The Perfect Horse Riding Outfit

Woman riding a horse in the appropriate horse riding outfit

You will always need a horse riding outfit when you are a rider. Whether for training or competition, you must have the right gear. 

It doesn’t matter what type of riding you do – show jumping, dressage, or eventing – there is one thing that every rider needs: an equestrian outfit.

Footwear for horse riding

Riding boots

Riding boots are the most traditional choice and are still preferred by many riders. They come in various styles and can be made from leather, suede, or synthetic materials.

Riding shoes

Riding shoes are a more modern alternative to riding boots. They provide the same protection against mud and water as riding boots while being lighter and easier to clean afterward

Some people prefer to combine these two types of footwear. They wear jodhpurs with either style of shoe depending on their preference at the time. Either over or under their trousers or breeches (the latter being preferable).


Heels should be comfortable, lightweight, and flexible. They should be wide enough to fit over your boot, so you can wear them with any boot style. Heels are not just for the show ring! If you love wearing heels while riding, they’re great to have in your outfit collection because they will help you keep your balance when jumping or moving quickly from one place to another on horseback.

Heels should be short enough so that they don’t cause discomfort or pain in the back of your knee when sitting down for long periods but tall enough so that when standing up straight (on flat ground), there is still adequate space between their top edge and bottom tip of my toes/anklebone area. This allows plenty of wiggle room if I need them adjusted during an activity.

Most importantly, though – heels need strong grip traction on road surfaces like asphalt parking lots. 

Jodhpur boots

Jodhpur boots are a type of riding boot traditionally worn with jodhpurs. They consist of two parts: a leather upper and a rubber sole. The upper sits up high on your leg, typically above the knee, where you can see it peeking out from under your jodhpurs when you sit in the saddle or walk around town.

Since they’re meant to be worn with jodhpurs, they have an exposed side zipper that allows you to get them on relatively quickly without bending down too far while wearing tall boots (it would look like this).

Laces or zips?

It’s a question of comfort, ease, and durability. If you want to get dressed quickly, laces might not be for you. However, if you’re looking for a horse riding outfit that will last more than one season and feel comfortable on your skin, then laces are the way to go.

Zips are quicker to put on but can feel slightly uncomfortable around your neck if they’re too tight or the material is stiffer than expected (which is why we don’t suggest using zip-up jerseys).

If you have sensitive skin or allergies, it’s worth considering having zippers removed from any clothing items before washing so that they don’t irritate those areas.

Materials for riding shoes

Leather is an excellent choice for riding boots but is also more expensive than other materials. It is much more comfortable and durable than synthetic fabrics.

The best leather comes from cows that have been allowed to roam free on grasslands with plenty of water and sunshine, which results in a more natural tanning process. That’s why the famous French brand of riding boots is called “Choucas” (choices means “owl” in French) and how they got their name.

In addition, leather boots let your feet breathe better than plastic or rubber footwear because they allow air to flow through them while protecting against water and debris getting inside your shoe or boot while you ride your horse around town!

Maintaining your horse riding shoes

If you’re going out on horseback for hours or even days, it’s important to keep your boots clean. Your horse may be dirty from the trail, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for you to get into his dust!

Brushing boots are easy to clean and comfortable. They’ve got all the benefits of riding pants (like jodhpurs) without any fussiness around getting them washed up post-ride.

Leather or synthetic horse riding outfit?

Regarding riding clothing, there are two main types of materials: leather and synthetic. Both have pros and cons, but which is best for you?

  • Synthetic – Soft, comfortable material that’s easy to care for. However, it doesn’t breathe as well as leather and can be more expensive than other options.
  • Leather – Durable and breathable material that lasts a long time if cared for properly; however, it can be costly compared to other fabrics like cotton or fleece.

Stud guards

Stud guards are an essential part of your horse riding outfit. They protect the horse’s legs from being scraped and bruised by being hit by a stud. Usually, stud guards are made of leather but can also be made from plastic or other materials.

They are fitted with a strap that goes around the leg above its fetlock joint (the knee). They have either a single buckle or two straps that go through each other to hold them onto the leg.

