Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Winter Gear: Experimentation

As far as I'm concerned at least one or two pieces of my winter gear need tweaking each year. Here are a few things I'm experimenting with right now, or will be experimenting with soon.

Part 3: Experimentation

Quarter Sheet

I'm honestly not entirely sure why I am feeling like I want to experiment with a quarter sheet this year. Maybe because it's been almost five years since we've lived somewhere with true winter weather. Maybe it's that this winter will be about legging up. Maybe it's that I really want to commit to more hacking this year - which will mean more time in exposed weather.

Either way: I'll start the experimentation with some borrowed sheets from the barn, and if all goes well I'll be pondering something like this Amigo sheet from Smartpak, that I have my eye on. Ideally, I want something waterproof on the top, so he can have an extra layer if it's snowing.

Cashel Cozy Toes 

I'm not sure I would be experimenting with these if I hadn't bought some on a whim several years ago. After a long hack on Friday left my toes completely numb, I pulled these out of storage and for today's hack put them on my jumping saddle, which is my trail riding/hacking saddle. So far so good. It was quite windy today and my feet were fine on a longer ride than on Saturday. On the other hand - I was also wearing better socks and my winter boots, so any improvement might be due to them instead.
Here's what they look like on the saddle.

They were easy to put on, and I didn't even notice they were there once I was riding. I couldn't run my stirrups up like I usually do when I was done, but that's not the end of the world. I will leave them on and try to evaluate their effectiveness over the longterm.

Darn Tough Socks

I know, I know, I just got done writing a love letter to Smartwool. But these are a) local, b) reportedly just as warm and c) come with a lifetime guarantee. No matter how much I baby them, my Smartwool socks wear through in a far shorter time period than $20 socks ought to. So I'll be investing in a pair of these next month and testing them out.

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