Easy Shopping Guide: What to Buy for the New Horseback Rider - Part 2

What on earth do I buy?!
What on earth do I buy?!

Keeping it Simple!

Again, you only need 4 Core Pieces of riding apparel to get started in horseback riding.

*Helmet

*Footwear

*Riding Pants

*Leg Protection

Shopping online for your new adventure in horseback riding can save you time and dollars as long as you know what to look for and the difference between what you truly need and what is extra fluff that can wait for later. Pricing examples are all approximate. They are listed here from Intro to High-End and may vary between stores.

Remember.Closely follow the manufacturer’s charts to be sure you get a safe fit and always ask customer service and your instructor for assistance if you need it.


Helmet: ASTM/SEI approved Black velvet or velvet-like helmet.

An absolute must-have! Avoid using a borrowed helmet – you don’t know its history – and even on the first ride you could need it to be solid and truly safe. Don’t risk it! Buy a helmet!

Helmets should be replaced after one impact. Most manufacturers offer a discount replacement policy for this reason. And never use a helmet designed and tested for anything other than horseback riding.

Intro Examples:

Ovation Deluxe Schooler from $49

Troxel Grand Prix from $79

International Riding Helmet (IRH) Windsor from $109

Mid-Range Examples:

IRH Air 10 from $135

Charles Owen JR8 from $135

Charles Owen Hampton from $178

High-End:

Charles Owen GR8 from $260

Charles Owen AYR8 from $314

GPA from $379

Helmet Facts & Fitting:

With hair in low pony and just the hair flipped up inside, a correctly fitted helmet sits low on the forehead, close to ears from profile and is comfortably snug all the way around the head. If you fit it with your hair up, you must wear it with your hair up.

Higher pricing does not necessarily mean it is a safer helmet. The labels with tell you whether it is an ASTM or ASTM/SEI Approved helmet. Price differences represent features such as style of the shell, harness material, comfort padding inside the brim and ventilation (for longer rides). Look for my future articles on helmet features and fit.


Pictured Top to Bottom: Saxon Equileather, Ariat Heritage, Ariat Performer III, Ariat Volant
Pictured Top to Bottom: Saxon Equileather, Ariat Heritage, Ariat Performer III, Ariat Volant

Footwear:

Choice of two styles. Paddock Boots or Tall Boots

Paddock Boots are meant to be worn with jodhpur pants; or with breeches with half or full chaps. They come in a variety of styles: lace-up, zip-up, lace & zip-back, and even a comfortable tennis shoe feel in the Ariat Volant.

Intro from $30

Mid-Range from $80

High-End from $200

Semi Custom/Custom

Field or Dress Boots are meant to be worn with breeches. Sometimes referred to as tall boots, this classic style offers great protection, grip to the saddle and feel against the horse. Field boots have laces at the ankle, dress boots do not. Black is the traditional color for competition.

Intro from $150

Mid-Range from $250 to $550

High-End from $600-$1000

Semi Custom/Custom

Tall Boot Fitting:

Field boots should fit like a glove and may feel too tall at purchase. After the break-in period, the boot should still sit above the knee-bone on the outside of your leg. Zip-backs tend to have a more custom-fit appearance because they do not have to be pulled over the calf. Keep the zippers clean.

Both paddock and tall boots come in a wide variety of brands including Ariat, Grand Prix, Perri’s, Tuff Rider, Ovation, Saxon…and the list goes on! Companies like Vogel, Dehner, Der Dau and Cavalier offer custom made options.

Pictured Left to Right:  Ovation Circuit Pro (pair), Ariat Challenge Zip II, Ariat Volant Vented Back-Zip, Ariat Monaco
Pictured Left to Right: Ovation Circuit Pro (pair), Ariat Challenge Zip II, Ariat Volant Vented Back-Zip, Ariat Monaco

Riding Pants:

Choice of two styles depending on boots. Jodhpurs or breeches.

