Horseback riding is a fun hobby that can be done for sport, competition, and transportation. While this activity can be a great form of stress relief, it can be stressful on your wallet. Many beginner equestrians can become easily overwhelmed with the wide selection of gear and supplies needed to purchase when riding a horse for the first time. Here is a beginner’s guide to essential horse riding gear.
Your first priority when shopping for horse riding gear should always be safety. Because the fit and efficacy of your safety equipment are essential, you should always see a professional to get fitted for new gear. Equestrian riding helmets and safety vests are going to be your two most crucial purchases when shopping for safety gear.
Wearing a helmet while horseback riding is an effective way to reduce head and brain injury risk during a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injuries and deaths among equestrians. Additionally, vests are a great form of protection for the spine, ribs, and internal organs. Safety vests typically come in the form of body protectors and air vests (inflatable vests that can be worn over body protectors for extra security).
Boots and Clothing
Buying a proper pair of riding boots is critical to keep your feet safe while in the stirrups. You’ll want to look for a comfortable, well-fitting pair of boots that have a sturdy toe and good ankle support.
For clothing, you always want to prioritize comfort and practicality over fashion. Having a stretchy, well-fitting pair of pants and a shirt is key. Clothing like loose sweaters, strappy shirts, or flowing pants can pose a safety hazard because of the risk of getting tangled in the equipment.
A pair of riding gloves is optional but can be helpful to ensure better grip and prevent skin irritation from the friction of reins.
Depending on whether you’re taking lessons or beginning your journey as a horse owner, you may or may not need to purchase riding tack.
As with gear for the rider, you should always consider having horse equipment professionally fitted. Many horse tack components aren’t necessary, but building a quality collection of basics is a great way to get started. Equipment like a saddle and pad, bridle, bit, reins, halter, and lead will all be sold with the rest of your horse riding gear. Having a solid collection of riding tack will ensure the safety and comfort of the rider as well as the horse.