Let’s pass time talking about some important stuff
There is still a long time till the Stockholm Horse Show will take place. It’s going to be an incredible event as usually with shows and competitions in all equestrian disciplines from relays to Swedish dressage… If you’re impatient and looking for something to pass time with until you can enjoy the skillful performances of the riders (and maybe wishing that you will one day be in there in the arena!), why not read a bit about equipment: the right horse gear is part and parcel of what makes a great horse riding experience after all. Proper research into the matter is something any horse rider should take the time to do. Especially if they’re an aspiring professional. While much depends on personal taste, there are some things you can keep an eye on when looking for the essential horse riding equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Some gear is worth investing in
Some equipment isn’t super important. We’re talking halters, ropes, and the like. Of course it has to be good enough quality that it doesn’t break or cause problems – but it’s not exactly the equipment that’s going to have you spending hours and hours in the store, wondering just which one. And even the more expensive kinds won’t feel like a major investment for most equestrians.
Other kinds of equipment is different however. Most of us want our saddle to be decent quality, even if we have to pay a little more for it. A good saddle will last a long time, so it’s worth the investment. But the saddle is just the most known item worth a little more money and consideration. What other types of gear deserve the same attention?
Why you shouldn’t forget about the girth
The girth is actually another piece of equipment that you probably want to invest a little research and cash in – because a crappy girth just could cause problems for the fit of the saddle, even if the saddle itself is great! This is not always the case, of course, but many cheap girths tend to slide around, making it hard for the saddle to stay in place. If your horse has sensitive skin, you might also want to look at different materials than just your standard nylon girth.
An anatomical girth can help if your horse has large shoulders, as it bends so it doesn’t come too close to the horse’s elbows. There are a million other things to consider, such as what discipline you are riding, and what kind of saddle it’s supposed to fit to. A jumping girth for example will be very annoying on a dressage saddle, because the straps will be too long and bundle up under your legs.
Are horse riding helmets all the same?
Another type of gear worth investing in is the horse riding helmet. Although any helmet that meet the safety standards is able to protect your head from injuries, comfort, fit, and ventilation varies greatly according to price. Are you going to spend many hours on horseback? Maybe it would be worth it to find a helmet that won’t hurt your skull or make you all sweaty and overheated. It’s such an important piece for your comfort that it wouldn’t make sense to compromise on it.
Do your research on clothing
Which brings us to the rest of the horse riding clothing. Unfortunately, comfort and price often correlate. Many of us will spend lots of cash on well-fitted equipment for our horses only to treat ourselves with cheap riding breeches, boots, and jackets. A well-fitted outfit doesn’t just look nice; it also improves the quality of your horse riding, because you don’t have to worry about sore toes, itchy fabrics or sweaty thighs… However it’s not just about the price.
Much of the investment also comes from the time we’re willing to spend finding the right equipment for us. If you are looking for riding equipment in Denmark and Sweeden then you might find it interesting to head over to Udstyrspriser.dk. The site enables you to compare equipment from lots of online stores – and to find the right gear without paying too much. Research can save you from a wrong purchase. Some things might be awesome quality, but won’t fit your particular body shape. This is especially relevant when it comes to riding boots, because many of us unfortunately are equipped with ridiculously short and fat calves (I’m one of those!), so we need custom made boots if we want to be truly comfortable. Many horse riders agree that it’s worth it to make that investment, especially if you spend many hours a week in the saddle and don’t want to be distracted by ill-fitting gear.
So what should you prioritize if you’re on a budget?
Now that we’ve looked at some pretty important horse riding gear, the ever pressing question emerges: So if I’m on a budget, what equipment should I invest in first / what should I prioritize my spending towards?
The answer isn’t a fit-all, because it depends on what kind of horse rider you are. If you own your own horse, a proper saddle should definitely be on your list. However, not everyone can afford something extremely expensive. If that’s the case for you, I would buy a second hand saddle or maybe a new cheaper saddle, and get it fitted instead, so you’re sure it fits.
If you don’t own your own horse, your budget is already dramatically improved in that you probably don’t have to invest in most of the equipment for the horse and can solely spend your hard-earned cash on your own outfit. In that case, you luckily have more freedom to prioritize where you feel it’s needed. Some horse riders are happy with standard riding helmets, but don’t like the feeling of cheap boots. That can especially be the case if you have a different size calf than normally as mentioned before. Others may have a head shape that needs more adjustment possibilities, or maybe the warm climate you live in begs for extra ventilation.
Horse riding gear remains one of those things that we equestrians never get sick of talking about. There are so many possibilities on the market that there is always more to learn. New technologies make the equipment better and better all the time. Some gear is pretty standard, and we don’t have to worry too much about it, such as halters and ropes. Other things are worth a little more consideration and in some cases money, so we end up with the right thing. The saddle is one of the more obvious pieces of gear in this category, but it’s also important to get the right girth and horse riding outfit.
These are of course just some examples, and different people have different preferences.