A riding vest protects the rider’s torso and helps reduce injury to soft tissue in accidents. A helmet is essential to protect the head.
A bridle and bit (or bosal or hackmore if you ride bitless). Also, a saddle in the style of your choice. A halter and lead rope to control the horse before and after putting on the harness.
The saddle provides support, security, and control for a horse rider. This essential equipment must be appropriately fitted to the horse, considering its discipline and the rider’s skills.
The base frame of the saddle, the tree, determines the saddle’s shape and how it fits on the horse. It should fit snugly but not so tight that it can’t be comfortably cinched up for several minutes.
The panels and flaps distribute the rider’s weight evenly. These are available in various shapes and sizes to meet the needs of different disciplines. A hunt-jump saddle, for example, requires the rider to sit in a more forward position than stock saddles.
The harness is part of the tack that carries the bit in your horse’s mouth (if you use one) and transports the rider’s signals from their hands. Many bridles also have features designed to help the horse’s comfort.
Hold the crownpiece of the harness with your right hand, leaving your left hand to guide it into the horse’s ears and up over its head. If your harness has ear loops, fasten them. It will prevent the harness from falling off over the horse’s ears.
The bit is one of the most crucial pieces of horse jump equipment. It increases leverage and control while preventing the horse from putting too much pressure on itself or its neck.
It also helps riders maintain a consistent canter rhythm. However, if the bit is too thick, it will increase pressure on the sensitive area of the mouth and cause pain. A rider can use a bit sizing tool or other aid to help determine the correct size for their horse. The right size will allow the horse to open its mouth freely while providing adequate support and resistance. The shape of the fence can also make a big difference in the difficulty of jumping it.
Riders spend significant time in the stirrups during training and jumping. They must provide consistent, effective shock absorption to support muscles and joints and help them balance in the half-sit.
A suitable stirrup will allow the rider to stay in them long without getting tired or aching. It can only be achieved with high-quality stirrups suited to the rider’s height and leg length.
Regarding competitive horse jumping, the jump cups’ quality is crucial for safety and scoring. That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced jump manufacturer.
A breastplate is a critical piece of equipment for equestrians who regularly participate in activities that require a lot of equine movement, like jumping, cross-country riding, or trekking up and down hills. It prevents the saddle from slipping back during these intense maneuvers.
There are many types of breastplates, but the most basic is a three-point breastplate (also known as a stockman’s or hunting breastplate). This style features two straps that bridge the horse’s neck over the withers and connect to D-rings on a saddle’s yoke.
Some riders prefer five-point breastplates that connect to the girth billets, providing extra security for high-intensity activities. Regardless of style, the breastplate should fit well and be checked regularly for wear and tear.
The leg boots are an essential piece of equipment that helps prevent the horse from getting a knock on the front and back legs while jumping. They cover the lower leg’s inside, outside, and fetlock areas and usually have a wide velcro fastening to ensure they stay on. They also allow airflow around the tendons of the lower leg to avoid heat buildup.
Most modern brushing boots are made from a robust, lightweight material with shock-absorbing or gel lining. There is often a neoprene or sheepskin lining that reduces chafing.
Some come in open front styles to encourage the horse to feel when they hit a jump rail, helping them to become more careful. Please ensure the boots are snug by sliding your finger between them and the leg.