01 Sep What To Wear Horseback Riding: A Guide for Beginners
Horseback riding is an excellent choice for a fun activity on your next vacation, even if you’ve never been on a horse before! If you’re a beginner, you might be wondering what to wear when you go. Most stables offer horseback rides for beginners and at Mountain Creek Riding Stables, we have a caring staff that will ensure you feel safe and are enjoying the entirety of your ride!
You may be daydreaming of the fresh air, beautiful views, and free feeling of riding a majestic animal – although, if you’re uncomfortably dressed, you won’t be able to embrace the experience to its full potential. If you’re wondering what you should wear when you go horseback riding, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive list of what NOT to wear horseback riding, along with our recommendations for what to wear for optimal comfort.
What NOT To Wear Horseback Riding
1. High Heels
Imagine for a moment – a sunny, beautiful day with a gentle breeze blowing. In front of you is the horse that you’re going to ride and the friendly guide says to you, “Alright, we’re going to get you up now. All you have to do is step up these few steps, put your foot in the stirrup, and then swing your right leg over the saddle.” You attempt to do this, but the front of your high heel slips as you put pressure on it, causing your foot to slide into the stirrup as you attempt to stand. A high heel can get caught in the stirrup, and you might end up falling backwards off of the horse with your foot still stuck and twisted in a way it probably shouldn’t be!
This is what we in the business call a “bad time,” and we seek to avoid them whenever possible.
You’re probably thinking, “Whoah, if I’m taking my ride in July, then I’ll HAVE to wear shorts. It’s going to be hot!” Indeed, you’d be correct in assuming that the summer sun would make things a bit toasty, and that includes the leather saddle you’ll be riding as well. Make no mistake – we allow people to ride in shorts. However, between the heat of the saddle and the rubbing that occurs from the natural motion of the horse while you ride, your thighs will not be happy with you by the end of the hour ride. Our best advice is to wear long pants.
There’s a reason all those cowboys in movies wear jeans!
3. Flip Flops
Speaking of July, we see a lot of open-toed shoes show up to our stables in the summer. Unfortunately, these are an absolute no-go. Again, can you envision cowboys in movies wearing flip flops? No! This applies to all open-toed shoes. One of the main reasons is safety. If a horse accidentally steps on your foot, you’ll wish you had a real shoe on. Secondly, this type of shoe isn’t snug fitting. If one of them falls off on your ride, there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to get it back for you.
And wandering around for the rest of the day with only one flip-flop? Not a good time!
4. Très Chic
When you go horseback riding, it’s important to have a full range of motion. For good reason, no one is mounting a saddle at Paris Fashion Week. Beyond just the physical aspect of how difficult it would be to ride in a silk dress or your favorite pleather miniskirt, think about all the mud and dirt that could ruin them. Our best advice is to keep it simple and leave your favorite high fashion looks at home.
So what SHOULD you wear horseback riding?
Alright, so we went over the don’ts of dressing for horseback riding, but what about the do’s? The best horseback riding clothes are closed-toe shoes without a heel (or with a heel less than 1″), some comfortable pants, and a shirt that does not overly restrict movement. That’s about it! Of course, winter wear would include gloves and a jacket but the same rules still apply. If it’s sunny, don’t forget the sunscreen and feel free to wear a hat or sunglasses, but keep in mind that if they fall off on the trail they could be gone forever!