Cold Weather Riding Gear You Can Count On
If you’re a sunny Florida equestrian, this probably isn’t the article for you. But if you brave blizzards and sleet to care for and ride horses in a cold climate, read on.
The goal of winter riding apparel isn’t just to keep you… well, alive. It should keep you comfortable enough to ride at your best despite the elements.
In this article, I’ll share several coats that can make your winter horse time far less miserable — including my beloved Ovation Tyra Jacket. Choices span a variety of budgets and purposes.
|Ovation Tyra Jacket||Best Overall Winter Riding Coat||
|Kerrits Elevation Coat||Best for Mild Weather Riding||
|OEQ Icon Parka||Best Short Winter Coat||
|Dublin Nina Puffa||Best Lightweight Puffer Coat||
|Ororo Slim Fit||Best Battery Heated Winter Coat||
Ovation Tyra Jacket
The Ovation Tyra Jacket is, hands down, the best winter riding coat I’ve ever owned. Until it dips below 20 degrees, I’m still out at the barn and riding. It keeps you warm and dry (even in snow storms), plus the zippered hip and seat panels allow you to go from the ground to the saddle without having to remove or change coats.
- Hip zippers allow full freedom of movement in and out of the saddle
- Zippered seat gusset expands to ride comfortably and shield your cantle from the elements
- Waterproof, 100% Polyester shell keeps you warm and dry — even in extremely wet conditions
- Zippered hood gusset expands to fit over your helmet (and stays in place)
- Faux fur lining around the shoulders and neck is extra snuggly
- Lycra thumbhole cuffs keeps your sleeves in place
- It feels like you’re wearing a heavy winter coat, because you are.
- Fleece-lined pockets are cozy for your hands, but (treat) crumbs and hay get stuck to them.
Check out our detailed review of this coat to see why we love it!
Kerrits Elevation Coat
If you have mild winters, the Kerrits Elevation Coat may be all you need to stay comfortable. For the rest of us, this is still a great option for Fall and Spring seasons when it’s too chilly for a vest, but too warm for heavy outerwear. You can also go from the ground to the saddle simply by unzipping the seat gusset.
- Wind and water resistant outer shell
- Fleece-lined interior keeps you warm without feeling bulky
- Three-quarter length for increased heat retention and coverage
- Zip-open seat panel for riding
- Lighter weight for mild winters where a big coat is unnecessary, though not a
- Flattering silhouette vs. boxy cut
- It’s water resistant — not a waterproof jacket
- Hood cannot be detached
- You’ll need a heavier coat for lower temperatures
OEQ Icon Parka
Think of the OEQ Icon Parka as a short coat version of the Ovation Tyra. This heavy, waterproof horse riding jacket is perfect for the coldest days at the stable where you need all the help you can get to stay insulated. Thanks to OEQ’s extensive field testing, though, this coat is still offers enough freedom of motion to complete all your barn chores.
- Waterproof Polyester base layer is paired with a Polyester lining and fill (149g body / 100g sleeves)
- Two zippered riding vents give you freedom to ride
- Taped seams stop wind from sneaking through (windproof)
- Adjustable cinch waist and cuffs let you customize the fit
- Four front pockets (2 cargo / 2 zip) and an internal zip pocket offer plenty of storage
- Detachable hood is also adjustable
- This coat isn’t as long as the Ovation Tyra, so there’s less thigh coverage
- Without thumbhole cuffs, your wrists are exposed to the wind and may shift
Don’t forget about your hands! Check out our review of Roeckl’s Winter Gloves.
Dublin Nina Puffa
If you prefer a traditional puff coat for winter riding, check out the Dublin Nina Puffa. Not only is this jacket lighter on your budget, it offers the warmth without the weight. Plus, with the detachable hood and zip seat vents, you can comfortably ride in it.
- Winter weight Nylon shell is paired with 100% Polyester lining and fill
- Two back zip vents allow freedom of motion in the saddle
- Detachable zip hood won’t get in the way of your helmet
- Zippered front pockets ensure your gloves and chapstick stay where you put them
- This coat isn’t waterproof, so it’s best saved for dry winter days
- The waist-length cut means your upper legs don’t have coat coverage
Ororo Slim Fit Coat
The Ororo Slim Fit is a battery-heated coat that takes winter warmth to the next level. I purchased this jacket after suffering through my first Montana riding winter with traditional outerwear. With the click of a button, I control the heat intensity and don’t have to rely on my own body heat to stay toasty.
- Three carbon fiber heating elements warm the core body area (left and right chest, mid-back)
- Three heat settings allow you to pick high, medium, or low intensity by pressing the button on the chest
- Soft shell exterior with a light lining relies on the heat panels vs. heft to keep you warm
- Heats for up to 10 hours on a single USB charge
- Detachable hood can be removed for riding
- Slim fit design keeps you from looking (and feeling) bulky
- Machine washable once you remove the battery pack, just toss it in with your other riding clothes
Note: Ororo also makes heated gloves and vests that are total game changers.
- The battery pack takes some getting used to and can be a bit annoying while riding
- Waist length instead of three-quarters, this coat doesn’t offer upper leg coverage
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a good winter riding jacket?
Riding in the winter is a lot more fun (and warm!) with the right jacket. Look for an option that’s breathable and flexible so you can move freely in the saddle.
A jacket with either a large hood or a removable hood works best to accommodate your helmet. Some level of wind-proofing is nice, as is a waterproof jacket (especially if you’ll be riding outside).
Many riders love fleece-lined jackets. They’re not only soft but add an extra layer of warmth. A zipper is usually better than buttons so you can adjust it easily if you get hot while riding.
What are riding coats made of?
Riding coats can be made from any number of materials.
Polyester and spandex are popular choices. These materials are durable, lightweight, and very comfortable. They also offer a lot of give, meaning they’re less restrictive when you’re riding.
Polyester and spandex also have the benefit of being water-repellant, machine-washable, and breathable. So not only are you more prepared during a light rain, but on a hot day, you’ll be much cooler.
You can also find riding coats made from wool (good for winter shows) and cotton (a perfect option for summer). Some materials can be machine-washed, and others are dry-clean only, so take that into account when choosing.
Winter and Warmth Can Coexist
There are few things more magical than a snowy ride through the forest or a glistening gallop around a snow-covered field. With the proper outerwear, you’ll finally be comfortable enough to enjoy the ride!
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
- Ovation Tyra Riding Coat Review
- Chill Out: Roeckl Winter Gloves Review
- Winter Hay 101: How Much to Feed Your Horse
- 13 Best Boots for Horseback Riding Lessons
- 9 Rookie-Approved Horseback Riding Boots for Beginners
- $hit Happens: Best Boots for Mucking Stalls