What to Wear Horseback Riding: Your Ultimate Style Guide

By Alexandra Sterling

Stepping into the world of horseback riding is like entering a new universe with its unique language, rules, and attire. As a newcomer, one of the first questions that may gallop through your mind is – what to wear horseback riding? The dilemma is real, and the attire is not just a fashion statement, but an amalgamation of safety protocols, comfort requirements, and a dash of traditional elegance. The intricate dance between functionality and aesthetics in equestrian attire can be as exhilarating as a gallop under the open sky.

In this comprehensive guide, you’re not just finding a list of items to wear – you’re unlocking the wardrobe to an esteemed legacy. We unveil the quintessence of equestrian attire, with insights from those who’ve trotted the paths before, offering a blend of time-honored wisdom and contemporary trends. We believe every rider has a unique journey, and the right attire can make it safe, comfortable, and unequivocally stylish.

Prepare to immerse yourself in a world where fashion meets functionality, where every piece of clothing is a synergy of safety and style, and where each accessory contributes to making your riding experience memorable and secure. So, saddle up as we navigate through the essentials of equestrian attire, offering you a tailored roadmap to not just fit in but to stand out in the distinguished world of horseback riding. Welcome to a journey of elegance, safety, and unforgettable experiences. Your equestrian adventure is about to get a stylish upgrade!

Breaking Down the Essentials

Safety First: Choosing the Right Helmet

In the equestrian realm, protection is paramount, and it starts at the top. When contemplating what to wear horseback riding, your choice of helmet is a critical decision. It’s not merely a piece of safety equipment but an emblem of the rider’s identity. A helmet should boast a snug fit to ensure that it stays in place during various activities, ensuring maximum protection. But beyond safety, there is a world of style and individual expression. With an array of designs, colors, and finishes, your helmet can be a reflection of your personality. The key is to strike the perfect balance between style and safety, ensuring that while you ride with flair, you are also shielded against the unforeseen.

Child wearing safety helmet
Young girl wearing a safety helmet

The Right Footwear and Lower Attire

Entering the equestrian world is stepping into a space where every detail of your attire plays a crucial role in your riding experience. Your lower attire, particularly boots and jodhpurs, are not just elements of style but pivotal for safety and comfort. When starting, jodhpur boots paired with chaps can offer the needed support and safety. They are a classic choice, combining tradition and modernity, offering beginner riders both comfort and a dash of equestrian elegance.

As your skills and confidence amplify, the transition to tall boots becomes a rite of passage. It symbolizes a step deeper into the equestrian culture, a move adorned with both grace and responsibility. However, amidst the excitement, the emphasis on comfort and safety should remain unwavering. Boots should provide ample ankle support, have a defined heel to prevent slipping through the stirrups, and offer comfort for those long, adventurous rides.

Jodhpurs, on the other hand, are the unsung heroes of comfort. Every weave and stitch are designed to offer flexibility and ease. The art of horseback riding is fluid, and your jodhpurs should dance to this rhythmic motion, offering you the comfort to move freely, the durability to endure, and the style to stand out.

In the intricate ballet of choosing what to wear horseback riding, remember that each piece of your attire is a note in a symphony of safety, comfort, and style. Make each choice count, each selection a testament to your respect for this ancient, esteemed sport and your individual journey within it.

Insights from Seasoned Riders

The Ideal Trousers

Embarking on an equestrian journey invites an array of clothing options, but selecting the right trousers is crucial. Seasoned riders typically advise against jeans when considering what to wear horseback riding. The rigidness and thick seams of jeans can cause uncomfortable rubbing and restrict movement. In contrast, jodhpurs and breeches are meticulously designed for rider’s comfort, offering flexibility and breathability. For those not ready to invest in specialized riding pants, thick leggings emerge as a saving grace, offering a level of comfort and flexibility that allows riders to focus more on the experience and less on attire discomfort.

Top Choices

The upper attire, though seemingly straightforward, plays an intricate role in a rider’s comfort and performance. A well-fitted t-shirt paired with a light, easy-to-remove jacket is often the go-to ensemble for many experienced riders. It’s a blend of practicality and adaptability; easy movement is essential, and the ability to adjust to fluctuating temperatures is priceless. Every piece should be a silent partner in your riding journey, offering support, comfort, and the silent elegance that defines equestrian culture.

Woman riding in yellow casual wear
Woman riding in casual wear

Footwear Essentials

In the world of horseback riding, the saying goes, “It’s all in the boots.” The consensus among seasoned riders is clear: quality, heeled boots are an essential part of what to wear horseback riding. The design prevents the foot from slipping through the stirrups, ensuring safety during rides. For beginners, rubber boots can offer an initial foray into the equestrian world. However, as one delves deeper, the transition to professional, specialized riding boots becomes an integral step, marking a rider’s progression in skill and commitment to the sport.

On Helmets and Gloves

Head protection is a non-negotiable aspect of riding. While some riding schools provide helmets, owning a personal piece tailored to your fit elevates the safety and comfort levels. In the nuanced dance of choosing equestrian attire, the helmet emerges as a crown – a blend of safety and individual expression.

Gloves, though sometimes overlooked, are heralded by many experienced riders for the enhanced grip and blister prevention they offer. Each pair is a silent testimony to the intricate dance between control and freedom that defines horseback riding.

Tailoring Your Attire to the Riding Style

Dressage Attire

In the world of dressage, attire speaks the silent language of elegance and precision. A pristine, classic look is non-negotiable. Tailored jackets paired with white breeches echo the meticulous artistry of dressage. Polished boots complete the ensemble, each piece a testament to the rider’s commitment to the esteemed tradition and the silent, graceful dialogue between rider and horse.

Asian woman in dressage attire
Asian woman in dressage attire

Jumping Attire

Jumping invites a blend of athleticism and tradition. When considering what to wear horseback riding for jumps, the attire should echo the dynamic, energetic nature of the activity while honoring equestrian aesthetic traditions. It’s a dance of form-fitting attire that offers the freedom of movement, each piece echoing the exhilarating dance of horse and rider in mid-air.

Young man in jumping attire
Young man in jumping attire

Casual Riding Attire

For the casual rides, where the wind, freedom, and the silent companionship of the horse reign supreme, comfort is king. When pondering over what to wear horseback riding, breeches paired with polo shirts and adaptable jackets emerge as the favored choice. It’s an attire that respects the tradition yet bows to the reigning monarch of casual rides – unbridled comfort, freedom, and the spontaneous dance of soul and nature.

Personalizing Your Equestrian Journey

Every piece of your attire should be a harmonious blend of safety, comfort, and style, echoing your evolving skills and aesthetic preferences. Remember, what to wear horseback riding isn’t just about following norms but also about expressing individuality while respecting the sport’s esteemed traditions.


Embarking on your equestrian journey involves not only skill acquisition but also understanding the nuanced world of equestrian attire. Knowing what to wear horseback riding ensures each ride is safe, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing. As you delve deeper into this majestic world, let your attire reflect your respect, admiration, and evolving experience in the sport, ensuring every ride is a harmonious blend of safety, comfort, and style.

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