How To Dress For Horseback Riding: The Basics

By KÜHL Editor on June 19, 2023
5 min read

Horses have been in America since 1493! Back then, they called horseback riding "Equestrianism." It was merely a means of transport when sending messages and going to war. Today, we can enjoy horseback riding both professionally and casually.

Is Horseback Riding A Sport?

While we don't need horses to send messages (thanks to technology), horseback riding has evolved to be among the top sporting activities of the 21st century. In the US, it is quite rampant, with horses marking present in all states. There are more than 9 million horses in the United States, the majority of who serve recreational purposes. Put merely, horseback riding in America is a huge sport, raking in $40 billion annually.

Given the popularity, you may wonder if the activity is at all beneficial. Well, the answer is a resounding yes. One of the core benefits is that horseback riding challenges and handsomely rewards your physique. It gives riders a chance to relax and socialize. And have you heard of horse therapy? Communicating with your horse has significant positive effects on your mind. The brain exercises and learns to build trust. Additionally, you learn how to coordinate better and improve your problem-solving skills.

If you happen to look for horseback riding trails in the U.S. to gain all its health and therapeutic benefits, you're in for an easy search. Fantastic rides and stables run from North Dakota to Texas. You can ride at places such as the Arizona Tombstone and the Bitterroot Ranch in Wyoming. In Utah, you can sample the best trails, such as Peekaboo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. Other popular Utah trails include Canyon Trail Rides, Moab Horses, and the movie like Sacred Monument Tours. Also, check out the riding opportunities in the Poconos or in the Glacier National Park.

What to Wear For Horseback Riding?

Before taking a swing at the saddle, you, as a rider, must be dressed for the task. Poor equestrian apparel can make you jump off a running horse, literally. Imagine having a horseback ride in shorts and your raw skin chafes against the leather. The painful bruising would abruptly end your otherwise fun trip. Luckily, there's a wide variety of options!

Let's talk about how a rider dresses, from head to toe. If you didn't know, horse riding clothes are commonly called equestrian clothing. Generally, there's a difference between Western and English riding apparel, gear, and style.

First off, any safe rider must have an ASTM/SEI accredited helmet. Like they say in horseback riding, you got to keep your melon safe.

a girl in a blue shirt next to a horse
Choosing good horse riding clothing lets you fully focus on what you love. Product shown: Invoke™ LS.

Going lower, you can wear any shirt in horseback riding provided it fits. For English riders, a t-shirt is excellent, especially those with collars. Western riders seem to favor long sleeve shirts, checked or with a bright solid color, such as lightweight women's Lexi™ LS. Newbie riders are better off adding a safety vest over the shirt. If you happen to be a chilly rider, keep on a jacket. And of course, whatever you choose to wear for horse riding, ensure that it's short enough on the back not to stick on the saddle.

For your legs, you have a couple of options. English riding pants can be breeches or jodhpurs. Breeches appear as slim-fitting pants. Some are short, going only slightly below the knee. Jodhpurs are usually longer, and some have a "stir up" that slips beneath the riding boots to keep them down. For an extra firm grip on the saddle, let your breeches or jodhpurs have some textured fabric around the knee.

If you happen to be in on a western ride, a pair of jeans would be appropriate. You want the jeans whose seam is flat inside and are long enough to cover your legs over the boots. Check out men's The Law™ for maximum comfort and durability on a horseback riding adventure.

Moving down to your feet, here are your options. You must ensure your boots feature a distinct heel. Riding boots come in two categories: dressing boots that go up the knee and paddocks that go up to the heel. You can wear black or brown boots. If you go with paddocks, your leg may be a little exposed. And that is where chaps and gaiters come in. You wear these on your leg and fasten a zip for a good grip.

Chaps have a zip on the side while gaiters have one at the back of the calf. However, the significant difference between them is that chaps are made from suede while gaiters come from fine leather. Therefore, gaiters appear to have an elegant finish compared to chaps. Because of this, chaps are cheaper for everyday wear while gaiters feature in competitions and sports. Also, full chaps cover the whole leg, while half chaps go only up to the knee.

a man standing next to a horse
Powerfully built pants perform best in a rugged adventure. Product shown: The Law Pant.

Other horseback riding clothing you might use includes belts, riding gloves, and boot socks. Don't forget non-chafing undergarments. They aren't necessary, but they are pretty vital if you want to make your horseback riding experience worthwhile. The more thought you put into the horse riding clothing, the better the quality of your horse riding adventure.

Where Can You Buy Clothes For Horseback Riding?

Since horseback riding is an outdoor activity, it's a no-brainer to shop for horseback riding clothes at a fashion house dedicated to outdoor wear. After all, you don't want to be just safe; you want to be safe in style. Whether your next ride is going to be on a weekend getaway at a family ranch, or wild trail riding in the national park, be sure to pick good equestrian apparel to keep you comfortable when on the move.

Are you a chilly rider? The Generatr™ Jacket is the friend that's going to keep you warm. Its unique design, including zippered warm pockets and nylon lined sleeves for easy on and off, makes it your ideal horse riding jacket. What's more, its warm interior has an inside security pocket to keep your stuff safe during stir-ups. For the ladies, you can get the W's Generatr™ Jacket as well, or W's Luna™ Moto Jacket that falls above the hip. This jacket is also wind and water resistant, while soft shell panels reduce bulk and add stretch so your body can freely move while in action.

Horseback riding is fun, but it's especially exhilarating when you're all styled up. As for any other outdoor activity, choose performance wear so you can comfortably enjoy what you love. Keep in mind that riding even the best horse can be uncomfortable if you don't have adequate horse riding clothes. Try KÜHL men and women outdoor fashion to make your experience the best it can be!

KÜHL Editor
KÜHL Editor


Get all the news right in your mail