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Rainy Day Must-Haves

Posted on: October 20, 2023 by Annina McMillan
Chestnut horse with white blaze standing in muddy conditions after a rain shower

In a lot of ways rainy days can be wonderful. A good rain helps produce quality pasture and hay; it can reduce the summer heat a bit; and I love falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. When it rains on show days, however, it makes for an uncomfortable—and often cold—experience, and once you get wet, it seems impossible to get dry again. Since we equestrians often just suck it up and battle whatever weather conditions come our way, I’ve found having a few good products on hand can make those rainy days much more bearable. This is especially helpful at horse shows—we’ve probably all experienced showing in the rain at one time or another—or even just for daily chores around the barn.

Whether your rainy days involve regular barn chores, riding, or showing, the items below are some of my favorites for battling the rain.

Piper Riding Rain Coat product shot

1. Piper Riding Raincoat

The best thing for a rainy day is a great rain jacket! Whether you’re completing tasks around the barn or riding, a versatile rain jacket that you can do both activities in is an absolute must-have. I love the Piper Riding Raincoat. The longer design helps keep more of me dry, and I love the back zipper gusset that makes it comfortable to ride in.

The hood also fits comfortably over a helmet, and the drawstrings allow for a snug, dry fit. The pockets are large and roomy and have snap closures, making them perfect for carrying all the odds and ends I come across at the barn. If you’re in need of a great rain jacket that can be used around the barn and while riding, this is a great option!

2. Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder

When there’s a lot of mud, moisture, and constant rain outside, I do my best to get ahead of any skin or coat issues that might be brewing on my Pinto gelding Titan’s legs. The Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder is my go-to for rainy days, because it’s designed to be used on skin before it becomes inflamed or broken. Anytime Titan is exposed to moisture, mud, or rain during turnout, I put this on his pasterns before letting him out. It creates a barrier over the hair to prevent skin and coat ailments; plus, it can be used as a dry shampoo during chillier weather.

3. Coat Defense Trouble Spot Drying Paste

In addition to the Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder, I also like to have something on hand in case the skin does break. During the super wet months, I always have Coat Defense Trouble Spot Drying Paste on hand. This is wonderful to use on pasterns for horses who have scratches or any cuts or scrapes on their legs. This is also great to use any time you need to quickly dry an area of your horse’s coat. It can also be used on nasty bug bites and proud flesh. Especially when it’s wet outside, this paste is perfect for those small pasture scrapes or to put on scratches.

Annina McMillan's Titan wearing SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet

4. SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet

In addition to keeping myself dry, I do my best to keep my horse dry as well. Depending on the temperature, horses can easily get chilled when exposed to soaking rain for long periods of time. In this case, a waterproof turnout sheet is my go-to for rainy days. Titan can head outside to enjoy his time in the pasture, while remaining as dry as possible—and hopefully clean as well.

I highly recommend SmartPak’s Ultimate Turnout Sheet, because they have a 10-year guarantee. With the 10-Year Indestructible Guarantee, if anything happens to the sheet over the next decade (it gets torn, the lining rips, it loses its waterproofing, etc.), we’ll exchange it for a brand-new one! I love this promise, because it makes me feel confident that I’m getting a high-quality sheet that’s backed with a guarantee in the event anything happens to it. Plus, it’s available in a standard, high, and combo neck design depending on what works best for your horse’s conformation and his specific needs.

5. Shires Tempest Patterned Rain Sheet

In the event the SmartPak Ultimate Turnout Sheet is a bit too warm if the weather is muggy, I love having this durable yet breathable Shires Tempest Patterned Rain Sheet on hand as well. It’s lightweight and perfect for when it’s warm and raining. This ensures Titan stays dry and clean, as much as possible in the warm summer rain! Especially if we have a clinic or show coming up, this sheet helps to minimize the potential grooming I would have to do (especially since Titan loves the mud).

6. SmartPak Complete Clean Shampoo & Conditioner

When it’s rainy, Titan’s legs sometimes get too muddy, and he just needs a good wash. You can’t get a clean horse without a great shampoo, and I have been in love with SmartPak Complete Clean Shampoo & Conditioner since we first came out with it! I often need to bathe Titan a bit more often due to his muddy escapades, so I highly value a shampoo that cleans without being harsh on his skin. This shampoo is free of sulfates, phosphates, and parabens and contains all-natural ingredients. Since it’s also a conditioner, it leaves his coat feeling silky and soft. I feel comfortable using it on his mane and tail to get those luscious locks clean without drying them out. It gives him a fantastic shine and smells wonderful! This is a great shampoo to have on hand for any horse.

Weatherbeeta Rain Sheet product shot

7. WeatherBeeta Rain Sheet

Nothing is worse than a super rainy show day! I always keep the WeatherBeeta Rain Sheet in my trailer to keep Titan as dry as possible in between classes. It also helps keep rain off my saddle while allowing me to still ride. Sometimes we have to wait awhile between classes, and this sheet helps keep us looking nice even in the rain.

8. April Power Shower Sponge with Tiger's Tongue

To help clean muddy legs, a good sponge is essential. This dual-sided April Power Shower Sponge with Tiger's Tongue is the perfect all-in-one tool—the Tiger Tongue works great for removing mud and build-up that needs a little extra scrubbing, and the sponge side is soft and absorbent, making it perfect for getting shampoo anywhere it’s needed! This sponge can also be used on dogs, so it’s also great to have on hand in case your pup gets into something a little extra fun while at the barn, which my dog does anytime it’s muddy.

9. WaterWisk

After bathing or to scrape off excess water from the rain, a quality sweat scraper is essential to have on hand. I thought all sweat scrapers were more or less the same before I tried the WaterWisk. This is very effective at getting extra water off your horse. My favorite feature is its tough but flexible blade so I can even use it on Titan’s bonier areas including his hips and legs. Since the blade is so gentle, I’ve found that even thin-skinned or sensitive horses tolerate this scraper well. Titan will gladly splash through mud puddles, so keeping his white legs as dry and clean as possible is crucial. The cedar handle is waterproof and resistant to mold and bacteria, so no special care is needed to keep the WaterWisk looking great. Since it’s so efficient at whisking off water, I find this scraper really cuts down on drying time more than regular sweat scrapers.

SmartPak Waffle Cooler product shot

10. SmartPak Deluxe Waffle Cooler

Whether you need to dry your horse after a rain shower or following a needed bath from playing in mud puddles, a quality cooler is a must to speed up drying time. In addition to using the WaterWisk, I love throwing the SmartPak Deluxe Waffle Cooler on Titan to complete the drying process, regardless of the season. It’s made from a very absorbent material and makes quick work of any moisture that’s still in his coat. This certainly cuts down our drying time and allows me to turn him out sooner after a good bathing session or a heavy rain shower!