What do you dream of when you think about riding your horse?
Do you have visions of yourself riding barefoot & bareback while your horse gallops through the surf with the wind blowing through your hair?
If so, you may just want to rethink your horse riding apparel.
Although it may not be quite as comfortable and relaxed as going barefoot and hatless, most riding gear is designed to keep you safe. So you continue to enjoy those refreshing morning gallops.
The Horse Riding Apparel That Keeps You Safe.
RIDING HAT – Heads crack. Keep yours in one piece.
Few people enjoy wearing riding hats. After all, they are not the most stylish equestrian accessory and few would get past the fashion police. However, falling from a horse onto your head without protection can result in serious injury. If you compete in eventing, dressage or showjumping a hat is mandatory and if you ride Western style, your cowboy hat will not protect you if you are thrown. Always wear a certified riding hat to protect your skull.
RIDING BOOTS- Feet get trod on & toes break.
Whether you prefer to ride English or Western style, you should always be sure you wear sturdy riding boots. In fact, you should wear boots even if you are just going to feed or groom your horse; because having a heavy hoof come down on your foot when you’re wearing trainers will really hurt. Cowboy boots can be comfortable when broken in and leather riding boots will almost always be a bit stiff to walk around in, so invest in a pair of yard boots or stout walking boots to use around the yard & stable.
RIDING GLOVES – Pretty little fingers break easily. Protect Yours.
Aside from improving your grip on the reins, stable doors can close quickly and feed bins can slam shut. The unplanned dismount means sometimes using your hands to protect yourself and bare skin can get rubbed off on rough ground.
When you are competing at equestrian events, leave your blue jeans and T-shirts at home.
Equestrian fashion trends can dictate how pretty a picture you present on your horse, but sometimes they forget the safety aspects.
If you are riding in an affiliated horse show the organisers will require you to conform to their dress code. Unaffiliated horse shows aren’t always that strict.
For British Dressage competitions, you will need to dress according to affiliation rules.
This normally means wearing a plain white shirt, a stock, white or cream jods or breeches, riding gloves, a black jacket, long black riding boots and a BS Certified riding hat.
Western Show Riders wear rather different clothing.
Men wear Western shirts, ties, leather belts with ornate silver buckles, riding boots and felt cowboy hats. They also need a nice pair of jeans and fancy chaps.
Women wear Western tuxedo shirts, jackets or vests, bow ties, jeans, chaps, riding boots and felt hats. Western riders who compete in the more active sports can forget the ties and fancy belt buckles.
No matter what horse show organisers demand you should always ensure you take care of your personal safety.
Always wear a well fitting riding hat that conforms to British Standards, good quality riding gloves, good quality comfortable jodphurs or breeches, leather riding boots and a stylish well fitting riding jacket.
But, before you invest in any equestrian clothing, make sure you find out what cuts and colors are in style. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy last seasons green jacket by mistake when everyone is wearing navy blue.
Standing out because you are behind the style trend isn’t a great strategy, particularly in the show ring.