The sport and hobby of riding horses have been around for thousands of years, with modern, domesticated horses being at the forefront of sports like horse racing, competitive dressage, show jumping, and riding as a hobby.
With most sports, there is an extensive history and related customs. In sports – including riding – there is a related etiquette, traditions, distinct styles, culture, and of course, standard dress wear. Appropriate clothing is not only essential to the enjoyment of your riding, but also as part of your equestrian etiquette.
In a more competitive event category like dressage, a smart outfit – along with hair and posture – can make all the difference to your image and style as a rider. In fact, riders’ dress and other competition rules are strictly regulated, so as to maintain compliance and the standard of the sport.
If you are new to horse riding, it is understandable that you may feel somewhat out of your depth. Learning anything for the first time can feel intimidating, but there is no need to stress. Horse riding is an incredibly rewarding hobby, and soon enough, you will feel comfortable in your comprehension of what you have to do and how you’re going to achieve this.
For starters, let’s simply look at your outfit. This article will focus on some necessary tips and knowledge points, giving you the tools and confidence to shop for your horse riding needs!
A riding hat – always!
We know this is not the coolest rule, but it is one of the top rules in horse riding: wear a riding hat. There are many basic safety guides to riding a horse, especially because of its power and size. Horse riding has been known to result in injury for riders who do not take precautions. And wearing a hat is one of the key safety tips.
Though many non-riders underestimate how active horse riding is, it is important that you recognize your needs. Strenuous activity will impact your nutrition, hydration, and even the pants you wear!
Long, stretchy pants – jodhpurs
It is not advisable that you wear short pants, as these will not protect your legs from chafe or from your skin being pinched by accident! The full length is important, as well as the fabric.
Your riding pants will need to be very stretchy, giving you the most flexibility for whatever you will be doing on the horse. Events like show jumping and gymkhana, and even something as simple as trotting on a horse will test your pants!
The pants you will see almost all horse riders wearing are called jodhpurs. These tight-fitting pants fit really well around your ankles and make for the perfect bottoms to your outfit!
Closed shoes or boots
Wearing the right shoes is integral to your outfit, safety, and comfort. It is essential that you wear closed shoes, as they are secure and limit your risk of being hurt. Do not take a chance with flip-flops or open-toed shoes and try to find boots whose toe-area is thick.
Throughout your time riding horses, there is a good chance that will be confronted by a moment in which the horse will step on your toes. If your boots are not sufficiently protective, this can be extremely painful and possibly even break some toes. Therefore, it is recommended that you invest in a solid pair of riding boots!
Specially crafter riding boots have the perfect heel that will help you hold your stirrups in place. Looking online at sites of equestrian specialists like https://www.ayrequestrian.com/, you’ll see a great selection of footwear and other riding gear items that are sure to give you more insight into what you might need. It’s always worth enquiring about specials or deals while browsing, as you never know what you might find.
If you are feeling like your boots’ heel grip may not be sufficient, you may need to revise some riding techniques. It is always best to start learning with a teacher who can help you avoid the most common riding mistakes, but if you do not have one, reading some riding guidelines for beginners will do you wonders!
Comfortably fitted shirt
Next, it’s important that your upper body is comfortable. You may wear something more loosely-fitted, but be careful not to wear something that could get caught on a pole you walk by, for instance. At the same time, it wouldn’t be too enjoyable if your clothing is too tight. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and restricted in your movement, you won’t enjoy your ride as much or be very relaxed…
Finding that middle ground for yourself is fantastic. And though you may need to shop around a bit to see what you like and prefer, you will quickly develop your own personal style of dress for horse riding. Be comfortable, safe, and enjoy!
Some weather dependent items
In the warm weather, there are some items that will improve your experience of riding. Articles like sunglasses are a great addition in the heat and bright sun. If it is a windy day, you may want to consider a windbreaker.
On the other hand, you may be in an area where the temperatures get very cold. In this case, dressing appropriately will entail wearing a jacket, a scarf, or even gloves.
While it is in good order to learn the appropriate dress for riding, it is even more important to know how to care for your horse. This is another fantastic reason to look into getting a teacher to train you on how to care for this large, unique animal. Even during your riding sessions, tacking up properly is vital to your ride.
Causing discomfort to a horse is rather tricky, as their body is strong, and they are capable of handling big weights. However, we should respect these beautiful creatures and learn how we can best treat them while they’re in our care.
To learn how to ride a horse is an incredible experience; and one that most people will likely never experience in their lives. Enjoy your opportunity to ride horses, they are truly a blessing! Riding is an impactful sport that is likely going to transform your perspective on keeping fit, being active, and that bond between a person and animal.