Summer Horseback Riding: What To Wear Horseback Riding In Hot Weather ?

A step-by-step guide to surviving (and thriving) while horse riding in the heat.

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It doesn’t take long to learn that in the world of equestrian sports, wearing the right clothing and using the right riding gear influences whether your ride is safe and comfortable. That’s never more so than in the heat of summer.

(No wonder we love our Kerrits Ice Fil Cooling Tech Tights SO much!)

This article discusses essential summer horseback riding clothing, including:

We’ll also share some summer riding tips and frequently asked questions that’ll help you enjoy your horse all year-round.

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A step-by-step guide to surviving (and thriving) while horse riding in the heat.
Key Considerations: Hot Weather Equestrian Clothing
Best Horse Riding Helmets for Hot Weather
Best Summer Horse Riding Shirts
Best Summer Horse Riding Pants
Best Summer Horse Riding Socks
Best Summer Horse Riding Underwear
Best Horse Riding Gloves for Summer
Best Summer Horse Riding Boots
Additional Hot Weather Horse Riding Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is too hot for horseback riding?
Should you ride your horse in the heat (even when you “could”)?
What about horse riding in extreme heat if you *must* do it?
What are the best horse riding helmets for hot weather?
What are the best horse riding pants for hot weather?
What should you wear horseback riding on the beach?
What kind of shoes do you wear to ride a horse?
Is horseback riding a good workout?
Can you wear jeans for horseback riding?
Can you wear shorts horseback riding? Are horseback riding shorts “a thing?”
What are the best lightweight summer riding breeches?
What are the best summer riding boots?
Why do people wear long pants for horseback riding?
What should you wear horseback riding for the first time?
Can you wear yoga pants horseback riding?
What are the best boots for horseback riding lessons?
Can you wear rain boots horseback riding?
Can you wear leggings horseback riding?

Key Considerations: Hot Weather Equestrian Clothing

Throughout this guide, you’ll encounter some of the same words on repeat: moisture-wicking, ventilation, lightweight, etc.

We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but these are important considerations for a reason.

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Wrong! You must absolutely, 100%, no-excuses-allowed bring along plenty of water. Bring more than you think you’ll need or take a large refillable bottle. BodyArmor electrolyte drinks (see at Amazon) are a great alternative or addition to water.

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If you do not rehydrate while sweating in the heat, you will start to feel the warning signs of heat exhaustion, which include fatigue, trouble concentrating, and dizziness.

Here are a few additional summer riding tips:

Wear sunscreen on exposed skin to avoid painful sunburns.Stay in the shade whenever possible.Save hard schooling for early mornings or cooler days.Give your horse plenty of breaks in which you offer him fresh, clean, cool water to drink.

Also, be sure you understand how to properly cool down your horse to help him stay comfortable and to avoid sore muscles later.

When you’re done with your ride, take his saddle off and hand-walk him in the shade until his breathing and heart rate get under control. Then you can hose him off with water.

Keep scraping the water off and hosing your horse until the water that scrapes off doesn’t feel hot. (Don’t leave excess water on a hot horse, or it can heat him up even more.)

Then, put your horse in front of a fan with plenty of fresh water, or turn him out in a shady field.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How hot is too hot for horseback riding?

When figuring out if it’s too hot to ride, you need to consider both the temperature and the humidity. Add those two numbers together.

For example, if it’s 80 degrees outside with a humidity of 30%, the total is 110.

If the total is below 120, your horse’s body won’t have any problem keeping cool. By the time the total reaches 150, your horse cannot keep cool, even by sweating. This is definitely too hot to ride!

Conditions between 120 and 150 require some common-sense decision-making, such as keeping it slow, offering plenty of water and trying to stay in the shade.

Should you ride your horse in the heat (even when you “could”)?

If you’re very competitive and often go to shows, you’ve probably encountered shows that took place in the heat of the day. You and your horse may want to practice riding in the heat to be prepared to show in these conditions so that neither of you are too shocked on show day.

Remember, horseback riding is first and foremost supposed to be fun! If you don’t think you’ll have fun in the sweltering heat, don’t ride.

Do something else with your horse that’s fun. Practice “walking through water” with a sprinkler, hose, or a kiddie pool.

Get creative, and have fun while staying safe!

What about horse riding in extreme heat if you *must* do it?

