Gear for the rider is required in order to keep the rider safe. While certain riding schools will have different safety requirements, riders should make a point of having the right gear to ensure their safety and comfort.
While most riding schools just require that riders ride with a boot that has a heel of at least two inches, riders are better off to purchase an affordable pair of riding boots. Riding boots are designed for riding and offer the best comfort and safety available. Available in two forms, paddock boots and tall boots, riders can find riding boots in a large range of prices. Riders who decide to purchase paddock boots (boots that only come to the ankle), may want to consider purchasing a pair of half chaps to avoid chaffing on the inside of their calves.
A riding helmet is one of the smartest investments that any rider can make. If a rider falls off, a serious injury could occur; many injuries and deaths have occurred because a rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. Helmets should be ASTM approved with a harness.
While gloves are optional, most riders feel that they assist with enhancing feel and preventing potential blisters and or burns.
Only experienced riders should be wearing spurs. Spurs are simply an extension of the leg aid and riders only use them when needed. Worn on the boot, spurs are available in many different sizes and styles.
Riders may also desire to carry a whip or crop if they are riding a lazy horse. Most horses will realize that a rider is carrying a whip and will instantly be more forward. Whips are another external aid and are not used in an abusive manner.
Gear for the horse will often vary depending on each specific horse’s need. Furthermore, riders may often find that their horses perform better in certain gear.
A bridle is the piece of equipment worn on the horse’s head. Bridles consist of a brow band, nose band, throat latch, reins, and a bit. The type of bridle can vary depending on the style of nose band used.
Worn on the horse’s back, the type of saddle will depend on the discipline. Saddles are also worn with saddle pads and girths. Girths are designed to make sure that the saddle stays secure on the horse’s back.
Not all horses need a breastplate, but a breastplate is used to keep the saddle from slipping forward or backward.
Horses will often be outfitted with protected boots known as splint, galloping, open front, or bell boots to ensure that they don’t injure themselves while working.
This is only a brief introduction to horse riding gear. There are a wide array of different gadgets and equipment available. Of course, all riders, regardless of level and or age, should have protective head and footwear.