So you’ve decided to learn to ride a horse? Congratulations!
As any experienced rider will tell you, this is one of the most rewarding adventures you can embark on, but before you get carried away with thoughts of saddling up and galloping off into the sunset, you need to master the basics and that begins with the getting the right horse riding equipment.
These are the essential, top-to-toe items you need:
This should be the very first thing on your shopping list. Children aged 14 and under are required by law to wear a riding hat when riding on a public road, but everyone, including experienced riders, is at risk of a fall or injury from impact and should wear one for any ride.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) recommend looking for riding hats with a CE mark, a safety stamp, plus a BSi Kitemark where possible.
Reputable protective headwear brands include Charles Owen and Gatehouse.
Tops and Jackets
Although your clothing requirements will change with the seasons, you’ll need lightweight, comfortable and breathable tops and jackets all year-round.
Regular, slim-fitting cotton t-shirts or polo-shirts are suitable but it’s wise to invest in a quality jacket.
In the spring and early summer, waterproof softshell jackets which allow heat and moisture to escape while protecting you from light rain and winds are ideal.
In the autumn/winter, you have the option to layer up with fleeces but if you’re spending long periods of time outdoors, it’s worth investing in a well-insulated, waterproof jacket.
Look for those which sit low on the hip, have a scoop-back or split seams, as these will sit over a saddle to keep you comfortable throughout any ride.
Quality brands include Jack Murphy, Equiline, Ariat and Pikeur.
For beginners who are young, nervous, or riding with any sort of impaired mobility, additional safety support in the form of Air Jackets or Body Protectors, which can dramatically reduce the impact of any falls or accidents, are available.
Theoretically speaking, you can ride a horse in any kind of trousers but jodhpurs and breeches are worn by the majority of the riding community because of the tailored fit and comfort they provide.
Made with stretch fabrics, they adapt to your riding position without restricting your movements, sagging or pinching at the waist. They usually include reinforced patches around the knees to prevent wear and have special seams that won’t nip or chafe your skin.
Popular brands include Tredstep, Pikeur and HV Polo.
Riding boots are specifically designed to keep you safe and comfortable in the saddle. Short heels help control the stirrup while smooth soles make quick dismounts easy in the event of a fall.
Depending on your preference, most are available in ankle or knee lengths, and some feature reinforced toe sections to protect your feet when walking out or working with a horse.
Most riders will spend more time in the yard or stables than on their horse, so it’s advisable to also invest in a pair of wellies that you don’t mind getting mucky.
Horse riding equipment can vary significantly in price, features and style, so shop around and speak to suppliers about your options.
All of the brands recommended above are available to order online from Chelford Farm Supplies. Their friendly, knowledgeable team will be able to help you piece together the perfect beginner’s wardrobe for all your new and exciting horse riding adventures.