The Basics: What Your Child Needs to Begin Horseback Riding Lessons
Whether you are new to the horse world, or sending your kids to summer horse camp for the fourth year in a row, we frequently get questions from parents about appropriate riding clothes for your children. And let’s be honest – riding is an expensive sport! So when you start Googling, you can easily be overwhelmed by the multitude of brands and styles.
However, dressing appropriately for a riding lesson doesn’t have to break the bank. Keep in mind, today’s equestrian attire has come a long way to include more technology in fabrics for increased comfort and practicality, and better industry standards for protective equipment.
So before you send your kids off for their first riding lesson, or you need to purchase a whole new equestrian wardrobe because they are growing like weeds, keep these basics in mind:
Helmet - Helmets come in English and Western styles both for showing and schooling. Your helmet should be well-fitted and appropriate for the type of riding you are doing. Most importantly, your helmet must be ASTM/SEI certified. Your child’s bike helmet won’t do and does not meet the industry requirements.
Boots – Regardless of what you may read, it is not appropriate to send your kids to a riding lesson in tennis shoes. Proper riding footwear should have a 1 to 1½ inch heel and low tread. Boot styles vary by discipline, casual wear and show, and often you can find a quality pair on consignment.
Riding Pants – Many ride in jeans or riding pants designed specifically for the sport. When pants are too baggy, riders may experience bunching, which will result in saddle rubs (ouch!). Riding breeches or jodhpurs can be bought with leather knee or seat patches that offer additional grip and durability.
Riding Shirts – It is very important for shirts to be neat and fitting. Much like riding pants, baggy shirts can be snagged or caught on other equipment and result in dangerous situations. Today’s riding shirts are designed for maximum riding comfort, and breathability or warmth, depending on the weather.
Riding clothes can be affordable, fashionable and appropriate for schooling or a lesson. Tack stores like The Carousel Horse
or Everything Ponies
carry a variety of styles, brands and price points.
Quick Tip: ALWAYS check a tack store’s SALE and Consignment sections. You can find some of the best deals here!
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