wear horseback riding

Summer Outfits To Wear Horseback Riding | First Time Picks

Horseback riding goes beyond just looking good on a horseback during the summer. What you wear has a huge role to play in your overall experience with horseback riding. In this comprehensive guide to help you choose what to wear horseback riding in the summer, you will find tips from an expert in horse riding, a horse competitor, a fashion store owner, and a horse trainer.

No matter your level of experience in horseback riding, this article will cover various levels of experience and how to dress especially in the summer, to ensure safety, comfort, and style.

This article discusses the key aspects of horseback riding in the summer with respect to clothing, including:

  1. Moisture-wicking shirt
  2. Ventilated riding helmets
  3. Breathable tights or breeches
  4. Light-weight socks
  5. Ventilated gloves
  6. Ventilated boots
  7. Moisture-wicking underwear

In the end, we would give you some more tips and a section of frequently asked questions to help you get the best out of your riding experience at all times.

What to expect in this article:

  1. Why what you wear horseback riding means a lot
  2. Essential clothing for horseback riding
  3. What not to wear horseback riding
  4. Key considerations for hot weather clothing :
    1. Top choice Helmets for horseback riding in the summer
    2. Best summer horseback riding shirts
    3. Best pants for horseback riding in the summer
    4. Top-notch socks for horseback riding during hot weathers
    5. Underwear that is excellent for horseback riding in the summer
    6. Gloves that are perfect for horseback riding in hot weather/summer
    7. Best boots for horseback riding in the summer
  5. More tips on Horseback riding in the summer
  6. Frequently asked questions on Horseback riding in the summer

Why what you wear horseback riding means a lot

We all know that dressing well matters to a lot of people, but when it comes to horseback riding, it goes beyond looking good and wearing clothes to fit on the horseback. Settling for the right type of clothes could mean your comfort, safety, and fun with horseback riding. Furthermore, when you make the right choice as regards what to wear, you will minimize the chances of having saddle sores, give you more focus when riding, and in some cases, help reduce the chances of falling from the horse and getting injured.

Essential clothing for horseback riding

It is good we start from the very basics for horseback riding, as the essentials would always remain a standard for horseback riding no matter the occasion you are riding in. Although we know that horseback riding has different types and niches with their various dress codes, we cannot overlook certain basic rules. Whatever type of horseback riding you are engaged in, these basic rules are always true.

3 most essential rules when horseback riding is:

  1. Wearing clothing that won’t chafe or irritate you
  2. Wearing a helmet
  3. Wearing heeled boots

These rules are very important because:

1.     Wearing clothing that won’t chafe protects your sensitive parts

wear horseback riding

You must have heard of the word “Saddle Sore”. This is usually a big issue for many horseback riders, especially for new riders. It is not unlikely that a rider gets open sores or for the skin to chafe during horseback riding. To help reduce the occurrence of saddle sores for the riders, it is essential to wear specific riding pants, use powder or lubricant for friction reduction, and wear seamless underwear.

If the horseback riding is going to be less than 20 minutes, this might not matter at all, but if you are going to be horseback riding for long hours then it is safe to plan and avoid such occurrences of saddle sores.

2.     Wearing a helmet to protect your head

wear horseback riding

Most commercial riding stables, trail riding outfitters, and beach horseback riding groups make wearing a protective helmet or headgear a major requirement. It is important to note that not all helmets are the same. They all have different functions and purposes. The same applies to the helmet for horseback riding. The Helmet you use for horseback riding is different from the helmet used in other sports. The helmet you’d use for riding a bicycle would not protect your head from injury in a fall from a horse’s back.

3.     Wearing heeled boots to protect your feet from slipping

wear horseback riding

Boots are mandatory for horseback riding in most cases. Although some owners of horseback riding backyards overlook this, a boot is a necessity. The minimum size for boots is usually ½ inch. There are different types of boots that you can use when horseback riding; an English style boot, a cowboy boot, a sneaker-hybrid boot, or a versatile Chelsea boot. Whatever the boot you choose it should have a heel to prevent the rider from slipping through the stirrups of the saddle.

What not to wear horseback riding

1. High heels

Wearing a high heel is a bad idea for horseback riding for many reasons. Top of the reasons is the fact that you stand a risk of falling off the horse or being caught up in the stirrup. Once the stirrup catches you,  the chances are you would fall backward while your foot still caught up high and most likely twisted.

2. Shorts

You might think that a short is a great idea for horseback riding especially for summer or a ride in July. The fact is that, despite the hot weather, wearing shorts is not advisable. Between the heat from the saddle and the rubbing from the horse due to natural motion, there is a tendency that your thigh would be in a sorry state by the end of your ride. This is one reason why cowboys wear jeans and not shorts.

