Horseback riding is, for many of us, one of life’s great joys. The feeling of freedom and connection with these beautiful animals is unmatched by any other sport or pastime. When going out on your horse, it is important that you feel comfortable and safe. This is where clothing plays a big part. If you are new to horseback riding or feel the need to update your equestrian attire, you have come to the right place. Let’s break down everything you need to dress comfortably and feel safe whilst riding.
Helmets Are Important
A helmet should always be your number 1 item when you are preparing your garments for horseback riding. Whether you are going for a casual trot, attending a show jumping event, or taking part in a day at the races, helmets are vitally important. Not only do they help to protect you from any unexpected kicks or falls, but they can also be a comfortable addition to your get-up.
Helmets are made by various brands and can come in a variety of styles. Many stores will help you measure and find the correct size for a comfortable and protective fit. You should always purchase a helmet that is certified safe by ASTM/SEI. This means that the Safety Equipment Institute has tested the helmet and certified it safe for use at equestrian events. Don’t worry, though: safety and comfort can mix extremely well with helmets, so make sure you try some on and find a helmet that not only protects you but also feels comfortable. Remember, you will be wearing it for most of your day, so be sure to find a well-fitted helmet.
Good riding boots should be the next priority on your shopping list if you do not already own a pair. With footwear, you want minimal tread and a decent heel. This will assist you in keeping your feet in place in the stirrups without your feet ever getting stuck. Being stuck in the stirrups in case of a fall would be extremely dangerous, so these features are essential. Boots are traditionally made with leather but nowadays also come in various other materials, so you can go for whatever you feel most comfortable in. Regardless of the material, you need to find well-fitted boots to prevent blistering or rubbing on your feet. On top of this, boots that are waterproof and comfortably cover your ankles are a plus. After all, you will probably be wearing them all day and in many different weather conditions.
Style-wise, the possibilities for your top-half attire are endless, but what about comfort? Many horse riding brands sell a variety of clothing for your torso, including shirts, jumpers, gilets, jackets, and vests. The choice here is really up to the rider. Consider the weather conditions for your planned ride and decide whether you need layers. Many riders prefer a well-fitted shirt with a jumper on top for extra warmth and comfort. Equally, on hotter days, you may prefer a short-sleeve shirt or a vest.
We recommend specialist riding clothing as it is better designed to hug the body and adapt to a jockey’s movements. For winter riding, consider a professionally made coat. These are specifically designed to adapt not only to your shape but to fit over the saddle as well, causing no awkward bunching and discomfort on your lower back.
If you are going for a long or particularly bumpy ride, padded pants are essential! Many these days choose to wear riding leggings or tights. These are stretchy, breathable, and padded in all the right areas – including the knees and saddle. Not only are these types of tights super comfortable, but they are also warm and protective. Some brands also make winter riding tights that stretch and provide a fleece-like warmth for cold weather riding.
If tights aren’t your thing, there are various denim, leather, or cotton pants available from top equestrian brands as well. Avoid ill-fitting pants that bunch up around the inner thigh, hips, or knees, as this can lead to chafing and an extremely uncomfortable afternoon. Of course, you can also purchase leather breeches to help protect your knees and shins whilst riding.
You cannot go wrong with these four essential items with a day out on horseback enjoying your riding. You will remain comfortable, dry, and safe for the duration of your ride whilst looking great. We hope you enjoy your riding and feel cozy whilst doing so!