What Shirt to Wear Horseback Riding

When it comes to horseback riding, your attire is important. Whether you’re at a competition or simply going out for a trail ride, the clothes you wear can greatly affect your comfort as well as how the judges may rank you. Presenting yourself by investing in professional-looking riding attire can not only make you look the part but also feel the part as well!

The great thing about horseback riding is that you can wear just a t-shirt if you wanted to; however, there are very specific things to look for in a riding shirt when it comes to competitions and events. Here is my list of must-have shirts, both for shows and for casual riding in both the warmer and colder months.

DRI-Equip Moisture Wicking Heather Golf Polos

 See here on Amazon.

Wait…A golf shirt? Yes! Golf shirts and polos are great for horseback riding! They offer a professional and classy look while also providing the rider with comfort. The Dri-Equip Moisture Wicking Heather Golf Polo is a reasonably priced shirt that is lightweight, form-fitting, and comfortable.

This shirt would be perfect for riding lessons or schooling shows. It would make a great summer riding shirt due to its moisture-wicking ability and lightweight material. If you want to avoid the price of name-brand equestrian shirts, sport polos are a great way to go.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Classy enough for low-level shows
  • Moisture-wicking quality
  • Comes in a solid color
  • Lightweight material
  • Perfect for summer riding

 

Cons:

  • The buttoned collar is for looks; it doesn’t actually button up.
  • Some reviews complain that the shirt material isn’t breathable
  • Can be considered a little too low-cut for riding

 

This shirt had 620 reviews on Amazon, scoring 4.4 stars out of 5. I personally like lightweight form-fitting t-shirts to ride in so this shirt is right up my alley. I’m not one to spend a ton of money on a clothing item and I can push the longevity of my clothes as far as they’ll go, even if they’re low quality. I think this is a great shirt and I would recommend it for riding.

Kerrits Show N Go Sleeveless Shirt

 See here on Amazon.

If you’re anything like me, then whenever hot weather rolls around you can’t stand having anything on your arms, including short sleeves. This can be unbearable at horse shows since there’s a certain standard you have to uphold and you’re usually under the direct sun. Well, say no more! Introducing the Kerrits Show N Go Sleeveless Shirt.

The reason I love this shirt is that it’s still very classy yet there’s nothing to go over your arms. You can wear it by itself at local shows or riding lessons or wear it under a jacket at upper-level shows. Either way, it works and keeps you cool.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Sleeveless
  • Perfect for summer riding
  • Classy enough for the show ring
  • Can be worn under a show jacket
  • Moisture-wicking stretchy material
  • A trustworthy brand with quality products

 

Cons:

  • I seriously can’t find anything wrong with this shirt.

 

While this shirt only has 2 reviews on Amazon, I can vouch for it and say that it truly is a great product. It looks great and feels great. If you prefer this style show shirt over short sleeve or long sleeve, then this is the way to go!

TuffRider Kirby Kwik Dry Show Shirt

 See here on Amazon.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more formal for the show ring, check out the TuffRider Kirby Kwik Dry Show Shirt. This shirt offers the traditional show shirt look: colored white with a high collar. This shirt can be worn with or without a riding jacket. Its thin and breathable material makes it great for riding in hot weather, especially under the show ring sun!

My favorite thing about this shirt would have to be the material. This shirt is made 100% out of polyester, making it feel more like a sportswear shirt than a riding shirt. The show shirts a grew up wearing were stiff, easily stained, and clearly displayed your sweat to all the other riders around. This polyester shirt is light and flexible. Polyester fabric also tends to dry much quicker than other fabric, making it great for concealing sweat.

Pros:

  • Made 100% from Polyester Material
  • Reasonably priced
  • Lightweight 
  • Dries quickly and is hard to stain
  • Perfect for the show ring
  • Makes a great summer riding shirt
  • Can be worn under a riding jacket

 

Cons:

  • Some reviews claim that the material is see-through

 

On Amazon, this shirt has scored 4.6 out of 5 stars. I love finding a great piece of riding attire for a good price, and this shirt seems like that kind of find! I love the professional look at a cheap price. You may have differing views in material preference, but if you’re like someone like me, you prefer the lightweight polyester sportswear type riding shirt.

ARIAT Sunstopper Show Shirt

 See here on Amazon.

The ARIAT Sunstopper Show Shirt is great for horseback riding in the hot months and keeping you shielded from the sun. It’s lightweight and breathable, keeping you cool while the long sleeves protect you from the sun. It’s also a great looking shirt and would go well in the show ring! I personally love the ARIAT brand; everything I’ve purchased from them has been high-quality and has lasted quite a while.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price for a show shirt
  • A trustworthy brand with quality products
  • Moisture-wicking breathable material
  • Can be worn under a show jacket
  • Breathable mesh around the armpit area
  • Ideal for the show ring
  • Protects from the sun 
  • Suited for hot months 

 

Cons:

  • Although long-sleeve, it wouldn’t offer much protection in the cold
  • Sleeves can feel restricting

 

While this shirt only has 2 reviews on Amazon, I’ve been to many shows and have known many riders who prefer this shirt. It’s ideal for the show ring and would even go great under a show jacket as well. It seems like a great buy at a reasonable price.

