Whether you’re new to horseback riding or have just gotten your own horse, you probably know that you can’t go riding without the proper equipment If you want to make the most out of your riding experience, invest in the proper gear to protect yourself from injury. Horseback riding is a vigorous sport which can be quite dangerous, so you’ll need the utmost protection for your body. Read on to find out the most basic essentials you’ll need.
Helmets are perhaps the most important item when it comes to riding. Even if you don’t bother about getting the other equipment, do get a helmet as it could literally save your life if you have an accident. If you’re part of a riding school, your school might lend you a helmet, but it’s always better to have your own just in case there isn’t one available. Make sure the helmet you buy is from a certified dealer because something cheap and flimsy just won’t do. Horses can be extremely unpredictable, so even if you’re a seasoned rider you should never go riding without a helmet. Make sure you purchase a helmet that fits your head snugly and is durable and lightweight too.
Protecting your legs is just as important since they help you stay in place on your horse. Wear horse riding chaps over your boots to give your legs better protection from the elements. They come in many lengths, from ankle, to waist to knee-length and are usually fitted under the shoe. A good pair of chaps should also keep your legs dry and prevent the horse’s sweat from getting on them. The pair of boots you choose should have a small heel to help your foot stay in place on the stirrups. Western riders usually prefer cowboy boots. Both your boots and chaps should be comfortable, quite sturdy and fit your legs snugly. You could even choose boots with a stylish cut or with a fringe! Thus, next to helmets, your footgear should be the most important part of your riding equipment.
Your clothing should be comfortable and breathable so as to help you stay cool during strenuous riding. Consider jodhpurs and breeches which will fit your legs closely and help them stay firmly on the saddle without sliding off. They are usually made of cotton and are therefore quite comfy too. On the other hand, you could even invest in horse riding jeans which are very popular with western riders. They too are breathable and will keep your legs from slipping off the saddle and reducing the friction. When it comes to shirts, there’s no rule for what you must wear, but just make sure what you choose will keep your body cool during the summer and warm during the winter. If you like, you could even think about purchasing some horse-riding jackets which are usually weatherproof.
These are just a few examples of basic horse riding gear every rider should own.
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