Know what to wear for horseback riding in the fall to stay warm and comfortable
One of the many wonderful things about horseback riding is that you can do it any time of year. Spring and summer tend to be prime time for racing, but riding in cooler temperatures when leaves are turning and blanketing the ground is unforgettable.
These tips on what to wear for horseback riding in the fall will keep you safe and comfortable. From equestrian riding pants, to proper footwear, the right clothes are essential. While you?re planning ahead, check with the stables and see if they have additional rules on attire. Note that many won?t allow people to ride in shorts, flip-flops or spiked heels.
This is the easiest category to tackle. You can probably guess the best footwear for horseback riding is…wait for it…cowboy boots! If you have a pair you?ve been dying to wear, this is the occasion.
Don?t own cowboy boots? No problem. The best alternative is hard-soled boots or shoes with a thick heal. Athletic sneakers will suffice if you don?t have any of the above.
Equestrian clothing is durable, and offers frequent riders several functions they won?t get from standard jeans. Whether you choose a pair with a full seat or knee patch, they?re designed to flatter and tuck into your boots.
Other high-performance styles of riding pants are made from a mix of cotton, polyester and spandex so it comfortably stretches and is easy to care for. Knee patches prevent slipping, but they?re not necessary for casual riding. If you have the option to wear pants with a full seat insert, do so for both comfort and to reduce sliding in the saddle.
If riding isn?t a frequent hobby, straight-legged jeans are fine to wear. They?ll keep you warm and protect your legs. Avoid wearing sweats, low-cut jeans, sweats and tights or you?ll be pretty uncomfortable for the entire ride.
The upper body is where it pays to carefully consider what to wear for horseback riding in the fall. If it?s cold, windy or rainy outside, this is where you?ll feel it first. Layers are wise.
Ladies, a super supportive bra is essential. Sports bras are perfect. No matter how slow you intend to ride, there will be lots of, um, bounce. This is not the time for tops with built-in bras. Take a cue from experienced riders who often double up for extra support.
Early in the season, sweat-wicking athletic tees are a sufficient bottom layer. As the temperatures drop, switch to long-sleeved athletic shirts. Long-sleeved cotton tees, button-down flannel shirts and henleys will keep you comfortable and warm on long rides.
Fall is a beautiful time to go riding, but the temperature and weather fluctuations are tricky. Bring a pullover sweatshirt or fleece with a high zip neck in case the day is colder than you expected. If rain is a possibility, pack a water-proof jacket.
Denim or puffy down vests are good for more than just creating a rugged, outdoorsy look. They keep your core warm so you can relax on the saddle and enjoy the ride without getting a chill. Loop an infinity scarf around your neck for extra throat protection on windy days.
Safety 101: if you don?t have a riding helmet, make sure the place you plan to ride is able to provide one.
Whether you wear boots or not, English riding accessories like high socks add warmth, comfort and give you an additional layer of protection. Wear warm gloves if it?s chilly because you?ll need warm hands in order to maintain a grip on the reigns. And don?t forget sunscreen on your face and arms if they?re not covered.
You?re smart to plan ahead. When sorting what to wear for horseback riding in the fall, remember that your clothes will get dirty, dusty and possibly covered in horsehair. They?re also going to smell so save your favorite clothes of the season for another time.