What to Wear For Horseback Riding in the Summer?
Wondering what to wear for horseback riding in the summer?
I’ve covered all my favorite rider gear right here in my guide.
I love hot weather and I’m in my element, so I know all about finding equestrian clothing that works for warm temperatures and riding.
Let’s get started!
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Best Horse Riding Summer Outfits at a Glance
- TuffRider Ventilated Ladies Shirt– Best Summer Horse Riding Top
- Horseware Ladies Riding Tights– Best Summer Horse Riding Pants
- Ovation Ladies Synergy Back Zip Paddock– Best Summer Horse Riding Boots
- Ariat Unisex Air Grip Gloves– Best Horse Riding Gloves
- Tipperary Sportage 8500 Riding Helmet– Best Horse Riding Helmet
Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!
ALSO CHECK: Horse Riding Boots Reviews
Top 25 Summer Horse Riding Outfit Ideas
Just because you are covered in horsehair and possibly a bit of slobber, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have cute horseback riding outfits in summer.
Whether you are looking for full summer horse riding outfits or just a few bits and pieces to add to your wardrobe, I included my personal favorites here.
Let’s start with riding tops, as you will want more than one of these to get you through the week.
5 Summer Horse Riding Tops
There are literally tons of summer horse riding tops to choose from, so everyone will find something they love. Riding gear has come a long way in the last 10 years with many fun options that stray from the traditional plain, dark, colors.
Here are my top 5 picks.
Sun shirts are all the rage and with good reason. They are lightweight, have great ventilation, are really flexible, and protect you from the sun’s harmful rays when horse riding.
This TuffRider long-sleeved shirt is a budget option that comes in 7 fun colors including aqua, hot pink, and sky blue. It has mesh lining under the arms to help keep your body temperature cool.
One rider, Hannah, loves it just as much as I do – “The material is great and super breathable, great for summer riding!”
- Our Ventilated Technical Long Sleeve Sport Shirt from TuffRider is a popular choice for hot weather riding and working.
- Technical Fabric
- Mid-Zip Front
- Ventilated Mesh Fabric
- 100% Micro Polyester
If you prefer short sleeves, then I think you’ll really love this shirt. Now, it is a bit on the expensive side but I find equestrian technical fabric shirts wear well and last a long time.
It not only has ventilation mesh but also has UPF 50 sun protection. It is super light with an attractive fit without being constricting.
If you compete you don’t just need summer casual horse riding outfits. This brings me to one of my favorite equestrian brands, Ariat. Ariat started out and is most famous for creating some of the best boots to ride horses.
However, in the last few years, they have brought out a great collection of riding clothes as well. This shirt is for summer shows. It has a modern style with mesh arm panels but doesn’t lose the classic look you need for the show ring.
One rider found it great for the heat – “This is a great show shirt for those broiling hot summer shows” But they do recommend getting a size up.
- AriatTEK Heat Series technology keeps you cool when the competition heats up
- Moisture Movement Technology keeps you drier
- Sun Protection Fabric with UPF rating of 45 provides protection from ultraviolet rays
- Fabric inhibits the growth of bacterical odors
- Cooling technology reduces skin temperature
Not forgetting about our little riders and sticking with Ariat take a look at the super cute sun shirt. It has long sleeves and comes in two adorable prints. One has horses and the other is pink with polka dots.
And even though it is a premium brand the price is pretty good.
Kerrits hit the equestrian scene only a few years ago and their popularity instantly took off. They make some great summer riding clothes, like this shirt.
One thing I really like about Kerrits Icefil shirts is that they come in fun prints. You can get this shirt with a horse print, or purple flowers.
It uses the brand’s technical Ice Fil® fabric with a hem that is designed specifically for equestrians. If you like this, let’s not leave out the kids. They make a great kid’s version which you can see here.
For a review of an entire Kerrits riding out take a look at this video.
5 Pants To Wear In Summer For Horse Riding
As a horse rider, you know how breeches are not the most summer-friendly horseback riding pants. They are tight and can make you even hotter!
But there are lots of good summer options available these days, but better than the choice I had as a kid.
Riding tights are my go-to pants for summer riding. They are lighter and many are designed with high temperatures in mind, like these Horseware riding tights. I have these myself and love them.
