You might be a horseback riding pro, or an amateur just starting out. It doesn’t really matter if you’re well versed in show jumps and dressage school routines, or if you’re still pretty much clueless. If you love horses and are crazy about riding, you will definitely need a good riding outfit. Being informed on equestrian clothing will help you make the best decisions in putting together a comfortable, appropriate riding outfit, which will enhance your sportsmanship abilities, rather than hinder you and make you uncomfortable.
1. Breeches, Jodhpurs and Jeans
Any good riding outfit starts with the trousers, which need to be very comfortable, snug and a good fit, and can either be breeches, or Jodhpurs or skin-tight jeans. English riding breeches come in regular, long or extra long inseams and fit very snugly at the waist. When picking out the bottoms of your equestrian clothing, consider full seat breeches or Jodhpurs, which will make riding an entirely more comfortable experience. Riding pants can feature a front zip, a side zip or can simply be pulled on. Jeans for equestrian sports should always have a back yoke design, for full comfort.
2. Riding Boots and Chaps
Choose a tall, over-knee boot that’s a good fit on your shins – they are the most elegant design in equestrian shoes and are perfect for both paddock and training, as well as for the show ring. Shorter boots, also known as paddock boots perfectly complete other items of equestrian clothing, such as breeches and jodhpurs. You can also go for rubber boots or warm, waterproof thermal riding boots for the colder season.
3. Show Coats
As any respectable equestrian clothing manufacturer will tell you, a good show coat is one that fits and looks well, yet is stretchy enough to allow freedom of movement. In terms of design, the English riding jacket is the preferred model for shows. It’s ideal to select a model made of wool or polywool blends with a stretch lining, which will allow you to move freely.
4. Casual Riding Jackets
Casual riding jackets are a staple of equestrian clothing, and can come in a virtually limitless variety of fabrics and cuts. You can choose a beautifully tailored coat, a classic bomber jacket or a down vest, which will allow you a maximum a freedom of movement. Alternatively, try a more functional techy jacket, which can also be worn successfully around the barn. Parkas are also a good solution, especially for colder riding days.
5. Sports Shirts
Equestrian clothing is very versatile, and can also stand in as casual, day-to-day clothing. For a good sports shirts, you can either go for a comfortable, snug and warm turtleneck, or an actual button-down shirt – just remember to select one that will not hinder your body movement while your ride. Fleece T-necks are perfect for chillier mornings spent riding, while, for a more professional rider look, you can always go for a polo shirt.
6. Show Shirts
When selecting a show shirt, you will want a model that can successfully combine comfort, fashion and function. The perfect show shirt must don a classic, tunic-like design, and work perfectly for show jumping, dressage competitions or schooling. Stretch fabrics are perfect for show shirts, while alternative models with stock ties are the go-to variant for dressage.
7. Riding Gloves
You need good, classically styled leather gloves for a good grip on your reins. A good pair of riding gloves will range in price from $11 to $22. You can find them thinsulate lined, made of kidskin, lined with nylon – a wide variety is available. Always, when buying riding gloves, make sure they allow freedom of movement for your wrist.
8. Riding Socks
When it comes to riding socks as items of equestrian clothing, what sets them apart from regular gloves is that they are technically designed for comfort and support. Other than that, the next most important thing is that they fit well, that they’re fun, colorful, variously patterned and that they fit your choice of riding shoe. There are special socks for boots out there, and there are also some patterns which are more appropriate for riding, such as argyle, stripes or anything featuring riding dog breeds (Corgi, German Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, etc.).
9. Riding Helmets & Helmet Covers
Riding helmets are much, much more than fashion accessories – they are vital safety elements for any rider. As such, they need to be light, as well as durable and comfortable. Choose a lightweight helmet for the best results. Many helmets feature a velvet exterior, as well as perfectly lined shells, that will grant you the comfort you need while riding. For dressage competitions, top hats are also appropriate. Helmet covers will allow you to add an element of style to your attire and also make you stand out among the other riders.
10. Riding Crops, Whips and Bats
Crops, whips and bats are the ultimate riding accessories, and beginner riders will be amazed to discover that they come in a wide variety of models. You can have them braided, in leather, with a rubber grip or even glittery. They usually don’t cost too much – a crop or whip that exceeds $15 is hard to find. They add a touch of class and a classical look to the outfit of any professional or amateur rider.