3. Flip Flops

Wearing flip-flops is a no-no when it comes to horseback riding even for the summer. This is especially correct because of safety. If by accident a horse steps on your foot, the damage could be excruciating. Another reason why we do not encourage flip flops is that they are not snug-fitting and can fall off from your feet at any time.

Key considerations for hot weather clothing

Throughout the article, there are two words you would come across a lot – moisture-wicking and ventilation. Moisture-wicking fabrics come into play when there is a need to move sweat away from the skin faster in order to experience the cooling effect of sweat evaporation. Ventilation, on the other hand, helps the air to get to your skin seamlessly to expel sweat droplets.

Keeping all these considerations in mind let us take a closer look at some of the best products for staying cool and at your best while horseback riding in the summer.

Top Choice Helmets for horseback riding in the summer

It is a norm when exercising that you lose some heat, even from the top of your head. Nevertheless, when you wear a helmet that has proper ventilation, there is a chance for all that heat to go. Getting a poorly ventilated helmet would result in you feeling overheated and sometimes dizzy. For this particular reason, horseback riding in the summer requires you to have a helmet that keeps the head safe and cool.

In addition to the usual helmet rules you should always go for a safety-certified helmet that fits you properly and has the following features:

  • Visor: to help keep the sun from entering your eyes and shield some part of your skin from the sun rays depending on the type of visor.
  • Ventilation windows: As stated earlier, a lot of head leaves through the top of the head. This means that a helmet without proper ventilation will retain the heat and cause the temperature of the body to rise.
  • Mesh liner: The mesh liner has but one function, to keep your head cool.

Here are some top choice helmets for your horseback riding:

Tipperary Sportage Hybrid Helmet

This is an excellent helmet with a sleek and larger brim. It has a removable liner, which allows for added comfort and finally, top and rear vents.

Ovation Extreme Helmets

One exquisite characteristic of this helmet is its lightweight and low profile. Stainless steel air vent mesh with high flow vents is the main material for making Ovation Extreme Helmet. It comes with a removable washable Coolmax liner and a removable breakaway visor.

One K Defender AVANCE Wide Brim Helmet

This horseback riding helmet has a unique design for high-sun situations. It comes with an extra-wide brim and a lot of ventilation. This is a great option for horseback riding and trail riding.

IRH Equi-pro Helmet

Talk about a helmet that allows fresh air to enter via the front and circulate properly over the top of the head. IRH Equi-pro helmet is an excellent, soft, and Hi-tech helmet that has a fast-drying lining that pulls moisture away from the head. In addition, the lining is both removable and washable.

Dover Saddlery EquiVisor

There are days when the sun is squinting hot, an extra-wide brim would be essential in keeping your face cool. The Dover Saddlery EquiVisor easily attaches to the helmet.

Best summer horseback riding shirts

When it comes to summer shirts for horseback riding, it totally depends on your preferences and the use. For instance, if you are going horse riding for a show, then you need to consider wearing a collared shirt. Also, if you are a person that burns easily, you might consider putting on SPF-treated fabrics or wearing long sleeves outside.

There are certain features you must look out for when choosing a shirt for horseback riding in the summer. These features include:

  • Moisture-wicking: having comfortable fabrics will go a long way in pulling the moisture away from the body and help the cloth from not sticking to you.
  • Breathable: When the air gets to the skin, it helps dry moisture on the body and helps keep the body cool.
  • Lightweight fabrics: will help minimize the amount of heat that comes to the body
  • Light-colored fabrics: will help to repel the sun rays from the body
  • Non-clingy clothes or looser clothes is preferable because it will help the cooling process of the body
  • Built-in SPF-protected shirts or at least long sleeves.

Here are some top choices for your horseback riding in the summer:

1. Kerrits Ice Fil Print Short Sleeve Solid

wear horseback riding

Ice-fil fabrics are super light and breathable, which helps in cooling the temperature up to 5 degrees. It offers Ultraviolet (UV) sun protection of up to 30+ UPF. Also, the Ice fil shirts come in a series of fun colors that you can pick from.

2. TuffRider Women’s Ventilated Artemis EquiCool Riding shirt

wear horseback riding

Talk of a combination of sun protection and cool fabric with a touch of bold fashion, then you’d love the TuffRider Artemis EquiCool Riding Shirts. Fun and functionality are the reasons for the design of this shirt.

HR Farm Women’s Ventilated Long-sleeved Horse Riding Sun Shirt

wear horseback riding

The beauty of HR Farm shirts is that it is well ventilated and uses a quick-dry fabric. Coupled with these features is the mesh underarm that comes with it. Furthermore, it comes in an Equestrian style with varieties of modern design sizes and colors.

