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Horse Riding Gear: What a Beginner Needs to Get Started

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My neighbor just moved into his new place, and he’s talking about buying a horse for his daughter. But before making such an important decision, and since he’s not familiar with horses, he came to our place to find out what they’ll need to get her started riding.

Essential horse riding gear includes clothes that are comfortable and won’t chafe, as well as safety equipment such as a helmet and riding boots. And riding tack, which is any equipment used to ride horses, such as saddle, bridles, and saddle pads.

While there’s a lot of gear that goes into horse riding, don’t let it overwhelm you. Just take it one step at a time, and soon you’ll be an expert rider. This article provides an overview of the horse riding gear you need to start your horse riding journey.

Pro Tip: Check out Equinavia’s website when shopping for tack and riding apparel; they carry some of the best brands and often offer 20% off.

Picture of horse saddle being adjusted for dressage or jumping.

Horse riding gear: Clothing

When horseback riding, wearing comfortable clothes that will not restrict your movement is crucial. Jeans or breeches are an excellent option for pants. For shirts, you can wear a riding shirt, t-shirt, or a snap-button western shirt. In addition, you should wear comfortable boots with low heels.

Horse riding pants

Horseback riding pants should be comfortable and not restrict your movement. Jeans are a good option for riding and are what I ride in most often, but some people find them restrictive and uncomfortable. A better option for pants would be breeches or riding tights.

There are a variety of different types of Women’s Riding Breeches & Tights. You can find breeches made from cotton, wool, or synthetic materials. They are also available in a variety of colors and styles.

Some breeches have a built-in grip to help keep you in the saddle, while others have a stretch panel to provide more comfort and flexibility. No matter what type of breeches you choose for riding, make sure they fit well and are comfortable to wear.

Picture of a person in horse riding gear.

Shirts for horse riding

When you are horseback riding, it is important to wear a shirt that will not restrict your movement or interfere with your ability to control your horse safely. You can wear a t-shirt, a button-down shirt, or a riding shirt.

In addition, there are riding shirt or a button-down shirt.

Why you need boots for horseback riding

A good pair of boots is one of the most important pieces of horse riding gear. Horse riding boots comes high up the leg, has a sturdy toe and heel, and prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup.

They are typically made of durable leather or synthetic materials and have several features that differentiate them from other types of boots.

Most horse riding boots have a high shaft to protect the rider’s legs from being chafed or pinched by the saddle and may also have reinforced toes to protect the rider’s foot while on the ground, and its heel prevents it from slipping through the stirrup.

Horse riding boots also typically feature a number of different straps and closures to ensure a snug fit. They are an essential piece of equipment for any rider and can make the difference between a comfortable ride and an uncomfortable one.

Picture of English horse riding boots.

English Riding Boots

Regarding boots for English horseback riding, there are a few different options to choose from. The most common type of boot is called a Paddock Boot. It is made from durable materials and has a low heel that’s easy for walking and tall enough to help keep your feet in the stirrups.

Other popular options are field and dressage boots. They are designed to protect the rider’s lower leg and foot and provide stability in the stirrup. Field boots usually have a higher shaft and laces, while dressage boots have a slim silhouette that allows for close contact with the horse.

Both types of boots are typically made from leather or synthetic materials, and both should fit snugly around the calf with a small heel to prevent them from slipping out of the stirrup. With the right pair of field or dressage boots, horse riders can enjoy a comfortable and safe ride.

If you’re looking for a more stylish option, there are also dress boots that you can wear for both general English riding and show competitions. Whatever type of boot you choose, ensure it fits well and is comfortable to wear.

Picture of a pair of roper cowboy boots.
Roper cowboy boots

Western riding boots

Cowboy boots are a type of boot that is typically made from leather and has a pointed toe or square toe. They are often worn by cowboys and other people who work with horses.

Cowboy boots can also be worn for riding, as they help keep your feet in the stirrups and provide protection against scrapes and scratches. When choosing cowboy boots, they must fit your feet correctly and are comfortable.

They come in many styles, and some are better for riding than others. I typically wear roper cowboy boots because they have a low heel and shorter shaft than traditional boots. This style is more comfortable for walking and riding in hot weather.

Regardless of the type of cowboy boot, they all have the same basic design, which helps to keep your feet in the stirrups and protects your lower legs.

They are also typically made from durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. In addition, cowboy boots can provide ankle support, which is essential when riding horses.

