (dry!) arena to enjoy working with your horse, or maybe even get a lesson with your favourite coach.
It's a great way to keep yourself and your horse 'riding fit' when your normal trails and fields are too boggy.
Therma Fit Riding leggings
Oh so snug and warm, with the classic Saddle & Canter fit, the requisite phone pockets, and a higher waist than previous styles, these ThermaFit Riding Leggings have everything you need for winter horse riding.
There's a reason these lovely winter riding tights have sold out twice already! Choose from Steel or Midnight and treat yourself to warmer riding on chilly winter days.
On those days when the weather gods just will not play ball, make use of your time by jumping online and watching the online training course of your choice, or doing an equestrian workout online. Develop your riding skills or your core strength in the cosy comfort of your lounge, and then reap the benefits as soon as you're back in the saddle!
You may not get to ride that day, but you will still have made progress on your riding journey.
Bonus point for extra happiness
Tuck a Saddle & Canter Headband into your shopping cart! Our ribbed headbands are the perfect solution to helmet hair, and keep your head super warm. We made them in wide and narrow so you can choose the style you prefer, and enjoy warm ears even in the nastiest wind!
We wish you enjoyable rides and quality time with your horses, and hope you get lots of sunshine today!