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Staying warm and dry as the weather cools is the secret to comfort in the saddle. Using three layers of clothing helps achieve this with the greatest of ease. Each layer has a function: The base layer (against the skin) manages moisture; the middle layer insulates from the cold, and the outer layer shields from wind and precipitation. Part two of the three-part series, “The Art of Layering,” covers insulating mid-layers.

Riding is an aerobic sport in which bursts of activity are followed by a period of standing still or waiting. The insulating layer traps air close to the body to keep the wearer warm while moving moisture away from the skin when the wearer perspires so that the rider does not get cold during breaks in activity. Fleece vests, jackets and Power Stretch tights are classic examples of insulation ideal for cool-weather equestrian pursuits. The not only trap air but are also made with moisture-wicking fibers to help keep the rider dry.

“At Kerrits we offer mid-layers designed for riding in a variety of conditions and climates,” explains Holly Tencer, production manager at Kerrrits. “As a novice rider and avid skier, I like a progressive layering system with an ultra-lightweight layer under the Full Zip Cardigan and a waterproof outer layer.

Some of the favorite mid-layers Kerrits has to offer for fall/winter 2009:

  • The Fleece Half Zip Top features buttery-soft microfleece for warmth next to skin. It has four-way stretch for maximum mobility and is lightweight and breathable. It sells for $64.
  • The Full Zip Cardigan, $79, has a cozy-warm brushed-fleece interior and is slenderizing with flattering seams. It is also machine washable.
  • The EQ Bomber Jacket has a wind-resistant nylon shell and an interior of insulating poly-fill and brushed fleece. It can stand alone or zip into Kerrits outerwear. It sells for $99.
  • The Power Stretch Breech is fleecy-warm against the skin and features four-way stretch and flat, chafe-free seams. The eco-suede extended knee patches work well with paddock boots. It sells for $99.
  • Grip Stretch suede leg panels, a convenient side pocket and a flattering boot-cut shape distinguish the Power Stretch Full Leg Bootcut Breech, $109. It is fleecy-warm next to the skin and has four-way stretch for mobility.
  • The Power Stretch Breathe Tight has Grip Stretch panels through the inner leg and a convenient side pocket. It is also fleecy-warm and has four-way stretch. It is snag-resistant and durable. It sells for $109.

Look for “The Art of Layering, Part 3: Outerwear,” coming in November.
(800) 274-7946;

Kerrit's EQ Bomber Jacket
Kerrits Fleece Half Zip Top