Winter Barn Essentials

Oklahoma (especially the Tulsa area) isn’t exactly the worst place in the world to spend a winter. Generally, temperatures don’t drop below freezing except at night, it rains maybe four days a month, rarely snows, and is typically very sunny. That isn’t to stay it’s paradise- the wind regularly sweeps down the plain at 30 miles an hour, and sudden ice and snow storms have wreaked havoc on the area in the past.

I’m kind of a cold-weather wimp, so when it’s 28 degrees and windy at 7 AM on my day to feed, I draw on my cold weather staples:

  • Capilene 2 Lightweight Bottoms from Patagonia, $45: I’m outside or in an unheated barn at work about 90% of the time and jeans don’t provide a lot of warmth. Some of my coworkers wear Carhartt coveralls, but I find them too bulky. These bottoms are warm without being thick and fit equally well under jeans or breeches.
Definitely not me.
  • Hooded Squall Jacket from Land’s End, $120: Please ignore the weird position the model is standing in and give the jacket your full attention. I bought this jacket about two years ago (in a less hideous green) and it’s been incredible. The jacket is lined and warm, the hood is large enough to fit over my head without squishing my ponytail too much, the pockets have zippers so my lip balm doesn’t fall out, and it repels rain without any trouble. It’s also excellent protection against the wind. Best of all, it can be monogrammed! (This is important to me.) I also think I could probably wear it in public and look somewhat put-together if my jacket wasn’t covered in dirt, horse snot, and baby oil.
  • Neoprene Gloves from Bass Pro Shop, $25: I consider a pair of neoprene gloves absolutely necessary. I don’t have this exact pair from Bass Pro, but they’re the closest I could find online to what I have. I picked up a $5 pair at my local Atwoods (a farm/ranch supply store similar to Rural King or Tractor Supply Store) a couple of years ago; I imagine if you nose around at your local farm store, you can find some decent gloves for far less than $25. Neoprene gloves are a little bulky for any fine motor movements, but you can’t beat them for having to punch through water tank ice when a horse has pulled the heater out of the tank or the heater has failed. They’re warm, waterproof, and durable. 
Yes, I have this design.
  • Tumbler from Tervis, $11-25: I drink hot tea and coffee in vast quantities when the weather is chilly. Tervis tumblers are absolutely the best when it comes to keeping warm things warm (and cold things cold, for that matter). Seriously, they keep your coffee warm for at least an hour. They’re double walled, so they don’t feel hot on the outside while they’re keeping your beverage warm. They come in hundreds of designs, several sizes, and you can (you guessed it) get them personalized. You can put them in the microwave, wash them in the dishwasher (a huge improvement over many travel mugs), and they carry a lifetime guarantee just in case your horse steps on one. I cannot say enough good things about them. 

  • Over The Calf Socks from SmartWool, $27: I received a pair of these socks for Christmas from Johnny’s parents. They’re amazing. I’ve used short SmartWool socks when jogging, but these tall, over the calf sized socks are perfect for wearing under tall boots. They’re warm and keep my feet dry (I have sort of clammy feet, which I know is super gross, sorry). Unlike other wool socks, they’re relatively thin and my boots zip over them easily. 
Other things I can’t live without in the winter? Hand warmers (which I also use to warm up the horses’ bits), touchscreen-friendly gloves (for when I’m not wearing the neoprene gloves), echinacea tea (to ward off the inevitable sickness that comes with working with kids), and Carmex lip balm.

What do y’all use in the winter?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

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