The Do’s and Don’ts of Equestrian Attire

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price

You should think about what you will wear before riding or working with horses. This is not only for your safety but also for comfort. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it is easy to find the right clothes.


Equestrians have many options for headgear. Safety is the most important factor in selecting headgear. Headgear that is not approved by the FDA is only apparel. Approved Headgear is the best option and offers the greatest protection for your head.

Equestrians often wear non-approved headgear.

Equestrian Attire

1. Cowboy hats are worn by Western discipline or recreational riders. All equestrians are familiar with baseball hats. Dressage and driving equestrians often wear derbies. Top hats are worn by dressage professionals at higher levels. Hunt caps – These are worn more often by English-related disciplines. They are similar to ASTM/SEI approved helmets, but they do not meet the safety standards. Bicycle helmets are often worn by novice riders. They absorb impact from the height and not the height of horses. 1. Bike helmets don’t protect the forehead or back of the head because they are not designed to protect them from injury. 2. Horse falls can cause injury to the forehead, back, sides, and sides.

Approved Headgear

When riding horses, or when working with them, it is important to use ASTM/SEI-certified and properly fitted equestrian headgear. A helmet can help prevent or reduce head injuries while riding, just as people wear life jackets when they ride on boats or in airplanes. A helmet costs between $30 and $300, which is quite affordable considering the possible cost and long-term consequences of a head injury.

Everytime Every Ride: Fitting A Helmet from


You probably don’t need a shirt unless you are going to horse shows. It should be fitted correctly and not too loose or large so it does not catch on equipment or branches.

Bright colors are important for visibility when you’re out on the trail. Vests are a popular choice for riders when it gets colder. Vests allow for more freedom in the arms and shoulders, and also make it easier to layer on warmth.

If you live in an area that experiences frigid temperatures, there are winter coats for riding. These coats are spacious through the shoulders and have gussets that spread over the saddle, rather than under your seat. For greater visibility on the trail, many coats have reflective tape or patches.


A pair of two-way stretch tights is the best choice for everyday riding. You can get riding tights with leather seat and knee patches. These tights provide more grip and are made from a stronger fabric than those not specifically designed for horseback riding. For warmth, winter riding pants are made from fleece material.

Many people ride in sweatpants or jeans. You should avoid pants that bunch, twist, or bunch on the inside of your legs, especially your knees. Your pants shouldn’t be too big as they could catch on anything, causing injury to your horse or yourself. Leather riding chaps are a great option for those who want extra grip or wind-breaking ability in winter. The half chaps, which cover the knee to the foot, provide protection and grip for the lower leg.


Your footwear is the most important piece of clothing to protect you and your horse.

There is no standard for boots. However, it is recommended that you choose boots with a heel of 1 to 1 1/2 inches and a low tread. Your foot will not slip through the stirrup while riding if it has a heel. Gym shoes are not suitable for riding horses in this situation. Many winter and hiking boots have too much tread and can jam the stirrup in case of a fall. Avoid boots that have waffle tread. There are many styles and types of boots available. Choose the one that is most comfortable for you. You should not wear sandals or flip-flops when riding horses or working with them.

Your boots must support your ankles when riding, just as an ice skater. Boots that cover your ankles are a good choice. You don’t need to wear ‘riding boots’. As long as the sole and heel are suitable, your boots can be considered riding boots. Running shoe and leather riding boots starting at $100 are very affordable.

(Above right) Boots with high heels and low tread are safe to wear. )

HorseQuest Learning Lesson Horse Owner Survival provides more information about safe horse handling. Also, watch the instructional video Proper Attire & Benefits of Safe Groundhandling for additional information.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!