Beginner's Toolkit


Thinking about trying out horse riding but not sure if it’s for you? Booked your first horse riding lesson and don’t know what to wear? Our handy hints and tips will help you prepare for your first horse riding experience.

Finding what’s right for you

It’s really important that before you start horse riding you find what’s right for you – this might be finding a centre that provides a certain tailor-made programme, offers a certain facility or offers specific sport coaching from a qualified UKCC coach.

Have a look at our guidelines on what to look for:

Don’t understand what a stirrup is.......

If you want more information about what certain equestrian terminology means before you go on your horse riding experience, or after you get back, why not visit our jargon buster which will provide you with easy explanations to those sometimes confusing expressions.

A great way to stay in shape

Horse riding is a great way to get fit and exercise whilst having fun. It strengthens your core body muscles and will tone your bum, tum, legs and arms – a relaxing cardiovascular workout!

No horse? – No excuse!

Don’t have a horse but want to give horse riding a go? That’s fine! The majority of riding centres and schools provide horses for you to use for your lesson or session. If you’re unsure whether they do provide horses then why not give them a call before your visit to double check.

Horse riding jodphur boots

There’s no such thing as a ‘dress code’

The most important thing is safety and comfort. Long hair should be tied back out of the way (a low pony tail or plait is best so it doesn't intefere with your hat fitting) and all jewellery should be removed.

Shoes – if you have riding boots then that’s great, if you don’t then there’s no need to worry – a pair of boots with a small heel will be ideal. Trainers and flat soled shoes are very unsuitable because they could allow your foot to slip through the stirrup and get caught up. Some riding centres may provide riders with boots so do check before you go

Jodhpurs – jodhpurs are optional; we would recommend wearing trousers without a seam if possible to avoid any discomfort

Riding hats – hats should be provided by your riding centre and should be fitted by a qualified instructor before you mount the horse

Winter weather – make sure you wrap up warm when you go riding; a jumper or a waist-length coat is always a good idea for those wintry days

Body protectors – these are recommended for all horse riding activities and can be bought from your local equine retailer. Some riding schools may have some body protectors in stock for you to borrow or loan.

Hoof Sports