Summer is one of the best seasons for riding. Long daylight hours, good weather, and sunshine all make for good riding conditions. But riding in the summer also requires specific apparel to help keep you cool, comfortable, and protected against strong UV rays. In this guide, we’ll break down what you should wear to keep you cool when riding in the summertime.

What to Look For in Summer Equestrian Apparel

When looking for summer equestrian apparel, riders should prioritize comfort, breathability, and protection from the sun.  From your shirt to your breeches, look for clothing that meets the following criteria.

Breathable Fabric

Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics that allow air circulation and wick away moisture. Opt for materials such as technical fabrics, microfiber, or moisture-wicking blends like Italian jersey. Avoid heavy and non-breathable fabrics like denim.

Sun Protection

Though sunscreen should be your first layer of protection against UV rays, you should also look for apparel with built-in sun protection, such as a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. This helps shield your skin from harmful UV rays during long hours in the sun. Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts or tops with mesh panels for added sun protection without compromising breathability.

Don’t forget to protect your face, neck, and eyes from the sun, too. Pick up a helmet with a visor, as well as UV-protective sunglasses.

Ventilation

Look for clothing items that have mesh panels or strategic ventilation features like underarm vents or breathable back panels. These allow air to flow freely and help keep you cool.

Fit and Mobility

Choose apparel that provides freedom of movement and doesn’t restrict your riding abilities. Look for items with stretch or articulated design elements, especially in areas such as the shoulders, elbows, and knees.

Moisture-Wicking

Opt for clothing that is designed to wick away sweat and moisture from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Moisture-wicking fabrics help regulate body temperature and prevent chafing.

Color

Lighter colors are preferable in hot weather as they reflect sunlight and heat rather than absorbing them. White or pastel shades are common choices for summer equestrian apparel, as they help keep you cooler.

Summer Horseback Riding Outfits

Ready to get outfitted for summer riding? See below for our head-to-toe suggestions for equestrian summer outfits.

Helmets

You should always wear a helmet when horseback riding, regardless of the season. We recommend choosing lightweight helmets that have ample ventilation and removable liners made of moisture-wicking fabric to help keep you cool. Longer visors or visor attachments can help keep the sun off your face as well.

Shirts

Choosing the right riding shirt can make all the difference during the summer. At R.J. Classic, we offer a wide selection of training shirts and show shirts that are designed to help keep you cool when the competition heats up. Here are some of our top picks.

Winnie Short Sleeve 1/4 Zip Training Shirt

Winnie Short Sleeve 1/4 Zip Training Shirt
Winnie Short Sleeve 1/4 Zip Training Shirt

Our Winnie training shirt is the perfect short-sleeve equestrian shirt for summer. The stretchy fabric has a luxurious handfeel and helps wick away moisture while you ride. The durable UPF 50 fabric protects you from strong UV rays even on scorching hot days.

Sienna 37.5 Training Shirt

Sienna 37.5 Training Shirt
Sienna 37.5 Training Shirt

We know what you’re thinking: Long sleeves in the summertime? The Sienna training shirt takes sun protection to the next level with long sleeves for full coverage and UPF 50 protection. Full coverage doesn’t mean you won’t be able to keep cool, however. Using 37.5® thermoregulation technology, this shirt helps your body maintain an optimum core temperature of 37.5° Celsius (99.5° Fahrenheit) which is ideal for peak athletic performance. 

Aerial Short Sleeve Show Shirt

Aerial Short Sleeve Show Shirt
Aerial Short Sleeve Show Shirt

Sun protection is just as important during competitions as it is while training. The Aerial short-sleeve show shirt helps keep you cool with 37.5® thermoregulation technology, breathable mesh details, and moisture-wicking fabric. This show shirt also features UPF 50 sun protection to shield you from harsh UV rays.

Maddie 37.5 Show Shirt

Maddie 37.5 Show Shirt
Maddie 37.5 Show Shirt

Show a little personality while you compete with the Maddie show shirt. It’s got all the features you need in a show shirt, from 37.5® thermoregulation technology to breathable underarm panels and UPF 50 sun protection. Printed trim fabric on the interior of the snap collar and sleeves helps spice up the look and adds some flair to your show outfit that won’t be visible in the show ring.

Learn more: How to Buy Equestrian Show Shirts: Size, Fit, Style Guide

Show Coats

When it’s not quite hot enough for show coats to be waived, you’ll still want to wear one that helps keep you cool under pressure. Check out these show coats that are perfect for summertime.

Harmony Mesh Show Coat

Harmony Mesh Show Coat
Harmony Mesh Show Coat

This show coat provides incredible airflow for competing equestrians. The lightweight mesh body fabric boosts comfort and breathability, while the Italian jersey front panel creates a polished look. The silhouette remains classic and traditional, so you can look fantastic in the show ring.

Learn more: How to Buy an Equestrian Show Coat: Size, Fit, and Style Guide

Rhapsody Mesh Shadbelly

Rhapsody Mesh Shadbelly
Rhapsody Mesh Shadbelly

Stay cool in style with a mesh shadbelly. Offering a modern twist to a classic style, this shadbelly pairs a traditional fit with lightweight mesh fabric that helps keep you cool when the competition heats up.

Learn more: How to Buy a Shadbelly: Size, Fit, and Style Guide

Gloves

Your hands need protection from the sun, too! The right riding gloves can not only improve your grip but also help keep your hands shaded from UV rays. Look for gloves with mesh panels for maximum airflow for your fingers while you grip the reins.

Breeches

When the temperatures rise, we don’t recommend wearing shorts while riding. Riding breeches help protect your legs while riding and give you a better grip in the saddle. Here are some of the best breeches to wear on hot summer days.

Harper Silicone Knee Patch Breech

Harper Silicone Knee Patch Breech
Harper Silicone Knee Patch Breech

The light colors of our Harper knee-patch breeches help reflect heat and sunlight as you ride, protecting you from harmful UV rays. The quick-dry, stretch fabric keeps you comfortable and dry whether you’re training or competing. Mesh lower leg panels are especially desirable during the summer to help keep you cool while wearing tall riding boots.

Aria Silicone Full Seat Breech

Aria Silicone Full Seat Breech
Aria Silicone Full Seat Breech

Riders who prefer a full-seat breech will love our Aria silicone breeches. Equipped with our fantastic quick-dry fabric, riders can keep cool and dry while maintaining secure contact with the saddle. Mesh lower leg panels provide airflow and comfort no matter what footwear you choose.

Learn more: How to Buy Breeches: Size, Fit, and Style Guide

Boots

The right summer riding boots can help your feet beat the heat. A lightweight, breathable boot can help keep your feet cool, especially with moisture-wicking fabric. Remember to always choose sturdy riding boots with a defined heel for your protection.

Stay Cool in the Saddle

Make the most of the summertime by updating your riding wardrobe with these cool suggestions. For all your equestrian clothing needs, no matter the season, trust R.J. Classics! We use the finest materials, the most stylish designs, and superior technology to create the best equestrian clothing for all disciplines. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, you’ll look great riding in R.J. Classics.

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