Equestrian Apparel – Combining Function and Style

If you are into serious riding or you just want to have the equestrian look, then equestrian apparel is for you.

In choosing what clothing to use, the criteria are functionality and style. The rider must feel both elegant and comfortable at the same time. It is also important that the fabrics used are both light and hard-wearing at the same time.

To start of, choose a cool fabric that allows ease of movement. The more common kinds of fabric used for equestrian clothing is cotton and Lycra.

Choose also a fabric that acts as a moisture wick. This type of fabric works well in both hot and cold temperatures. During hot months, the fabric keeps you cool by allowing you to sweat. In cold months the fabric keeps you warm by moving sweat away from your body, keeping your skin dry. Since moisture does not penetrate the fabric weave, it evaporates quickly, causing the fabric to dry quickly as well.

As an added bonus, you can choose fabrics and fabric weaves that reduce moisture absorption, repel UV rays and insects.

What are the pieces of clothing that make up equestrian apparel? The basic piece is a shirt, usually made of cotton or wool crepe, and is usually white. Then you can add a waistcoat or vest to match.

For the lower body, breeches and jodhpurs are the more popular pieces. While others prefer full-seat riding breeches, there are still others who like jeans and jodhpurs. Make sure that the piece fits well. Also, choose one that can protect you from heavy rains and winds.

While tall riding boots look perfect for shows and competitions, short boots with trouser socks are a wise alternative during training or ordinary days.

To complete the look is a riding jacket. Choose one made of luxurious fabrics like tweed. Take note of details like silk lining or double satin piping, buttons and trims.

Do not forget your riding gloves.

As for the head gear, choose one that fits perfectly. The usual piece is a helmet, although there are others who like to wear black top hats. Helmets have now incorporated easy-fit systems, so it is safe to use. Some riders like to customize their helmets by putting decals or crystals.

What are the trends and forecasts in equestrian apparel? As for the colors, the trend is softer, more subtle pastel tones of blue, green, pink and purple. The same goes for show breeches. Light tans are also in for breeches, although white continues to be popular. Show coats and dressage coats can be in any color, although the trend is towards darker navys and black instead of the more common light shades of brown and khaki. You can also see stripes and patterns in the coats instead of the plain, solid-colored ones.

As for accessories, you will see glittery accessories like stock pins and jewelry. Swarovski crystals in belt buckles, spurs, helmets and everything else are also becoming popular.

Tall leather boots with zippers are the more popular footwear for shows. Back zippers make the boots easy to take off. For those who are into serious training, half chaps and paddock boots are still in because of their durability.

Equestrian apparel is all about fashion and ease. With the many styles and designs available, finding one that suits you perfectly should be no problem at all.

Equestrian Clothing: Body Or Back Protectors

The most important role of equestrian clothing is for protection. Although horses can be trained they can be unpredictable when provoked. Riders are vulnerable while riding and handling horses, especially for beginners. They may seem to be friendly but they can easily gallop or kick someone when not handled correctly. Apart from riding hats, a body protector is also important equestrian clothing.

Apart from protecting your head any rider should also protect their body. Against a powerful kick of horse, any human can get thrown away like a dummy. Falls can not just injure your head but also break your spine. Riders can also suffer from other internal injuries during a bad fall.

Equestrian protection

Horses are prized in equestrianism but riders are important too. The rider's ability to handle the horse also has a big impact on their performance. Fortunately there is clothing that can protect them from injury.

Body or back protectors are garments that protect the rider's chest and back. We all know that your spine is also as important as our skull. Our spine contains the spinal vertebrae which are composed of our body's nerves from head to foot. Any injury to the spine can paralyze the rider. Our chest on the other hand contains vital organs.

It's a vest type of clothing that is filled with foam. They are worn over the top of the rider's clothes. They can also be worn under the jacket. Its good protection for the rider in case they fall during a ride or get kicked by the horse while handling them.

Injuries from a fall cannot be completely avoided but their impact can be reduced. Wearing body or back protectors will provide preventive measure against possible injuries while the rider is with the horse.

The protector is divided into two: the front and the back. They are held together by Velcro fittings on each side and over the shoulder. The protector should be fastened securely and should not move while riding. At first they may seem uncomfortable but the foam moulds to adapt to the rider's body shape and contour.

All protectors should abide by safety standards. Riders should buy new and original ones for guaranteed protection.

There are three different types of protectors:

Level 1: The black label. It's only appropriate for licensed jockeys. It has the lowest level of protection.

Level 2: The brown label. It provides medium protection. It's appropriate for general riding with low risks. This does not include riding on hard surfaces such as roads. Jumping over obstacles and riding young excitable horses are excluded.

Level 3: The purple label. It offers the highest level of protection when riding horses. This includes normal and competitive horse riding. It's also used when handling horses.

Like riding hats body protectors should be replaced after three to four years. Second hand body protectors are not advisable since their foam padding have already been used. Other body protectors have additional attachments such as shoulder pads.

Although body protectors come in different sizes many manufacturers offer custom fitted ones. This provides ample adjustment for maximum comfort for the rider. Some may like it snuggly fit while others prefer it loose.

No matter what your preferences are prevention is still better than cure. Coupled with riding hat body protectors are also important pieces of an equestrian's clothing.

Horse riding and training is a great activity to pursue at almost any age provided you are in proper health to handle the rigors of being in the saddle!

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