If you're about to start horseback riding lessons, you're likely wondering what you'll need to wear to stay safe and comfortable in the saddle. Whether you decide to ride English or Western, Mary's Tack and Feed has you covered with all the essentials from the boots you'll need to keep you feeling sturdy to the right helmet to keep you protected in case of a fall.
Horse Riding Gear for English Riding
If you decide to ride English, you'll want to start with the proper helmet. This is an essential for any beginner as it will keep you protected in case of a fall, and later on it will keep you safe during fast-paced events, such as jumping or polo. Mary's Tack and Feed carries a great selection of English riding helmets at all price points, but you'll want to be sure to choose the one for your head size for a proper fit.
Next, invest in a great pair of men's breeches or women's breeches or kid’s breeches. Breeches will keep you most comfortable since they are designed specially to enhance grip as well as stretch and support with the dynamics of riding. Weather appropriate shirts & tops will keep you comfortable and focused on riding - not how hot or cold you are. Most riders choose sun protection tops: women’s sun tops and kid's sun tops during warm weather to protect their skin from damaging rays. These tops often feature moisture wicking, fast drying, cooling fabrics. In cooler weather choose a top designed to keep the cold out or layer with a vest or close-fitting jacket.
Tall English riding boots or paddock boots and half chaps are the next essential part of your gear, as they facilitate good foot placement and protect your calves from the friction of the leathers. While there are lots of other types of English riding gear that you can invest in later, these are the most important pieces for any beginning rider.
Many riders are choosing safety vest especially for fast-paced types of riding involve jumping and more challenging activities. If you think this is what you want to do it's always smart to add an extra layer of protection.
Horse Riding Gear for Western Riding
If you are going to ride Western, as a beginner rider it's a smart decision to wear a helmet and most lesson programs will require one for youth riders. Although Western riders don't wear helmets in the show ring, it's perfectly acceptable (and smart) to wear one when you're starting out and want that increased level of protection.
For Western riding, most people wear riding jeans instead of breeches. Mary's carries Western riding jeans for men and Western riding jeans for women so you can find the perfect pair to suit your needs.
For the Western rider the shirt choices are limitless - yay! Many riders choose button or snap front shirts tucked in with a belt for the traditional look. Casual shirts and Tees are perfectly acceptable, especially for warm weather; sweatshirts or slim fitting vests & jackets when it's cooler. The current trend for tops, no matter your discipline, is technical fabrics that include sun protection, breathability, and temperature regulation.
While Western riding requires a traditional Western show shirt if you decide to compete, most Western riders dress more casually when training around the barn or riding out on the trail.
Next, you'll need a pair of Western riding boots to keep your feet securely in the stirrups and protect them around the barn when you're out of the saddle. While some Western riders opt for traditional Western cowboy-style boots, you may also choose a pair of lace-up Western riding boots or endurance shoes while you're learning to ride.
Being prepared with the correct apparel is a great way to be ready for your first lesson. We have lots of options to help you feel good in the saddle and around the barn.