Home » Ultimate Guide to Horse Riding Gear 2016

Ultimate Guide to Horse Riding Gear 2016

horse riding gearHorse riders are generally a very dedicated bunch. We love our horses and we want the best possible equipment to provide comfort for both ourselves and our coveted horse.

It can get a little confusing when trying to figure out which equipment will work the best for us and our horses.

The one great thing about most horseback riding equipment is that it is a long term investment.

For that reason, purchasing your horseback riding accessories is something that you should review carefully before you decide on what fits you and your style the best.

Age and gender are both factors that are going to play a major role in what type of horse riding supplies you end up purchasing.

Women and men are obviously going to differ tremendously on what types of horse back riding pants they purchase, as will adults and children.

Helmets are another accessory that is going to differ greatly depending on age and gender.

Let’s look at the Horse Riding Essentials before going thru the deciding factors

Horse Riding Gear

Here are the deciding factors you need to consider

Here’s a couple things that you’ll want to consider before you decide on what type of horse riding gear you want to go with:

1) Which discipline am I choosing?

2) Am I looking for style or comfort, or both?

3) Is price a major factor in my decision?

4) Am I expecting other to use this as well, or just me?

5) How long am I expecting this to last for me?

Discipline

The discipline that you choose is the first step that you’re going to have to take before making your purchase. Horse riding attire and saddles will differ greatly depending on what discipline you choose.

Style or Comfort

It would be optimal if we could achieve both style and comfort but that’s usually a very difficult thing to find without spending some big time money. Comfort should be your number one priority since, as we mentioned, this is equipment that you’re probably going to be using long term.

Price

Price is going to be a significant factor in which type of horse riding equipment you go with simply because the range of prices can vary greatly. Saddles can cost you easily anywhere from $200-$800 and boots have the potential for an even wider range of prices.

Users of the Equipment

One of the biggest factors you’ve got to think about is whether this equipment is going to be used by multiple people.

Obviously horseback riding gear for kids is going to differ greatly from horse back riding gear for adults.

Gender is also going to play a factor as horse riding pants for girls will be quite different than the male version.

Hence, the below given is a list of factors that is needed to be taken into consideration while deciding on your horse riding gear:

  • Is it going to be used by more than one person?
  • Are my kids going to use it?
  • Is it going to be used by females?

If yes, some choices tend to be different.

Length of Use

Just like the price, the length of time that you’re expecting your horseback riding supplies to last is going to weigh heavily in your decision about whether to buy new or used gear.

Most gear will last you at least 10 years, but that once again will depend on a multitude of factors.

For horse lovers, owning a horse is an experience like no other. It’s a lifestyle where the bond developed between horse and owner is something that truly can’t be explained. Just as some dog owners feel incredibly close bonds with their pets, horse owners share experiences that just can’t be put into words.

Let’s take a look at some of the equipment that is essential to ensuring that your horse riding experience is as enjoyable for you and your horse as well:

Helmets

horse riding helmets

If there is one piece of horse riding attire that is absolutely essential when riding horses it is a horse riding helmet. There is absolutely no reason not to wear one, no matter what your experience level may be.

No matter how well you think you know your horse you have to understand that they are still unpredictable creatures. You never know when your horse might get spooked by a random animal or decide to buck in rebellion.

Horse riding accidents can be devastating and all precautions should be taken to ensure that you’re protected, especially from a potential head injury. The emphasis on preventing concussions in other sports has led to a lot of new technology that benefits the quality of horse riding helmets as well.

Even if you already have a helmet that you like it’d be well worth your time to check out some of the newer helmets that have the latest in what safety technology has to offer. For US customers, you’ll want to make sure your helmet is ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved.

Depending on your discipline, you’ll also want to be sure that your helmet is certified if you plan on entering any shows or contests. Many competitions have their own rules for which helmets can be used so make sure you know exactly what type of helmet you need to be getting.

Most horseback riding helmets can be found for anywhere between $50 – $125. You can expect your helmet to last you for quite some time so it’s definitely worth your while to invest in something of high quality.

If style is important to you, there are tons of different options for color as well as the structure of the helmet.