They aren’t slippy which is one criticism I have for many riding tights. They have mesh panels that all allow air circulation and heat to escape. Also, they have a wide, high waist, which I find much more comfortable.
Take a closer look at this video from an equestrian great expert who got to see these cool riding pants when they first came out.
What I really love about this pair of pants is that they have a full silicone seat to provide extra grip. They are stretchy, giving you plenty of range of motion, yet supportive. If you can’t be without it, they have a pocket to stick your cell phone.
I just wish these synthetic breeches came in more colors!
I can’t mention my favorite summer riding breeches without including Kerrits Ice Fil tights. They come in a wide range of sizes from XS to 2XX. The flexible material is a feature you want to always have in hot weather clothes.
The brand’s special fabric helps to “convert sweat to refrigerant; to keep you cool and comfortable” They have a wide waistband and provide UPF 50+ sun protection.
This technical clothing gets rave reviews, like this one from horse rider, Becca is a huge fan to these tights – “I save my money for kerrits products because they are ALWAYS amazing and feel so good on!!”
Check out this review, which will tell how great these equestrian tights are!
- Ice Fil fabric cools by actively converting sweat to refrigerant; reducing your skin surface temp by up to five degrees
- Four-way stretch coverage offers light compression and hold
- Two convenient low-profile side pockets
- UPF+50 sun protection
- Anti-Slip Kerrit Sticks along the inner leg and seat provide an equal ratio of stretch, grip, and breathability
For kids, I really like these good value riding pants. They have a pretty pattern along the outside of the leg and have moisture wicking fabric.
Plus, they also provide plenty of ventilation and good sun protection. If you’re looking at these and wishing they made EquiCool tights for adults, you’re in luck. Here is the ladies’ version.
- UV Protection | Ventilated
- Pull-On | Rear Zip Pocket
- Silicone Patches
- Contoured Sock Bottoms
- 80% Nylon, 20% Spandex
I’ve covered fun summer riding pants, but most of them are not acceptable in the show ring. However, Kerrits has these stylish beige riding breeches that give you the polished look but help keep you cool.
They don’t use the Ice Fill fabric but instead use Dynamic™ Extreme which gives a stylish flattering fit.
Competitive jumping rider, Sara, loves to use these in the summer – “They look great, fit great, stretch every which way, and move with you no matter how you ride! They even breathe enough to be worn in summer temps”
Take a closer look and learn more about these breeches in this video.
- Durable, stretch-woven Dynamic Extreme fabric
- Stain/water resistant; sheds dirt and light rain
- Tailored, front snap fly; 2 flattering front pockets; belt loops
- Stretch panels at ankles for comfort
- Kerrits Nubuck knee patches
5 Best Summer Horse Riding Boots
Figuring out what to wear horseback riding in hot summer weather is challenging, especially when it comes to riding boots. Boots aren’t exactly warm weather friendly.
However, you can find some that are better than others for warm temperatures.
These paddock boots don’t have lots of extra lining, which helps keep them cooler. They are a cross between modern and classic styles with front lacing.
I personally prefer laces over a zipper as they provide move ankle support. The material is pretty breathable as far as boots go.
- Synthetic Leather Construction
- Genuine leather lining
- Front lacing
Simple and inexpensive riding boots have a zip closure, which makes them easier for kids to put on. They have a durable sole and won’t break the bank when you don’t get much time out of them for growing kids.
- For Kids: From affordability to durability, there’s a lot to love about the Saxon Children's Syntovia Zip Paddock Boots
- Vegan Leather: Made of a quality grained PU which offers the look and feel of real leather
- Front Zip: Features a heavy-duty YKK zipper in the front and two side elastic panels for easy slip on and off
- Cushioning: Interior footbeds come with performance EVA insoles to provide additional comfort and support
- Tough Soles: Exterior outsoles are made of hard-wearing rubber to improve traction and prevent slipping
They have ortho inserts and pretty stitching without being too flashy.
Super soft and comfortable, these Ariat paddock boots are high quality. They provide support while still being flexible when you are in the saddle.
The leather is breathable and wick moisture well. If you prefer zip boots they come in that style as well.
See why this rider loves these boots so much in this video.
- When things get stressful, lace-up and ride off into the sunset with the Heritage Breeze Lace Paddock by Ariat®.