Jodhpurs have a cuff and are worn with paddock boots. Commonly worn by young children, but acceptable for beginning adults too. It is best to use Garter/knee straps (from $15) and pant clips (from $3) to keep the pant legs from riding up. Camelot Quic n EZE Garter Straps make for faster on and off than traditional straps.

Intro

Riding Sport from $28

Irideon Kids Essential from $56

Mid-Range

Ariat Brittany from $75

Ariat All Circuit from $99

High-End

Ariat Pro Circuit from $165

Tailored Sportsman Royal Hunter Jod from $190

Pictured from Left to Right: Ariat All Circuit Kids Side Zip Jod, Traditional & Camelot Quick n EZE Garters, On Course Side-Zip, Ariat Olympia Low-Rise Side  Zip, Tailored Sportsman Trophy Side Zip, Tailored Sportsman Royal Hunter
Pictured from Left to Right: Ariat All Circuit Kids Side Zip Jod, Traditional & Camelot Quick n EZE Garters, On Course Side-Zip, Ariat Olympia Low-Rise Side Zip, Tailored Sportsman Trophy Side Zip, Tailored Sportsman Royal Hunter

Breeches have a tapered leg and are meant to be worn with tall boots, or paddock boots with half-chaps. They come in what is known as knee-patch or full-seat; stating how small or large the suede grip is on the area between you and your horse.

Intro

Tuff Rider Low-Rise Pull-On from $32

Devon-Aire Versailles from $50

Mid-Range

Ariat Sport Select from $62

RJ Classics Sterling from $80

Ovation Microweave from $100

High-End

Tailored Sportsman $140-$230

Pikeur from $250

Both jodhpur pants and breeches also offer many brands including Ariat, On Course, Irideon, Tailored Sportsman, Goode Rider, Kerrits, Tuff Rider, Ovation, Pikeur, Equi-Star…and again, the list goes on! There are many colors available, but green-beige and beige are common and acceptable for most competitions.


Pictured from Left to Right:  Dublin Easy Care, Ariat Covington, Grand Prix Full-Grain, Ariat Volant Vented
Pictured from Left to Right: Dublin Easy Care, Ariat Covington, Grand Prix Full-Grain, Ariat Volant Vented
Oftentimes called "Schooling Chaps", these are the English riders version. Ordering custom allows for many options in color, piping and monograms.
Oftentimes called "Schooling Chaps", these are the English riders version. Ordering custom allows for many options in color, piping and monograms.

Leg protection:

Choice of two styles. Half Chaps or Full Chaps.

(You do not need chaps right away these if you are going to buy tall boots)

Half Chaps or Full Chaps are meant to be worn with breeches or jeans along with paddock boots.They are designed to minimize saddle sores. They provide a little extra grip are a very good choice for all levels of riding. Some are even washable.

Black is the traditional competition color for riding boots. Black, zip-up half chaps paired with nice paddock boots is becoming more acceptable for introductory levels of competition, especially if you purchase the half chaps that simulate the look of a tall boot. However, it is best to check with your instructor well before the show. You may have to break in a pair of tall boots and you never want to be doing this the day of competition. It can be very uncomfortable.

Intro

Dublin Easy Care from $30

Ovation EquiStretch from $41

Mid-Range

Grand Prix Elite from $85

Treadstep Extreme Suede from $94

High-End

Riding Sport Leather Contrast from $170

Ariat Monaco from $240

Semi-Custom and Custom from $250

Chaps come in brands like Dublin, Ariat, Grand Prix, Tredstep, Ovation, Mountain Horse, Perri’s, Tuff Rider, Riding Sport…and the list (again) goes on!


Now that you know what you actually need, have fun shopping!

Continue to Part 3 - Your Optional Pieces

Go back to Part 1 - Save Money! Buy Smart the First Time Around for Riding Lessons and Schooling


© 2011 Megan Carl - Mane Alternative

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