Easy Shopping Guide: What to Buy for the New Horseback Rider - Part 3

Too much to choose from!! What do I buy? A saddle? ...Would you buy a collar to walk the neighbor's dog? No.
Too much to choose from!! What do I buy? A saddle? ...Would you buy a collar to walk the neighbor's dog? No.

Still Keeping it Simple!

Additionally, you may choose to buy these 4 Optional Pieces of riding apparel to get started in horseback riding.

These pieces of riding apparel can simply make your riding more enjoyable, and you can never be too safe! There are so many items out there on the market for horse and rider. Buying things you will not be using for some time can be a frustrating waste of money. So, when you want to buy a little extra at the tack store and you are new to riding, start with these: (NOT a saddle!)

*Gloves

*Crop / Whip

*Spurs

*Safety Vest

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.

Pictured Left to Right: SSG Gripper Gloves, Unknown Traditional Style Show Gloves, Unknown Open-back Crochet Gloves
Pictured Left to Right: SSG Gripper Gloves, Unknown Traditional Style Show Gloves, Unknown Open-back Crochet Gloves

Gloves

should be well fitted with a grippy palm and fingers. They will help you avoid blisters and callouses from pulling the reins. Many varieties are available from as little as $6.

Though it is not impossible to ride in regular store-bought gloves, you will find they wear out too quickly because they lack the proper reinforcements on the rein fingers and they often don't give quite the right feel on the horse's mouth.

Black leather is traditional and suitable for both lessons and competition.


Pictured Left to Right:  Crops, Jumping Bats, Dressage Whips
Pictured Left to Right: Crops, Jumping Bats, Dressage Whips

A Crop, a Jumping Bat or a Whip

should be brought to every lesson and available to be used when needed. Prices range from as little as $5 - $50.

Be sure to ask your instructor whether you need one for your horse or pony. Some horses and ponies can be fearful of them. Simply having it available at ring-side will earn you brownie points with your instructor any day of the week!

Typical uses:

Crop = All Purpose

Jumping Bat = Jumping

Whip = Dressage & Flatwork

Solid black or dark brown are acceptable colors for lessons and shows.

*For safety reasons, I am not a fan of wrist straps and often cut them off.


Spurs

A basic pair of ¼” to ½” Prince of Wales or Tom Thumb spurs are appropriate for a lesson program rider. They should be brought to lessons and available to be used when instructed to do so. Available from $10.

Be sure to ask your instructor whether you will need spurs and are capable of using them safely with your horse or pony. Having a pair available at ring-side will avoid any unnecessary delays in your lesson-time.

Remember to buy spur straps. They come in traditional leather and nylon. The nylon webbing allows for very easy adjustments - no searching for holes with gloves on! Straps are available from $2.


Pictured from Left to Right (top to bottom): Intec Flex Rider, Flex Rider Cushioned, Tipperary, Point Two Pro-Air Vest
Pictured from Left to Right (top to bottom): Intec Flex Rider, Flex Rider Cushioned, Tipperary, Point Two Pro-Air Vest

Safety Vests/Body Protectors

Wearing a well fitted safety vest is always a good idea and will last you a very long time. (And, in the case of a fall, can make YOU last a very long time!) They may be used for lessons anytime and are required for cross-country schooling and showing.

Protective riding vests, or eventing vests as they are sometimes called, are designed to help absorb shock to your spine, ribcage and vital organs during impact. Be sure to check the current ASTM rule standards for your form of competition.

Fun note: Bright colors are widely accepted in Eventing.

Intro

Intec Flex Rider from $90

Intec Flex Rider Cushioned from $130

Mid-Range

Airowear Surevest from $185

Charles Owen Ultra-Lite Body Protector from $210

High-End

Tipperary from $249

Hit-Air Protective Vest from $390

Point Two Pro-Air Vest from $675

© 2011 Megan Carl - Mane Alternative

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