Big, bulky fabrics and drab colors are out. Breathable, sporty fabrics in beautiful, rich shades are in. Those are just some of the changes in equestrian wear over the last few years.
Though it is steeped deep in military and hunting traditions hundreds of years old, change had to come to equestrian sports eventually. This change has been cross influenced by fashion trends, Non-riders have adopted several “equestrian” looks such as snug fit jeans combined with blazer jackets and tall boots.
It’s only fair then that modern equestrian wear should be influenced by today’s fashions. When stepping out for that horse riding lesson, you want to look as good as those riders you’ve seen on TV and in sporting magazines. Here’s how you’ll do it.
1. Don’t forget safety
First things first, those riders you admire always make sure that they have the correct gear, that fits well, is comfortable, and ensures their safety. While you may want to impress your instructor with your look, they are more likely to admire your respect for the sport, shown in having the correct gear.
2. English style for elegance
Even if you don’t have competition or a professional equestrian riding career ahead of you, nothing is preventing you from co-opting the classic English equestrian look. It is built on sleek, fitted breeches and tall boots, all of which you can get from le-mieux, and which you can top off with a tailored riding jacket. Don’t forget to wear an ASTM/SEI certified helmet to complete your look. If tall boots are not to your fancy, you can try paddock boots with half chaps.
3. Western toughness
Cowboy hats and boots are a fashion statement, no matter where they are worn. Let your riding instructor know that you prefer the ruggedness of the Old West. This is a look built on the “outdoorsy” denim blue jeans and plaid or check shirts and of course, the iconic cowboy hat and boots. Even though you want to be stylish, select boots that are practical and serviceable.
4. Matching pair
Equestrian sports are one of the few where you’re part of a team. This time, your teammate is a horse. For most of equestrian history, the style has been reserved for the rider. These days, it is increasingly common to have matching gear for your horse. Rider and horse sets are sold in similar themes and colors. You’ll not only be in style, but your horse will be as well.
5. Ask for help
If you’re taking classes with someone whose riding gear you admire, ask them where they bought it. Most people usually feel complimented when someone notices their clothes and will talk about them. It’s an excellent way to meet someone new, as well as learn about the latest equestrian wear and brands.
6. What not to wear
A key element of being stylish for your lesson is knowing what not to wear. We’ve spoken about respect for the sport already and nothing shows greater disrespect than showing up in the wrong gear. These are generally inappropriate for a horse riding lesson, no matter how good they look:
– Sneakers/ Tennis shoes
– Wrong headgear i.e caps, bicycle helmets
– Dresses, skirts
– Loose baggy clothing that can catch on your equipment or your riding environment
7. New fabrics
There was a time when tweeds and dark colors dominated equestrian sport. Equestrians, in fact, didn’t look like sportsmen until fairly recently when athletic gear companies began designing new gear specifically for the sport. Rider wear now features temperature technology and moisture control, as well as innovations to cut down on chafing. Modernize your look by ditching the tweeds in favor of these new fabrics.
8. New colors
Colors for horse riding gear tend to change with the season. Louder, more colorful designs for the spring and summer. More subdued tones for the autumn and winter. This is a general rule of thumb you’d want to stick by as you consider your ensembles for your lessons.
9. Keep an eye on trends
The most fashionable people always know what’s new and next in their favorite gear. If you want to be the most stylishly dressed rider at your lesson, you need to pay attention to what’s going on in equestrian fashion. Those knowledgeable say riders can expect the high waist jean trend, which has overtaken regular fashion to make its mark here too. Certainly, one to look out for.
Horse riding lessons can be fraught with nervous tension as you learn to ride. Don’t be anxious about what you will wear. Follow our tips and soon, you’ll be the most fashionable rider in the yard.