What to Wear for a First-Time Horseback Riding

Jessica McDaniel
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What to Wear Horseback Riding for your First-Time Ride

Wearing the right clothing and footwear is very important during your first ride and for all your rides. Appropriate riding boots serve an important role by protecting your feet and ankles against injury from large horses and hooves, and helping you maintain your balance and your position.

It’s important to have the right type of pants to protect your legs, as well as a shirt to prevent your arms from cheap area rug injuries, or rubbing against the saddle.

For your riding hat, you’ll want to choose one that not only looks good but also protects your head from the sun. Whether you’re riding in the early morning or the evening, the sun can still be strong. A good hat to have riding on the water is a wet weather hat.

Even in the fall or summer riding, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to prevent blisters. And depending on the season, you may need pants to cover your legs, and a long sleeve shirt or jacket to prevent sunburn.

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Close-Toed Shoes

While you don’t necessarily need shoes with a sturdy, hard sole, the soles should offer some traction for the stirrup. You want to prevent your foot from slipping around while your horse moves, accelerating, and decelerating. Open-toed shoes can mean worse footing because one foot will be completely off the horse’s back without any security.

Boots are more sturdy and offer a hard sole, but riders in boots may experience the stirrups slipping, especially if the boots have a break in the back.

What to Wear Horseback Riding: Long Pants

/Shorts or Leggings?

I would recommend wearing long pants because they are more comfortable because it can get a bit hot while you ride. I would also recommend wearing a t-shirt or tank top underneath the shirt.

You DO NOT want to wear jeans or leggings because you are going to be in the saddle for a long time and it is going to be an uncomfortable ride if you are wearing something too tight.

Also, I would recommend wearing tennis shoes or something that you can slip on and off easily. You DO NOT want to wear anything with laces or anything that is not easy to take off.

What to Wear Horseback Riding: Helmet

Capris, Jacket.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not need to wear a helmet. If you live in an urban area, your municipality may require a helmet unless you’re out in the country. But in general, for safety reasons, particularly if you’re new or to riding, you should always wear one.

The helmet can reduce significantly damage sustained in the event of a fall or collision, which is why it's always preferred that you wear one even if you're already an experienced rider.

Clear Glasses

Don't forget to bring a pair of clear glasses. The more you're immersed in the scenery, the more fun your horseback riding experience will be.

Light Gloves

Some people like gloves for horseback riding, not only for the protection they provide from brush, etc.. They serve as a reminder, if you've spent too long in the sun. They can also help you grip the reins better.

Other horseback riding attire, which really depends on the weather (body temperature), is a team tank top or capris and a long-sleeved jacket.


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