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Winter is closer and closer - prepare your horse and yourself!

Published: 2016-11-15 15:46:45 Categories: Lifestyle Rss feed , Products Rss feed

Prepare your horse and yourself for winter background source:

It is getting colder, soon the ground will ice over while being covered with snowy carpet. Snowy landscape can be truly enchanting, but the accompanying cold might take all the joy from riding away. How to prepare for the cold season? Below, we introduce some advice and products that might prove useful to you.

How to prepare a horse for winter?

winter: horse and rider source:

Winter is a time when riding competitions literally freezes, when we give up on intense training and let ourselves and our horses take some time for relaxation. However, we never entirely stop training. We just focus on lighter work, regardless of the discipline you are into, that aims at correcting your pets, adjusting their obedience, and discipline. Even then we want our four-legged partner to be in a great physical shape. In order to provide him with this, we should think over two things - if the base of our equestrian equipment is sufficient, and if we are ready for the upcoming winter.

wireless-shaver-xplorer Heiniger, Xplorer shaver

Horses, especially races from colder areas, have natural protection from cold - coat. Such winter coat of the horse might be troublesome for many owners. Mere cleaning is a huge challenge, because it is longer and thicker, which means it glues together more easily, and any contamination is more visible (especially on grey horses). Additionally, the horse sweats more than usual. Many riders in such situation decide to shave their horse in order to get rid of this warm blanket. To deal with such thick hairs, it is good to invest in a good shaver, for example Heiniger model Xperience clipper or Xplorer battery clipper, which will surely make shaving easier, even those horses who are impatient and fidgeting, as there would be no danger of tangling in the cable.

classic-paddock-winter-rug-with-hood-kingsland Kingsland, Classic paddock rug with hood

If you decide on shaving your steed, you would also have to agree on the necessity of providing him with thermal protection. Both in his stall and on the pasture, it is crucial for the horse to always wear a rug, especially during really cold days. When it comes to a pasture rug (preferably with hood, because we should also shave the horse's neck), it should be properly durable and fit to the horse's back. Animals, especially during winter are frolic on pastures, they roll around, gallop, caper and provoke other horses. The rug should be fastened both on the front and have cross-straps under the abdomen, so if the horse runs quickly, the wind would not blow it and also to prevent it from shifting. Classic winter outdoor rug with neck that is waterproof (it will endure even your horse rolling around in melting snow), but also breathable due to which the horse won't sweat would be a perfect choice.

classic-winter-stable-rug-kingsland Kingsland, Classic winter stable rug

In the same series in Kingsland's offer we will find Classic winter stable rug. This one also has straps that prevent from shifting and rolling of the rug. You will value it especially during competitions. If your grey horse decides to roll around night before start - in the morning, right before the competition, you will not be surprised by a sad sight of your horse being covered with brown stains :)

saddle-pad-polopad-fade-next-generation-w15 Eskadron, Next Generation Saddle Pad

Winter is the right time to use thicker, more absorbing pads that will not soak so quickly. It is not only about the ugly appearance of wet stains on a saddle pad after training or during competitions, but also about out horse's health. Wet saddle pad on the horse's back is like a wet hoodie in our case, if we add wind and cold to this, the horse's endurance will face a huge challenge. Thus, it is useful to invest in products that will pamper our pet during winter, choosing for example classic saddle pad from Eskadron Classic Sports line, or pick a limited collection Eskadron Next Generation in more blatant colours.

saddle-pad-polopad-classic-sports-w15 Eskadron, Classic Sports Saddle Pad
bandages-wrappers-fleece-next-generation-w15 Eskadron, Next Generation Fleece bandages

There is nothing more strange than seeing a horse walking in fleece bandages on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, such sight is not rare. The horse also feels heat, so if you want to use fleece bandages properly, they will do their job during winter, protecting our horse's legs. Bandages, even when they get a little wet, do not cause abrasions, in contrast to plastic boots. Thus, it is good to invest in solid fleece bandages for winter, for example from Eskadron Next Generation collection that will match the aforementioned pads :)

Do not forget about yourself

We all agree on one thing - the horse is the number one, always being the most important one. We will always be more prone to buy him another saddle pad than a new par of jodhpurs for us (unglued sole and a hole do not disturb riding). Unfortunately, that kind of approach results in us not taking enough care of ourselves.