The most important thing to keep in mind is hydration. Both you and your horse need to drink water often. You’ll sweat it out before you even realize it.

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Also, you need to aid your horse’s natural sweating mechanisms by putting water on his skin and immediately squeegeeing it off.

Adding and removing water helps remove heat from your horse’s body faster than just letting the water sit there (which can actually be dangerous and prevent heat from escaping). You should also wipe water on your own skin with a damp washcloth.

Stay in the shade and at a walk or a halt as much as possible. Even better: stand in front of a fan. If you’re at a show and waiting for your turn, try to put your saddle on just a round or two before you’re set to enter the arena.

What are the best horse riding helmets for hot weather?

Check out our article on the 8 Best Horse Riding Helmets for Hot Weather Relief.

What are the best horse riding pants for hot weather?

The best horseback riding pants for hot weather have moisture-wicking technology, lightweight material and built-in sun protection.

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You can check out our recommendations on brands and styles by reading about our 9 Best Horse Riding Breeches for Hot Weather Relief.

What should you wear horseback riding on the beach?

Wear proper riding boots to keep yourself safe, long pants to avoid saddle sores, and a lightweight shirt. Wear sunscreen on exposed skin, and don’t forget a helmet!

Wearing riding gloves is a good idea too, just in case your reins get slippery from sweat or sea spray.

Learn more in our article about What to Wear Horseback Riding on Vacation.

What kind of shoes do you wear to ride a horse?

For safety purposes, horseback riders wear boots with a 1-inch heel. This heel helps prevent the foot from slipping through the stirrup.

If you were to fall off with your foot completely through the stirrup, you could end up being dragged.

Check out our 13 Best Horseback Riding Boots for Lessons.

Is horseback riding a good workout?

Yes! Many people mistakenly believe that riders “just sit there.” But the amount of balance and muscle strength required to stay on the horse throughout its various movements, not to mention using your body to guide the horse, means that you’ll experience some sore muscles.

Plus, it’s a great cardio workout that can really get your blood pumping.

Of course, as with any workout, you have to push yourself to feel the effects. If you just want to walk around and enjoy a beautiful day from horseback, you might not feel too sore or winded.

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Trotting, cantering, and jumping are different stories altogether.

Can you wear jeans for horseback riding?

Many people do, especially in Western disciplines.

Be aware that some jeans have thick seams along the inner leg that are uncomfortable when riding. Those seams can rub against your leg and cause sores. Second, jeans made of heavy denim can be very uncomfortable in hotter weather.

Finally, tight-fitting jeans just may not be flexible enough to allow you to move freely in the saddle.

See our favorite horse riding jeans on our Riding Essentials Amazon List.

Can you wear shorts horseback riding? Are horseback riding shorts “a thing?”

Scrolling through social media, you’ll definitely see people riding in shorts. But many people don’t simply due to the awful saddle sores that can quickly develop when your skin rubs against the leather of the saddle.

It’s more comfortable to ride in shorts while bareback. Horseback riding shorts aren’t “a thing” because they offer no protection from sores.

What are the best lightweight summer riding breeches?

Check out the 9 Best Horse Riding Breeches for Hot Weather Relief.

What are the best summer riding boots?

For summer riding, ankle boots are preferable to knee-high boots. That leather can get hot!

Because leather also provides some protection in case you get stepped on by your horse, riding boots made of more breathable materials aren’t really common on the market. See the “boot” section above for some ideas.

Why do people wear long pants for horseback riding?

Two words: saddle sores! Your lower legs rub against the stirrup leathers and on the bottom of the saddle flap when you follow the motion of the horse.

At a walk, this might not be so bad, but at a trot or canter, that friction can wear away your skin very quickly.

What should you wear horseback riding for the first time?

What you wear can make or break your first horseback ride. Check out What to Wear Horseback Riding (With Pictures) for a complete guide.

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Can you wear yoga pants horseback riding?

Check out our article Can You Wear Yoga Pants Horseback Riding?

What are the best boots for horseback riding lessons?

Check out the 13 Best Boots for Horseback Riding Lessons.

Can you wear rain boots horseback riding?

Check out our article Can You Wear Rain Boots Horseback Riding?

Can you wear leggings horseback riding?

Check out our article Can You Wear Leggings Horseback Riding?

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