What equipment do you need for horse riding?
Taking up horse riding as a hobby can be a little overwhelming for a beginner. There’s a whole raft of equipment required before one can immerse him/herself into the exciting world of horse-riding. Equestrianism comes with its fair share of risks. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that proper precautions are taken beforehand. Possessing the right gear and tack not only ensures that the rider and the horse are safe, but it also maximises the riding experience. Fortunately, one doesn’t need to go all out when purchasing the riding equipment. Horse riding products need not be expensive to be effective. Quality and safety standards should be the top considerations.
This article acts as a guide for first-timers on what equipment to acquire before horse-riding.
– Riding Helmets/Caps
It goes without saying that an accessory that shields the rider’s head against impact/injury is an integral part of the rider’s attire. To ensure safety is guaranteed, one should seek out approved and certified helmets. Riding caps are essential even for the cream of the crop. No matter how good or experienced an equestrian is, one can never rule out the possibility of a mishap. Moreso, newbies are more prone to accidents and protecting the head is requisite.
– Breeches and Jodhpurs
A regular pair of pants just doesn’t cut it when it comes to horse-riding. Climbing the horse, sitting comfortably on the saddle while riding and climbing off can be greatly compromised. Breeches and jodhpurs offer the perfect solution to horse-riders. They are made of a stretchable and grippy material, which allows for easy spreading of legs and prevents the rider from sliding on the saddle.
Gloves are important for protecting the rider’s hands against burns and wounds caused by intense gripping on the reins. Controlling a horse especially if it’s stray or defiant can take a huge toll on the palms.
– Riding Boots
Riding boots prevent the rider’s foot from slipping while riding. They enhance the foot’s grip on the stirrups.
-Saddle and Saddle Pads
A saddle is definitely amongst the most essential equipment for horse-riding. It is virtually impossible to find a rider who doesn’t make use of a saddle. Its main purpose is to ensure that the rider is seated comfortably and securely on the horse’s back. It also helps in the even distribution of the rider’s weight down the horse’s back, and this protects the horse from any back strain or pain.
Saddle pads act as cushions and provide protection to the horse’s back. The thickness of the pads has an impact on the overall comfort of the rider and pressure distribution.
Stirrups are paired metal frames that are attached to the saddle using straps. They help in mounting and hold the rider’s feet in place while riding. Modern stirrups are properly designed to ensure that a rider’s foot doesn’t get stuck in case of a fall.
The bridle is the component of the horse’s tack that is used to control the horse. It is a collection of various parts which work together to achieve this function. These parts include the reins, bit and the headstall.
Reins are long and narrow straps, made of materials such as leather and nylon, which are attached to the bit and run all the way back to the rider’s hands.
The bit is the part that is fixed into the horse’s mouth. It is mostly made of metal, but can also be made of plastic, and it’s the part turns the horse’s head. The rider should ensure that the bit chosen doesn’t hurt the mouth.
The headstall is a general term for all the other parts attached to the horse’s head such as the noseband.
Lead ropes are usually attached to the noseband and are used to lead the horse while the rider is on the ground.
Horse-riding is as rewarding as it is exciting for those who partake in it. This is especially so if the appropriate equipment is utilized. The items stated above are essential for any successful horse-riding experience.