Picture of our two year old running

Horse riding gear: safety equipment

When you are horseback riding, it is vital to wear the How to choose the right riding helmet

When choosing a helmet, it is important to ensure it fits properly; one that is too large or too small will not provide the protection you need in the event of a fall.

It is also essential to make sure that you choose a horse riding helmet made from durable material and has been certified by a safety organization such as ASTM or SEI. You should also ensure that the helmet has a comfortable lining and straps to keep it securely on your head.

There are many styles of helmets, so you should be able to find one to meet your style and needs; you can even find helmets with a western flair.

picture of a tack room

Essential Horse Riding Gear: Tack

In addition to clothes and safety equipment, you will also need some tack when you are riding horses. Tack includes everything you need to ride. Essential horse riding tack includes a saddle, bridle, and a bit.

The saddle is placed on the horse’s back and helps the rider stay seated. It should be comfortable and fit snugly. The bridle is put on the horse’s head and helps the rider steer and stop the horse. The bit goes in the horse’s mouth and helps the rider control the horse.

Picture of a western saddle.

Horse riding saddles

Some people don’t think saddles are essential; however, I’m not one of those people. They distribute riders’ weight and make carrying a person safer and more comfortable for horses.

There are various saddles available on the market, and it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. When shopping for a saddle, it is vital to consider the kind of riding you will be doing.

There are saddles designed for English, western, endurance, and many other equine activities. You also need to consider the saddle size and the seat’s shape.

The saddle size should be based on the horse’s size, and the seat’s shape should be based on your comfort. Various materials are used to make saddles, so you should also consider what material you want.

The most common materials used to make saddles are leather and synthetic. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose the one that is right for you.

Leather saddles are generally more expensive than synthetic ones but are also more durable. Synthetic saddles are often made from recycled materials, so they are a good choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option. No matter which saddle you choose, make sure it fits correctly and is comfortable for you and the horse.

Pony horse western bridle

Horse Bridles

A bridle is horse riding gear that helps the rider control the horse. The bridle includes the headstall, bit, and reins. The bit goes into the horse’s mouth and directs the horse by applying pressure to its jaw.

The headstall goes over the horse’s head and holds the bit. You should ensure the bridle fits correctly, and the rider should be aware of the horse’s comfort level. If the bridle is too loose or too tight, it can cause pain and irritation.

You should adjust the bridle to be comfortable for both the horse and the rider. There are various types available on the market, the most common materials used to make bridles are leather and synthetic.

Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose the one that is right for you. Leather bridles are generally more expensive than synthetic ones but are also more durable.

Synthetic bridles are often made from recycled materials, so they are a good choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option. No matter which bridle you choose, make sure it fits correctly and doesn’t harm your horse.

Tips for choosing the right horse riding gear

When choosing horse riding gear, it is essential to consider the type of riding you will be doing. If you are just starting out, buying basic gear suitable for various activities is a good idea. This includes clothes such as jeans, riding boots, and a comfortable fitted shirt, as well as safety equipment such as a helmet and boots.

If you plan on doing more specialized types of riding, such as showjumping or dressage, you will need to buy gear specifically designed for that activity. This might include things like breeches, gloves, and a show shirt.

It’s important that your gear fits well and feels comfortable. If you’re not wearing the right size helmet, for example, one that might be too big, it will not stay in place and could slip over your eyes when riding.

It is also vital to ensure all tack is correctly fitted to prevent any discomfort to your horse. Finally, remember always to put safety first when choosing horseback riding gear.

Picture of a black race horse


When it comes to horseback riding, it is essential to make sure you have dressed appropriately. You will need boots to keep your feet in the stirrups, a helmet, and other safety gear. Choosing the right type of clothing and gear is also important based on the type of riding you plan on doing.

Remember to always put safety first when choosing horseback riding gear. Make sure you buy products from reputable brands with a good reputation for safety. You can enjoy horseback riding safely and comfortably with the right equipment and clothing.

Horse riding is expensive but worth every penny.

Below is a YouTube video that provides insight into the horse riding equipment you need.


Does a bridle hurt a horse?

Yes, especially if a bridle is ill-fitting, it can hurt a horse. But even when a bridle fits correctly, it may still cause some horses discomfort. Therefore, riders need to know how to use a bridle properly to avoid causing pain or discomfort to their horse.

Why do equestrians wear tight clothes?

Equestrians wear tight clothes because it helps them maintain proper posture, prevent chafing, and doesn’t interfere with their riding. Plus, the form-fitting material allows riders to move freely. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about being safe.