Breaking Out the Cold Weather Gear

I FINALLY had another lesson yesterday. I had taken the day off of work, and I was determined to take full advantage of it. On Sunday, the weather was warm and bright. The temperatures were in the mid-sixties, and there was just the lightest breeze. PERFECT fall weather… and it was my half-leaser’s day to ride hahahaha. 

So Monday, I had my lesson scheduled in the afternoon… and I woke up to 30 degree weather and snow flurries. That’s right. There was a 30+ degree drop overnight. Fun. Times. Also – what is this nonsense with the weather?

I bundled up, and I figured I would give you a rundown of my typical cold weather riding outfit:

32 Degree Jacket – LOOK HOW LONG!
  1. Smartpak Piper Winter Breeches – Do Not Recommend. Not even going to give you a link. Decently warm but too low cut, slippery, and stretch out oddly. 
  2. Under Armour in Baby Blue – Highly recommend. The link is to a more updated version, but I will never give up my UA base layers. 
  3. Ugly Christmas Sweater – Highly Recommend… but I couldn’t find a link to it. This sweater is at LEAST 4 years old, and I am pretty sure it is 100% acrylic. It is not floofy or soft, but it is WARM. AND it has held up to barn wear. Close enough to perfect for me. 
  4. Arctic Neck Warmer – Highly Recommend. These are 100% a staple in my winter, barn wardrobe. Keeping my neck warm is a nonnegotiable. 
  5. 32 Degree Heat Womens Sherpa line Fleece Jacket – GO BUY THIS. A lot of the comments complain about the cut (sleeves too long and a bit loose around the hips), but that makes it REALLY NICE to ride in. It does not bunch up around my hips, so keeps that lower back area warm in and out of the saddle. Horse hair loves to stick to this, but it lets me not wear my heavy jacket even when it’s 30 degrees and windy out, so I will deal with that inconvenience. 
  6. North Face Jacket – Highly Recommend, although, the link is to a newer style of the jacket I wear to the barn. The jacket I currently wear is probably older than 6 years old at this point. It was a hand-me-down from my sister. It is definitely a ski jacket, but I find these are long enough and more than warm enough for riding, and much prefer them to riding-specific jackets. The North Face is expensive, but several of the jackets I own from them are closer to the 10 year mark than brand new.  
  7. Heritage Winter Gloves – Meh. The gloves I used yesterday are so old that I am not even sure what the brand ever was. I also have these. The only point I will make is that I HIGHLY prefer winter gloves that are lined vs. bigger, bulkier winter gloves with synthetic material on the outside. Leather gives me grip, and I like that. They’re not waterproof, and I don’t think they are as warm as some other options, so if you are working all day at the barn, maybe avoid these. 

Would love to know if anyone has recommendations for super warm socks that aren’t too bulky? I typically layer thin cotton socks under warmer sock to make sure that moisture is wicked away from my feet without them getting chilled. 

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26 thoughts on “Breaking Out the Cold Weather Gear

  1. Like you, I can’t find a warm, non-bulky sock. The only socks I can think of are these 100% wool ones I found on amazon for a friend. They don’t seem too bulky, but I don’t know if I’d be able to wear them since I’m allergic to wool. But maybe they’d work for you? They have free returns, so if they’re not right they’re easily returnable https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MYEF3N9/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1 .

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  2. ugh i’m so sad that it’s time to start bundling up again… ugh. idk about socks but i have a pair of these fingerless cashmere gloves from Volyer (they’re on amazon, i think) that are thin enough to work as a base layer under other gloves and are great for when you need your fingers free for things like buckles and snaps.

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  3. I also have a 32 degree jacket that I LOVE!! like you said, warm and great for riding! finding warm winter socks that fit into riding boots is hard! the best ones I’ve found are Kirkland signature trail socks. they are mostly wool… I bought mine from Costco, but I think they are on amazon as well. my favorite winter glove I bought from Costco too. they aren’t meant specifically for riding, but they have silicone grip and I find them quite grippy. warm without being bulky! https://www.costco.com/HEAD-Men's-Multisport-Touchscreen-Glove%2c-Black.product.100428847.html (link to the gloves:)

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    1. oh, forgot to say, the gloves also come in women’s, but the only difference seems too be that the fingers are way longer… which I find annoying for riding… lol

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  4. My favorite warm socks are FITS Pro Ski socks. I actually wrote a review of them and I went back to find it and it’s 3 years old! Those same socks are still going strong, so they definitely last. Here’s the review: https://centeredinthesaddle.com/2015/02/26/review-fits-winter-socks/

    I’m sure they’ve updated their product line so here’s the women’s ski socks page from FITS: https://www.fitssock.com/collections/skiing/women

    For gloves, I love my SSG fleece lined leather gloves. Like you, I prefer a leather glove. They’re really warm while riding. Honestly they’re probably not the warmest when you’re not actively grooming or riding, but they have great grip but aren’t too bulky and while I’m active they keep my hands very warm!

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    1. Awesome! I am going to check out those socks for sure!

      Yes to the leather gloves. I have small hands to start with, so with more bulk… I probably wouldn’t even be able to hold the reins properly.

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  5. I second Smart Wool, plus they come in so many styles and weights you are bound to find something that suits your tastes. This weather is crazy. Low of 23 degrees here tonight. IN SC!!! It never gets that cold especially not in November. Yuck

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  6. Agreed on the Smart Wool socks. I also really like women’s Carhartt wool socks. They’re a touch thicker, but they’re not so bulky that they won’t fit into/under my super tight tall boots. I own sooo many pairs and still ask for more every Christmas.

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  7. I double a lot of my skiing gear for barn gear (or retired from skiing but still barn-acceptable gear) forever. Socks: SmartWool, Darn Tough, Bridgedale. The latter come in a lot of TALL sock versions that far supersede any riding company sock I’ve tried! They’re both warm and ergonomically constructed.

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    1. Oh Bridgedale has a WATERPROOF & breathable sock. As someone who has definitely stepped in a puddle and splashed a bucket of cold water on her feet when its below freezing out, I might have to get a pair of those.

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