What to Wear to Horseback Riding Lessons:
Comfort comes first. You’re not going to a horse show, it’s just your first lesson! Don’t worry too much about what you look like. Instead, prioritize clothing that is easy to move in and comfortable.
A good pair of thick jeans will protect you from chafing and still allow you to move and stretch. Brands like Wrangler, Stetson, and Tin Haul are designed to keep you comfortable in the saddle. Look for jeans that have some stretch and have a bootcut leg opening to allow them to fit over a pair of Western boots. These Tin Haul Dolly Fit Jeans fit the bill, and also have decorative geo stitching and tucks on the back pockets.
If you’re taking an English riding lesson, you may want to opt for a pair of riding tights or leggings. Very similar to your favorite pair of yoga pants or workout leggings, these are some of the most comfortable options you’ll find for riding.
Available in both winter and summer options, riding leggings typically have additional reinforcement at the inside of the knee, which allows you to grip the saddle better and offers extra protection from chafing.
Mesh pockets make it easy to carry your cell phone while also keeping you cool in the summer heat. Contoured mesh bottoms allow your skin to breathe on hot summer days.
As for shirts, wear something that you’re prepared to get dirty! At your first horse back riding lesson, you’ll learn how to brush and care for the horse– and they aren’t the cleanest. Be prepared for a lot of dust and maybe some mud depending on the weather. Wear a shirt that’s comfortable to move in, will wick sweat away from the body, and you’re okay getting it dirty.
Long sleeves and fabric designed for UV protection will help you stay cool and comfortable for your horseback riding lessons.
Horses are big animals. While most horse back riding lesson horses are very docile and well-behaved, you still want to make sure your feet are protected in case you accidentally get stepped on.
Horseback riding boots are designed to keep your feet protected and to help keep your foot in the correct position in the stirrups.
For the Western rider, the Smokey Mountain Black Meadow Boots are a great option. Pull tabs make them easy to get on and off, while the short heel stops your foot from sliding too far into the stirrup. Plus, the black and white leather with contrast stitching is peak Western style.
If you're going to be riding English, you may want to invest in a good pair of paddock boots and half chaps. You don’t need to invest in a pair of expensive tall boots just yet, save that for later lessons or when you start to compete at horse shows.
The TuffRider Starter Paddock Boots are a good, affordable option to get you started. Made of synthetic leather, they feature a short heel to keep your foot in place and a front zip for easy on and off.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll wear at your first horse back riding lesson, a helmet keeps you safe in case you fall off. When buying a helmet, remember: fit comes first. If your helmet doesn’t fit correctly, it can actually be worse than no helmet at all. A helmet that’s too big could fall over your eyes, while one that’s too small will give you a headache. Be sure to refer to our sizing chart and have a friend or family member measure you for the most accurate reading.
While some lesson barns do have a selection of helmets for you to choose from, it’s more sanitary to bring your own. Plus, you’ll know that it fits properly.
We recommend taking a look at the TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet. This affordable option is SEI certified and has carbon-look-alike ABS ventilation and a coolmax washable lining to wick sweat away from your forehead.
What to Bring With You to Horseback Riding Lessons:
What to bring with you will vary somewhat based on what barn you’re riding at and the time of year. Always be sure to bring a water bottle. Horseback riding is hard work! Treat it like going to the gym. It’s important to stay hydrated while exercising.
You may also want to bring sunscreen in case you ride outside or go on a trail ride. Even if you ride in an indoor arena, you’ll still have to go outside to catch your horse and put him away after you ride. Sun protection will ensure you don’t get burned and have a good experience.
There are some supplies that only certain barns will require you to bring. Your own grooming supplies are one of those things. Most lesson barns will have separate grooming supplies for each horse on the property. But, if you’re concerned you may need your own, contact the barn to ask before you arrive. Most equestrians don’t have to buy their own grooming supplies until they own or lease a horse.
You definitely won’t have to bring a saddle or bridle, as most horse tack is custom fit to the individual horse you’ll be riding. The lesson barn will want you to use their saddles to ensure the most comfortable experience for the horse. The same is true for bridles and bits. Don’t worry about bringing along any sort of horse tack– the riding barn will take care of all that for you.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Equestrian Sports
Many equestrians fall in love with horses from the first time they sit in a saddle at their first horse back riding lesson. Your first riding lesson will tell you if you’re one of those lucky people who have a passion for horses. But be warned: horses are all-consuming! You’ll soon find that you’ll never want to leave the barn. So, welcome. Welcome to the wonderful world of horseback riding.