Horse Riding Equipment List for Beginners

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Horse Riding Equipment List for Beginners

Horse riding is a wonderful hobby that demands passion, compassion, and dedication. Equestrians spend years mastering the art of horse riding, and it’s a no-brainer that the sport carries a higher risk of accidents.

However, there is always a starting point for every hobby and passion. Hence, your trainer would provide a checklist for excelling at horse riding. And even though you will be taught some basic knowledge about the sport in academies, there is always more to learn.

During your first few lessons, you will not need a full list of riding equipment. However, it’s wise to get your hands on horse safety gear at the earliest. The most important piece of horse riding equipment is a riding hat or helmet.

Also, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration for first-time riders;

  1. Your clothing should be comfortable; wearing inappropriate clothes not only makes you uneasy, but messes up with your whole riding experience.
  2. Make sure your horse looks and feels good with your riding clothes and tack. The equipment should be light-weight and horse-friendly.
  3. Avoid baggy clothes and shorts as they can cause snagging, or skin chafing.

In this article, we’ll share an essential horse riding equipment list for beginners that would help you plan memorable equestrian riding adventures.

Safety Gear

Before moving on to fancy stuff, safety first.

Horse riding is a sport extraordinaire, which is not for amateurs. That’s because there are high chances of severe accidents. No matter if you’re a novice or an expert rider, you cannot miss your safety gear

We recommend consulting with a professional equestrian to make sure the gear you choose suits you well and saves you from potential injuries.

Here is a list of must-have safety gear for horse riding.

Helmets / Riding Hats

Helmets are one of the most important tackles for horse riding.

A horse can be highly unpredictable at times. Therefore, wearing headgear reduces the chances of head trauma whilst lunging or handling the equine.

The riding hats serve a different purpose compared to bicycle helmets. It comprises a hard, tough shell that is lined by shock-absorbing polymers to protect against head injuries and traumas.

While choosing riding hats, it’s imperative that it fits the rider’s head perfectly.

You can use tape to measure the widest part of your forehead. Using the dimensions, determine your correct helmet size from the manufacturer’s sizing chart.

An ideal riding helmet would fit the rider comfortably and securely. Hence, the more comfortable you feel, the better you will ride.

It’s advisable that you choose the helmets with extra features, such as ventilation strips and moisture-wicking panels for added security.

Body Protectors

If you’re new to horse riding, be prepared for nonstop riding falls and fails.

To save yourself from shocking horse riding falls, body protectors would come in handy.

Body protectors are filled with foam and somewhat similar to vests. They are usually worn over clothes or jackets, which help in absorbing the shock of the fall and protect internal body organs.

Unlike helmets, body protectors are not mandatory but are recommended to provide extra protection for rookies.

Air Vests

Air vests are high-level equipment that inflates via CO2 when the rider falls. Air vets protect your spine and neck region.

These vests work on a unique circulation system and have a lanyard that attaches to the saddle. When the rider falls or part ways with the saddle, it triggers the lanyard. In return, the vest inflates before the rider hits the ground.

Air vests differ from traditional body protectors in a way that they protect your spine and neck region against injuries that involve severe torsion or extension.

Apart from these three safety gears, it’s recommended to wear the following protective equipment for beginners when practicing or in riding competitions.

  1. Mouthguards
  2. Stirrups
  3. Gloves
  4. Chaps

Riding Clothes & Shoes

Horse Riding Equipment List

So right after safety gears, your second preference should be appropriate riding shoes and clothes.

The more relaxed you are in your clothes, the more you will enjoy your ride.

Riding Boots

When it comes to dressage, it’s all in the shoes.

Trust us when we say this; a pair of shoes can make or break your ride.

For horse riding, beginners should choose padlock boots or jodhpur boots for shows, competition, or casual riding.

Jodhpur or paddock boots come in a variety of styles and fits that vary from brand to brand.

Also, we don’t recommend buying riding boots online because they differ in sizes and styles according to various brands available in the market. Therefore, you need to try each brand out to find your comfortable fit.

When you find a perfect pair of padlock or jodhpur boots, you must get a pair of half chaps, which are toughened leg coverings that shield against scrapes caused by horsehair.

After you’ve passed your beginner-level riding stage successfully, it’s time to get long, tall riding boots. For expert riders, tall riding boots are excellent for shows and competitions, while short ones for casual riding.

Jodhpurs or Breeches

The most controversial topic in the equestrian hall of fame is the difference between Jodhpurs and Breeches.

And the answer is pretty simple.

Breeches are worn under long riding boots while jodhpurs under short boots. However, the use of both the trousers depends wholly on a rider’s comfort level and preference.

As a general rule of thumb, beginner riders prefer jodhpurs while mature riders wear Breeches. The difference between both of them is that breeches are shorter on the leg, and jodhpurs are slightly longer with a small cuff that fits over the riding boots.

Jodhpurs and breeches differ from your usual pants as their seam line is on the outside to prevent chafing the horse or rider.

Also, they usually have reinforced knee pads to help support the right position of the rider. Alternatively, the seats might be covered in sticky material to maintain a powerful grip on the saddle. Therefore, they are commonly known as “sticky seat pants”.

Riding Jackets

Take our best piece of advice; choose riding jackets with horseshoe stitching, ladies slim fit, full zip, and thank us later!

You might not need a riding jacket in summer. But when it gets chilly, purchasing a high-quality insulation jacket would be your best bet.

However, you should always pick a riding jacket that’s short enough in the back so it doesn’t mess up with your saddle, which might turn out dangerous.

One thing that’s relieving about jackets is that they often come with reflective strips that draw attention to yourself or the horse in dark or extreme conditions.

