Oh yeah. Frostbitten fingers that can barely feel the rein and toes that feel like they’ll shatter when you jump off your horse is better than riding in balmy sunshine? Pull the other one. Well, prepare to be surprised. We’ve got six genuine reasons why winter riding is better than summer riding that’ll have you reaching for your thermals in no time.
1. No flies

First up, no flies. The bane of every balmy summer evening hack. It’s hard to appreciate the countryside when you’re swatting for horseflies and gnats. And an obsession with finding the most effective fly spray is not good for your bank balance. Winter means goodbye to all that.

2. Less frightening hat hair

So this issue is never going to go away, but at least if you’re sweating less your hair has to look a bit better. No more fringe stuck to your forehead anyway.

3. Cooler riding gear

Eew. Sweaty jodhpurs and tee shirts. Best to get those off and into the washing basket before your other half sees (smells) you. In winter you don’t work up so much of a sweat, particularly if you’ve got some good breathable clothes, so you can stay a bit cooler looking. Apart from the straw in your hair.

4. Get the place to yourself

Those frosty mornings when you can see your breath, scare off all the fair weather riders. So if you’re not one of them, prepare to enjoy farm rides without having to worry about too many people galloping past your fresh four year old. Roads are hopefully less busy and you’ll see only the hardcore in your class at shows. Unless you’re a winter showjumper.

5. Drinking port in the morning is acceptable

If you go hunting that is. It’s harder to pull this off in the summer, but it’s surprisingly acceptable this time of year. A little nip keeps you warm on a winter morning. You may not find this advisable if you’re going to a dressage show, but those places also have decent cafes, so a bacon sandwich on a cold morning may do the job instead.

6. Blow the cobwebs away

There’s nothing like a crisp clear winter’s morning aboard your favourite horse to make you feel on top of the world. If you’re wrapped up in enough layers, it can be invigorating to ride in the snow even. Christmas day hacks are the best.

So there we have it. Winter riding can beat the summer. Just make sure you wrap up warm in breathable, waterproof jodhpurs and coats and you’ll feel as smug as you are toasty when you think of all those people who don’t know the joys of winter riding.