There's no denying the weather is turning and I for one am hanging on to the final few days when the horses can live out 24/7 - all be it well rugged at night! The colder nights have meant earlier clipping for us this year and I have taken the plunge and gone for the full clip, so looking forward to a Winter with no moulting for once - yippee. If like me you are having a sort out and finding you need to restock on a few key Winter items, let me suggest the following equestrian accessories to ensure the colder Months are easier for both you and your horse...
Warm Equestrian Gloves and Socks
On those cold, frosty mornings there is nothing worse than freezing finger tips and icy toes. Of course a good pair of wellington boots and riding boots will stand you in good stead but you will be in need of some toasty equestrian socks. Firstly we'd opt for a knee high length sock which will also help keep your calves warm and are easily worn under boots or chaps. Our firm favourites are the Cool Horse Socks range featuring arch and heel support and a padded food incorporating the Coolmax fabric that wicks away moisture when you are working hard. For Winter we especially love the Aztec Blue design!
We all know that so much time with horses is spent out of the saddle so as well as some comfortable riding gloves we also wear some yard gloves for all our horsey chores. Now although the HY5 Multipurpose gloves are not thick, fleecy winter gloves they are lightweight and close fitting so you don't need to remove them for any of your yard chores. No longer am I wasting time searching for the gloves I took off to tack up, do up rugs etc. Actually we find our hands stay pretty warm in these and they help prevent your skin getting too dry and cracking in the cold. Just choose your favourite colour!
Long hacks in the Winter sun can be beautiful but we've all had that point when you are furthest away from home and your finger tips feel like they are going to fall off! We'd be lost without the amazing BionicLeather Horse Riding Gloves. A quality pair of leather riding gloves that will keep fingers warm though schooling, jumping, hacking etc . Another tried and tested product we love.
Grooming Kit Goodies
So your horse is kitted out with new rugs, the mammoth amount of hair has been clipped off and then you look at your 20 year old grooming kit and decide it needs a bit of a revamp! Just a few handy products can make all the difference to your horse's daily grooming routine. Firstly we'd be lost in Winter (well all year round really) without the fantastic MagicBrushes. These are so good for manes, tailed, thick coats, clipped coats, mud, feathers etc, etc! When fighting the daylight to try and squeeze in an early morning ride or late schooling session as the sun is fading this is my go to brush! Don't waste time getting all your brushes out just grab a MagicBrush, give your horse a quick once over making sure he is clean for his tack and get on and go!
With many of us working all hours to try and pay for the upkeep of our four legged friends the Winter months can feel like you only ever see your horse in darkness! If this is the case the popular Hooftorch can make your yard life a little easier. Trying to pick out hooves in darkness can be a bit of a mission but this Hooftorch has a bright light on it. Simply press the button on the end when needed and you can pick hooves out with ease. Plus the pick on it is great - we've had rave reviews about it!
Depending on your yard set up and other commitments, it can be difficult to bath horses sensibly in the cold weather. If that's the case there are a few products to make your life a little easier and keep your horse looking tip top ready for competition. The NAF Shine On Grooming spray is a great finishing product if you're heading out to a pony party. Plus its handy to use on manes and tails too so no need for your grooming kit to get swamped by bottles of everything! If your horse enjoys a good comfy snooze in his stable then going up to give him breakfast and finding more dreaded stable stains always results in a huge sigh (on a good day!). To help combat these we'd recommend the Supreme Products Stain Remover. Plus take to shows too for any last minute touch ups.
Last but not least it's important to get nutrition right for you and your horse during the Winter months. If you need advice or guidance on how to keep your horses weight and energy levels at their best most of the large feed companies offer expert opinions. Be sure to make any changes slowly and keep a close eye on your horse's behaviour to make sure its suiting him correctly. For yourselves, keep well with lots of fruit and vegetables and the odd treat doesn't harm anyone! We're firm believers in a bit of chocolate when needed and what better than this Mad About Horses Chocolate Bar. Treat yourselves....after all you need a couple of extra pounds to keep warm in Winter right?!!
Happy Riding x