Whether you’ve ridden a horse just a few times or your entire life, you know how important it is to have the right horse-riding clothes and gear. Horse riding is not a sport that you can just show up in a t-shirt and shorts like some other sports! Instead, it is important to have the right equestrian clothing for safety, comfort, and performance.
The more proficient of a horseback rider you become, the more you will start to figure out what works for you and what you like. But if you’re unsure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 equestrian clothing and accessories that you need.
There are many variations of these items available on the market, so take time to do your research. You don’t have to break the bank, either, but choose items that you like and will get a lot of use out of over the years.
Top 10 Horse-Riding Clothes & Accessories
Growing in skill and proficiency is one of the best ways to stay safe while riding a horse. However, horses are living beings and there is an inherent risk to the sport. So, you should always prioritize safety while horseback riding!
A helmet protects you from the risk of head trauma due to a fall or other injury. A well-fitted helmet will keep you safe and is a must-have equestrian clothing accessory for any skill level.
There are several organizations (e.g., British Safety Institute or Safety Equipment Institute) that certify riding helmets to ensure they are safe for use.
2. Riding crop or whip
When used properly, a riding crop or whip is like an extension of your hand! It’s a way to cue your horse gently and carefully where you want them to go. This is something that you need to learn to use and should be trained with, as research shows that different riding crops and usage techniques determine the amount of force exerted on the horse.
3. Weather appropriate horse-riding jacket
Horseback riding is an outdoor sport, so you need to be prepared for the weather. A horse-riding jacket needs to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable while riding. The Equicoat has a 100% waterproof and windproof shell, coupled with a warm synthetic fleece lining, so you can stay warm and dry all day. Other features include Velcro wrist cuffs, reversible sippers, and an interior pocket. The Equicoat is designed to let you change under it as well, the ultimate convenience!
4. Riding pants
Breeches are the best riding pants because that’s what they’re made for! They are comfortable with a snug fit so that you are in close contact with the horse. They are made with gripping fabric from the knee to inner thigh and also often have knee patches for protection in the case of a fall. They also stop at mid-calf so that riders can wear tall riding boots.
5. Breathable shirt
While some shirts are designed specifically for horseback riding, you don’t actually need to a specific kind. Just choose a breathable shirt that is comfortable and doesn’t hinder your movement while on the horse.
6. Gloves with grip
Not everyone wears gloves when horseback riding, but it can make the process more enjoyable! Gloves are particularly useful in the winter or colder months to keep you warm. Look for gloves that are thin enough to feel the reins but have some grip to help keep hold of them.
7. Closed-toe shoes or boots
While riding a horse, your feet function as anchors in the stirrups, holding you down. You want to ensure you’re wearing footwear that won’t get tangled up, but also is sturdy and comfortable. Something with a small heel is important to hook comfortably in the stirrups and stay in place.
Most horseback riders will wear riding boots because they don’t have laces and have a small heel. They will also have a firm toe box to protect your toes!
8. Half chaps
If you wear shorter boots or shoes, instead of tall riding boots, you may wish to invest in half chaps, which are worn on the lower leg. These are designed to protect the lower leg and keep your breeches from twisting around.
9. Safety vest
Another safety equestrian clothing item is a safety vest. Again, it’s important to learn and practice safe horseback riding (or achieve the Ride Safe Award!), but it’s helpful to also wear protective equipment.
A safety vest can be worn over your torso as added protection from a fall or the impact of hooves in case your horse gets spooked. They add some bulk to your outfit but are an effective way to stay safe while riding.
10. Helmet silk
The last item here is just a nice-to-have, not necessary at all. A helmet silk is a piece of fabric that fits over your helmet to add some flair, colour, and personality to your outfit!
Like we said, this is not an exhaustive list of equestrian clothing and accessories, but hits some of the most important things! The following Youtube video highlights the most important Horse Riding Equipment, including Helmets, Boots, Gloves and Safety Vests.Journal