Horse riding gear! There is so much of it available! There is a quote
that says “horses are like potato chips, you can’t have just one.” If riders can’t just have one horse think of all the possibilities for
gear! What a horse and rider need is all inclusive
and can be done with style from head to toe.
First, a certified and approved
horseback riding helmet
should be on every riders’ head when mounted for safety. There is no
reason not to have this essential piece of horse riding gear as they
come in many lightweight and affordable options to fit every type of
Helmets just make sense as you don’t know when and how an accident could occur. Skill level should NOT be a factor when deciding to wear a helmet as even the best horses can trip and can fall. You simply can’t predict how an accident may occur.
In many junior shows and increasingly due to legislation and insurance purposes, you will find that approved helmets are also required for horse riding lessons and/or trail rides.
Find one here
From western bling show shirts to the traditional english show shirt
there are options galore in this category. Many schooling shirts and
even some newer show shirts are now made from wicking, breathable
performance fabrics. There is no reason to roast in the summer and
freeze in the winter.
You can also buy plenty of riding jackets, horse related hoodies, and weatherproof gear made just for your time in the saddle when the weather is less accommodating. Most of the jackets have hems in the back that are cut so they fit over your saddle.
Traditionally the western rider goes for Wrangler or Carharrt Jeans and
English riders tend to favor breeches or if you are younger, jodhpurs.
There are a whole range of styles of horse riding pants in both
categories. Good western jeans are comfortable, have seams that won’t
rub when riding, and are meant to last.
Breeches fit snug on your body. They tend to be made from cotton or other materials combined with some spandex to help them fit. English breeches keep you from sliding around on a smooth leather saddle.Traditionally they are worn at the natural waist and are fitted at the bottom (so field or tall boots can fit over them), but boot cut and low rise breeches are now available as well as english fitted riding jeans!
From Fringe laced full leather chaps to the english schooling half chaps
there are many types of Chaps and Chinks to fill your needs. Full chaps
are worn from the waist all the way down to the ankles, while chinks
only go about to the knee. Half chaps are an english version commonly
used for schooling or lessons. They connect under your shoe and zip or
snap up and end at the knee.
Chaps are a great addition to your horse riding gear. They can give you more grip in the saddle as well as keeping your legs dry from the sweat of your horse or the outside elements. Getting a pair that has the proper fit needs to be at the top of your list with this bit of horse riding gear. Ill fitting chaps are super uncomfortable!
Do you love cowboy boots? Or are you more of a paddock boot person? Many times the style you ride dictates what the appropriate
horseback riding boots
are! Western riders typically wear cowboy boots, and english riders tend
to like paddock (shorter) boots for schooling or field (taller) boots
mainly used for showing.
There are even lightweight boots that look like sneakers or hiking boots made for the endurance rider or those who don’t like the traditional choices.
With sock choice, the height of your boot comes into play as well. You’ll notice if you go to buy english riding socks that they pretty much are all tall, but again many are made of wicking and comfortable fabrics. Take advantage of the technology, your tootsies will thank you later!
Horse riding gloves can be used for show or schooling and help with grip on the reins.
Remember those performance fabrics I have been talking about? Well technology just got better even for your undies. Seamless performance underwear (that don’t show under breeches!) and bras made just for riding will keep you comfortable all day in the saddle both at the show and on the trail.
The gear that people buy for their horses is extensive! There is no way I
could even begin to describe it all in this article. I will do my best
to cover all the basics.
Halters and leads are one of the most frequently used pieces of horse
riding equipment there are! Even though we don't generally use them for
riding, we do use it for about everything else!
I prefer longer leads made of yachting braid. This allows the horse to have more drift if he needs to move his feet. Better quality leads have more feel to them than a cotton or poly rope. Other longer training lines test the level of the communication with your horse from farther away. As for halters, you can read more about those on my horse training halters page.
The bridle is an important piece of horse riding gear. It consists of a
headstall which is all of the parts of the bridle that go on your
horses’ head, and the reins that you hold. Learn how to bridle, here.
The bit is the metal portion that goes in the horses’ mouth and is connected to the headstall and reins. The Headstall is made from anything from nylon to leather, in many varying styles for the different disciplines.
For instance, a noseband (the part of a headstall that goes around a horses’ nose) is commonly found on english bridles but not on western ones. While a western bridle will generally sport a curb chain, which is a small strap of leather or chain that goes under the horses’ chin and attaches to the bit on both sides, and english one will not.
are generally made of metal of varying sorts. Stainless steel, copper,
and sweet iron are very popular choices. They type of bit you choose
depends on the style you ride and the level of training both you and the
horse are at, and mostly what the horse prefers. The standard for
starting out with a bit is a simple snaffle (jointed bit). Myler bits
are one of the most popular and best brands.
also bit-less bridles of varying sorts as well! Side-pulls, mechanical
hackamores, and bosals all fit into this category.
One of the most important pieces of horse riding gear for both horse and
rider is the saddle. Many people have never ridden bareback, so that
tells you how important it is!
The saddle helps keep you balanced and secure on your horse, while for him it distributes the weight down his back more evenly, making it easier for him to carry a person comfortably for a longer time.
Saddles come in many different styles. English, Western, Endurance,
Australian, Saddleseat, and Tree-less to name a few. What type of riding
and what discipline you choose will be a large factor is what style you
end up riding in!
Saddles are made from a variety of materials. Leather is traditional, lasts a very long time and can be very heavy especially the western and roping varieties. It also requires regular maintenance, cleaning and care.
Saddles that are made from synthetic materials such as cordura are gaining popularity because of their ease of care, lower cost, and lighter weight.
Saddle fitting requires experience to get the best fit for both you and
your horse. Using tracings of the horses’ back is a very popular method
to assist with saddle fitting. In conjunction with consulting an
experienced saddle maker or fitter and giving them your size and what
style you plan on riding is the best way to find the right saddle!
sure you get the right saddle. You can’t just expect to go buy a saddle
on craigslist and expect it to work unless you are experienced enough
to know what to look for. Your horse might just buck you off if the
saddle is pinching him!
Don’t forget the girth or cinch,
either. This important piece of horse riding gear is responsible for
keeping the saddle in the upright position on your horse!
There are a lot of pads for saddles out there! From English gel pads to
Western wool pads, even air pads. You can spend a small fortune on a
Investing in the right pad for your saddle and horse is a highly personal choice, one that will probably land you with more horse riding gear than you need along the way!
In addition to the basics mentioned above there are tons of other kinds
of horse riding gear to consider based on your needs. If you ride a lot
in hilly terrain, you may need a breast collar or breastplate to keep
the saddle from sliding back off your horse.
If you can think what may happen when you ride your horse doing something specific, chances are there is a piece of horse riding gear that someone designed just for that
Here are some other articles you may enjoy:
Horse Training Tips- The five most important but often overlooked horse training tips revealed!
Natural Horse Training- Interested in learning about natural horse training or natural horsemanship? Often this type of training and riding uses unique horse riding gear. Get started here!
Riding Horses- Check out this insight into the horse lovers mind! People that ride horses are different in a good way, and we know it!
Horseback Riding Tips- Horseback riding tips to keep your time in the saddle fun and safe.