Essential Equipment you need to ride a horse

Essential Equipment you need to ride a horse

If you are just starting out or are considering taking up horse riding as a hobby you might feel a little overwhelmed with all the equipment that you need and what you don’t. Here you can find everything you will need to get started!

We have put together a quick guide to make your life a little easier and broken the list down into 3 sections, for the rider, horse and essential grooming and welfare equipment.

Horse Riding Equipment

This list is specifically for the rider, although you might think that these items are not essential, most items have features that have been specifically designed to improve your safety whilst riding a horse.

Riding pants

English riders can wear breeches or tights. Breeches and tights come with a silicone full seat or knee patch for better grip to your saddle. You might wonder what’s the difference between breeches and tights? Breeches usually come in a thicker more durable material and reflect jeans with buttons and a zipper. Tights are a pull on form and are a little bit more breathable than your breeches. 

Western riders wear boot cut jeans. Jeans are durable and have a great grip to your saddle. Our Kimes Ranch and Ariat Jeans are great for riding as they are cool, durable and extremely comfortable.


Depending on your preference depends what shirt you would like to go with. English riders wear a sun shirt which is normally UV protectant with breathable under arms for comfortability. A popular shirt is our Taylored Sportsman sun shirts!

Western riders wear normal shirts or our sun sirts as well. A popular shirt is our Ariat Ventek shirt, a lightweight, comfortable and UV protectant shirt


Key features you should take in consideration when choosing boots are comfortability and durability. English riders you want to look for either tall boots or paddock boots. If you are just starting out, paddock boots with half chaps are a great choice, our Ariat Heritage Paddock boots are a great choice as they are water resistant and durable! 

Western riders want to look for cowboy boots, there are many styles you can choose from whether it’s square toe, round toe, or pointed toes. Our Ariat cowboy boots are a great choice when starting out especially if you are looking for a durable boot 


Horse riding can be a dangerous sport and there is a high chance of head trauma, so regardless of your level of experience wearing a helmet is a must. A helmet needs to be fitted correctly for every rider to offer the best protection, an ill fitted helmet won’t provide the protection needed if an accident occurs. Here at Tack Shack you can shop our top brands like One K, Samshield, KASK, IRH, Toroxel, Tipperary, and so many more! Check out our proper way to fit a helmet article to help you fit your helmet!

Riding Vest

A riding or safety vest is not required but is recommended. You can find either a padded safety vest or a blow up air vest depending on your preference. A safety vest is great for protecting your torso incase of any accident while riding

Horse Riding Equipment

We can’t forget about the essentials for our horse! We have put together a list for essential equipment specifically for the horse. This is a general list for starting out as we know some things may be missed 


Before purchasing a saddle you need to keep in mind that this will be the biggest investment you make for both you and your horse. As a saddle will be used for both rider and horse, it is essential that you find the right saddle. We provide a free saddle fitting service to make sure you purchase a saddle that is the right fit for both horse and rider.

Saddle pad

Without a saddle pad, the saddle itself can rub against the horse and can cause sores and friction burns. A saddle pad provides a thin cushioned layer between the horse and the saddle to prevent injuries due to perspiration and heat build up. Great brands for english saddle pads are Ogilvy, Weatherbeeta, HKM, and Tuffrider. For western saddle pads, good brands are Weaver, Circle Y/Reinsman, and 5-Star.


A girth is essentially a belt that wraps around the horse’s belly to keep the saddle in place. Not every saddle comes with a girth so it is worth bearing in mind when shopping for a saddle. Finding the right girth is essential for your horse’s performance and comfortability. Shoulder relief girths are a great option!  

Stirrups and leather

Stirrups are the metal rings where you place your feet while riding a horse, which are attached to the stirrup leather. The stirrups and leather are attached to the underside of the saddle. It is better to seek a professional who can measure the stirrups and leather to make sure they are the correct length for riding a horse comfortably.


There are different types of bridles available depending on the style of riding you are wishing to undertake. The bridle is an important piece of equipment that allows you to communicate with your horse. Please ask for professional help when looking for the correct size and style of bridle along with the correct type of bit.

Horse Care

It doesn’t matter what kind of animal or pet you have, it is important to give them the right kind of care and attention they need to keep them healthy and happy.


There are various benefits to grooming your horse other than their well being, grooming boosts circulation, helps the coat to shine and alerts you to any potential health problems the horse may have. Grooming is also a great way for the rider and horse to bond and develop a stronger relationship.

Fly Spray

Flies can carry a wide range of diseases and are a big nuisance for horses, although you cannot eliminate flies altogether. You can help to reduce the flies interest in the horse by using a fly spray. A great choice to keep those pesky bugs away is the Pyranha Wipe and Spray Oil Base Fly Spray. If you are looking for an organic option the Equiderma Outdoor Spray is a great alternative as well!

For more information or expert advice on any of the items above, please contact us today and we will be more than happy to advise you.

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