Climate change is here to stay and with it, Canada is seeing extreme temperatures. This time of year, it’s the frigid cold that’s got our attention, with record lows in usually temperate BC, and even Alberta and Saskatchewan, which are accustomed to minus windchills in the double digits, are seeing the thermometer strike record lows.

And yet, we horse people ride on, dedicated and determined not to be defeated by Mother Nature. We may not win the battle with the weather, but we can put up our defenses using some high-tech (and not-so-high-tech) help. Here are six ways to stay warm while riding.

Heated Vests and Coats

Whether you’re riding on a trail or an indoor arena, when it gets below -10, you feel it in your fingers, you feel it in your toes, cold is all around us… (or so the song goes). One thing you might want to consider is a vest or coat that has built-in heat, such as these from Ororo which feature their own heating system.

According to the brand’s website, each vest and coat features four carbon fiber heating elements to generate heat across core body areas (left and right pocket, collar, upper back). You can adjust the settings from high, medium and low using a built-in button. The 7.2V UL/CE-certified battery works up to 10 hours on low and three on high. Added bonus; the outerwear also has a built-in USB port to charge your phone. All this high-tech stuff will set you back a cool $329 CDN.


Winter Riding Gloves

There are many brands out there designed to keep your fingers from freezing around the reins. These Heritage Extreme Waterproof Winter Gloves promise to keep your hands dry and give you excellent rein grip. They all have touch-screen capability for when you want to post to social media but can’t bear to remove your gloves. $80 from Greenhawk.







Hand Warmers

If you’re more budget conscious, there’s Grabber Hand Warmers, that offer up to seven-plus hours of warmth. Shove them into your riding gloves or coat pockets for a jolt of heat and hit the trails. Available at Canadian Tire, $12.79 for a pack of 10.





Winter Riding Helmet Cover

There’s nothing quite so soft and warm as fleece. And this winter riding helmet cover from trusted equestrian brand Exselle is made from polar fleece and designed to fit over a standard riding helmet. The cover wraps about your chin, keeping your ears and neck warm. From $67 CDN on





Sheepskin Saddle Cover

Even if your torso is toasty, what about your, ahem, butt? Sitting on a cold saddle, especially when riding outside, is unnecessary. The solution is simple: a sheepskin saddle seat cover. Sheepskin is a natural insulator and soft and cozy. Try this one (above left), designed for western saddles from Equinnovations, for $139 CDN. Or this English saddle design (above right) from Dover Saddlery for $95 USD plus shipping to Canada.



Riding Skirts

And ICYMI, we have already been telling you that riding skirts are all the rage, including this toasty and stylish Heidi Riding Skirt from Canadian company Buttcoat. With the wide leg spread the skirt is not only perfect for riding but also for other activities like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skating, and hiking. Added bonus? With every purchase you are supporting a great cause, Heidi’s Horse and Hound Retirement. $240



~ all prices subject to change