Got My Horse

The Complete Guide to Horseback Riding Gear Maintenance and Selection

What to Wear When Riding Horses: A Beginner’s Guide

Riding horses is a privilege that not everyone gets the chance to experience. It’s an activity that requires skill, patience, and knowledge.

As a beginner, choosing what to wear can be overwhelming, but with a little bit of guidance, you’ll be able to dress appropriately for horseback riding. In this article, we’ll cover what to wear when riding horses, as well as additional accessories that will help improve your experience.

Basic Riding Attire

The basic riding attire consists of a helmet, long pants, sturdy closed-toe boots, and a well-defined heel. Let’s break down each of these items to understand which options are best for beginner riders.


An equestrian helmet is essential for horseback riding safety. When selecting an equestrian helmet, make sure it’s SEI/ASTM certified.

This certification ensures that the helmet has passed rigorous safety tests. It’s important to ensure that the helmet fits properly.

If the helmet is too loose or too tight, it may not provide adequate protection.

Riding Pants:

Long pants are necessary to protect your legs while horseback riding.

While jeans are a popular option, they may restrict your movement. Leggings, bootcut breeches, breeches, jodhpurs, or riding tights are more comfortable and allow for more range of motion.

Kentucky jodhpurs, in particular, have an elastic band that goes under the rider’s foot, providing a sleek and professional look.


It’s important to wear sturdy, closed-toe boots when riding horses.

Cowboy boots, terrain boots, paddock boots, or tall boots are all suitable options. It’s essential that the boots have a well-defined heel, which will help keep your foot securely in the stirrup.

This is important in case your horse gets spooked, or you need to make a sudden stop.

Additional Riding Accessories

In addition to the basic riding attire, there are additional accessories you can use to enhance your riding experience. These accessories provide added protection, grip, and comfort while you ride.


Gloves are essential for riders who experience slippery reins or require warmth. They provide grip and protection for the rider’s hands while preventing blisters from forming during long rides.

Riding gloves come in different materials, including leather and synthetic materials.


Chaps are leg covers worn over pants to provide added protection and grip.

They come in full-chaps or half-chaps and are ideal for riders who want more contact with the horse while protecting their legs from scrapes and bruises. The added protection will give you the confidence to ride more comfortably.

Jodhpur Clips or Boot Straps:

Jodhpur clips or boot straps are accessories designed to keep your pants from riding up while you ride. They’re ideal for riders who prefer a sleek look in the saddle.

The clips or straps will hold your pants in place while also protecting your ankles and lower legs from exposure to the friction of the stirrup.

Jodhpur Garter Straps:

Jodhpur garter straps are another accessory that can improve your riding experience.

They’re ideal for schooling shows or riders who prefer a more polished and professional look. Jodhpur garter straps keep the pants from twisting, which will help keep you focused on your riding instead of your clothing.

Safety Vest:

A safety vest is a padded garment worn over your shirt to provide added protection when riding. They’re especially useful when riding young or inexperienced horses that may be more prone to sudden stops or other unpredictable behaviors.

Safety vests help to absorb the impact of a fall, providing the rider with more protection.

Long-sleeve Athletic Shirts:

Long-sleeve athletic shirts provide added protection from the sun and are comfortable to wear in warmer weather.

These shirts are lightweight and moisture-wicking, which makes them a good option for riders who want to stay cool in warmer weather while still staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays.


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, choosing the right attire and accessories is essential to your safety and comfort while on a horse. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to dress appropriately for horseback riding, allowing you to focus on enjoying your ride.

Remember always to prioritize safety, select gear that fits well and feels comfortable, and consider adding additional accessories for added protection and comfort.

Taking Care of Riding Gear

It’s essential to take care of your riding gear. The first step in caring for your gear is keeping it clean.

Dirt and sweat can damage your equipment over time. Always make sure to air dry the equipment before storing it.

Cleaning leather riding gear requires specialized care, such as using leather cleaner and conditioner. Avoid using regular soap and water as this could damage the leather.

Always ensure that leather conditioning products are non-greasy to avoid discolouring the leather. Keep boots in boot bags to protect them against dust and scratches.

In addition to cleaning and drying your gear, ensure that everything is stored in a cool, dry place to prevent mould and mildew. Take necessary steps to keep your tack area dry, clean and free of humidity.

Replacing Gear

No matter how well you take care of your gear, eventually, it will need replacing. The most critical piece of gear to replace after a fall is your helmet.

Helmets should be replaced after a significant fall or after five years of use. You should also replace your helmet if it shows signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or dents.

Apart from helmets, riding boots can also wear out over time. Boot soles can become smooth and slippery, making it challenging to keep your foot secure in the stirrup.

Heels can also become worn down, making it difficult to control the horse, and the leather can become stiff or cracked. It’s essential to keep an eye on your boot’s condition and replace them when you start to notice significant changes in the condition of the boot.

Bargain Hunting

Horse riding gear can be expensive, making it tough to keep up with the upkeep and replacement. However, there are several ways to find bargains that will keep your gear up to date.

One of the best places to find bargains on horse riding gear is at consignment shops. These stores offer gently used equipment at a fraction of the cost of new items.

Always ensure what you are buying is safe to use for horse riding.

Another option for finding bargains on riding gear is through online sales.

Many stores offer discounts on their products online. Use trusted websites and follow up carefully on your purchases to avoid any disappointments.

Finally, you can also find fantastic deals by keeping an eye on sales and discounts offered by your favourite brands. This is a great opportunity to stock up on equipment at lower prices.


Maintaining your horse riding gear can be a bit of a chore but worth it in the long run. Cleaning gear is essential to ensure it lasts longer, and proper storage keeps it in good condition.

Replacing gear after a fall or once it starts to show signs of wear and tear ensures your safety while riding. Finally, finding bargains on riding gear through consignment shops, online sales, or discounts on your favourite brand’s website will help keep you within your budget.

Always remember, your riding gear plays a critical role in keeping you safe while on a horse, so it’s essential to keep it well-maintained and replace it as necessary.


1. What are the basic riding attire?

Ans: Basic riding attire includes a helmet, long pants, sturdy closed-toe boots, and a well-defined heel.

2. How can I make my gear last longer?

Ans: Proper upkeep of your gear consists of regular cleaning, air-drying, and leather conditioning.

3. When should I replace my helmet?

Ans: You should replace your helmet after a significant fall or every five years, depending on how frequently it is used.

4. What are the best ways to find bargains on riding gear?

Ans: Consignment shops, online sales, and staying up to date on sales of your favourite brands are the best ways to find bargains on riding gear.

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