7 Ways to Keep Warm at the Barn This Winter

Winter is upon us in many parts of the country, and while we would all love to cozy up indoors with a fireplace and a blanket, we have horses that need to be ridden and cared for, so we must face the elements. Here are some tips to stay warm while you’re at the barn on those frigid winter days to come.

1. LAYERS:

Picking the right layers for ultimate warmth is an art. Start by choosing the right base layer – something that can eliminate the need for extra layers, since it’ll trap your body’s heat and warm you up better than less effective sweatshirts may. Depending on what level of cold you’re dealing with, plan your next layers according to temperature forecasts. A great middle layer is the Patagonia Better Sweater or a similar quarter zip with a collar. Avoid crewneck sweatshirts if possible, because they allow for more cold air to creep in. Next, pick your outer layer. Equestrian brands have you covered on insulated jackets, but don’t hesitate to shop mainstream brands for equally warm options.

2. Hats or headbands:

Your ears can be subject to some serious cold if you don’t properly cover them while you’re riding. While a fluffy hat is great for barn chores, it likely can’t fit under your helmet. Many sporting goods stores offer ear covers that are quite thin but provide a great deal of warmth. Many runners use headbands like these in the winter, but they can also be great for riding since they are just small enough to fit comfortably in most helmets. Just be sure you can still hear well enough while wearing one.

3. Insulated socks:

Rather than pile on layers of socks and risk cutting off circulation to your toes, find an effective option that traps heat well. Often just one layer is the best route if that layer is made for cold weather. Additionally, try to keep your riding boots somewhere warm while you’re not wearing them so you don’t start off with the cold seeping through to your toes.

4. Neck scarves:

Scarves can be tricky since they don’t always stay put while we’re riding and often get in the way of what we’re trying to do either on a horse or on the ground. The equestrian brand Botori makes very compact but warm neck scarves that don’t fly everywhere while you’re riding and do a great job keeping your face and neck warm. They tuck right inside your jacket and stay in place on your face with a warm, fuzzy side to keep you extra snug.

5. Hand warmers:

Because our extremities are often the first things to go numb from the cold, grab yourself a pair of winter riding gloves for those chilly winter months. If even the warmest gloves don’t quite cut it, buy a large box of hand warmers and stuff a pair of them down each glove for your ride. Since your hand will be in a fist, your fingers will feel the heat too while you’re riding. We are much less effective at the barn when our hands are numb!

6. Ski pants:

This may sound like a strange outer garment to wear at the barn, but ski pants will actually be life savers for the time you spend not riding. They are baggy enough to be worn over your breeches and will provide serious warmth prior to or following a ride, or while you do barn chores.

7. Hot chocolate:

Most barns have microwaves somewhere, so pick up a big box of instant hot chocolate to sip on if nothing else can keep you warm!

 

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

7 Ways to Showcase Your Style at Horse Shows

Our sport is unique in that we require a standard uniform for competition, but we are allowed freedom within that uniform to choose the clothing items we’d like. No matter the discipline, there are multiple ways you can show off your personal style while still adhering to the rules of the dress code. Here are a few ways you can personalize your horse show wardrobe according to your own taste.

1. Show Shirts.

The shirts we wear under show coats need to be light and breathable on hot horse show days, but it also doesn’t hurt if they look sharp for the time spent not wearing your coat. Designs are changing by the minute. You can get show shirts in various patterns, colors, and cuts, while still only showing the white portion when you button up your collar and coat. Get some shirts that you feel good in so you can rock the look when you’re done showing.

2. Socks.

Everyone loves a good boot sock, and there are so many brands taking advantage of the real estate underneath boots by designing unique and fun patterns to choose from. Find some patterns and fabrics you like best to accompany your barn shoes when you aren’t wearing your boots. If your style is more classic, many brands offer plain black socks that look good with horse show outfits as well.

3. Belts.

Your belt can say a lot about your style. Some are sophisticated, some are understated, and some are vibrant and attention-grabbing. Mixing and matching belts with your competition uniform can be a fun way to show off your style and keep your pants in place at the same time.

4. Jewelry.

Many sports don’t permit you to wear jewelry while competing, but most equestrian disciplines will allow it, so if you are comfortable and can perform without distraction, jewelry is a great way to accessorize. Sometimes it’s fun to throw on some cute stud earrings that sparkle from below your helmet or a bracelet that serves as a good luck charm. When you’re done riding, you can flaunt your bracelets and necklaces as you roll up your sleeves and unbutton your collar.

5. Outerwear.

If it’s a brisk horse show day, there is an endless variety of sweaters and jackets to keep warm. Many onsite vendors sell unique and trendy options if you find yourself without one. Vests, sweatshirts, and puffer coats are also popular choices that allow you the freedom to show off your favorite patterns and colors beyond the limits of any show ring requirements.

6. Handbags.

There are lots of things you need to keep on hand while walking around at a show. So why not carry them in style? Use a catch-all, cross-body bag so you don’t have to worry about it sliding off your shoulder. If you go with something more neutral, you can carry the bag with a variety of outfits, or you can get a few different bags to match different riding clothes. Some brands offer interchangeable straps for bags, as well!

7. Hats.

Even though we often forget how many long hours we spend in the sun at a horse show, it’s always important to protect your skin from the sun. Right now, sunhats are a wildly popular way to keep your head and shoulders protected. Not only do wide-brimmed hats prevent any sun damage to your skin, but they also show off your style! Pretty much any horse show will have vendors with sunhats of different kinds. You can even buy them with colored accents and broches to make them one-of-a-kind. Once you buy a horse show hat, you surely won’t go to any show without it.

 

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!