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Horseback riding is an adventure that calls for style, comfort, and a dash of daring. If you’re wondering what to wear horseback riding, our handpicked equestrian essentials will make you feel both chic and secure.
Horseback riding is not just an exhilarating adventure; it’s a dance with nature that thrills the soul. But let’s face it, choosing the right attire for this graceful escapade can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re saddling up for the first time.
If you’ve found yourself here, you’re likely one of those eager first-time riders or perhaps an experienced equestrian looking for a fresh take on riding fashion.
Either way, this master guide is tailored to enlighten you on what to wear horseback riding, ensuring that you look as fabulous as you feel on your equine adventure.
Ready? Let’s giddy up!
Understanding Horseback Riding
For quick mind enrichment, there are several types of horseback riding. The most common ones are English, Western, and beach horseback riding.
- English horseback riding is rooted in European horsemanship. It shows off formal disciplines like Eventing, Show Jumping, and Dressage.
- Western horseback riding is a more relaxed way of horse riding, influenced by American cowboy culture. It is mostly used in Western Pleasure, Reining, and Rodeo events.
- Beach horseback riding is a great vacation activity involving horse riding. Beach rides allow riders to explore sandy shores and feel the ocean breeze as they ride alongside the water.
Read this article for a more comprehensive comparison between English and Western horseback riding.
What to Wear Horseback Riding in the Summer
Horseback riding in summer is definitely a challenge. You must keep your focus on riding, so uncomfortable clothing should be the least of your worries.
You should remember only one thing when riding in hot weather conditions; VENTILATION. You have to choose clothes with very good ventilation and sweat-wicking properties.
Here’s a list of what to wear for horseback riding in the summer to make it easier for you:
- sweat-wicking shirt
- breathable riding tights
- lightweight socks
- ventilated helmet
- lightweight gloves
- ventilated riding boots
- moisture-wicking underwear
Horseback Riding Outfit Ideas
Going off strong with one of the two common types of horseback riding, the English riding. As it is rooted in European horsemanship, it is all about combining athleticism and grace in a timeless tradition.
English riding has a disciplined and classical approach to equestrian sports. That’s English riders must also keep their clothing classy and distinguished.
Here’s a simple English riding outfit combination:
- fitted navy riding jacket
- light-colored long-sleeved shirt
- beige riding breeches
- brown tall riding boots
- black riding helmet
- a pair of sleek leather gloves
Western riding is about the American cowboy’s spirit and ranch work traditions. It showcases the adventurous spirit of the American West.
Western riders have to go all rugged and free-spirited for this rustic type of riding. They can opt for the following ensemble:
- Western shirt
- denim or black jeans or leggings
- trusty brown or black Western cowboy boots
- a wide-brimmed cowboy hat or a stylish Western riding helmet
- Western belt with decorative buckle
- leather gloves
Casual Trail Riding
Want to experience that laid-back equestrian activity? I got you! You can also go casual for your outfit for a casual trail ride.
Whether riding solo or with friends, I bet you would be taking pictures, so you might as well make your casual outfit as chic as possible.
Check out this casual combo:
- sweat-wicking T-shirt or a tank top
- dark-colored riding tights or leggings
- pair of hiking boots or trail riding boots
- wide-brimmed hat (for hot weather)
- light jacket (for cold weather)
When talking about elegance in equestrian activities, dressage riding will surely be one of them. It is associated with grace and elegance between the rider and the horse.
For that refined and sophisticated riding attire, go for the following combination:
- tailored show coat (I recommend going for the color black, navy, or dark green)
- light-colored show shirt
- stock tie or choker
- white or beige full-seat riding breeches
- black dressage riding boots
- black dressage helmet
- clean white or light-colored gloves
When it comes to Western Pleasure show, it’s either go big or go home! You and your equine companion will be showcasing the skills and bond you have fostered throughout time in front of a crowd.
Horse enthusiasts, riding instructors, trainers, and spectators will be present, so better give them a good show and a good outfit to check out.