While these riding boots are a little pricey, they are made with high-quality leather. Their design helps give the rider more stirrup stability and the soles are durable and non-slip.
The insole helps absorb pressure which prevents fatigue.
Take a closure look at these boots with this short video.
- Non-slip durable rubber outsole with multi-directional grip pattern on the forefoot and a water-dispersing heel tread to provide great grip in all weather conditions
Make sure to also check our review of the best Western horse riding boots!
Top 5 Best Horse Riding Gloves To Wear in Summer
It might seem counterintuitive to wear riding gloves in the summer but they are actually really helpful as your hands are more likely to sweat.
Summer riding gloves are thinner, which I actually prefer all year round. If they are too thick you lose feel when you’re riding your horse.
These lightweight gloves protect your hands and fit well. They are made from Stretch Tek Twill, which I find really flexible. One quality, at least for me, gloves really need.
The synthetic suede palm allows you to keep an excellent feel of your horse without sacrificing grip. The back of the glove has mesh which helps keep your hands cool and allows airflow.
Cheap and cheerful, the OEQ Cool Mesh Glove is meant for summer horse riding. They protect your hands from the damage sweaty hands holding reins can cause.
They have good grip while not being too thick. The back is a mesh fabric that allows hot air to escape. They come in black or grey.
With a stretchy mesh back and little bulk, these are an ideal summer riding glove. The palms are made from synthetic suede which is pretty grippy. The wrists have adjustable velcro closures so you can get a secure fit.
Horse rider, Kara, uses these gloves and finds them great for summer – “Cool for summer. Very thin and breathable. Great for riding”
For those that do a lot of riding a durable glove is essential. However, many gloves made for summer riding are thinner and don’t last as long.
These gloves are designed with durability and comfort in hot weather in mind. They have an elastic cuff and mesh back. They are even touch screen friendly, so you don’t have to take them off to use your phone.
- Terry cloth brow wipe.
- Wrap around synthetic suede leather reinforced index finger and thumb.
- Patented rein cut design.
- Double Stitched critical outward seams.
- Delta Grip synthetic suede leather is three times more durable than other brands.
I’ve used SSG gloves and really like them, even though they are more expensive than some other options.
Unlike my other top picks, the palms of these gloves are made from cowhide instead of synthetic material. They are reinforced in high-wear areas and have a lycra mesh back.
5 Best Horse Riding Helmets for Hot Weather
It is easy to give in to temptation and forgo wearing a riding helmet in hot weather but I strongly advise you don’t do this. Look at it this way, you only have one head and it doesn’t do well when injured.
A helmet can save your life. With that said there are some helmets that are better for hot weather, so let’s take a look.
While this isn’t the most attractive riding helmet it is extremely popular because it is so lightweight and has lots of air vents. It also is ASTM/SEI certified, so you know it meets the required safety standards.
This helmet isn’t suitable for horse shows but great for everyday schooling during the summer.
Take a look at this rider’s review of this helmet.
- Contoured drop-back shell
- Comfort foam interior
- Flexible visor
- Rear reflective strip
If you want a good value riding helmet for summer that isn’t expensive, check out this popular option. It is comfortable and light to wear. The mesh air vents allow for plenty of airflow and heat escape.
It comes in three colors – black, brown, and grey. The helmet liner is also removable and washable, a must when it comes to summer.
If you want a show helmet with the latest safety technology, I recommend the Tipperary Devon MIPS helmet.
While this is an expensive helmet, you can know that you enter the show ring looking the part and that you are keeping your head as safe as possible.
MIPS is a protection system that helps reduce the risk of concussion. It has been used in other types of helmets for some time but is only starting to appear in horseriding helmets.
This helmet has 8 discrete cooling vents and a beautiful matte finish. And as an added bonus a liner that you can take out and wash.
If you like the idea of your riding helmet having MIPS this is a cheaper version than the one above, though it still isn’t cheap.
This helmet is suitable for the jumper ring but the air vents are a little too visible for hunter or equitation classes.
It has a Coolmax liner that is removable so you can wash or replace it. The outer shell has a smooth, sleek finish.
If you want a fun summer riding helmet or ride western, then this hat will appeal to you. It comes from the line of riding hats designed by Taylor Fallon, a World Champion barrel racing rider.
The low profile is great for keeping the sun out of your eyes and the vents allow for great air circulation.
