Riding a horse can be quite uncomfortable and even hazardous if you are not well-equipped.  On the other hand, you can have an amazing experience if you are well-prepared. If you plan on going horseback riding anytime soon, then you’ll want to know what kind of outfit you should wear for an enjoyable ride. Wearing proper horse-riding attire also ensures that you remain as safe and comfortable as possible. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t wear when horseback riding.

Wear: Comfortable Pants

One of the key pieces of clothing that you need to have is the right pair of pants that are comfortable to wear and flexible enough for physical activity to avoid chafing. To avoid discomfort, make sure that your pants are not too loose because they could hinder your movements and thus affect your riding. It can also cause you and your horse harm because baggy pants could get caught onto branches or twisted in the stirrups or in the equipment that you are using when riding.

Don’t Wear Backless Shoes

Backless footwear, such as flip-flops or slippers are definitely not going to help you when you are on a horse and trying to keep your feet properly positioned in the stirrups. Basically, wearing sandals or slippers will distract you from the actual horse riding because you will be busy focusing on not being jostled from your place since you cannot use your feet for support. Backless shoes can also cause injuries if you are riding a horse in a place with lots of trees and branches that could scratch your feet. You might also lose control of your horse if your legs are not stable enough and placed well.

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Wear: A Close-Toed Shoe

One of the most important features of the footwear needed for riding a horse is being close-toed. Open-toed shoes are going to cause you a definite hassle, the more strappy and open your shoes are, the worst of a choice they are when riding a horse. Having on comfortable boots, with a small heel will help your feet grip the stirrups is the perfect choice when it comes to horse-riding footwear.

Don’t Wear: Scarves

Wearing long scarves while riding a horse can be quite dangerous to the rider.  A scarf is light and the fabric can get caught onto branches or get mixed in with the reins and choke the horse rider. It could also hinder the movement of your horse. If it is too long, it can get tangled in the horse’s legs and cause a serious fall that could lead to both the horse and the rider being fatally injured. If you are feeling extra cold, layering shirts or wearing a vest is a better option than a scarf.

Wear: Protective Headgear

Unfortunately, even if you carefully choose your attire for a horse ride, you might still have a nasty fall. Horses can be easily spooked by certain weather conditions or if they sense a predator nearby. Keeping your skull and brain protected can make all the difference between having a mild concussion or a headache and a more serious injury if you hit your head. Unfortunately, even the most experienced riders can be thrown off their horse in a matter of seconds, which is why it is extremely important to wear proper headgear when riding. Experts at Ayr Equestrian state that, when picking horse-riding headgear, people usually focus on durability and functionality rather than style. However, if you pick the right brand, you can strike a balance between all three.

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Other Options for Bottoms

Shorts are not your friend when riding a horse. Not only will you be quite itchy because of the saddle, but you will be chafing throughout the entire ride. Your legs will also end up horribly scratched up if you come into contact with low-hanging branches. People who ride horses regularly, sometimes daily, decide to wear horse-riding leggings instead of other bottoms. Riding leggings are fitted, so they do not result in the same issues as shorts and baggy pants.

Choosing the Right Top

As mentioned above, baggy clothes are to be avoided at all costs. This also applies to any tops that you plan on wearing when riding a horse. Wear a fitted t-shirt or shirt instead of baggy tops such as oversized sweaters or jackets. If you are feeling chilly while riding, you can always get a riding coat or, as previously stated, you can wear a vest so that you have the mobility needed to ride properly and maintain control.

With this list of horse-riding attire’s dos and don’ts, you can easily find the right horse-riding outfit. Remember that while being fashionable and looking good are important, functionality and safety should be your highest priority, so that you can ride safely, comfortably, and in style. Now, you can rest assured that you are fully prepared to ride that horse!