Show jumping enthusiasts may want to go with a skull cap type helmet that doesn’t restrict the front view when the head is tilted while riders who are hacking will probably want something a little more colorful and with a little more personal style to it.

Read here our reviews for the TOP 3 highest rated Horse Riding Helmets!

Boots

horse riding boots

The boots you choose are once again going to be dictated by your riding style. Paddocks are the boot of choice for most riders choosing a show discipline.

The choice you make for your boots is significant for two reasons. The first is obvious…you’ll be wearing the boots for almost the entire time you’re around the horse so you’ll want to be sure that they’re comfortable while also being sure that they provide a great deal of protection.

The second is that you’ll want to be sure that it’s the right fit to prevent any possible complications from getting caught in the stirrup. A rider getting his foot caught in the stirrup is one of the most common serious injuries that can result from riding a horse, especially for beginners.

Horse riding boots for women differ from mens horse riding boots in both size and style. The two most popular types of horse riding boots are paddock boots and western boots. Generally women prefer the paddock style while men prefer western, although this is once again dependent on the type of discipline that you choose.

You can expect to be spending a significant amount of money if you’re purchasing a new pair of boots. A lot of newer boots can range from $300-$700. If you’re purchasing for a child you may want to scour the web or the local classifieds for used options, as teens generally outgrow their boots in a short amount of time. The price factor for horse riding boots hence depends on the following factors:

  • Size of your foot
  • The quality you demand (yes, the quality matters here as well)
  • Style

Read here our reviews for the TOP 3 highest rated Horse Riding Boots!

Horse Riding Socks

horse riding socks

Horse riding socks generally serve only one purpose…to increase the comfort of the rider. There are all different types of styles and patterns but, since the socks won’t be seen often, the main purpose is for the rider to feel more comfortable with their boots on.

Riders that plan on participating in riding during the winter months may want to choose some of the warmer options available. A lot of riders have been moving towards socks that do a good job of gathering the perspiration from your feet. Any experienced rider knows that your feet sweat like crazy when you’re riding and having something to limit that perspiration can be a blessing.

Gloves

Horse riding gloves

The horse riding gloves you choose are, more than likely, going to be heavily dependent on what discipline you choose. Most show riders are going to want something that is a bit more stylish and uniform than someone who is simply riding for leisure.

Grip is the most essential factor when choosing which horse riding gloves are the best option for you. You’ll want to make sure that your hands aren’t constantly slipping as keeping your balance is obviously the most important part of riding.

Gloves are generally inexpensive although the price can be significant if your discipline is in the rodeo department. Obviously grip and quality are more important in the rodeo discipline than any other, although no matter what type of gloves you choose you’ll want to be certain that you can maintain a strong grip on the reins at all times.

Not having a strong grip can be a huge detriment to your safety, especially when making jumps or if the horse you’re riding tends to take off at unexpected times. Some leisure riders prefer to go without gloves although that is only recommended as an option for experienced riders.

Price of gloves can range anywhere from $10-$80 and there are an enormous amount of different styles to choose from.

Read here our reviews for the TOP 3 highest rated Horse Riding Gloves!

Safety Vests

horse riding body protection

While a horse riding safety vest is essential for riders, the hope is that you’ll never have to test the strength of one. They serve as a last ditch safety net for the unexpected. Whether that be your horse taking off unexpectedly or a jump gone wrong, having a safety vest is a potential life saver.

If you haven’t noticed, horses are incredibly strong animals. Getting stepped on by a horse can result in incredibly serious consequences, with paralyzation and death both being possibilities. The vest protects your spine and internal organs from damage from either falling off the horse or getting stepped on by one. While they obviously can’t guarantee your safety there’s no doubt that they have the ability to save your life.

Riders in the cross country discipline are required to wear a safety vest for competition due to the increased speed and high number of jumps that take place at those speeds. A lot of riders wear their safety vest regardless of what discipline they’re participating in.

I would suggest getting in the habit of wearing a horse riding vest no matter what discipline you choose, especially if you’re just starting out. Many experienced riders that start out wearing the vests will tell you that they feel naked without it and therefore wear it at all times even as they get older.