Take a look at all the great features this helmet has in this video.
- Dial-fit System
- Exclusive fallon Taylor signature designs
- Mesh-covered vents
- Low profile
- ASTM/sei certified
Things to Look At When Considering Outfits for Summer
When picking out what to wear horseback riding in the summer you want to look out for several different things.
Ventilation and Breathability
Ventilation is one of the most important features you want in your summer riding outfit. This applies to any piece of equipment you use. Today, you will find a lot of choices whether it be mesh panels or air vents.
Ventilation allows heat to escape and air to flow over your skin. This will help keep you cooler. Even if the item doesn’t have mesh, make sure it is a breathable fabric. Many new fabrics are a better breathable material than traditional cotton.
A fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin is essential when riding in the summer. If you feel less sweaty, you will feel cooler and definitely more comfortable.
Many fabrics do this job well, especially the light, technical materials used in modern riding clothes.
The technical fabrics used to make most of today’s riding outfits are often thin and lightweight. It is great at allowing air circulation. They are also really flexible, so you don’t feel constricted.
SPF Sun Protection
One great feature of technical fabrics is that many offer SPF sun protection. This is the type of fabric you will see many sun shirts made from.
Look for items that have this. It is easy to burn without realizing it when you are out riding. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of at least 30. 
ALSO READ: Where Can I Ride Horses on the Beach?
While there is some great equestrian summer riding clothes that come in dark colors, something light is better. Dark colors attract more heat than light ones, something you want to avoid when temperatures soar.
Easy To Care For
In the summer, you will go through riding clothes more quickly, which means more washing. You want outfits that you can throw in the wash without any special instructions and that dry fast.
When choosing a riding helmet in particular a longer visor will help block the sun from your face. You can even buy hat brims that slip over your helmet for the extra hot and bright days.
Lightweight fabrics help you stay cooler. Also, because these types of comfortable fabrics don’t weigh much they usually provide more breathability.
TRY READING: What to Wear Horseback Riding On the Beach
Hot Weather Horse Riding Tips
In addition to wearing the right clothes for horse riding in the summer, there are some other rules you should stick to stay healthy and comfortable. Here are some of my favorite tips I’ve picked up over the years.
- Apply sunscreen to any areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun.
- Try to ride during cooler times of the day such as early in the morning or late evening. When I lived in a hot region, I used to go start riding at 6 am.
- Don’t overwork your horse in the heat and make sure he gets plenty of rest breaks. If it’s too hot a horse can easily overheat which is dangerous for their well-being.
- Always cool your horse down straight away after work. Cold hosing is one of the best methods. If they are very hot, forget scraping, just keep hosing until they cool down and let them drip dry. 
- Drink plenty of fluids and always bring something with you.
- Try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Can you wear shorts for horseback riding in summer?
I don’t recommend you wear shorts for summer horseback riding. This is just asking for saddle sores. Not fun! The only exception is if you are going for a relaxing stroll bareback.
Can you wear sneakers horseback riding?
Never wear sneakers when horseback riding if you are using a saddle. Sneakers are too wide and thick for stirrups and can get easily stuck. They also don’t have a heal to prevent your foot slipped through the stirrups.
Should I wear long pants when riding a horse?
Yes, you should always wear long pants when riding a horse. Pants protect your legs from rubs caused by friction of the tack and your body touching. It is best to wear pants designed for horse riding as they will have seems located in areas that won’t cause rubs.
Deciding what to wear horseback riding in the summer is pretty fun if you like shopping and putting together outfits.
There are some fantastic products available that help keep you cool for the summer months and you’ll find plenty of choices. Equestrian fashion certainly has progressed for the better.
Do you have a favorite equestrian product that you wear riding in the summer?
What are your favorite summer horse riding outfits? Please share below!
- 1. Seal of Recommendation [Internet]. The Skin Cancer Foundation. [cited 2022 Apr 6]. Available from: https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/seal-of-recommendation/
- 2. The Weather is Heating Up; Keep Your Horse’s Temperature Down [Internet]. USEA : United States Eventing Association Inc. [cited 2022 Apr 6]. Available from: https://useventing.com/news-media/news/the-weather-is-heating-up-keep-your-horses-temperature-down#:~:text=The%20most%20effective%20way%20to
Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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