ESSENTIAL GEAR FOR THE NEW RIDER
Helmets should be fitted to your own unique head. First time buyers should go to their local tack store (scroll down) to be properly fitted for an ASTM/SEI certified hemet. Do not wear a bike helmet to ride a horse. Riding helmets are designed for riding a horse and bike helmets are designed for riding a bike.
Safety vests help to protect your torso if you fall and may reduce injury to your internal organs, spine and ribs. There are two types of vests:
- Padded Vests have lightweight, high density foam padding that can help with impact reduction & shock absorption.
- Inflatable Vests feature an air canister that latches to a saddle and in the event of a fall, the canister engages and inflates the vest before you hit the ground. The air canister will need to be replaced every time it’s discharged (which can add up, especially if you forget to disconnect the lanyard when you dismount).
Riding boots have a small heel to help prevent your foot slipping through the stirrup and may provide some protection if your toes get trampled. Tall boots also protect your leg from rubbing on the stirrup leathers. Typically, young children will wear paddock (short) boots with jodhpurs while others will wear tall boots with breeches. A tall boot alternative is to wear paddock boots with half chaps, giving you a similar look and protection.
- Paddock boots (lace up)
- Paddock boots (zip up)
- Dress boots are plain without any laces & are worn for dressage
- Field boots have laces at the front of the ankle & are worn for hunters/jumpers
- Half chaps (to be worn with paddock boots)
Gloves protect your hands from blisters while giving you extra strength and grip which may be useful if your horse pulls.
Riding pants are tight fitting and made to stretch and move with your legs. They have leather-like patches on the inside of the legs and sometimes a full-seat patch for extra comfort and to make it easier to grip the saddle. The seams are designed to be on the outside of the leg only, to prevent rubs. There are two basic types of pants:
- Jodhpurs are full-length & typically have a ‘stirrup’ that goes under the foot to stop them from riding up the leg. They are usually worn with paddock (short) boots.
- Breeches tend stop just above the ankle & are tapered at the bottom to get as snug a fit around the calf as possible and reduce bulk under your tall boots.