Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
Through my eyes, winter is a season of cold beauty. The days may be short and chilly. And the landscape is often dull hues consisting of mostly shades of brown. Gone are the lovely blossoms of Spring, the warm sun of Summer and the friendly hues of Fall. While most days look a little bleak, it’s the days that don’t that make this season wondrous to behold.
Snow. It’s the one thing that turns the barren landscape in a frozen wonderland. While I’m definitely not a fan of the cold, there is just something about going out after the snow has finished falling. It’s like the world has fallen silent–not in an eerily or creepy way, mind you–but something much more serene.
Even though snow is a pain to shovel or plow. And even though the roads are tricky to navigate. And though I definitely do not have a love of frozen water buckets or fingers…I take the moments that I can enjoy. Walking out to the barn seeing everything coated in a blanket of the purest white snow definitely falls in to that category.
I love going out and riding in the snow…because the only thing that can make the view of a frozen wonderland even better, is to see it from between my horse’s ears. Gone are the days when I used to just hop up on Ripley bareback and adventure out through the snowy fields. Because that’s just a little cold for my taste.
So what’s a girl to do with this kind of conflict – I love riding out in the snow, yet am not really a huge fan of being cold. This is especially true for my toes and fingers. And I also find it to be particularly chilly on my seat by the time that I even climb into the saddle to start out on my ride.
This season, I’ve found that on days when I set out to ride in the cold, I do so with the help of the Fleece Tush Cushion and a pair of Cozy Toes from Cashel Company. I found that the Tush Cushion and Cozy Toes are actually made in both an English and Western design – and of course, I was very excited to have the opportunity to try out the English models for each.
The Fleece Tush Cushion was actually a pretty fascinating concept to me – it is constructed out of a 1/2″ Cashel foam, with a soft and cozy fleece covering the top side. The foam backing definitely has a non-slippery feel to it, which is great since it is the side that rests against the seat of the saddle.
There are also straps that are used to help hold the Tush Cushion in place while riding. They are quite easy to use – there are two straps, and each are attached both near the front and back of the cushion to create a “loop”. I simply slip each “loop” over the flaps on each side of my saddle, and then pull them to adjust them down to size. That way, the cushion is secure in place on my saddle.
I also found the Cozy Toes were simple and straightforward to add on to my stirrup irons before heading out. They are made out of a water-resistant nylon, and attach to stirrup irons with two Velcro straps on either side. Once attached, they provide a covering to keep feet protected from rain or snow. And, they can be adjusted for various boot sizes.
But Cozy Toes don’t just protect your toes from the elements – they also help keep them warmed up during the cold. They accomplish this because they each have a hidden pocket that is specially designed to hold Hot Hands warming packets. These packets provide a safe, all-natural heat, and they keep for approximately 5 hours.
Both the Fleece Tush Cushion and Cozy Toes have made riding in the cold temperatures more comfortable for me. I find that the Tush Cushion is comfortable to ride in, and it helps to take the edge off of sitting on a cold saddle seat. In fact, I haven’t removed it from my saddle since the first ride that I took with it. It does stay in place quite nicely, and does not slip or slide while riding.
I was definitely happy to feel the warmth that the Cozy Toes provided for me all the while when riding on chilly days. My toes were able to stay in the irons well with the Cozy Toes attached – and they fit very well, even when using my wider tread irons. The 5-hour lifespan of the Hot Hands also is quite more than enough for me when riding, and I never seem to run out of heat.
The Fleece Tush Cushion and Cozy Toes are both available from Cashel Company. The English Fleece Tush Cushion has a retail price of $44.99, and you can find it here. And, the English Cozy Toes have a retail price of $15.95, and you can find them here.
Go Riding Comfortably in Cold Temperatures. Go Cashel Company. Go Eventing.