A new horseback rider has a lot to think about when it comes to purchasing gear – especially if they also have their first horse when beginning the process. With regards to attire, there are some things you just can’t do without when you start riding, and that applies whether you are riding English or Western. Some apparel, like the use of a helmet, is required for safety. Other items simply improve your comfort and your ability to ride.
Horseback Riding Apparel Required
- A helmet – although Western riders do not always wear helmet, it is better to be safe than sorry as your head will risk impact in a fall. Remember that anyone who rides on a regular basis will fall off eventually! Plus, in many places children under 18 must wear a helmet. Shop for a quality helmet that is comfortable and meets your aesthetic needs. You will find a selection at MarysTack.com.
- Breeches or riding pants – regardless of the riding discipline that you choose, having pants designed for riding is a good idea. They are appropriately reinforced so they do not wear prematurely as you grip the saddle. They also have added grip around the knee and/or calf. Jeans or leggings can work in the short-term, but are not ideal as you progress with your riding skills.
- Boots – it is important to wear boots with a heel when riding. If you are riding English, you can wear either tall boots or paddock boots. If you are riding Western, you can select cowboy boots or those of another style. Riding boots are available in a wide variety of materials, including those that are leather or synthetic. You can also get boots that are waterproof, or designed for a cold winter climate.
- Half chaps – if you are riding English, then half chaps are a good option as they can help you with appropriate grip or balance. The benefit is that they are worn over your pants, so they can be worn with any of your apparel.
- Gloves – you can improve your grip on the reins if you wear gloves. This comes in handy whether you are battling with a difficult horse, or simply want added control. Plus, gloves provide warmth when riding outdoors in a cooler climate.
- A riding crop – if you are working with a young or green horse, or simply one that is stubborn, then a riding crop can be used to help persuade the horse to go. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles!
There are other things that you are likely to require as your riding further improves. But start with the basics so you see what your particular needs and preferences are!