Home » Recreation and Sports

Equestrian Riding Apparel

Aug 14, 2008
Have you ever though about riding your horse barefoot, with the wind whipping through your hair? It does sound nice, doesn't it? However, you might want to think twice about this idea and instead consider some suitable riding apparel. Riding apparel has a very important purpose - keeping you, the rider, safe as you go galloping around.

Boots are a must, whether you are an adherent of the English or Western style of riding. Wearing boots is not just for riding, but for all activities around horses including feeding, grooming, exercising, etc. After all, those hooves are very heavy and if your horse accidentally steps on your toes; well, let's just say you'll wish you'd worn boots. For riding, a boot with a heel is the best choice as it will prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrups. However, for working in your stable, you may want to pick up a pair of paddock boots or work boots. They'll be more sturdy and durable, and often more comfortable.

Not very many people are excited about wearing a riding helmet. After all, one would hardly call them stylish. At the same time, a riding helmet can quite literally be a lifesaver in the event of a fall. Your baseball cap or cowboy hat will not provide adequate protection. Shop for a well-rated helmet specifically designed for horseback riding. Vented models can keep you cooler.

Long pants, breeches or jodhpurs should be worn when riding. They'll protect your legs from the saddle and horse's sweat and from brush, sticks and the elements.

In competitive riding, you'll have to stow your regular riding wear and pull out your show clothes - whether riding English or Western. Each style has clothing requirements, and each season brings new styles. If you aren't following both the rules and the styles, you'll find it hard to win ribbons.

If the show you're riding in asks for hunt seat attire, then you'll have to wear a riding shirt which is either white or pinstriped. You'll also need breeches, a hunting cap, dress riding boots and a wool riding jacket. Riding gloves are also customary in these events. Breeches and jacket can be any dark color, but you may want to find out what colors are "in" before making an investment in them. Being out of style may not win you favor with the judges or the audience.

You'll need to dress formal for dressage riding. You'll need a white shirt, a stock tie (which should be fastened with a horse-themed pin), white or tan breeches, black jacket and dress boots, as well as a helmet or hunt cap. If it is a saddle seat competition, then you'll want dark jodhpurs, jodhpur boots, a riding derby, a dark jacket and white riding shirt.

Western riders wear different clothes depending on their gender. Men will need Western shirts, ties, belts (leather with silver buckles), felt cowboy hats, riding boots, jeans and chaps. Women will be attired in Western shirts, vest or jacket, riding boots, felt hats and of course, jeans and chaps. In more intense sports, the ties and silver belt buckles are not required.
About the Author
Susanne Malloy is an avid equestrian and an editor for www.EnglishSaddleShop.com, your complete resource for new and used English saddles, riding apparel, and tack.
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