Make no mistake about it–horse riding is a sport. And just like with most sports, you’ll need the proper clothing and equipment to ride safely. Riding is a physical challenge for both you and your horse, and each of you should be properly outfitted. Whether you’re a casual rider, an enthusiast who participates in events, or you plan to try horse-riding soon, you’ll want to be well-equipped. Here are a few suggestions for 5 items every rider should consider.
Equestrians bring to mind the classic image of a person smartly dressed in a riding uniform and wearing a stiff black hat. That hat, while certainly stylish in its own right, is actually a protective helmet. These equestrian helmets have to meet stringent safety standards, and though they can be costly, they are worth every penny! This is the only piece of clothing style gear that you absolutely must have in order to ride safely.
A protective vest, designed to keep you safe should any kind of impact occur, is not required, but many riders prefer to wear one. Not only are these vests warm in the winter months, but they offer advanced protection if you should fall or be struck by the horse.
Leather gloves generally make a great choice to wear while riding. They are sturdy and durable while still allowing for a lot of movement in the hands and fingers. It is important to wear gloves as they help protect you from developing painful blisters that could eventually cause calluses.
Fitted Shirt and Stretchy Pants
You don’t want to wear anything dangling or loose, so when riding it’s best to wear fitted clothing that is soft, stretchy and comfortable. A fitted shirt with long or short sleeves will suffice. Riding jodhpurs are always a fashionable choice, but any pants that are close to the body will do.
Boots are most often chosen for riding, as they are protective and warm. No matter what type of shoe you decide to wear, be sure to choose one with a low heel. The heel itself will help to keep your feet in the stirrups.
If you’re a beginner, keep in mind that outside of a riding helmet that meets recommended safety standards, there really is no type of special clothing that you will have to purchase. So long as you are not entering competitive or show events, you can wear whatever you like.