I myself remember a situation, when I was 16-years-old, taking part in Polish Junior Championships and Young Riders in Endurance, I forgot to buy sufficient amount of water. Riding almost 80 km, the whole time in half-seat, for 7-8 hours on a really warm September day, I had half a litre of water to my disposition. The closest shop was quite far away from a place where the competition was held, and what is more, beverages were ridiculously expensive there. When during the race, I noticed that I had run out of water, I thought to myself that spending such amount of money on drinks was preposterous. Besides, nobody took a wallet from hotel with them. Water that my steed was drinking did not look well... I thought: the most important is that my horse has everything - I can manage without water. Not alarming anybody from my team, of course trying not to show how tired I am, I bravely stood firm on both my feet. However, who knows how this might have ended when things had gone worse?

We all happen to be this "silly sixteen" sometimes, even in our adultery :)

Thus remember that during winter, our immunity undergoes a test. If we do not take enough care of ourselves and fall victim to some illness, our horse will have to have a break from training which might end up even in resigning from start in some competition, or being admitted to a clinic that we waited to be admitted to for so long.

Our steed's comfort depends on how we feel during training. If we will shake from cold all the time, slowly losing feeling in our hands, it will not allow us to keep a delicate contact with our horse's muzzle. Additionally, stiffening of our body will not allow our horse to fully relax. All that will reflect in our ride's quality. Thus, you should never forget about your own warm-up - the rider's, before you mount your horse (which we mentioned HERE).

winter: horse riding source:

Many stables still do not have their own hall, and due to that hold their rides outside. When there are no minus temperatures, bitter cold, and turbulent wind, trainings outside might be nice. The horse usually has so much energy then, and even the laziest animals move in a really dynamic pace, usually also prancing (especially in the first gallop).

However, if the weather is not pleasant, and additionally, the manage is a very open place that is always windy - a problem emerges - how to dress in order not to freeze ;)

So, we decided to show you few products that will provide you with the highest comfort during winter trainings :)

winter-jackboots-baxter-nubuk Sergio Grasso, Winter Jackboots Baxter Nubuk

I have always used thermoshoes that had a nice fur on the inside. I was amazed with the comfort they provided at the beginning of riding, however at the end, after I took the shoe off, it turned out that my socks are soaked. Unfortunately, all those shoes so not "breathe" - they do not provide air flow, due to which our feet sweat extensively, and that can be felt after a dozen or so minutes of training, when we are already warmed up. Sergio Grasso Baxter Nubuk winter rider boots have those asset that they were made from waterproof and breathable nubuku leather, which was lined with layer of thermoinsulating material, due to which the foot does not sweat. Additionally, you  can avoid another problem - fitting the shoes. Those rider boots were trimmed with elastic insertion that adjust the shoe shape to your leg, and the zipper placed on a side simplify their putting in :)

winter-gloves-w-skin Samshield, Winter gloves W-Skin

In order to avoid the problem of numb and cold palms, it would be good to invest in a pair of good winter gloves. I support buying things which I can use for years. I believe that it is worth to invest a bit more money and buy a pair of gloves that would serve me for few seasons instead of one. Additionally, many models are either warm or provide freedom of movement - it is pretty hard to get both these things. However, I think that Samshield W-Skin winter gloves combine these two successfully. On the outside, they are covered with buckskin, which is very soft, but at the same time durable and wind-resistant. Another layers, from which the gloves are made, prevent your hands from sweating and from losing heat. For me, their biggest advantage is that I do not feel like a RoboCop in them :) They easily give when you move your hand and do not disturb in keeping delicate contact on the reins.