Riding Gloves

A pair of riding gloves might not shield against sprains or fractures, but they are a necessity to prevent cuts and scratches.

In horseback riding, it’s pretty common to find the reins rub your hands. To cater to this,  invest in a good pair of gloves that provide excellent grip while lunging, grooming, or riding.

Non-Chafing Undergarments

Undergarments might not affect your overall appearance on the outside, but heavily affect your performance. If you’re new to the sport, uncomfortable underwear might cut your ride short.

It is recommended to get compression shorts for both men and women. Compression shorts are ideal for equestrianism as they are made of a stretchy material that produces compression in your thighs and butt area.

There are many benefits of compression shorts to horse riding, such as strain prevention, increased muscle oxygenation, less chafing, and friction. Above all, they are light-weight, quick-drying, and feature anti-odor technology that keeps you fresh all ride long.

For women, it is recommended to get your hands on a good supportive sports bra to help you stay relaxed.

Emergency or First Aid Kit

Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere.

Be sure to keep a stock of these items to avoid inconvenience.

Some basic vet care supplies:

  1. Crepe Bandages and safety pins; Bandages should be at least 4” wide and stretchy. Safety pins should be used for fastening the bandages
  2. Scissors; They should be round point and kept sharp
  3. Cotton wool; Keep a hefty amount of cotton wool for cleaning wounds
  4. Thermometer; modern thermometer is accurate and easy to read
  5. Antibiotic aerosol; essential to clean wounds to prevent bacterial infections
  6. Disinfectants; To clean the wounds. Hibiscrub is highly recommended as a disinfectant. However, it should never be used without a prescription.

To prepare your own disinfectant, add 1 teaspoon of salt in a pint of cooled boil water or use a pre-prepared saline solution

You should always write your vet number on first aid kits in the case of emergencies.

Horse Tack or Horse Gear

Since we’ve covered pretty much every essential piece of equipment necessary for the novice riders, it’s time to discuss basic horse tack.

Horse gear is any equipment used for riding the horse. It includes.

  1. Saddle
  2. Saddle accessories
  3. Bridle
  4. Halter
  5. Breastplate
  6. Martingale
  7. Lead rope
  8. Cross-ties
  9. Reins
  10. Bit

The style or size of horse tack depends on your horse’s characteristics.

So before you buy your horse gear, make sure you’ve measured your horse to fit in the gears correctly.

Horse Grooming Tools

If you’re new to horse keeping, know that cleanliness is synonymous with healthiness.

Hence, keeping a separate grooming kit for your horse stocked with basic accessories is essential.

The reason we recommend keeping a separate grooming kit is that horses transfer skin infections readily.

Hence, shared grooming kits can be a mode of skin disease transmission from one horse to another.

Here’s a list of basic grooming accessories for your horse.

  1. Body brush: Removes mud, dirt and smoothes out the coat
  2. Hoof pick: Cleans horse’s hooves
  3. Dandy brush: Removes heavy dirt
  4. Sponges: Cleaning the face
  5. Mane & tail comb: Remove tangles in mane and tail
  6. Horse hair clipper: Remove accumulates dust and burrs that get stuck on horse’ coat

Beginners’ Guide to Buying Horse Riding Equipment

Riding a horse is no game. It demands your time, devotion, and patience.

Everything about horse riding requires a lot of thought, be it riding a horse, buying gears, or clothes.

If you’ve learned to ride a horse, the next thing you should do is buy the right equipment.

As a novice rider, when you sign up for horse riding training, you’ll receive a list of mandatory equipment that you need to participate safely and effectively.

Here’s what you should keep in mind before choosing the perfect pieces of equipment for your horse riding adventures.

  • Discuss with the trainer

No one knows your horse better than the trainer. Before you go off shopping for horse gear, talk to the trainer about the recommended saddle, bridle, reins, and other horse tacks to fit your equine accurately.

  • Recommended Gear for horse riding

Horse riding is more of a responsibility than a hobby. Therefore, look out for approved riding helmets, boots, and jodhpurs to enhance your learning and riding experience. You should also invest in high-quality gloves to shield your hands against wear and tear and occasional scratches.

  • Choose reputable companies

When you go out searching for horse gears, you will find a myriad of brands selling the same stuff at different prices. However, don’t let low prices fool you.

Horse riding is a luxury sport. Therefore, look out for companies that are reputable to be sure of quality and durability.

Safety Horse Riding Tips for Beginners

If you are new to equestrianism, there will be a lot of trial and error.

However, to further increase safety and facilitate training effectively, you can follow these tips.

  1. Horses are very aggressive and stubborn. And so, never choose the self-taught route. You must train yourself to ride a horse properly with patience and dedication. Therefore, never go on a ride without proper training.
  2. Never attempt to ride a horse without wearing a helmet that fits you well. Helmets are a lifesaver in horse riding. Hence, non-negotiable. Also, replace your riding helmets after 5 years of use.
  3. Never rush your horse and work it strenuously during each outing. Take everything slow and steady.
  4. Keep your eyes and head up. In short, stay alert. Learn to understand the ‘horse talk’ and train your horse accordingly.
  5. Love your feet. Riding boots are a blessing for you. So, invest in high-quality riding boots that would last you years to come.
  6. Never get back on a horse following a fall, especially if the reason is the horse itself. Find out what’s disturbing your equine and try to work it through.

Sometimes, the saddle is uncomfortable or not the right size, or the horse doesn’t feel well. Whatever the cause may be, try to sort it out before getting on the horse again.


A happy and healthy horse can provide hours of pleasurable riding experience, provided that it is acquainted with the best riding equipment.

From the proper harness to a complete emergency kit and food supplies, choosing safety riding equipment offers added protection for both horses and beginner horse riders.