Columbiana Women’s PFG Tamiami Long-sleeved shirts

wear horseback riding

When it comes to a selection of moisture-wicking and lightweight fabric, Columbiana women’s PFG is an excellent choice. It comes with a back vent and UV sun protection with about 40 UPF. Furthermore, it has a variety of sizes and colors but comes in a non-equestrian style.

Miss Fortune Short Sleeve cool Dri T-shirt

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This is also a non-equestrian design that has a lot of comforts written all over the design. It is cool and dry in the saddle and comes in both long sleeves and short sleeves. To wrap it up, it comes in different sizes and colors.

Ariat Women’s Sunstopper show top

wear horseback riding


When it comes to summer show days, this is the perfect outfit for it. If you are looking to come out in your best appearance and remain cool, then the Ariat women’s sun stopper is a perfect choice.

Best pants for horseback riding in the summer

As we have earlier established that wearing shorts are a no-no for horseback riding in the summer. Riding in the summer implies that you need long pants even when the weather is hot. You can remain cool by picking the right pants for your horseback riding pants designed for the summertime.

When picking a horseback riding pant for the summer, there are some features you need to look out for which includes:

  1. Moisture-wicking: to ensure that the fabrics don’t stick to your skin and pull moisture away from your body.
  2. Breathable: You must pick pants that are breathable and well ventilated to ensure that air gets to your skin and dry the moisture on your skin, which helps your body cool off.
  3. Lightweight: You don’t want to get on a pant that would weigh you down or make you feel uncomfortable due to the heat generated. You should also go for pants with light colors that would help to repel sun rays and avoid colors that will attract heat to your body
  4. Ensure that the pants are SPF protected.

Here are some great choices for your pants:

Kerrits Ladies Ice Fil Tech Tight

In terms of popularity, Kerrits is a top choice for the pants used for summer riding. The reason is simple; they are well ventilated and moisture-wicking.  This makes them very comfortable for users. Also, they come with pockets, which can help you keep your devices (mobile phones) safe while riding.

TuffRider Ladies ventilated Tight

These women’s tights have a set of strips on both legs to allow for easy ventilation and improve the flow of air into the pants.

Ovation Ladies AeroWick FS Tight

Apart from all the features mentioned for other pants, the AeroWick pants come with one more special feature that helps them stay odor-free, dust-resistant, and dirt resistant. Also, it is a good tight to keep you cool.

FitsT4 ladies Riding tights ventilated active equestrian tights

The FitsT4 has an excellent fabric that is moisture-wicking, lightweight, and breathable material. It comes with cool mesh side panels that allow for easy ventilation. They come in different sizes and colors.

Top-notch socks for horseback riding during hot weathers

The feet cannot be left out when horseback riding in the summer. If the feet are left unattended, it can cause an athlete’s foot, which comes as a result of sweaty and wet feet. Choosing the right socks that can help keep moisture away from your skin will go a long way during your summer horseback riding.

When picking the right summer socks for horseback riding, you should look out for some features including:

  • Ventilated designs
  • Moisture-wicking materials
  • Lightweight materials

Top picked choices as regards socks for horseback riding in the summer:

TuffRider Ventilated Neon Socks

wear horseback riding

The TuffRider Ventilated Neon socks have reinforcement at the toes and heels to make them last longer and the designs come with good ventilation to allow proper air circulation around your feet.

Zocks Ladies Boot socks

wear horseback riding

The socks from zocks are an excellent choice if you are more into fun designs. Zocks come with unique design patterns with slick lycra-based material to help with putting on and off your boot with less friction.

Dreamers & Schemers Boot socks

wear horseback riding

This is an equestrian-designed sock with top quality in mind. They come with such designs to keep your feet comfortable and in a fashionable style.

Dublin cool-tech socks

wear horseback riding

The Dublin cooling socks come with a cooling strip at the front. Furthermore, the socks are cotton-blend, soft, and comfortable even when sweating.

Realtree women’s Ultra-dry boot socks

wear horseback riding

Realtree socks come with an excellent moisture wicking feature and the materials are lightweight. The toes and heels are also reinforced to make it last longer. Although it is a great choice for socks, it has very few colors and pattern options.

Underwear that is excellent for horseback riding in the summer

Paying attention to the choice of underwear is very important in order to avoid experiencing panty lines or over-bouncy breasts. There are other benefits of choosing a great summer horseback riding underwear such as keeping you cool and avoiding some terrible sweat marks.

When looking to choose underwear for riding in the summer, there are some features you should look out for:

  • Moisture-wicking
  • Proper support and padding
  • Smooth lines

Here are some top choices for underwear for horseback riding in the summer:

Fits Wunderbreech riding underwear

wear horseback riding

If you are looking to avoid those panty lines from ruining your show pics and favorite summer riding shows, then this is the right choice for you.