When it comes to a horse riding vest it’s better to be safe than sorry. There seems to an alpha male movement in the horse riding sport where riders look down upon riders who prefer to wear the safety vest at all times. That doesn’t seem like a very intelligent movement to partake in. If there is one thing I would suggest not gambling with it’s your safety, especially when the consequences can be this serious.

Read here our reviews for the TOP 3 highest rated Horse Body Protection!

Saddles

Horse riding saddle

Saddles are the ultimate long term horse back riding gear because they can usually last owners anywhere between 10-20 years.

While you’ll probably have to repair small things like the stirrups or cinch straps, you can expect most high quality new saddles to stay with you for about 15 years. With prices ranging from $300-$1,000, this it’s certainly a relief that they tend to last so long.

The saddle is what keeps you balanced on the horse so you’ll want to make sure that it’s exactly the right fit for you. It’s essential that the saddle is comfortable for both you and the horse. Most people make the decision to consult a saddle fitter before purchasing one to ensure that everything works together perfectly.

If you’re purchasing horseback riding gear for kids, you may want to buy used being that you’ll almost certainly have to purchase a new one once your kids grow out of it.

Which Type Of Saddle You Should Choose?

The horse riding discipline that you choose is going to be the biggest deciding factor in what saddle you should go with. Here’s a look at some of the possible discipline choices:

1) Show Jumping

2) Cross Country Riding

3) Hacking

Show Jumping

Show jumping is fairly self explanatory. Riders who choose this discipline will be doing so with the intention of riding through show jumping courses. Riders often compete within this discipline for the best time within a set course.

Cross Country

Cross country riding is a favorite of many casual riders as it involves galloping through a long distance course. This is considered one of the more dangerous disciplines since your horse is generally moving a faster pace than most other disciplines.

Hacking

Hacking is an informal ride with your horse in which you do not plan to compete. Riders looking to just have a little fun with their horse on a regular basis tend to choose this discipline.

These are just three of the more popular disciplines available to riders. Make sure you decide what you want to focus on prior to purchasing your saddle as your decision will weigh heavily on which one fits best for you and your horse.

Read here our reviews for the TOP 3 highest rated Horse Riding Saddles!

Pants

Horseback riding pants are yet another piece of riding wear that is going to be determined by your discipline. There are a ton of different options and your style preference is also going to play a major factor in your decision.

The two most popular forms of horse riding pants are jeans and breeches. Breeches are generally for the show disciplines while western riders have historically gone with jeans like Wrangler and Carharrt.

English riding apparel like breeches are the tight fitting pants that you commonly see with show riders and help prevent riders from moving around on the saddle.

Wrangler jeans for horse riders are also tighter fitting than normal jeans in order to help riders keep their balance on their horse. Members of the rodeo discipline and leisure riders often choose to go with the jean option.

There is a stereotype that exists within horse riding that men’s horse riding pants are generally the western version of jeans while horse riding pants for women are usually considered breeches. This stereotype, however, is not always true as there are many men who wear breeches for shows and many women who wear Wrangler and Carharrt’s when riding.

Whips

horse riding whips

Many think that whips are an important piece of horseback riding equipment because they help in the training of the horse. Communication between rider and horse is imperative for the safety of both the rider and the horse.

Many riding disciplines, such as the show and race disciplines, use the whip as a way to communicate that the horse needs to go faster.

While it may seem something important, the thing that is indeed important is that the horse should know when you’re in charge while you’re riding them. As you already know, horses can be dangerous sometimes when they’re not trained successfully and hence the whip is considered as an important part of the training process by many.

However, if you are assertive and open enough to build a strong relationship with your horse you might never need a whip.

The following is a list of useful tips that can help you build a very friendly relationship with your horse and help you bid good-bye to a whip forever:

  • Visit your horse regularly instead of leaving everything for the hired care taker.
  • Pat your horse’s head and move your hand over his head. Your horse may enjoy it and feel more comfortable with you.
  • Do not behave aggressively to your horse, even if he has just lost you a race.
  • Feed your horse yourself.

Conclusion

The above given points are something every person should consider before deciding on his or her horse riding gear. Also, as mentioned above, the use of a whip isn’t a very wise idea, as believed by many, instead building a friendly relationship with your horse is.

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