So, you’re about to start your horseback riding lessons? Great. You’re likely dealing with a series of emotions: excitement and anxiety! But before you get carried away by emotions, do you know what you should wear? How you dress for horseback lessons matters. When it comes to dressing for horseback riding, it’s more than just fitting or trying to look great on a horse. Generally, what you wear affects far more than how you look riding a horse. This is especially true if you’re a woman. You want to dress safely but still maintain some decency. Balancing between the two can be challenging at first. So, if you’re caught in such an enigma, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in!

1. Choose Dress Boots or Paddocks

Go for boots that have a distinct heel: any boot designed for horseback riding will. So, if you’re thinking of using your pair of hiking boots, you know what to look for. A heel ensures your feet don’t slip through the stirrup. You can choose either ankle-height (paddock boots) boots or dress boots. Whatever boots you wear, try and pair them with casual riding clothes, and the color you choose for your boots is down to personal preference. But in most cases, brown or black boots are both acceptable.

2. Protect Your Hair and Head

Every commercial riding space, such as riding stables, requires that a rider wear protective headgear. For this reason, you need a helmet. Generally, helmets designed for horseback riding are different from helmets for other sports. For instance, a skating helmet wouldn’t protect your head if you fell from a horse. Fortunately, most businesses that offer horseback riding lessons also offer riders a vast selection of helmets. When picking your helmet, go for one that fits well. You want to avoid something that will tilt forward if you nod your head sharply.

3. Gloves

A small piece of accessory that can make a massive difference for your riding lessons is gloves. Before getting your pair of gloves, you want to understand how your horse behaves. If the horse is too jumpy, wearing gloves will protect your palm from blisters and sore skin caused by friction from the reins. Sometimes, your horse will move its head a lot or pull the reins out of hand’s reach. This is why having gloves to protect your hands is an excellent idea. If you are taking your horseback riding lessons during winter, gloves will help keep your hands warm.

4. Underwear

Most people shy off from discussing this topic. But as a woman, this is important. If you’re the thong-loving type, consider investing in some new undergarments. Most women will wear anything under the usual notion of ‘it will be fine for a short ride.’ However, your undergarment can end up turning against you mid-ride. So, don’t say you were not warned! Choose comfortable hipsters or briefs that aren’t snug or too loose that they create some bulges where the fabric accumulates. For this reason, breathable and lightweight fabrics are the best for all seasons.

5. Jackets and Shirts

Unless you’re attending a horse show, you probably have a comfortable sweatshirt or T-shirt to wear. If you’re heading out on the trail, ensure you wear bright colors for visibility. Most riders also like wearing vests when it gets cold. Generally, your shoulders and arms are less restricted in a vest, and they leverage on the layering for warmth. If you live in a cold area, you can opt for winter coats. These coats are loose-fitting through the shoulders and have gussets. Most are designed to spread over the saddle instead of tucking under your seat. What’s more, they come with reflective patches for better visibility out on the trail.

6. Pants


Let’s talk about riding pants! Because of the different types available, it cannot be very clear for a beginner to choose the best pants. Generally, jodhpurs or breeches are the best pant option for horseback riding because that’s what they’re designed for. Most come with special features to improve your riding experience. They’re also designed with fabrics that provide more grip in the saddle, which increases flexibility and breathability – you won’t find this in ordinary pants. Typically, a high-quality pair of breeches or jodhpurs can last several years. This makes them worth investing in if you plan on riding much.

Another feature you have to pay close attention to, is the gear you choose for your horses, as this will have a direct impact on your own safety and comfort. This includes choosing the right saddle, bridles, boots and most importantly the saddle pad. The main use of saddle pads for horses is providing comfort, stability and protection, to make sure you and your horse are free of any restrictions, and can easily start your riding journey. It is especially useful for new riders, who are only learning to adapt to the horse and want to feel safe and comfortable in the saddle.

There you have it, ladies! Nothing should stop you now from enjoying your next horseback riding lessons. If you’re in doubt, ask! Don’t just assume you know. If you are riding with a horse-experienced trainer, ask for their recommendations on what to wear. Remember: keep it simple, elegant, but more importantly, comfortable. Enjoy!