Easy Shopping Guide: What to Buy for the New Horseback Rider - Part 2
Keeping it Simple!
Again, you only need 4 Core Pieces of riding apparel to get started in horseback riding.
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.
Ovation Deluxe Schooler from $49
Troxel Grand Prix from $79
International Riding Helmet (IRH) Windsor from $109
IRH Air 10 from $135
Charles Owen JR8 from $135
Charles Owen Hampton from $178
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Riding Sport from $28
Irideon Kids Essential from $56
Ariat Brittany from $75
Ariat All Circuit from $99
Ariat Pro Circuit from $165
Tailored Sportsman Royal Hunter Jod from $190
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.
Tuff Rider Low-Rise Pull-On from $32
Devon-Aire Versailles from $50
Ariat Sport Select from $62
RJ Classics Sterling from $80
Ovation Microweave from $100
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.
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.
Dublin Easy Care from $30
Ovation EquiStretch from $41
Grand Prix Elite from $85
Treadstep Extreme Suede from $94
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!
Some of my personal favorite starters...
© 2011 Megan Carl - Mane Alternative
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