Ratcatcher turnout jackets, shirts, and breeches

These are the perfect riding clothing for wet weather riding as they are 100% waterproof. They are designed to fit closely around the body. 

They have a comfortable cut, making them ideal for therapeutic horseback riding in all conditions, including during prolonged exposure to cold weather. 

The garments can be used with boots or overboots depending on preference. Worn without overboots will keep you warm even when it rains! The fabric is breathable so that you stay comfortable while wearing them too!

Turnout jackets

Turnout jackets are the most durable of all riding jackets and have a higher waterproof rating than raincoats. They’re made from waterproof materials, such as cotton, wool, or synthetic. Turnouts keep you warm and dry while riding in the elements. 

The material is usually waterproofed with coatings that can be applied when the jacket is new but must be re-applied every few years, depending on how often you use your turnout jacket.

Shirt and tie, or plain white blouse?

Although the shirt and tie are more formal, you can still get away with wearing a plain white blouse if you’re riding a horse that is a show jumper. Show jumpers are usually in competition attire, so you’ll want to look sharp for your event. If you’re riding dressage, on the other hand, it might be more appropriate to stick with something less formal like a plain white blouse and riding breeches or jodhpurs.

Polo neck, roll neck, or shirt collar?

When choosing a polo neck, roll neck, or shirt collar, you must consider the occasion and style. The shirt collar is the most formal option and is best for an evening out. 

The roll neck is more casual but still stylish, making it perfect for an afternoon at the races or dinner with friends. Polo can be used for any occasion without looking too casual or overly formal – because of its neutral coloring. This style works well in both situations!

Polos are also popular due to how comfortable they are. With their ribbed nature, they accommodate most body shapes while still staying snug at all times. They’re also practical as they have no buttons, so there won’t be any embarrassing moments when trying to secure them over riding breeches! 

Finally, polos can be dressed up or down depending on what else you wear underneath – jeans work great with a simple white polo, while smart trousers will look fabulous teamed with black slim-fitting ones!

Tailored or competition show jackets

Tailored jackets are the way to go if you’re looking for an elegant, polished look that’s a little more formal than your everyday riding gear. They will be the most flattering on you and can also be worn with dressier pants or jeans. 

A competition jacket is great if you want something practical, durable, and breathable. It’s made to protect against mud splatter while still keeping cool in hot summer weather. 

However, if you have a bit of a wider build or just like things that are more fitted around your waistline, then tailor-made jackets will be perfect for you!

Competitive vs. training horse riding outfit?

Let’s start with the basics. The difference between competition and training jackets is that a competition jacket has a stiffer fabric, different cut, and higher-quality embroidery. This is important for showing because it lets you clear your horse’s head better when riding him around in the ring. Additionally, these jackets will last longer than those used for training purposes.

Many different types of competitions exist: 

  • hunter seat equitation (HS), 
  • hunt seat equitation over fences (HES), 
  • hunt seat equitation on the flat (HFS), 
  • western horsemanship (WHS), 
  • reining (RES) or 
  • cutting (CUT). 

Each type requires its type of jacket and shirt; some require other pieces too, but we’ll get into those later!

For HS/HES/WHS, you’ll need a wool jacket that fits snugly at your hips while giving enough room through the shoulders so that it doesn’t restrict your ability to ride freely around the ring. Your breeches should be close-fitting with full knee rolls. The tighter they are on you, the more flattering they’ll be when riding!

You will always need a horse riding outfit

You will always need a riding outfit, even if you are just going for a walk on your horse.

Riding gear is important because it keeps you safe and comfortable while working with your horse. It is also essential because it can help to protect your clothing from being stained by the dirt or mud that will inevitably get onto them during the ride.

This gear should be stylish but primarily functional. If you’re not sure what type of horse riding outfit would work best for you, ask someone at the store where they got theirs from!


We hope this article has given you ideas about what to wear when riding your horse. Finding the right horse riding outfit can be tricky, but it is worth it when you look good and feel comfortable. Remember that the most important thing is getting out there on your horse!