Know Your Horse

Clothing the Horse Rider

Horse racing

There is an accepted "uniform" to wear when riding a horse, and they are typically clothes that are only worn for riding. They have been developed to be comfortable to wear for riding, and to protect the rider as much as possible.

The horse rider generally wears a shirt, vest, coat trousers, boots, gloves and a helmet or hat for protection. And the rider also carries a whip. If the horse is in training then the rider may also wear spurs which are used to dig into the horse for control.

Although some riders wear a cowboy hat with a wide brim to keep the sun out of their eyes, the classic helmet is worn more often as it gives more protection in the case of falls, or kicks from a frightened horse. The helmet is made of black velvet, and has a brim to keep out the sun, or some rain. It is always a good idea to wear protective headgear - you never know when you will need it!

The coat is for warmth like most outer garments, and this generally falls below the hips of the rider, to give added warmth there.

Now, the vest is also an outer layer, and this must also give the rider protection from shocks. It is made of panels that are made of shock absorbing materials to protect the rider in case of falls, or kicks, so it gives the rider plenty of protection.

Riders wear long pants or jodhpurs to protect their legs from the often harsh hair of the horse. They are tight fitting, so there is no flapping of fabric against the horse. They are often made from lycra, and so are stretchable.

Riding boots are essential for all riders. They caver the foot and ankle, stretching up to the knee, and give protection for the legs and feet. They may have a heel or not, a choice of the rider. The insteps are generally reinforced, and insulation added to give the foot extra warmth. Moisture control is sometimes added to make them even more comfortable for riders.

Gloves protect the hands, and are used for warmth too, and are usually made of leather. As the hands hold the reins of the horse, it is important to protect them from bruises or cuts caused by the friction of the reins on the hand.

The spurs can be added to a rider's boots to use on horses that are reluctant to move. They can be used to jab a horse that is reluctant to move, but obviously should not be used all the time, or used to cause wounds in the horse's flesh. 

So, this is the equipment you will need to wear whenever you go riding, so that you are both comfortable and protected, should your horse fall, or you get thrown off the back of your horse! Take care of yourself, and your horse!