What equipment do I need to get started ?

What equipment do I need to get started

Starting horse riding does not necessarily mean that you have to invest in equipment for the horse. Your horse riding centre should be able to provide grooming equipment and any equipment needed for riding: saddle cloth, saddle, bridle, etc.

Riding wear is very specific. It is necessary for the comfort and the safety of the rider during practice.

It is composed of essential equipment:


  • A riding hat or helmet:

This is the most essential piece of equipment to guarantee your safety! It is compulsory to wear a helmet in all clubs. It protects the rider's head in the event of a fall. To ensure good protection, the helmet must meet the current EN1384 standards and must of course be adjusted to fit your head. Some riding centres let you borrow helmets but for hygiene and safety reasons, it is better to have your own. => Important: after a fall, it is strongly recommended that you change your helmet as it may be damaged on the inside without any visible marks on the outside of the helmet. This practice is very common among motorcyclists who also change their helmets after a fall.


  • A body protector:

This is not compulsory (except for eventing competitions) but it is increasingly common among young riders and also among more experienced riders. It absorbs shocks to the spine and ribs in the event of a fall. Body protectors must comply with the EN 13158 - Class 2 standard which is the current European standard.


  • Jodhpurs:

You only need to ride for fifteen minutes at walking pace to understand the importance of jodhpurs. You can quickly feel the heat from friction. Jodhpurs must therefore be close-fitting to avoid any folds that could irritate the rider's skin. They are also padded on the inside of the knees (knee patches) to minimise the effects of the legs rubbing against the saddle. They must be made of material that is comfortable, stretchy, easy to look after and strong.


  • Riding boots:

They come quite high up the leg (up to the knees) unlike a typical boot that stops mid-calf. Boots limit the effects of friction of the calf against the saddle and have a heel to stop the foot from going all the way through the stirrup iron and to keep it in place. You can also combine a pair of jodhpur boots with half-chaps, which has the same effect as riding boots.


  • Gloves:

They are not compulsory but strongly recommended to limit the effect of friction of the reins against the hands and to keep your fingers warm during periods of cold weather. Important, they must remain flexible so that you can feel the reins and your horse through them.



There are adjustable helmets and single head size helmets. You can find all the information on how to choose your riding hat in our advice guide: How to choose the right helmet

For riding boots, it is best to get them a little bit too big so that you can wear a pair of thick socks in winter