Cheata Trotter Bra

wear horseback riding

This underwear has a design created to reduce uncomfortable bouncing of the breast during riding. It also comes with moisture-wicking features to help improve the way the cloth fit.

Gloves that are perfect for horseback riding in hot weather/summer

Sweaty hands do not go hand-in-hand with leather reins. Also, using such a combination of sweaty hands and leather reins can be uncomfortable and can cause undesirable situations. The best choices for gloves should always combine top-notch function and comfort. Here are some features to look out for when selecting hand gloves for your riding:

  • Well ventilated especially at the back of the hand
  • Should have adjustable closures around the wrists that fit perfectly
  • They must be flexible and made from breathable materials

Here are some great choices for summer gloves for horseback riding

Heritage Pro-flow summer show glove

wear horseback riding

These stretchable Coolmax mesh top paneled gloves allow free airflow. They are soft with microporous holes, which also contribute to their lightweight. Furthermore, it has a wraparound leather reinforced index finger for better grip.

SSG women’s cool tech open air glove

wear horseback riding

It features a mesh back and an open-air palm, which is perfect for air circulation during the summer.

Noble Outfitters perfect fit mesh glove

wear horseback riding

One beautiful feature of these gloves is that they are lightweight and come in a lot of designs and colors. In addition, you don’t have to pull the gloves off to touch the touch screen, which makes it easier for you to snap during your rides.

Roeckl Montreal unisex gloves

wear horseback riding

These gloves offer a good design that reflects the ray of the sun and the heat when riding.

Best boots for horseback riding in the summer

It is always advisable to leave the tall boots during the hot summer periods except you are going for a show or you can’t do without them. During the summer period, it is best to stick with the paddock boot or a well-ventilated riding shoe.

When picking a riding boot, there are some features you should look out for:

  • Shorter boots would mean that the hot leather covers a shorter part of your leg
  • Always go for boots with closed toes and a heel of at most 1 inch for safety.

Here are some top picks for summer riding boots:

Dublin Ladies Elevation Zip paddock boot

wear horseback riding

A perfect boot that comes with elastic side panels that makes it easier to put on and off the boot. It also reduces the amount of hot leather that comes around the foot. Finally, it is very affordable.

Ariat ladies heritage lacer II western cowboy boot

wear horseback riding

The shaft of this boot measures approximately 6” from each arch and comes with a moisture-wicking lining for more comfort. Finally, it comes with a lace-up boot.

Ariat ladies heritage stockman western boot

wear horseback riding

This boot comes with a shaft measurement of approximately 8.5″ from the arch and slightly has a wider opening at 135″ around. Finally, it is a pull-on boot.

More tips on Horseback riding in the summer

By now, you should have selected your outfit for the summer horseback riding and you are all set with a moisture-wicking material that covers all the parts of your body. At this point, you might think that you are 100% ready, but the fact is that you are not. One thing you must have in mind is that you must bring along a lot of water. Take a large refillable bottle or get an electrolyte drink, which is an alternative to more water. It is always advisable to rehydrate when you start sweating under the heat of the sun. If you don’t do this, there is every tendency you’d start to see the signs of exhaustion quickly, which will lead to fatigue and dizziness.

Other tips for summer horseback riding include:

  • Stay in the shade whenever you have the chance
  • Wear sunscreen on exposed skins to prevent sunburn
  • Ensure that the horse gets enough breaks for fresh and clean water
  • Try to soak before you start your ride
  • If you have a freezer, get some ice packets into it before your ride

Related questions

What should I wear for the first time horseback riding?

The most essential clothing you need for horseback riding the first time is comfortable tops and pants. Try to get thin-layered clothes when riding so that you can take off some layers during hot weather and you can add some extra layers during cold weather.

What should you not wear when horseback riding?

Do not wear flowing scarves, baggy clothes, bulky sweaters, baggy pants, sloppy clothes, and other loose clothes so your saddle does not get you caught in the case of falling off the horse. If the saddle catches you halfway, this could be dangerous and could mean you getting dragged by the horse – which is way worse.

Can I wear jeans for horseback riding?

Wearing jeans for horseback riding is a common tradition in western cultures. But take note that jeans have thick seams within the inner parts of the leg that can become uncomfortable during riding. The seams can rub against the leg and cause some sores. Moreover, wearing jeans in hot weather can quickly become uncomfortable. Worst of all is wearing tight-fitting jeans. These can cause you not to move freely as they are not flexible.

Is horseback riding a good workout?

Of course, horseback riding is a good workout. Although a lot of people think that it is not since the riders just sit there at the back of the horse. The fact is that there are a lot of muscle strengths and balances involved in horseback riding. In addition, you need to use your body to guide the horse. This means that it is a great cardio workout for the rider and a means to pump a lot of blood. Finally, horseback riding involves a lot of trotting, jumping, cantering, and other different movements.

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