It is not overstated to say that horseback riding is a costly activity, even when considering the equipment that riders can amass over time. But there’s no need to be intimidated by all the equestrian gear available if you’re just starting out.
There are solutions that are affordable, and you really don’t “need” much to start riding horses. Following are some things you should put first when starting out, from clothing for you to equipment for your horse.
List of Horse Equipment for Beginners
If you have only signed up for one or two lessons and haven’t (yet) fully succumbed to “the horse bug,” you might be hesitant to invest in specialty clothing.
That makes perfect sense considering how pricey any equestrian sport can become. The good news is that you probably already have a few of the essentials needed to get through your first few trips. These include items such as:
- Non-slick long pants
- Close-toed shoes with heels
Clothing and Footwear
Here are some clothing and footwear items you’ll probably want to buy once you’ve declared yourself to be horse crazy and are prepared to begin your equestrian equipment collection.
Breeches, jodhpurs, riding jeans, riding tights —these are just a few of the various names for riding pants. However, they all describe pants that don’t have seams on the inside of the leg and, at the very least, have sticky patches on the inside of the knee.
You will stay stable and comfortable on the saddle if you wear riding pants for any discipline. Beginners shouldn’t worry too much about particular styles. You’ll probably want to spend money on discipline-specific clothes as you advance in competence.
Ankle boots with adequate tread and a 1-inch heel are a great choice when you’re just starting out. These boots are also known as paddock boots in English disciplines (and plain ‘ol’ “boots” in western disciplines). Cowboy boots are another good alternative, provided they aren’t too sophisticated and you don’t mind them being dirty. They must be at least 1-inch in heel and comfortable. The heel stops your foot from slipping through the stirrup, which may pose a danger if you lost your balance and tumbled off.
Gloves are recommended since holding leather or rubber reins can be awkward at first, particularly if the reins are fresh and have not yet developed softness and suppleness.
Additionally, perspiration on your hands can make the reins sticky and impair your ability to maintain a secure grasp. These issues are fixed by gloves.
Riding gloves have a sticky substance on the palm side and seamlessly fit to your palms and fingers. Finding gloves that fit you adequately and aren’t too stiff or thick will help you avoid having trouble controlling your reins.
If you’re a beginner, your horse will probably be very secure and accommodating.
Horses are large, intelligent animals but we can’t predict what they’ll do. And we can’t be sure we’ll be able to maintain our balance or our reflexes well enough to keep ourselves safe either. It is wiser to be safer than sorry because a fall might occur in the span of a single blink of an eye.
Consider the following while choosing safety equipment.
Brain damage is no laughing matter. Use a horse riding helmet that is specifically made for the needs of our activity to shield your head. You are NOT protected from a horse fall by a bike helmet. Ask the instructor if you need to bring your own helmet or if helmets are provided if you are taking lessons in advance. It’s also a good idea to ask your coach for assistance in finding a helmet that fits properly before you buy one. Always go with new over old!
A safety vest shields your chest and essential organs from injury. Anyone who rides a horse will inevitably fall to the ground. It will eventually happen, especially as you gain more experience with maneuvers like jumping and cantering that can have a variety of different effects on your balance. Wearing a vest that lessens the impact of striking the ground is unquestionably preferable than losing your breath or breaking a rib.
Horse Equipment List for Serious Riders
You would have all you need to enjoy taking riding lessons if you stopped here and merely purchased the suggested clothing and safety gear indicated above.
If you decide to take up equestrian sports more seriously, attending courses in breeches, boots, gloves, helmets, and safety vests is just the beginning. For new riders without their own horses (yet), the following two purchases make sense:
Purchase a saddle pad that reflects your unique individuality and looks beautiful on your lesson horse (referred to as a saddle blanket in Western arenas). Saddle pads, as opposed to saddles, can usually be used on any horse, even those with irregularly shaped backs.
Just be mindful of the saddle you’re using. For instance, thick, rectangular pads are typically needed for western saddles. Saddle pads are either narrower rectangles or designed to fit your saddle more precisely in the English disciplines. Be mindful that the short saddle pads on English hunt-seat and jumping saddles will not fit the long flaps on a dressage saddle.
Saddle with an Adjustable Gullet
Finding a comfortable saddle in your instructor’s tack area may require some trial and error. And it is always upsetting to attend a group lesson and find that your favorite saddle has been taken by one of your riding companions! Not to mention, each time you ride, the stirrups need to be adjusted. It bothers you enough that you want for your own saddle. Fortunately, a saddle does not require a horse of your own.
To accommodate a range of horses, look for a saddle with an adjustable gullet. It could be necessary to buy stirrup leathers and stirrups separately. Once you have a better understanding of the kinds of activities you wish to engage in, it is typically recommended to select an english saddle or a western saddle.
Equipment for Owning or Renting a Horse
The size and type of this necessary equipment varies on the horse, so hold off on purchasing it until you buy or lease a specific horse.
This holds the saddle on the horse securely and snugly. Different types of girths are required for various saddle types. There are distinct girth types used by Western saddles, Australian stock saddles, dressage, and hunt seat or jumper saddles that cannot be interchanged.
Bridle and Reins
You can actually get away with wearing a Western bridle (referred to as a headstall for Western riding) with an English saddle — or vice versa — if you don’t want to compete. The bridle should fit your horse’s head properly and be comfortable. To make sure the fit and noseband are right for your horse, ask your trainer for assistance in selecting a proper bridle. The reins need to be long enough for your horse to extend his nose toward the ground without snatching your arms from your shoulders.
The bit is a very specialized piece of equipment that is entirely dependent on the skill and training level of your horse as well as your own riding prowess. A bit that is too strong may aggravate your horse’s mouth, resulting in head-tossing and other undesirable actions, but a bit that is too weak won’t allow you to effectively slow or halt your horse.
Additional Equipment for Horses
Continuing to advance in the equine industry? The following goods are wise investments for riders of all skill levels, regardless of whether you take lessons or own your own horse.
To begin with, pre-assembled grooming kits are relatively inexpensive. It’s also a lot of joy to go to a tack shop and pick out all of your favorite brushes by hand after touching the plush bristles and handling them. They are available in a huge range of hues, fashions, and coarseness.
- A rubber curry comb
- A soft-bristled body brush
- A stiff-bristled dandy brush
- A hoof pick to clean your horse’s hooves
Shampoo and bathing equipment:
- A small bucket
- A scrubby brush
- A large sponge
- Equine shampoo
- A sweat scraper
- Detangler for the mane and tail
You should have your own supply of fly spray on hand when summer arrives so that you can use it generously even if your instructor has run out. Choose a milder kind if your horse has sensitive skin, and try any new sprays on a tiny patch of skin first. Before spraying your horse’s entire body, you can use this method to ensure that it won’t have a negative reaction.
Halter and Lead Rope
Choose a nylon, rope, or gorgeous leather halter in your preferred color for a more upscale appearance. Use a breakaway form of the halter if your horse is turned out in one so that it will break if it gets trapped in a fence or their hoof.
Making the Right Decisions
Whether you ride for pleasure, competition, or simply taking care of your horse, there is a ton of other horse riding equipment available. This list will assist you in getting your equestrian career off to the best possible start.