How to dress

You can ensure a really enjoyable riding trip or time in the stables, whatever the weather or season, by taking care in how you dress. Of course, we can't promise that your horse will be in a good mood, but with the right riding clothes at least you won't be freezing or sweaty. We asked our designer Ann-Therese Helgesson for tips on how to dress - whatever the weather.


✓ Riding breeches reduce the risk of chafing. It's down to personal preference whether you have full or half-seat breeches or whether or not you have silicone padding. Invest in a pair of breeches made of technical material that are dirt-resistant, quick-drying, water-repellent and offer UV protection. If you go riding in a pair of leggings, they need to be comfortable and not have any irritating seams.

✓ T-shirt, piqué polo, light shirt, technical shirt or knitted top? This depends on where and how you are going to be riding. If you're out in the woods where there's a risk of cuts and scrapes from foliage, it may be wise, for example, to choose a long-sleeved top that offers the best protection.

✓ Sadly, summertime often brings rain. If you're just going from the stable to the riding hall, clearly a poncho will do, but if you're off out riding in the woods, the comfortable option is to wear a rain jacket.

✓ Thin summer gloves will both protect your hands and give you a better grip on the reins.

✓ A ventilated lightweight helmet will stop you getting too hot, even in sunny conditions.

✓ A belt bag will allow you to carry your phone even on hot days when you're riding in just a T-shirt and breeches. Practical and good.

✓ Finally, choose a pair of riding boots, jodhpurs or chaps that fit well.

Autumn/winter, indoors

To avoid being cold - or unnecessarily sweaty - the best solution is layering. You can always add or remove a layer during your session. Equestrianism is a physically demanding sport that benefits from the use of technical clothing tailored to the kind of riding you intend to do.

✓  Riding breeches reduce the risk of chafing. It's down to personal preference whether you have full or half-seat breeches or whether or not you have silicone padding. Invest in a winter model in a soft shell material. They are stretchy, with fleece on the reverse and a brushed inside to improve airflow. Wear thermals if you need that little bit of extra warmth.

✓ Many riders come to their lessons wearing a gilet, a microfleece jacket and a coat. Your gilet should have elasticated sides and be thin but still warm where it really makes a difference. A thin gilet also makes it easy for your instructor to see how you are sitting and moving in the saddle.

✓ If you ride a lot and want to improve the circulation in your calves so that they don't go numb and stiff, compression socks are what you need. They also reduce muscle soreness afterwards. But I'd also like to bang the drum for woolly socks. Wool is a fantastic material - all year round.

✓ Invest in a pair of ordinary riding gloves in a flexible synthetic material with a soft mesh upper, or a pair of leather gloves.

✓ You can wear a riding skirt on the way to training and during the warm-up. It will keep your thighs warm, a part of the body that often gets cold.

Autumn/winter, outdoors

✓ A good, durable set of thermals is a must. You should also invest in a fleece or a knitted sweater and a thick jacket. If, for example, you're going at walking pace for an hour, you can easily get cold unless you have a jacket to keep you warm. For full-on interval workouts or gallop sessions, a shell jacket works well even in the cold if you do a good job with your layering.

✓ With overalls, you automatically get warmth all over in one go. But be sure not to overdress! It's never cool to have to get sweaty and sticky.

✓ A buff is great for stopping the cold air getting into your jacket via your neck. You can also wear it over your head under your helmet so that the buff covers your cheeks. You can see your buff as a multi-purpose tool when it's windy.

✓ Thick summer gloves with padding on the top will both protect your hands from the cold and give you a good grip on the reins.

✓ Your feet are particularly vulnerable to the cold. Remember that you should always be able to wriggle your toes, so don't put five pairs of socks on and hope that that will solve the problem. Your toes need space. Instead, go riding wearing lots of layers, woolly socks and a woollen insole. Your thighs, too, are exposed in winter, so invest in a longer riding skirt or coat. Also invest in padded trousers and some Earbags to protect your ears. 

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