I took the job of rounding up this ensemble for you:
- Western shirt with intricate detailing
- dark jeans or show pants
- dark show chaps (optional; put this on if you want to add more fanciness to the outfit)
- polished Western boots
- Western hat or a show cowboy hat
- silver belt with a decorative buckle
Getting ready for an endurance ride? No problem! This equestrian sports activity will traverse various terrains, so you must dress appropriately for that.
For an exhilarating endurance ride, you can consider this combo:
- moisture-wicking shirt
- riding tights or endurance pants
- trail riding boots
- black helmet
- hydration pack
- riding gloves
We have another sports type of horse riding; polo riding. This is a fast-paced equestrian sport that is a combination of skillful horsemanship with a competitive team dynamic.
You must wear stylish and functional attire for this intense horse riding type. Choose the following:
- polo jersey or performance top
- white breeches
- knee-high polo boots or paddock boots
- knee guards
- polo helmet
- riding gloves
Show jumping is an event where a rider and horse showcase impeccable agility and tenacity in colorful fences and obstacles.
For this type of horse riding, you can for this ensemble:
- show jumping jacket (preferably navy blue, black, white, gray, or brown)
- white show jumping shirt featuring a stock tie
- beige or white show jumping breeches
- tall jumping boots
- black show jumping helmet
- white or light-colored gloves
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For that thrilling, high-speed rodeo event known as barrel racing, horseback riders can go all-out for their looks.
Barrel racing is an equestrian sport to complete a precise cloverleaf pattern while avoiding knocking the barrels set up. Since you’ll be there anyways, you might as well show them how one can be good with guiding horses while looking good simultaneously.
Rock this event with this get-up:
- Western shirt (make it flashy)
- pair of black jeans or riding pants
- barrel racing boots or Western boots (with a low heel)
- Western belt (featuring a decorative buckle)
- Western hat or cowboy hat
- riding gloves (optional; but they’ll add sparkle to your look)
We have another captivating and artistic equestrian sport, vaulting. It is a mixture of gymnastics and dance on horseback. Sheesh!
If you’re a first-timer in vaulting, I recommend having this ensemble:
- leotard or tight-fitting performance top
- leggings or tight-fitting pants
- vaulting shoes or boots (with a flat sole)
FAQ About What to Wear Horseback Riding
Should I wear leggings or jeans horseback riding?
Are jeans OK for horse riding?
Are horse riding pants necessary?
Do you need sneakers for horseback riding?
No, a pair of sneakers is a bad idea for horseback riding. Sneakers mostly have rubber soles with extra grip, making it challenging to free your foot in case of an emergency. Always choose to wear appropriate, quality pair of footwear designed for horse riding.
Can I ride a horse in sweatpants?
Yes, you can, but for safety and comfort purposes, I recommend not to. Its soft and loose material may cause chafing and discomfort during riding sessions. Wearing comfortable pants with better flexibility, support, and protection is ideal.
Can you wear gym leggings for horse riding?
Yes, certainly! You can wear a comfortable pair of gym leggings for horse riding, especially if they are made from moisture-wicking and stretchy fabric. Gym leggings offer flexibility and can keep you comfortable during casual rides or riding lessons, especially for beginner riders.
What shoes to wear horseback riding?
Horseback riding boots come in various designs, including tall boots for English horseback riding lessons and Western boots for Western riding. It is vital to wear proper riding boots to avoid accidents on your ride.
Key Takeaways About What to Wear Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is indeed fun and exciting. It only takes a couple of appropriate clothing to make your riding experience comfortable and memorable.
For a quick recap, when choosing what to wear to horseback riding, always remember the type of horse riding you’re going into.
The rule of thumb is always to wear proper garments such as helmets, riding boots, ventilated shirts, fitted jeans or leggings, and sweat-wicking underwear.
Whether it’s equestrian training or just a casual stroll, it’s important to be mindful of possible injuries you’ll get if not dressed appropriately for a horseback ride.
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