Chit Chat with Bella-Giles Smith – 5 Winter Warmer Top Tips

Brrr, there is a distinct chill in the air as I write this blog. I am already wearing long sleeved tops under my fabulous Horseware Polo Charlita Jacket, (I have to say, I feel the bees knees in my jacket around the yard or going to work or out for the day). Anyway, enough about me.  How about I share some great ways to stay warm when the freezing wind, pouring rain and snow descends upon us.

dh-horseware-polo-charlita-jacket

My 5 top tips for keeping warm this winter:

  1. Layers

It is widely known, it is better to wear layers, rather than one thick item of clothing as air gets trapped in the layers, helping to keep us warm. The ideal number of clothing layers is 4. For instance a wool or base layer, normal long sleeved top, wool or fleece mid layer and water repellent shell layer. This also enables you to remove layers when you get too warm.

Mind you, last winter, when it was really cold, all I wore was a long sleeved base layer and my Dublin jacket and I was toasty. I wasn’t weighed down by lots of clothing so could move and ride very comfortably without getting sweaty. Wearing my riding tights with either thermals or woolly tights underneath kept my legs lovely and warm without restricting movement.

    2. Vulnerable Areas

It is important to keep your ears, fingers and toes covered. During the winter you will always see me wearing an ear warmer and when really cold, a hat with ear flaps I can do up under my chin. When it’s freezing, I wear a snood so I can cover my face. On my feet I’ll wear 2 pairs of socks and either my long yard boots or long leather riding boots (if your boots feel tight, then go for thinner socks as being tight will restrict blood flow so your feet will feel colder). My top tip for helping to keep hands warm, is to wear a pair of pure silk liners inside your warmest gloves, this tip is from my motor biking days.

dublin-jacket

    3. Important Areas

Another top tip is to keep your neck and chest covered. Even just wearing a lightweight scarf around your neck will help keep out the cold. When it is freezing, I wrap a wool scarf around my neck and cross the ends flat across my chest and zip my coat right up to the top. I find keeping my neck and chest warm helps me avoid those horrible winter coughs and colds.

    4. Movement 

When you first get to the yard on a very cold day, you probably feel very cold. Once you have been mucking out, going to the muck heap, topping up bedding, carrying water buckets, putting hay in the stable or out in the field, poo picking, sweeping the yard, and even making up feeds, you notice you have warmed up. Movement is a great way to warm yourself up and of course, riding is the fun way to get warm.

    5. Best Friend 

I mustn’t forget our best friend/s and how I keep my horse Rudy warm.  There is a very simple answer to this, Rudy spent most of last winter in his Derby House Elite All-in-One turnout rug. I absolutely LOVE this rug as it fits Rudy perfectly, it is gathered at the top of neck for a great fit, the belly flap keeps his girth area dry and mud free (apart from the odd splat) and the strap under the tail flap (pull tail through loop) keeps his bottom snug and prevents the rug getting blown up. Then when it gets really cold, I just add the 100g under rug included with the Elite All-in one rug giving a total of 300g of warmth. I didn’t need to add the under rug until it dropped to -3 degrees. I almost can’t wait for it to get really cold just so I can change Rudy from either his Weatherbeeta rug which does look gorgeous on him, or his Unicorn rug, he looks so cute in it, for those chilly rainy days, to his awesome Elite All-in one turnout rug.

rudy-in-derby-house-all-in-one-turnout-rug

I hope you find some of my tips helpful even though I am sure you already know them all. I do have one last little tip not related to keeping warm. If you don’t have lights at the yard or field, use a head torch. You will always see me with my head torch from the end of September through to May as by the time I get to the yard after work, it is dark. I couldn’t manage without it and the brilliant thing about it is, it follows me around LOL.

That’s about it from me, so until next time, cuddle your horse or pony (they are also great for warming you up LOL), good luck if you are out competing and have loads of fun.  If you have any tips for the winter, please do share them with us. Bye for now and keep warm. Bella and Rudy 😊 xxx

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