Kerrits Horse Sense Half Zip

 See here on Amazon.

Any horseback rider can attest that the most enjoyable time to ride is in the Autumn when the leaves are changing color and there’s a chill in the air. When that season rolls around, I would recommend having the Kerrits Horse Sense Half Zip ready for your rides.

While eye-catching, this shirt offers lightweight flexible material while keeping you warm. Bulky jackets can make it uncomfortable to ride or move in, so this shirt offers a perfect escape and allows you to have complete mobility. Kerrits is a trusted brand and I would definitely invest in their clothing.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t compromise rider’s mobility while still keeping them warm
  • Flexible lightweight material
  • Can be worn as a base layer or alone
  • Insulates body temperature
  • Best for riding in the cooler months
  • Offers a form-fitting 
  • Has thumb holes
  • Has a half zip to adjust

 

Cons:

  • The loud pattern on the shirt makes it unsuitable for horse shows

 

Out of 15 reviews on Amazon, this shirt has scores 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to find a single layer that can keep you warm in the cooler months, but this shirt offers it all. Either wear it alone or use it as a base layer, it works great and looks great either way!

WANAYOU Compression Long Sleeve Shirt

 See here on Amazon.

The WANAYOU compression long sleeve shirt is perfect for horseback riding. While it may not be a name-brand typical riding shirt, it works greats for casual training and lessons. Having a few of these shirts on hand offers a nice lightweight long sleeve shirt to wear in the fall and a base layer to use in the winter.

It’s hard to find form-fitting long sleeve t-shirts that still provide the flexibility you need when riding. Well, this shirt happens to be that rare find. Since it’s considered an athletic shirt, it caters to your comfort when horseback riding.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Perfect for cooler weather, either as a base layer or alone
  • Made for exercise
  • Provides complete flexibility for the rider
  • Form-fitting
  • Great for casual riding

 

Cons:

  • Reviews seem to note that the shirt runs small, so order a size up
  • Some reviewers complain that the shirt rides up 
  • Not suitable for the show ring

 

Out of 336 reviews on Amazon, this product scores 4.5 stars. In the Autumn it can be a real struggle finding long sleeve shirts to ride in. I always end up either being too hot or too cold. This shirt offers a great medium where it’s light enough to keep you cool but also offers enough protection to keep you warm. Due to their reasonable prices, I don’t see why any rider wouldn’t have a few of these on hand.

Under Armour Cold Gear Mock Shirt

 See here on Amazon.

While the Under Armour Cold Gear Mock Shirt does the best being worn as a base layer, I will never go another winter without one of these shirts. We all know that horseback riding or doing barn chores in the cold can be miserable, so having a layer that helps insulate your body heat is a godsend.

If you compete or foxhunt during the winter months, then you know the struggle of maintaining the classy form-fitting look while staying warm, simply because riding attire doesn’t really allow for the bulky parka coat! (I wish it did) I’ve noticed with this Under Armour shirt, it keeps your body warm enough so that just a few extra thin layers should still go a long way.

Pros:

  • Form-fitted base layer shirt
  • Can be worn under show shirts 
  • WILL KEEP YOU WARM (you have my word)
  • Eliminates the need for bulky outer layers while riding
  • Moisture-wicking and fast-drying
  • Comes in different colors

 

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side for a base layer shirt
  • Under Armour is known to run small

 

Out of 582 customer reviews on Amazon, this shirt receives 4.7 stars out of 5. I would recommend this shirt to anyone, for horseback riding or not, in order to stay warm during the winter. When I don’t wear mine, it is a very noticeable difference and I definitely feel colder.

What Type of Shirt Should I Wear Horseback Riding?

You can wear any shirt you want when it comes to horseback riding. I myself enjoy wearing a nice baggy t-shirt on a breezy day to allow for better airflow and comfort. However, there are some downsides to wearing a baggy shirt; the shirt flapping in the wind could spook the horse or it could get caught in your tack or on a tree limb. These situations put you as the rider in potential danger.

The reason horseback riders tend to wear more form-fitted shirts is not only because it looks good but it also keeps the shirt from getting caught by anything it shouldn’t. I’ve actually seen someone with a baggy shirt get off of their horse and the shirt got stuck over the cantle of the saddle. The horse freaked out and it was a difficult situation to get the rider unstuck.

Since you’re shopping for some riding clothes, why not shop for your horse too? Click here to see our must-haves for horse owners.



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