Getting ready to go to your first riding lesson? Well, first – congratulations! You are going to love it 🙂
However, you might be wondering what you should wear for horse riding. If this is the case, don’t worry – we will go through everything you need to know.
Read this and you will know exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) wear when horse riding.
What To Wear For Horse Riding
Thin layers are ideal because it’s easy to overheat while riding, so you can take a layer off once you heat up.
Most comfortable trousers with a bit of stretch in them will suffice, however, these trousers should be fitted and not too loose, or else they could get in the way and be hazardous. Speaking from experience, Jodhpurs are best because they stop your skin being nipped by the stirrup leather. You can even buy a pair which give you more grip in the saddle
They should also not be made from rough or stiff fabrics that will chafe or be uncomfortable when rubbing against the horse.
What NOT To Wear
Clothing made from rough fabrics – these can be very uncomfortable for both you and the horse, especially if you will be riding for a long time.
Baggy clothing (especially trousers) – baggy trousers can get in the way, especially if you are wearing ankle-length boots.
Safety gear is crucial for any rider. This primary includes your riding hat/helmet and body protection.
A riding hat should be worn for every riding lesson or event you go to, as protecting your head is crucial. Accidents can easily happen, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to riding!
Body gear might not always be necessary if you have some experience in the saddle or aren’t planning on doing jumping or hacking.
However, if you are getting in the saddle for the first time, knowing that you are protected by your gear goes a long way to ease the nerves.
Your riding instructor should be able to let you know if and when body protection will be needed. In most cases, it isn’t a necessity.
What Shoes Are Suitable?
Shoes are a very important part of the whole riding getup. There are specific rules to follow for appropriate riding shoes due to safety.
Ideally, you should have a pair of riding boots to wear, or at least something similar.
Things like trainers are not good, because you need a boot with a heel to stop you slipping through the stirrups. Our riding school will not allow shoes without a heel for safety reasons
If you’re planning on getting some riding boots, you can get field boots, short boots, long boots, or dress boots.
Here’s a quick breakdown of these four boot types:
Short boots – these are a good option for beginners for many reasons. They will have a small heel and limited grip (which is good). They are also more affordable and comfortable to wear if you aren’t used to long boots.
Long boots – these have a professional and fancy look to them, but they aren’t the most beginner-friendly. They can require some getting used to, and they can be very expensive.
Field boots – field boots are a type of long boots, but are a more versatile option if you want lacing at the ankle. They also aren’t as still as the below option, making them more comfortable for beginners.
Dress boots – dress boots are stiff with limited flexibility at the ankles. It isn’t recommended for beginners to use these, and they are commonly used for dressage and jumping events as they require more support.
Should NOT Wear
Hiking boots or any other boots with strong grip – this could end up being hazardous in the stirrup.
Shoes with a large heel – a large heel will get in the way and also potentially be hazardous.
Boots made from very stiff materials – while these shoes will offer more support, they can be very uncomfortable if you aren’t used to riding in them.
Anything else your riding instructor deems inappropriate – your riding instructor might have their own rules regarding what is and is not appropriate, so always talk to them first. We have boots you can borrow if you don’t have the right ones
Do You Need Gloves?
Gloves are important when you start riding so you have good grip of the reins. If your pony pulls it’s head down, you won’t get friction burns on your fingers. This is also important when leading you pony in from the field.
Also, frequent riding will cause callouses between the pinkie and ring finger (because of how you hold the reins). Gloves will prevent these callouses from forming.
What Equipment Will Riding Schools Offer?
This will depend on your riding school entirely. Some will have body safety gear that students can use, while others might not.
Always talk to your riding school about what they offer so that you know what you need to get.
Most, if not all, riding schools will have a riding hat selection available for students. These should all meet the required safety standard and be in date. Old hats can become brittle and might not offer the right amount of protection if you fall off
However, there is no guarantee that they will have your size and head shape on the day of your lesson. This is especially the case if there are other students having lessons.
If you know that riding is something that you are going to want to continue doing, it’s definitely worth investing in a good riding hat.
We have a whole article dedicated to riding hats and how to find the right one for you.
What Do You Need For Professional Or Event Riding?
Event or professional riding will have a more strict dress code to follow. These situations will typically require you to have all of the following:
Jodhpurs or other professional riding trousers
Long riding boots (like dress boots)
A riding jacket or coat
A riding hat/helmet
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions? Hopefully they get answers in the sections below!
Can You Wear Jewelry While Riding?
It isn’t recommended to wear any jewelry while riding. This is because necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and even facial piercings can get caught or hit against something and cause injury.
Things like earrings (especially dangling earrings and hoops) are a definite no-go because they can get caught and pulled by your helmet.
Can You Wear Glasses While Riding?
You can wear glasses, but make sure they have a good grip and don’t slip down your nose. Contact lenses are preferable if that’s an option.
How Should My Riding Boots Fit?
Riding boots shouldn’t pinch you or cut off circulation, but they need to be snug. You need to have control over feet and if they are slipping around inside your boots you won’t have as much control
Do I Need To Use Gloves?
Yes. Its important for your safety, especially when leading a horse so you can grip the rope if the horse gets a fright. Without gloves you might get a rope burn, or even worse let go of your horse leading to her getting loose
When you ride frequently you may build up callouses without riding gloves. You may want to wear riding gloves if you have sensitive skin, too.
Knowing what to wear for your horse riding lessons is important for both your safety and your horse’s. You need to be comfortable and practical while still staying safe.
Hopefully this article has helped with that, and you know what you should and shouldn’t wear to your riding lesson.