Everyone knows that horseback riding needs lots of equipment. Next to the horse as well, you also need special horse riding clothes, saddle, bridle, helmet, boots and many more things.
As a beginner, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Having to shop for all this equipment seems a bit much. Where do you start, what’s absolutely essential and what can you substitute for things you already have lying around in your closet?
You don’t need all the gear on the market to get started with horseback riding, not at all. But you do need to invest in a few good quality pieces to help you stay safe on horseback.
Here is a list of what we believe to be a good starting point if you want to take your very first horse riding lessons, from the absolutely essential equipment to less important gear.
Horse riding helmet
As a beginner, the horse riding helmet is probably the most important piece of equipment, and you should definitely invest in one. Good news is that lots of helmets are cheap. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to find something that works. The only thing you have to look out for is the safety standards, it’s fine. Different countries have different standards, so check what the standard is for your country. Oftentimes, the safety standard is given based on a test that determines if the helmet can protect you, if you should be in a horse related accident such as falling off.
Other kinds of helmets such as bicycling helmets aren’t designed to resist such heavy impact, so it’s important that you choose a proper horse riding helmet with the right safety standards. Especially because 60 per cent of equestrian deaths happen because of head injuries.
A more expensive helmet will be just as safe as a cheap one – so if you’re on a budget, a good standard helmet would be a great option.
Horse riding boots and/or safety stirrups
A common danger when horseback riding is the risk of getting stuck in the stirrup with your foot. If you fall off while your foot is stuck in the stirrup, you can be dragged after the horse and get injured.
That’s why it’s important to wear boots with a heel and covered ankle to prevent this from happening.
Safety stirrups can also be a good option, if you want to be on the safe side. They open up, if you should fall off, so the food can come free.
Comfortable and practical clothes
As you can maybe already tell from this blog post, most essential horse riding equipment is safety related.
While most horse riding clothes, gloves, and other gear can make horse riding more comfortable, safety is what you mainly want to concern yourself with as a beginner.
However, comfort is definitely also important when it comes to your horse riding experience. Nothing is worse than wounds and chafes on legs, hands or feet because of ill-fitting or impractical clothes.
Horse riding breeches are for example designed to be tight and sit close to the skin, so it doesn’t move around or rub the skin. It also has anti-slip properties which is very important for how easy it is to sit in the saddle. A pair of leggings might be super tight, but they will make you slide around the saddle like a piece of butter on a hot pan.
It’s not impossible to ride in a pair of tight jeans or something similar – but it definitely makes life easier to get yourself a pair of proper horse riding breeches.You can get some with or without anti slip patches. It depends on your personal preference. If unsure, start with knee patches. They will help you stay seated, but won’t feel like a diaper either.
Gloves can prevent sores on the fingers, and keep your hands warm in winter. But some riders don’t feel that they need them, so maybe you can do without, too.
Stay tuned for more blogs about horse riding gear
Hopefully this blog post helped you getting started with your horse riding gear shopping list. If you’re already a pro but have some beginner friends, feel free to send this one on to them so they can get started.
We’ll upload more horse related blog posts on this blog page soon, so keep coming back for more information about horse riding, horse riding gear and more.