Your first lesson in a new discipline can be exciting. The prospect of learning a new skill and working with horses is more than enough to inspire most equestrians. If you’re getting ready for your first dressage lesson, you may be wondering what exactly you need to put together a safe and comfortable outfit for horseback riding. Don’t worry– we created this blog to make it easy for you to put together your shopping list, but with a little bit of a dressage fashion twist.
A Comfortable Pair of Breeches
It’s important to wear breeches so you can be comfortable and feel secure in the saddle. While some beginner riders wear leggings or tights, these may be too slippery, making you feel like you’ll be bounced right out of the saddle. Jeans are another popular option, but most are too short for horse riding and may ride up around your legs, leading to chafing and injuries. The good news is that there are economical outfits for horseback riding for beginner riders that are just as comfortable as your favorite leggings, but more durable and more secure.
The TuffRider Cotton Schoolers Tights are as comfortable, if not more so, than your average pair of yoga pants. These tights are durable, soft, and stretchy with a comfortable elastic waistband and non-slip gripper ankle elastic. Elastic at the ankle ensures your pants won’t ride up under your boots. The reinforced knee patches on these tights increase their longevity and make you feel more secure in the saddle. Available in five different colors, the Cotton Schoolers give you the flexibility to put together your own dressage fashion outfit for horseback riding.
Breathable Riding Shirt
The best riding shirts are breathable and moisture-wicking, which is essential for both hot summer days and cold winter nights. Fabric for outfits for horseback riding should be similar to athletic wear. Many riding shirts even feature mesh under the arms for added ventilation, while still offering the protection of long sleeves. Long sleeves are often worn by equestrians to protect their arms in case of a fall or to provide additional sun protection. Mesh inserts make it possible to have both– ventilation and protection.
For example, the Tuffrider Taylor Polo Shirt has everything you could ever look for in a riding shirt. The V-Neck with open collar is a very trendy dressage fashion style. Plus, the EquiCool moisture-wicking and UV protection fabric offer all the technical advantages of a typical athletic shirt.
This top is soft, simple, comfortable, and affordable, making it the perfect base layer for a fall outfit for horseback riding.
Sturdy Riding Boots
Did you know that it’s dangerous to ride horses in any old shoe? Riding boots are specifically designed to protect your feet while you tack up and while you ride. All riding boots, whether they’re tall boots or paddock boots, have a minimum of a two inch heel. This heel height prevents your foot from sliding all the way through the stirrup and becoming stuck. On top of that, most riding boots are made of a material, like leather or synthetic leather, that’s much stiffer than your average pair of sneakers or fashion-style boots. This stiff material helps to protect your feet in case a horse missteps and lands on your toes.
For your first dressage lesson, upgrade your outfits for horseback riding by investing in a pair of economical, but sturdy, riding boots like the TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots. These boots are also water resistant so you can hose off your horse worry-free. If you’re worried about a comfortable fit, these boots will put your mind at ease with elastic side gussets to offer a relaxed feel. Their synthetic leather upper gives these paddock boots a refined dressage fashion look. Plus, synthetic leather is extremely easy and convenient to care for. No need to invest in special soaps or sponges to clean these boots. Instead, a wet cloth or microfiber rag will do the trick!
Half Chaps to Protect Your Legs
Now that your feet are protected, it’s time to protect your legs. Half chaps are the most common form of leg protection used for dressage riders who are just starting out. Tall boots offer more of a classic dressage fashion look, but are also much more expensive. Full chaps– the type that buckle around your waist and go all the way down to your ankles– are typically limited to just western riding.
Half chaps are zip-up leather shin guards that wrap around the entirety of your lower leg and have a strap that hooks directly beneath your foot, just in front of the two inch heel.
While there’s a wide variety of half chaps on Breeches.com, all made out of different materials and offering different fits, one of our favorite dressage fashion half chaps are the Perri’s Leather half chaps. These chaps offer the look of a closely contoured tall boot, but with a suede finish. Unlike more expensive chaps, these half chaps require less break in time due to their stretch panels, which offer a near custom fit. However, they also have reinforced inner leg panels for extra durability and increased longevity.
Mind Your Melon: Wear a Helmet
Helmets are the cherry on top of most outfits for horseback riding. If you have to pick one piece of new equipment to wear to your first dressage lesson out of this whole list, choose a well-fitted helmet! When you’re first starting out, you’ll most likely be riding calm and well-mannered school horses. However, dressage is not without its dangers, just like all horse sports. Even the calmest school pony can spook when something unexpected happens! When searching for a helmet, make sure to measure your head size before purchasing. Find instructions on how to fit a helmet here.
For an economical dressage fashion look, choose a helmet like the TuffRider Starter Helmet. The matte finish of this helmet is very on trend, while the carbon fiber grill adds texture and style. Plus, the grill offers added ventilation. This helmet is SEI certified, so you can rest assured that it will help keep your head safe and protected.
All the Dressage Fashion Apparel You Need
Breeches.com is proud to carry dressage fashion brands like Goode Rider, Equine Couture, and TuffRider to meet all of your dressage fashion needs. Whether you’re getting ready for your first lesson or your 300th, Breeches.com is proud to be the go-to online tack store for all equestrian supplies and outfits for horseback riding.
Click here to shop our collection of apparel and gear.
Click here to learn more about equestrian apparel.