Horse riding is a popular pastime, enjoyed by millions, and you’re probably chomping at the bit to go riding on your horse right now! But before you do, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to do so safely and comfortably.
Basic riding gear covers clothing and accessories for both you and your horse. These help to keep you protected while you’re on the horse and allow you to enjoy the experience all the more – and are essential items to invest in when you start horse riding.
This is probably the most important horse riding item you can buy as it keeps your head protected should have an accident and fall from your horse. Make sure you buy a good hat that fits properly – it should be both secure and feel comfortable on your head. The size of hat is determined by your head circumference, measured above your ears in centimetres.
You need to wear boots that have a small heel and cover your ankles. Without sturdy riding boots, your ankles will rub against the stirrups and leathers, and it’s important to provide that extra protection. The heels stop your feet from sliding in the stirrups. There are two main types of boots to choose between – full length or ankle boots. The shorter version doesn’t protect your legs as much but are lighter to wear in the summer.
These keep your feet in place as your ride, so make sure they are the right size for you. If they are small, your feet will get stuck and if big your feet will not stay in place. You can shorten or lengthen the leathers according to your leg length.
Bit, bridle and reins
This trio enables you to control your horse and is designed to be comfortable for your horse too. The way they work is by the bit resting in the horse’s mouth, which is attached to the bridle which is connected to the reins that you hold while riding. These are used to help you guide your horse’s head in the direction you want to go in, so it’s important to invest in quality leather especially for the riding reins, to prevent breakages.
Girth and saddle
The girth fits around the horse’s body and holds the saddle in place, which in turns holds you in place. Make sure your saddle fits you and your horse, and is designed for your particular activity. There are different types of saddle to choose between, including ones for jumping and dressage, for long distance rides, and for general activities.
These provide protection and warmth for your horse, and the type of rug you need largely depends on the time of year and where your horse is kept. For example, you can buy turnout rugs that cover the horse’s neck and often come with a hood too, for when your horse is in the field, or a stable rug for when your horse is indoors.
Ashurst Farm Feeds sell a wide range of horse equipment including horse bandages