Horseback riding can be an expensive hobby, even for those who try to cut a few corners by not owning a horse of their own. Riding lessons don’t come cheap, and there seems to be a constant, ongoing list of gear that riders need to get the most out of the equine experience. All of it can make a serious dent in your pocketbook.
Good quality horse gear, like boots and riding helmets, can be found at tack shops or purchased from a catalog or online. The gear doesn’t always have to be brand new, of course; quality tack can be bought used from friends or at an auction. In fact a lot of people like to buy used gear because it has already been broken in. But you’re advised to examine used tack before making the purchase to make sure it isn’t worn out. Worn out gear can present serious safety issues.
While many stables provide basic gear needed for the horses, such as harnesses and saddles, a lot of people find it useful to buy their own, even if they don’t own the horse they use it on. A harness is something placed over the head of the horse when the animal isn’t being ridden. This gives you some control over him as he is led from, say, the pasture to the barn. Halters are distinguished from bridles, which is worn over the horse’s head during riding and has reins and a bit attached.
Beth Manville grew up riding horses in Perkasie PA. She also worked at a place called Green Valley Stables. She later worked on farms and ranches all over the West. Today she is a lawyer who still enjoys riding. She goes out now with her seven year old daughter, who is as enthusiastic about horses as her mother.