Are you chomping at the bit to start your first riding lesson but are unsure of what to wear? The following three items are a must for all riders, regardless of their skill levels.
1. Riding Boots
If you climb into the saddle wearing your favorite pair of sneakers, the flat soles may cause your feet to slip and get caught in your stirrup irons. Heeled riding boots will keep your footing secure, giving you more control during your ride. Trendy fashion boots may seem like a viable alternative if you already have a pair in your closet, but if they pinch your feet when you’re walking, they will pinch your feet while riding.
It is perhaps the most necessary piece of equestrian apparel on your shopping list. Don’t settle for a poor fit. If a helmet is either too loose or too tight, it will not protect you as it should. Even if you’re not planning on doing tricky stunts or galloping at top speed, preparation is prevention, and a helmet can be a literal lifesaver during unforeseen events and obstacles.
You want to be as comfortable as possible when you’re riding, so it may be tempting to wear shorts or loose jeans. Unfortunately, both can lead to blisters and bruising when your legs rub up against the saddle. Breeches fit close to the skin, significantly minimizing chafing. Not only are they lightweight, they often have textured patches that help your legs grip, leading to better balance. If you’re worried about the summer heat, some brands make breeches with moisture-wicking material, keeping you cool during your ride.
By keeping you secure in the saddle and eliminating the distraction of irritation, proper riding gear allows you to relax and concentrate fully on your form. Wearing adequate gear not only leads to better communication with your horse but also an all-around enjoyable riding experience.