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Essential Horse Riding Clothing

Updated on February 7, 2013

Equestrian Clothing - The Essential Horse Riding Clothes

Choosing the right horseback riding clothes can be difficult for some riders, especially beginners. The choices that you make are determined by the type of riding that you are going to be doing regularly, so if you are on the market for new horseback riding clothes, you will first want to take a look at how you intend to use the gear.

Once you figure out the style of clothing you are going to need, your decisions come down to whether or not the clothes fit properly.

Riding Hats – In order to stay safe while horseback riding you are going to need to protect your head and neck. Falling from a horse can cause serious injuries especially if you do not have a helmet on. To avoid these problems, you must purchase an ATSM approved helmet that will protect your skull should you fall to the ground. Helmets are mainly used for English style riding, whereas Western riders prefer to wear cowboy hats. Young riders are required to wear a helmet until they are eighteen years of age depending on where they live.

Shirts – If you are planning to ride English style, or perhaps enter into shows, you will want to purchase a solid color shirt that fits closely, but does not hang down and catch the saddle. These types of shirts are typically called “ratcatchers”. During cold weather riding, you may want to opt for a hunting style jacket if you are riding English style. Western riders typically wear button down shirts that are tucked in, and fit loose to the skin.

Gloves – Most people consider riding gloves a fashion statement, but unless you want burn marks and blisters on your hands, you are going to want to purchase a quality pair. The best gloves will have a soft material in the palms to help you grip the leather reins much easier, and prevent excess callus and blisters from building up around your fingers.

Pants and Chaps – When you are riding a horse, you want to make sure that you stay comfortable. A quality set of riding pants helps you achieve this. Most Western style riders prefer to wear jeans to protect their legs and rear from saddle rash, whereas, English style riders have specialized pants. The “breeches”, as they are called, feature a seamless inseam which helps keep your rear protected while riding.

Horse riding boots – Purchasing the appropriate equestrian riding boots helps to finish out your riding apparel, but is an area where beginner riders can become confused. If you are riding Western style, you want a pair of boots that are durable and rugged, probably mid-calf height. However, English riders will want to purchase a full length boot, fitting much tighter, and reaching to the knee height.

Horse riding clothing
Horse riding clothing


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  • profile image

    Donna 7 years ago

    Jodhpurs are not just the reasons why horse riding can be comfortable and enjoying horse items are also one. Remember that horses are also living things that also needs right items for comfortability.

  • Anne Coyle profile image

    Anne Coyle 7 years ago from Bronxville, NY

    It can be so difficult to know what pieces of equestrian apparel you need to buy -- especially when just starting out. You did a great job of covering the essentials and keeping your list nice and concise. I think it should also be noted that different brands vary in quality and sizing. It is worth it to explore which brand is the right one for you. Tuffrider may be the best fit for some while Kerrits or Tailored Sportsmen may be the better fit for others. The good thing is that there are plenty of choices!