liner-for-samshield-winter-helmet Samshield, Liner for Samshield Winter helmet

If you are a lucky owner of Samshield helmet, you can be sure that liner for Samshield Winter helmet is the perfect complement to your happiness. The liner fits both Shadowmatt and Premium helmets. I regret not having encountered such innovation earlier, because there is nothing more irritating than freezing ears during winter. If you have a chance to already be using it, you know that it perfectly isolates from cold and wind, and additionally does not interrupt the air flow. This last characteristic is the most important, because it protects our head from being heated and unbelievably sweated after taking the helmet off :)

delia-ladies-jersey-headband Kingsland, Delia jersey headband

For those who do not have Samshield helmet, a perfect solution would be to by a regular headband, for example Kingsland Delia. Such headband worked for me, but of course it depends on the helmet's structure and size, and also on our head. I had no problem with the headband slipping during riding, or it squeezing me somewhere, because I have a regulated helmet. My headband also did not make any problems on the rider-coach line, allowing me to hear all the sounds around me :)

snowdrop-ladies-jacket-w15 Kingsland, Snowdrop Jacket

Not only the horse should wear a saddle pad when he leaves a heated hall. While entering the cold outside, we also feel the rapid change of temperature and it is not safe for our health. You should have a warm jacket prepared somewhere near the door to the stable so you can put it on before you leave. Kinglsand Snowdrop Jacket will be perfect both for people who are instructors and coaches, who spend a lot of time outside on cold, while conducting training. Instructor, in comparison to rider, does not move too much, so he or she needs even warmer clothes that will protect him or her even better from wind. Even if the ride is held in a hall, the jacket play its part by preventing from heat loss.

abele-ladies-jacket-dw15 Kingsland, Abele jacket

Riders have various needs for the training duration. They need a jacket without hood, because they will not use it during riding (it will only annoyingly bump on our back, especially during gallop). Long jacket will also be useless, because it will catch on the saddle, not allowing you to properly sit in it. Which is why the perfect model for riding is the Kingsland Abele jacket, which due to a padded stand-up collar also eliminates the necessity of wearing a scarf (which usually unties during riding). Fastened pockets will allow us to hide the necessary things, which we would not have to look for on the hall's ground :)

fleece-quinta-ladies-w15 Pikeur, Quinta fleece jacket

Last but not least: you should take care of what you have underneath your jacket. We all know that during winter we wear layers - at least a few layers that we can take off as we warm up. Especially during cleaning our pet, who has much longer and thicker coat if we do not shave him. Such long coat easier gets glued together and become contaminated (especially if you have a grey horse), and additionally falls out, which will make our cleaning longer and requires more work from us. After a few minutes we are so heated up that we have to take off at least our jacket. And here is a question - what should we have under the jacket? I recommend a warm sweatshirt, for example a fleece one Pikeur Quinta Fleece, which will allow you to keep the heat, and which at the same time will protect you from the stable draught.

Take care of your friend

winter: dog source:

Many of us takes our dog on our winter trips to the stable. Remember that not all races are prepared for cold season, and their organisms do not change coat for a winter one. In the city, a dog might adapt to different conditions, but in the stable it might be hard, because the air gets heated from steaming chimneys or car fumes, also there is no shield from wind from big buildings, which naturally causes that the temperature is lower. Thus, you should take care of the littler quadruped and present him with a rug - for example Eskadron Classic Sports :)

classic-sports-w15-nylon-dog-rug Eskadron, Classic Sports nylon dog rug

Let's hope that the real winter will come soon, and we will see snow outside the window on Christmas. However, to be able to enjoy this season fully, prepare to it while you still have plenty time, by doing a well-judged shopping, so both you and your animals can enjoy the winter weather for as long as possible :)

wallfon-com source: