See Winter Tips
We often ride in one of our outdoor rings and on the trail. In addition, our barn is not heated. Therefore, you'll want to dress for the weather (including rainwear)!
Helmets: We require you to wear an equestrian helmet, and do have helmets for your use. However, since we cannot guarantee the helmet's fit or hygiene of previous users, we recommend you purchase your own riding helmet. Equestrian helmets are available at local tack shops, including St. Croix Saddlery, Schatzlein Saddlery, and Fleet Farm, as well as through online tack catalogs, such as Dover Saddlery and Stateline Tack.
Footwear: Choose footwear that won't get caught in the stirrup, but will provide traction in the stirrup, and will protect the foot if stepped on by a horse. Good choices include riding boots, hiking boots or shoes (without deep lug soles), boots that come up over the ankle (because laces and tongues can catch on a stirrup), winter boots (without deep lug soles), or other sturdy shoes with heels (1/2 to 3/4 inch). Heels help prevent the foot from going through the stirrup. Poor choices include "fashion boots" with high arches/heels, cowboy boots with a smooth leather sole (they are slippery in the stirrup), tennis shoes (with no heel, they may slip through stirrups), or sandals, moccasins, loafers and slip-on shoes.
Rubber boots are nice to have when it's wet and muddy. We have some rubber boots available but you may want to have your own. In cold weather an extra pair of wool socks and/or chemical toe warmers help. Winter riding boots can be found at area tack shops. Snowmobile boots or Sorel-type boots may be needed in colder weather.
Pants: Riding pants are the best choice as they don't have an inside seam (that can chafe) and they stretch with movement. But many people ride comfortably in jeans. Just make sure they are loose enough that you can raise your leg about 36" to get it in the stirrup to mount the horse. In cooler, windy weather, long underwear is recommended and/or insulated ski pants or wind pants.
Gloves: Gloves are not only for cold weather -- they can help protect hands from getting chafed from the reins. Some people always wear riding gloves, some don't. But the colder it gets, the warmer you'll want your gloves or mittens. Skinny, nylon gloves are slippery and not very warm. Anything that isn't too slippery, will block the wind, and is flexible enough to grasp reins, works best. In the coldest weather, choppers work well (wool- lined leather mittens).
Hats: When it's cold or windy, a thin hat or hat liner, head band, or thin weight balaclava (cap/face mask combination) will work well under your helmet.
Rainwear: If the forecast calls for rain, bring a rain jacket just in case. If it's just sprinkling, we usually keep riding outside and sometimes get caught in a downpour on our way in. Rain Ponchos require a belt to keep them from flying up and spooking the horse. Twine works, or some other belt.
Other: In cooler and windy weather, a neck warmer or gator really helps stay warm. In hot weather you might want to carry a water bottle, wear a "camel back," or hook a bottle to your saddle.