Best Comfortable Summer Horseback Riding Wear

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Last Updated on February 25, 2023

Our experiences riding can be entirely dictated by the weather, and summer weather is no exception! Riding in the summer can be fantastic; no snow, rain, or storms to worry about.  But, unfortunately, the summer can bring extreme heat. So, what to wear horseback riding? Though heat won’t stop us from riding, we can take steps to ensure that we stay more comfortable during summer weather.

The most important step we can take is in knowing what to wear when horseback riding in the summer.  With cooling technologies and ventilation, equestrian brands have made tops, breeches, helmets, gloves, and other riding accessories more suitable for riding in extreme heat.

What to Wear Horseback Riding Summer Vacations

1. Tops

It’s tempting to wear tank-tops in the summer to stay cool, but there are many better and safer options when it comes to summer riding tops! It’s important to keep your chest, back, shoulders, and even arms covered not only in the case of a fall or accident but also to protect them from sunburns.  A popular style of shirt that does this, while keeping you cool, is the sun-shirt. Typically, these shirts are a long-sleeved quarter-zip with sweat-wicking or ventilation technology. My favorite sun-shirts are made by Ariat and The Tailored Sportsman. Their shirts will keep you cool, allow full range of motion, and protect you from getting sunburnt! They also come in some pretty fun colors.

2. Breeches

There isn’t as much variety in breeches as there is in tops when it comes to summer riding products.  The most important characteristics to think of in riding breeches for the summer are breathability, thickness, and resistance to water.  My favorite breech brand to wear during the summer is Romfh. Romfh breeches are breathable, comfortable, and waterproof! When I bathe my horse, I don’t have to worry about water stains lasting on my breeches; they’ll be gone within minutes. The breathable material keeps me cool in hot weather and comfortable for long periods of time. Romfh breeches are also thin enough to keep you cool in the summer, but thick enough to protect your legs from leather friction.  They are the perfect combination of comfort and practicality, and come in many colors and sizes!

What to Wear Horseback Riding Summer Vacations

3. Helmets

Helmet choice is equally important when it comes to staying cool in the summer heat.  Any helmet with ventilation will at least be helpful, so long as it meets safety standards.  Some popular vented helmet brands include Samshield, GPA, and Kask. All three of these brands make helmets with built-in ventilation systems designed to keep your head cool.

Essentials: What to Wear Horseback Riding

Of course, you are still going to sweat; but, with the ventilation systems, your head will get fresh air flowing in and out of the helmet, which will at least make you sweat less.  It will also keep the helmet liner cleaner, as it will dry more quickly after you have sweated in it. Samshield, GPA, One K and Kask offer a variety of different helmets for different head sizes and shapes.  They also offer options to customize your helmet in different colors and designs.

4. Gloves

Selecting a riding glove for summer can be just as important as selecting a top or breeches. And increasing ventilation to your hands can decrease the likelihood of blistering, rubs from sweat, and overall discomfort.

I have two personal favorites when it comes to summer riding gloves.  First, are the Rockel Summer Chester Gloves. In general, Rockel gloves are unmatched in quality, fit, and comfort.  The Summer Chester gloves, in particular, have technology specifically designed to keep you comfortable in extreme heat.  They have mesh-backs, which allow for airflow into the back of the hand while including reinforcements in the fingers and palm area to allow for adequate grip on the reins.  Additionally, the Summer Chester glove can be used with the use of a machine!

My second favorite summer riding glove is the SSG Crochet Horseshoe gloves.  Similar to the mesh backs on the Summer Chester, the Lycrochet has a crocheted back, which allows for air-flow into the hand.  The palm and fingers of the Lycrochet are made of pigskin, to allow for a stronger grip on the reins. Both gloves have technologies that will keep you cool in the summer, while also giving you the reinforcement you need to ride comfortably.

Essentials: What to Wear Horseback Riding

Accessories: What to Wear Horseback Riding

Other than the basic articles on clothing, there are also hot weather accessories which are made to keep you cool in the summer. A relatively new company, the Heated Horse, makes products, especially for extreme weather riding.

Their new cooling towel is designed to cool the riders entire body, starting from the neck. After soaking it in water, the towel is designed to be worn around the neck, succinctly cooling the rest of the body. 

One of the greatest advantages of using the Heated Horse cooling towel is that it will cool down, no matter what temperature of water you use! Even if you immerse the towel in hot water, after sometimes, with the way it was made,  the towel will automatically return to having a cool temperature. The technology in this product is amazing and, even better, it can be washed with the use of a machine!

Other options for a cooling towel here.


Staying cool in the summer heat can be a difficult task, even more, difficult when you spend your summer days riding. Staying comfortable when I ride is a priority for me because I always want to give my horse the best ride possible. I hope this article about what to wear horseback riding in the summer, gave you an insight on some helpful products that will help keep you comfortable in the saddle


What do you wear horseback riding when it's hot?

A lightweight, comfortable outfit made of natural fibers like cotton or linen is a good idea to wear when the temperatures soar in the summer. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics which will hold sweat and make you feel uncomfortable. Instead, a moisture-wicking shirt will help keep you cool by drawing sweat away from your body and dissipating it through the fabric. Wear breathable breeches or riding tights to prevents chafing. Lightweight socks will further aid in keeping your feet cool and dry. A wide-brimmed, soft-leather hat will help to protect your head from the sun.

What temperature is too hot to ride a horse?

According to Robert Bloomer, DVM, MS, a practicing partner of Ocala Equine Hospital in Ocala, Fla., “Anything over 90 degrees with high relative humidity can be dangerous for a horse,”  But again, if you do decide to go ahead and do so, be on the lookout for dehydration and  heat stroke symptoms in both yourself and your horse. If you do decide to brave these temperatures, here are a few tips: wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made from a breathable material like cotton. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen. Have water and electrolyte replacement drinks handy. Also, try to avoid to ride in the direct sun.

Can you wear sneakers horseback riding?

As has been noted, tennis shoes and sneakers are not a safe choice when horseback riding. In fact, they could cause you and your horse serious injury. The most common cause of injury is the rider’s foot slipping off the stirrup, or coming down hard on the toe of the shoe.  
Instead, wear riding boots with a heel. They should be worn over socks and the top of the boot should cover your ankle. This will keep your feet and ankles safe from rubbing against the saddle.

Can you wear shorts while horseback riding?

Of course you can. However, the possibility of chafing and bruising will be much higher wearing shorts while riding.
If you are looking for a way to cool off in the summer heat, then jodhpurs, breeches, tight-fitting jeans, riding tights or even yoga pants/leggings are a better option. However, if you plan to wear these items for riding, you must have them tailored to fit your waist and thighs. They need to be tight enough to prevent chafing, but not so tight that they restrict your movement.

What is the difference between jodhpurs and breeches?

Jodhpurs are the "uniform" pants of the western world. They are worn by lawmen, cowboys, and just about anyone who works on a ranch or around horses. Jodhpurs are the perfect pants for riding and working around horses. They are light weight, yet durable and comfortable. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns, so there is something for everyone.
Breeches are similar to jodhpurs, but are generally only worn by show people and equestrians. They can be worn with or without suspenders and are usually black or dark brown. Breeches are often worn with a fancy belt or with a sash around the waist.
The breeches of the 19th century were a loose, baggy, knee-length garment. The breeches would be tucked into knee-high boots, which could be calf-length or knee-length. It was a practical garment for work.

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