English Riding Clothes Recommendations
I hope this is the corret sub-forum for this, but if it isn't feel free to move it!
Starting this week I'm picking up English riding! Dressage and jumping, specifically. I'm excited, I've been wanting to pick it up again for years. I need some brand recommendations for the clothes (non-competition) I'll need. It'd be great if the suggestions for these items also work for saddleseat riding, because I'm hoping to pick that up in the coming weeks as well. :)
I live in Minnesota and it's already freezing, so I'll need everything from boots and breeches to gloves and outerwear. I have a helmet already, but it's about 10 years old... I might need a new one, so recommendations for that would be much appreciated too!
If you have any recommendations for competition clothes, feel free to suggest that too and I'll keep them in mind for the future - I hope to compete one day, but right now I need the basics first. :)
Thank you all in advance for your help!
For starting off, I just used jeans and wellies!
But if you are looking for johds, I would reccomend ones that either have no sticky suade/leather or only knee patches. It'll help teach you balance instead of being stuck in the saddle!
Also, starting off boots and half chaps are best! I don't know any brand makes in the USA, good luck though :) And have fun!!!
Meer, as with everything else - get what fits you the best. :) Actually in winter I just ride in warm pants I get from place like Walmart. I don't care how I look - I need to keep my butt warm!
Helmets: look into Troxels. They may not fit, but there are cheaper options and they have "adjusting system". So if they fit it's all you need really. I also put this thing on my helmet during winter: http://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-International-Winter-Helmet-Cover/dp/B003LVU3SO
Boots: I'd look into Mountain Horse (I just got Ice Rider myself)
Gloves: something with thinsulate will keep you warm (again, Mt Horse I believe has some).
For fooling around I usually wear Tuff Rider breeches. Devon Aire breeches are what I have been wearing for shows. I have Dublin half chaps and Saxon paddock boots. I wear Ariat tall boots for my competitions. For winter, I usually wear a windbreaker, sweater, shirt, and a tank top. I know that sounds like a lot, but the winters where I live are COLD :). I am getting Mt. Horse Active Rider boots soon as well as winter breeches for Christmas so I can't give you any reviews yet. Otherwise last year I wore my favorite fuzzy pants underneath my breeches with 2 or 3 pairs of socks. There are Mt. Horse thinsulate gloves, but they barely lasted the winter for me (a lot of holes, and the grip strips on the gloves wear down incredibly fast). Sorry for the novel by the way. :D
I don't live where it gets too cold, but I tend to like riding in just regular sweat pants when it's cold out.
For other times, if you like riding in breeches, Kerrits are really nice.
I tend to just go with jeans though, personally.
I also second Mountain Horse. Their products are really of great quality.
Equine Couture also has some nice heavy jackets made for riding.
I use SSG gloves, and an IRH helmet for schooling. Tredstep half chaps, and Saxon paddock boots (synthetic and cheap, but surprisingly stand strong for around 2-3 years).
For competing- I love love love RJ Classics.
Some other brands I prefer are: Riding Sport, Wellington, SSG, Ariat, Ovation, and Charles Owen for helmets.
The best breeches I've ever worn are the Whitaker 147 breeches. Soooo comfortable AND stretchy. I buy all of mine online johnwhitakerintltd.com : Jumping Saddle, Horse Rugs, Riding Hats, Show Jackets, Saddle Cloths they end up costing me about $80AUD a pair including shipping which is so cheap it's insane. I wear a dublin helmet at home but have just splurged on a GPA for competitions.
For boots and chaps to use at home, affordability wise you can't go past Dublin, I've found the Ariat gaiters, top boots and chaps are really bad value for money. For showing I wear Brogini boots, they are made to order to your size and ended up costing me about $300AUD including shipping which is less than the base model Ariat top boots.
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You will have to actually go into the store and try on the different breeches that they have, to find out what fits and suits you best. Just because someone says "This -brand name- is the best!!" doesn't mean that they will work for you the best.
I normally just wear a pair of tights under my regular breeches, or Under Armour cold gear type stuff.
I just bought a pair of Mountain Horse Rimfrost (?) boots, and am looking forward to wearing them this winter. The past two winters, I just wore my Ariat half chaps, with their lined winter paddock boots.
I have Tuffrider breeches and was using Devon-Aire riding tights in the heat this summer. Very happy with both so far. The Tuffriders are nice, heavy fabric. +1 on the comment that you need to try a few things on to see what fits. I ordered a pair of Kerrit breeches that are the same size as my Tuffriders, and they didn't fit worth a flip.
I use a pair of Ariat paddock boots and Ovation half-chaps and have been very happy with this combo. I just bought a pair of the new Mountain Horse waterproof fake-fur-lined winter riding boots to wear when things get slushy.
My helmet is an Ovation, I think I spent about 50 or 60 bucks on it, and it has a good adjustment thing for the sizing. It's got vents and was cool enough this summer. I do have one of the new Troxel Ventures on order, though, because OMG they are so cool looking...
On my top I just wear whatever. Sweatshirts, long-sleeve t-shirts. Layers are important. I usually have to shuck my outer layer by the time I finish currying my horse. I know a lot of people seem to wear sleeveless insulated vests around here. I bet I will find out why!
I second the trying on.
It is incomprehensible to me how so many jodhpurs and breeches can be so unflattering and uncomfortable, regardless of their price.
I just use normal tights with a minimal seam, layering if need be. I only wear "proper" riding clothes for competition. They are too expensive for a comfortable pair and wear out/get stained much too quickly.
Boots though - worth getting a good pair. I prefer jodhpur boots with the option of half chaps instead of tall boots, but if it is wet or snowy where you are you might want a rubber pair to muck around in. Again, I don't always get that long out of boots, so spending much more than $100, which I would need to for tall boots, doesn't really appeal to me if I am replacing at least every year.
I'd actually learn to ride without long boots and half chaps if I were you. They really support your leg and can be great later on, but you see many riders who when without half chaps/long boots, don't have a steady leg. I know at pony club we make the kids ride with and without chaps so they can do both. Just worth considering.
As someone else said try the jods without the full-seat, I think a great way to improve balance (and be sooo comfy) is to just wear leggings! They're a little slippery but man, it's worth it. I never really notice my legs getting cold when I ride - and I live in Canada!
Make sure whatever jacket/top you wear doesn't have any accessories or too long of sleeves that might get in your way. Really I go to the second-hand store to by winter coats for riding, because they usually get dirty anyways. Just try to get something without a hood, it'll just get in the way and you wont really need it with your helmet.
Which reminds me- I have seen some helmets that seem in perfect condition forever, and others that fall apart. The best way is to check the foam stuff inside the helmet, if you can feel it through your hat and it moves around or feels crumbly or has no 'structure', time to go! I'm not going to suggest throwing away a perfectly good helmet even though it's a little old, I'm too thrify!
Boots, if you're not doing anything too fancy the almost hiker type of boot, like endurance type, seems to be more structurally sound and they sometimes have fleece or whatever inside for extra protection from the cold. I like the look of a tall boot though. :D
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