If you’re just starting out in the horse world, the clothing may seem a bit strange. Of course, equestrians don’t think so and it’s not just because they are used to wearing the “funny” clothes. Nearly every piece of equestrian clothing has a purpose, for safety and/or comfort; horse people don’t just wear it to be unique.
If you plan on starting riding lessons or being around horses, you too should make an investment and purchase the right clothing.
What To Wear For Horse Riding
For the most part, riders participating in English riding disciplines will be using the same clothes. While there are some differentiations between the disciplines, the basics are the same. It’s important to understand that show clothes for riders are very different from everyday riding clothes.
Everyday Riding Clothes:
While most riders prefer to look tidy, riders can relax at home and wear breeches and shirts instead of the formal wear required at shows.
- Riding pants: Riding Pants, sometimes also called “jodhpurs,” are one of the most important pieces of clothing a rider can have. Designed to provide comfort and functionality, riding pants come in a variety of different styles including knee patch, full seat, high rise, and low rise. With fashion becoming more apparent in the horse world riders can also find riding pants that have a jean-like appearance.
Knee patch breeches refer to the style of riding pant that has suede or leather patches on the inside of the knee only. On the other hand, full seat breeches have suede or leather going from below the knee, up the inner thigh, and around to the back of the rump area. Full seat breeches often provide more “stickability” in the saddle.
- Riding shirts: For daily use, riders can wear any style of shirt they choose. Of course, there are still fashion trends in the horse world and horse riding shirts that can make your class more comfortable. You can find most riders with a collared shirt or polo shirt that makes them look professional and tidy.
- Belts: Most riders absolutely love belts; belts are a great fashion accessory that can add sophistication to any rider’s outfit. Just like with “normal” clothes, riding belts come in a variety of styles.
- Boot socks: It’s not that riders are trying to look like soccer players; boot socks that either go half way up the leg or to the knee make wearing riding boots or half chaps much more pleasant. Boots socks aren’t worn for fashion, but for function.
Unlike everyday wear, riders are required to dress formally at shows.
- Riding pants: While riders can wear any color of Riding Pants for classes and regular riding, they must wear conservative colors (white, beige, or tan) at shows. Both full seat and knee patch breeches are acceptable at shows. (see more above)
- Show shirts: At shows, riders are required to wear collared show shirts with a stock tie for women or regular tie for men.
- Coats: Riders are required to wear “show coats” when showing. Competition Coats can be seen in a variety of different colors including black, blue, gray, and red, depending on your school or team.
While equestrian clothing may seem strange at first, it’s designed for not only appearance, but also for comfort and functionality.
This is not all your going to need for your horse riding clases, though.
Continue on to this post about Other Riding Gear for info on Boots, Helmets, Gloves, Spurs and Crops.