Gear That Will Make Spring Riding Way More Enjoyable
Using the correct equipment at a time of year when the weather is beautiful, yet unpredictable, will save you from soggy socks and other awkward situations.
By Cari Klostermann, spring 2017 AQHA communications and digital marketing intern | March 2, 2017
We all know April showers bring May flowers, but sometimes all that extra moisture and warmth can make outdoor riding uncomfortable. Don’t let weather stop you from having a good time! Stock up on the correct equipment now so you don’t miss out on a single wildflower bloom.
Waterproof boots: When you're bringing horses in from pasture, mucking stalls or doing anything else where your boots tend to get wet, a nice, comfortable pair of waterproof boots is a must. These trendy Dublin boots are an affordable alternative to the gorgeous Dubarry boots.
Waterproof jacket: No one wants to be cold and damp while they ride, but neither do they want to be swimming through a bulky coat. This lightweight, waterproof jacket by Noble Outfitters will keep you dry while still giving you the breathability you crave in a springtime jacket.
Carry-all bag: If your gear does happen to get damp, the last thing you want to do is pack it away in a sealed-off bag where your belongings can start to grow mildew. Something like this stylish accessory tote with mesh paneling by EquiBrand gives your gear a chance to dry out properly.
Comfortable boots: Spring is a great chance to get back in the saddle, but it's also a time where you're doing a lot of spring cleaning and grooming. (Hello, shedding season!) Because you're going to spend a lot of time on your feet, a comfortable pair of boots is a must, like this pair of Justin Boots that are designed with a flexible comfort system.
Wild Rag: If you have yet to discover the wonder that is wild rags, you are missing out. Silk scarves will keep that unpleasant wind and rain from blowing down your neck, but you'll also find that you don't overheat like you would with a traditional wool or cotton scarf. Plus, you can scour the Internet for any color or print your heart fancies. We particularly love these from Wild Rags and Scarves by Doris.
Jeans that fit just right: There are jeans you feel comfortable in summer and fall, then there are jeans you reach for in spring and winter. A trick of the trade is to go up a few pant sizes in spring and winter so you can fit tights or long johns underneath for extra warmth. The nice thing about Wrangler's Q-Baby jeans is that they have a high enough rise that you won't worry about skin getting exposed to the elements, but you also don't have to be rockin' those '90s high-waisted jeans.
High-quality felt hat: If you're one of those people who loves to wear a cowboy hat year-round, you've probably found that some felt hats just don’t hold up to the elements. With a 100X hat, though, you don't have to worry about that. While they are going to be a little more spendy (they are the top of the line, after all), once they dry out, they snap back to their original shape, rather than looking flat and soggy like their lower-quality cousins. A light colored felt may take a little extra care to keep it looking spiffy, but it is a great segway hat into those warmer months. We especially like this classic Master Hatters hat.
Chinks: Even when you're riding indoors, if you live in an area known for its humid climate, you know how the dampness seeps into everything you wear. Leather chinks do a great job keeping your thighs dry, and you'll find you're much more mobile than when wearing full-length chaps. But if chinks are just a little too western for your taste, you can try canvas coveralls, which some riders swear by.
Waterproof gloves: When your hands get wet and cold, it becomes very difficult to properly hold your reins, which can make for a very hairy ride. But on the other hand, big, bulky gloves can also make it nearly impossible to get a good grip. When selecting a riding glove for the spring, make sure to choose something that is 100 percent waterproof but still has a good grip. These SSG gloves are available from SmartPak and will definitely keep your hands warm and dry, without having to sacrifice style or feel of your horse.
Thermal socks: Cold feet can ruin a ride before it even begins. Stock up on some thermal socks that will keep your toes nice and warm throughout the day. Some people size up half a size in boots for the colder months to ensure they can fit a thermal sock comfortably, but warm doesn’t necessarily mean thicker. Noble Outfitters has a great sock that is sure to keep you warm without taking up too much space in your boots.
With these products you are sure to have a successful spring, full of riding and hanging out with your Quarter Horses in comfort and style!