If you are interested in taking your horse on trail rides, there are a few important pieces of clothing and accessories you'll need. Of course, going out for a trail ride isn't anything like riding for a horse show as there are no requirements for the type of clothing you wear. But there are several things that can make trail riding more enjoyable for you and your horse. Here are a few essential pieces to have.
Your helmet is the most crucial thing to have for your trail riding attire. For trail riding, it's important to consider the type of environment you'll be riding in. If you'll be riding on trails that meander through the forest, you'll want to be sure your helmet has enough padding inside to protect your head in case you hit a low-hanging branch. If you plan on riding through trails that are open, it's a good idea to wear a helmet with a brim that is either flexible or snaps on and off in case you fall and the front of your head hits the ground. Also, a ventilated helmet is important if you plan on riding on hot summer days so you won't run the risk of overheating.
After your helmet, your next most important purchase is your footwear. Of course, most people prefer riding boots, but you don't necessarily have to wear boots specifically designed for horse riding. However, you do want footwear that provide your ankles with support, so boots are a must-have. As long as the tread of your boots is thin and able to fit into the stirrups easily while having somewhat of a grip, you'll be fine. The boots should be comfortable and well-fitted so your feet don't slide inside of them. When selecting a pair of boots for trail riding, it's important to try them on with the same type of sock you'll be wearing when trail riding. For example, don't try the boots on while wearing thick socks if you plan on wearing traditional thin riding socks.
Bright, Protective Clothing
Purchase a bright shirt (or several) that offers sun protection. Brightly colored shirts will help others be able to see you better, which is especially important when trail riding through the woods during hunting season. Pants should have leather seat and knee patches for built-in traction, which will help you stay in the saddle. Sun protection is important so your skin doesn't get burnt or sun damaged while out on day-long excursions. Purchase garments that have built-in UV protection so you can be sure to get enough protection from the blazing sun. Also, you'll find most shirts are long sleeves, which helps to protect against sun exposure but can also help your body stay cool on the hottest days. Long sleeves will enable sweat to stay on your skin for a longer period of time and, while that may sound gross, it's your body's natural way of keeping cool on hot days.
It's also important to consider wearing comfortable undergarments that won't cause irritation while in the saddle. First of all, consider how uncomfortable elastic leg openings and seams can be when you are sitting in the saddle while trail riding for any amount of time. The longer your trail rides are, the more likely elastic leg openings and seams can make you feel uncomfortable. Of course, breathable fabric is essential as well. Fortunately, there are undergarments designed specifically for various types of horse riding, including trail riding. Also, females should wear appropriate supportive bras, especially if they plan on galloping, cantering, or trotting. Sports bras are excellent for trail riding, but there are supportive bras that are designed specifically for horse riding that you may want to consider.