So you’re looking to get into horseback riding and equestrian sports. Before getting started, here’s an important question.
What should you wear?
Beginners in all sports get giddy at the thought of wearing a new ensemble. That’s just part of the allure of sports, new uniforms, new shoes, and whatnot. But if you’re trying out equestrianism, using the same approach can easily lead to an empty wallet.
When shopping for horse riding equipment, it’s better to hold your horses and ask this question. “What should I prioritize when starting out?”
If you’re a rookie to the sport, focus on the must-haves first instead of the nice-to-haves. Here are some of the essential gear to help you hit the ground running (with your horse).
Safety First, Get a Helmet
In any sport, there’s a potential for injury. Yes, that includes chess and e-sports gaming.
Injury is more common and serious in equestrian sports. What happened to Christopher Reeve (Superman) is a classic example.
So without question, if you’re going to get on a saddle, the first thing you should buy is a helmet.
Even if you’re likely riding a safe and calm horse as a newbie, you still need something to protect what’s inside your skull. You can’t predict an animal’s behavior and you don’t have the body control yet to stay on top of a horse.
Again, With a Focus on Safety, Wear a Vest
Any rider who tells you that they haven’t fallen off a horse is probably lying.
Same as when learning how to ride a bike, expect to hit the ground. A lot. A body protector or safety vest can cushion the fall and protect your internal organs.
It will also offer some protection if you get kicked by a horse. It doesn’t happen often but you have a better chance of walking out with just bruises instead of serious injuries.
Horse Riding Equipment You May Already Own: Pants and Boots
There’s a good chance that you already own these must-haves for horseback riding. We’re talking about a good pair of pants and boots.
For pants, the minimum requirement that makes them suitable for riding is that they’re non-slippery. Ideally, there should be minimal seams and the material should be grippy. They should also fit well and allow some stretch for a comfortable ride.
When starting out, you can make do with any close-toed boots with at least a one-inch heel. The heel prevents your foot from slipping through the stirrup. You can also buy horse riding boots and muck boots from equestrian goods stores such as Country and Stable.
Protect Your Hands With a Nice Pair of Gloves
Holding the reins with bare hands can be uncomfortable. Also, if your hands get sweaty, you might lose your grip on the reins and fall.
These become a non-issue if you invest in riding gloves.
Winston Churchill once said that “no hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” Horseback riding is a wonderful experience that’s a testament to the unbreakable bond between man and horse.
So what are you waiting for? Grab these essential horse riding equipment and get up on that saddle!
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