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Horse Riding Gear | The 10 Essentials for Beginners

Horse riding is one of the most exciting and rewarding sports, allowing you to connect with nature and develop a deep appreciation and respect for your horse. While there's no doubt that beginning horseback riding lessons at a young age is a great way to develop discipline and responsibility, anyone at any age can enjoy this wonderful sport. If you're ready to join the over 30 million equestrians who've already discovered the joy horse riding brings, keep reading to find out the essential horse riding gear for beginners you'll need to start your journey on the right hoof!

horse riding gear for beginners
Photographer: Matt Seymour | Source: Unsplash

What Does A Beginner Horse Rider Need?

Before you mount up, you'll want to be sure you have everything you need to make your horse riding experience a success. While there are so many fun accessories, equipment, and gear available, you don't have to break the bank to get started. Here is a list of the must-have essential horse riding gear for beginners.

Safety Equipment

When working with horses, safety is always your top priority. Before you ever take to the saddle, you'll want to ensure you are properly equipped so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience. When it comes to safety gear, you should always be fitted by a professional to ensure everything fits correctly and doesn't shift while moving. Here are the top pieces of safety gear to get you started.


Whether you're riding English or western, a well-fitting helmet is a must. There are many different styles and colors available, so choose one that showcases your individuality and style. We recommend the One K Defender Helmet.

Safety Vests

The two types of safety vests beginner horse riders can use are body protectors and air vests. Body protectors work like shock absorbers, protecting your organs in case of a fall. Air vests automatically inflate with CO2 if you fall, offering unsurpassed cushioning while stabilizing your sides and neck.

Once you've got your safety gear, it's time for the fun part: shoes and clothing! Don't feel you have to purchase a whole new wardrobe; start slowly with one or two items until you find what styles you find most comfortable.

Gear and Clothing


Horse riding boots provide the ankle support and traction necessary to stay in the saddle and direct your horse. English riders can choose between full boot options or half chaps with paddock boots. For western riders, cowboy boots are the standard. Whether you're purchasing English boots or western boots, there are many beautiful and fun styles available, so you can choose the best boots to fit your personality! For winter, we recommend ARIAT Women's WMS Extreme Paddock Black H2o Insul Equestrian Boot with C4 Equestrian High-Performance Riding Socks or ARIAT Extreme Zip Waterproof Insulated Paddock Boots.


Did you know horse riders have a specific type of pants they wear that provide extra traction while in the saddle? While western riders stick with stretchy, thinner-legged jeans, English riders use breeches, a stretchy, legging-like pants with a grippy fabric on the inner thighs and buttocks.


You can wear any top that is well-fitted and weather appropriate. Styles that should be avoided include:

  • Strapless
  • Oversized
  • Undersized


Riding gloves protect your hands and help improve your grip on the reins. While not essential, many beginners appreciate having them as they get used to the pulling and rubbing that can occur while directing the horse.

We recommend:


Once you're properly outfitted, it's time to get your horse ready as well. If you're receiving lessons from a barn that provides the horse, you will most likely not need to provide your own tack. However, if they don't offer it or you're using your own horse, then choosing the right gear and equipment is essential. Just as with the items you wear, putting your horse in tack that doesn't fit correctly will cause them discomfort and is a safety hazard. Never hesitate to reach out to your instructor for guidance on sizing to ensure the perfect fit. The tack you will need includes:

  • Bit
  • Bridle
  • Halter
  • Cross-ties
  • Saddle
  • Saddle Pad
  • Saddle Accessories including a girth, leathers, and irons


Grooming is an essential part of every horse rider's routine and should be done before and after your lesson. Daily grooming keeps your horse happy and comfortable and allows you to assess for injuries, sores, swelling, or other issues that should be addressed. While many barns provide grooming equipment, many riders choose to purchase their own. Grooming supplies you should always use include:

  • Soft Brush
  • Hard Brush
  • Hoof Pick
  • Curry Comb
  • Cloths and Sponges
  • Tail and Mane Brush
  • Shedding Blade
  • Clippers
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Fly Spray

Top Brands Gift Guide for Horse Lovers

If you're looking for the perfect gift
this holiday season, check out these top brands equestrians love for their quality and dependability.


Ariat is one of the top equestrian brands thanks to its wide range of high-quality products. Whether you're looking for English or western gear, you can trust Ariat will hold up under the hardest training conditions.

Equine Couture

When you're looking for breeches with unmatched durability and washability, look no further than Equine Couture. Featuring moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you dry during your training, simply throw them in the washing machine, and you're good to go!

Justin Boots

If you're looking for boots that look as good as they feel, Justin Boots has you covered. With a wide range of sizes to fit every rider, you can showcase your style and individuality without sacrificing comfort and support.

Ranch Dress'n

For the cowgirl in your life, Ranch Dress'n provides colorful and unique apparel so she can show off her love of all things horses!


What is a horse rider without a cowboy hat? Stetson has crafted stunning, high-quality hats since 1865, carrying on the tradition of authentic styling and beautiful design.

Ready to Ride?

When you're ready to saddle up, Pine Hill Ranch offers a world-class equestrian experience. Situated on a stunning tree-lined farm, our barn is a haven for horses and horse riders alike. Our riding lessons featuring our professional instructors are customized to provide a hands-on experience for even the youngest rider.

We also host parties and camps at our equestrian center for unforgettable fun and memories that will last a lifetime. Contact Pine Hill Ranch today and see why we are the number one equestrian center in Little Rock!


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PHR Director

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