wikiHow to Dress for a Riding Lesson

Five Parts:Jodpurs/BreechesTopsBootsHeadgearAccessories

There are specific requirements for clothing to wear to riding lessons, for reasons of comfort, safety and good grooming. If your club, teacher or institution has not already made it clear what you need to wear, this article explains the basics, along with the reasons behind each choice.

Part 1

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    Wear jodhpurs, breeches (leggings may not be the best choice because they can be slippery and they may rub and cause sores on you). If you don't have these, wear jeggings. These should be thick, with no rips, and comfortable. Wearing jeans may be uncomfortable for the horse and many jeans limit your range of movement, something you will need to have when riding. For a show or competition you will definitely need smart jodhpurs or breeches.
    • Jennings or jeans are to be avoided. You need something that is both comfortable and very flexible, to allow you to feel the horse's moves and to move well yourself.

Part 2

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    Put on a tee shirt for your base top. In colder weather, or for greater protection, also wear a long sleeved shirt which will cover your arms a bit more if you do take a tumble.
    • Some people prefer to wear duller colors so as not to 'spook' their horse but to each their own; the color is up to you. What is important is to avoid clothing that might "flap" about, as this has a potential to spook the horse.
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    You can wear a body protector which will protect you back and neck more if you should fall off. This is essential if you are jumping.
    • You will find body protectors in any good horse gear shop.

Part 3

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    Wear boots with a raised heel so that if your foot slips through, you don't get trapped. Its essential not to wear wellies or trainers when going to your riding lesson! You don't need to purchase real horse riding boots right away, or at least the first couple lessons. But as you consistently take lessons you must get them.
    • You can wear wellies to start with but if you get better and continue to ride, upgrade your footwear to proper shoes.
    • If you compete, either smart chaps or long boots.

Part 4

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    If your riding school does not provide a helmet you must buy a riding helmet. This is essential and all riding schools should insist you wear a regulation helmet. Jockey skulls and the velvet silk hats are really good.
    • If you take a hard fall, the helmet should really be replaced. Hats are only designed to take one major fall. In some cases, the company might replace it for half price, or even for free.[citation needed]
    • Bike helmets are not good enough, they are too flimsy and if your horse decides to step on your head, your head will simply flatten, with a skull or crash... it is less impact for your head.
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    Wear your hair tied back in a hair net. Loose hair can get caught and make it harder for you to see, also if your horse steps on your hair without you wearing a hair net, you will simply get your hair ripped out in chunks.
    • Choose a hairstyle that won't interfere with putting on the helmet and wearing it comfortably.

Part 5

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    Put on gloves. While not essential, these can protect your hands and provide good grip. They can be leather, the pimple special grip ones or special horse riding gloves. They help with grip and in cooler weather, keep you warmer.
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    If it's cold, remember thick socks.
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    If the weather is windy, changeable, or actually raining, wear layers, including a thick jumper and a waterproof layer, otherwise you won't be able to concentrate on your riding!


  • Dress for the weather.
  • Cover up. If you fall, a short-sleeve t-shirt won't protect you.
  • It also helps if you wear a body protector, just in case you fall off your horse.


  • Never ride without a proper riding hat. Most riding schools provide one for you.
  • Be careful when shopping for riding gear. Be picky and only expect the best quality.

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