The equestrian sports is one of the most elegant sports. Rider clothing emphasizes the shape of the body and looks very elegant. Let’s take a look, what do they wear for events and in everyday life.
For most of the sport competitions, a common form of the athletic attire is a french, breeches and boots, a shirt with a collar and a tie or a shirt without a collar with a hunting tie or scarf. The rules of some competitions require wearing spurs. It is mandatory to wear a headdress, though the riders in show classes still have bowlers and masters of sports perform in top hats, there is a gradual transition to a safer hunter cap or even a jockey cap. The latter is usually worn with silk covers of dark color.
To perform in a cross, one is allowed to replace a french with a sweater or a shirt, depending on the weather, the color of which can be selected by a rider as well as the cap cover.
Endurance riding is the only area where traditions are not so strict partly because this sport is still young enough (at least, organized competitions have started not so long ago), and because at the high-level competitions athletes have to spend a lot of time on horseback, as well as run alongside them sometimes to give them breathing space. It would be too hot and uncomfortable to do it in breeches and boots, that’s why it is the only kind of equestrian sports that allows wearing sneakers.
Casual winter wear of a rider is tight sweatpants or special riding breeches, a warm sweater and sturdy boots with a smooth sole and low heel. Summer clothing should be light but at the same time provide protection from injury. There are leggings, t-shirts, sneakers or boots and gaiters worn on the lower legs of the rider on top of the breeches. They protect legs from abrasions and in hot weather legs almost don't sweat in them.
Shoe sole must easily enter into the stirrup and not get stuck in it; this is one of the conditions for the rider’s safety. It is strictly forbidden to ride in the shoes with ribbed ("tractor") sole!
A heel, or rather, its height is the eternal debate. A heel is required but a small one, one and a half centimeters, not more. If the shoes don’t have any heels, a narrow foot will just fall through the stirrup and become jammed, and this, of course, may end badly. It is better avoid mounting a horse in the wide shoes with ribbed soles and high heels not to get your feet stuck in the stirrups. When a horse bolts, you may hope your foot could slip out of a boot but sneakers could turn into a real trap.
To protect hands and fingers, there are special gloves for riding with dense stripes on a little finger and a ring finger just at the point where there is the most friction. In summer, wear gloves with holes for ventilation or open from the back of the hand.
All beginners are strongly recommended to purchase a helmet. They come in great variety of models, one can always purchase a very elegant thing. A helmet protects your head from injuries and possible concussion in a fall. In hot weather, you can wear a hard jockey cap which will save you not only from the sun but also from superficial injuries.
Recently, vests have become popular among horsemen. They are very convenient, save an overheated rider from treacherous drafts while leaving the hands free to work with the horse, moreover (and this is important!), a rider looks elegant.
Source: Judith Draper, Horses and Horse Care