Updated: Sep 21
So horse riding is your new hobby of choice?
Horse riding is an amazing sport and it is not just about the physical aspect but the emotional connection we make with the horse. When you first start learning to ride there is a range of safety equipment and other considerations you will need to get started.
Finding a horse
Good news! You don't have to buy a horse just yet! There are a wide number of riding schools available like ours at Harness Change with Cumbria Rural Academy CIC that give riding lessons and provide horses for you to learn to ride. We highly recommend learning to ride at a BHS Approved Riding School as they have to meet high standards to be approved by the British Horse Society (BHS).
If you are learning to ride on a friend's horse or have taken a horse on loan then please engage an accredited, insured and qualified professional to help you. The BHS also has a list of accredited professionals which you can find here.
In riding, we have a standard set of PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure our safety and comfort.
Protecting your head is very important when it comes to riding and handling horses. Finding a riding helmet that fulfils the safety standards without breaking the bank can be a minefield. If you do a quick Google you will find that there are some cheap and cheerful riding hats out there but they do not fulfil the minimum safety standard required by BETA(British Equestrian Trade Association). Below are the safety standards that you should watch out for when buying riding hats. We have attached examples of two riding helmets that have adjustable sizing to help get that custom fit and last longer for growing children.
For a high level of safety and a stylish riding helmet, we recommend the Shires Karben Valentina Riding Hat. This helmet has the PAS 015 and BSI Kitemark. It has a micro-adjustable setting to get a custom fit that is adaptable up to 2cm.
It is well-ventilated and has a mesh liner with a CoolDryTM headband. It comes in a range of styles that are beautifully designed and with a lightweight profile.
For an adaptable riding helmet, we recommend the Whitaker Generation Helmet which is adjustable and meets the minimum safety standard. The adjustable element means you can tighten it to fit you perfectly. This is a great riding hat for children as they are growing and as it is adjustable it will last a lot longer.
This lightweight riding hat is ventilated and has a removable inner lining that you can put through the washing machine meaning you can keep it fresh after your riding sessions.
A good set of riding boots that lasts and is comfortable to ride and work with the horse is important. When looking for riding boots you want a slender fit so they aren't too bulky in the stirrup with a flat sole and a heel to help prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup.
You can start with either a jodhpur boot which is a short boot that covers the ankle or a long boot that comes up to below the knee. The long boot offers more support but can feel quite restrictive when you are first learning.
These Harrow Zip Jodhpur Riding Boots are both stylish and comfortable. They have built-in elastic panels making them easy to slip on and off.
Jodhpur boots are often used with half chaps to help protect the lower leg. These Dublin Stretch Fit Half Chaps have a leather look and match these Jodhpur boots well.
These Rhinegold Elite Luxus Leather long boots have many fitting options which allows you to find the perfect size for you. They have elastic pannels along the back to give a snug fit and are fitted with a sure grip sole and good support around the ankle. Long boots are great for offering more support around the annkle which can help with supporting your ankle.
A good set of gloves when you first start out riding is vital to keep from sustaining blisters and rubs from holding the reins. As you are holding the reins in the same position and putting preasure on the same area of your hand, it is common to get rubs and blisters before your skin starts to harden.
If you are looking for a pair of high quality gloves then these eGlove eQUEST GripPro - Leather Horse Riding Gloves are perfect for you. They are made out of real leather with synthetic inserts for a snug fit. They also have touch screen capability making these gloves practical for everyday use.
These AF Equestrian Premium Horse Riding Sui Sereno Gloves are some of the most highly rated. There synthetic leather look and flexible design gives a stylish and snug fit.
When you are learning to ride the likelihood is you will come off at some point. A good quality body protecter to protect your ribs and spine can prevent against some injuries. Similar to riding helmets theres a range of safety standards and finding a good body protector that meets the correct safety standards can be tricky. You can see the BETA safety standards on body portectors HERE.
This Harry Hall Body Protector has been designed to fit and shape to your body to provide maximum protection in all situations. The protector has been verified by BETA at Level 3 EN 13158 which is the highest level of safety and quality. The overall body protector is lightweight and breathable meaning you can use it for long periods and everyday use.
This Racesafe RS2010 Adults Body Protector is designed to the highest specifications for the most protection available. The multiple panels allow for perfect molding and fit around your body. There are adjustable sides to change the fit and tightness. Has a range of back lengths as well as sizes to get the best protection for your body type.
Horse Riding is a risk sport. Horses can be unpredictable and don't forget it can be quite high up when you inevitably come off. We would highly recommend getting your own insurance. You can do this through becoming a member of the Pony Club or you can join as a BHS Gold Member.