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Just started out..
15

user0000012378 · 16/06/2017 21:10

I've just started riding (I'm in my 20's so later than everyone else it seems) & only had a couple of lessons but absolutely hooked! Have always wanted to ride since a very young age but we were never able to afford it, thought I maybe was too old but decided to go for it anyways.

Have a couple of questions regarding boots, jodhpurs, hats & body protectors.

Would like to get my own hat as the ones I borrow are very uncomfortable, & wondered if anyone could give any suggestions for cheap, good brands? I have no idea where to start Blush likewise with boots & jodhpurs. I know they're probably not necessary since I've only just started, but I'm currently wearing joules welly boots & they're awkward to ride in. Think jodhpur boots would be best for now.

Also, body protectors - does everybody wear them? I'm in an adult beginners group & no one wears them so I'm unsure if I would look silly considering I'm not jumping or anything yet. BUT I know I will be kicking myself if I decide not to wear one & have a fall! The ones I've looked at have been expensive, so if anyone could point me in the direction of any bargains that would be great! I have seen second hand hats/body protectors for sale but I'm guessing these are a big no??

Sorry for my long rambling post! Any other advice for a beginner would be appreciated! Not wanting to take part in competitions or anything so it's purely for enjoyment, but in the (very far) future can see myself wanting to loan a horse, or even buy if I win the lottery Wink

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Polkadotties · 17/06/2017 18:39

Please don't buy a cheap hat. You only get one brain.
Have you got a tack shop nearby where you can get one properly fitted?
You can buy jodhpur boots but you might find the stirrup leathers pinch your calfs, half chaps are quite cheap.
Jodhpurs and breeches range from cheap to the very expensive. I like to wear Dublin tights with sticky gel seat but as a novice I don't think they would be good for you. Decathlon do cheap good quality jods.

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ImBrian · 19/06/2017 11:37

Get a hat fitted at a shop definitely some fit different shape heads better then others. I prefer long boots to jods, you need chaps to stop them rubbing and I don't find them as comfortable. Tescos and Aldi sometimes do cheap jodphurs or decathlon online. As for body protectors I only wear one for jumping but I know lots of people who won't get on unless they're wearing ones it's a bit of a personal preference thing however my kids wear them constantly!

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kittykarate · 19/06/2017 15:29

Hats - definitely don't buy them online or second hand! Get them fitted in a shop. I got mine from Decathlon as the girls in the riding department were pretty good.

Boots - I struggle to get long boots as I have huge calves. So I go jodhpur boot + half chaps. You will get some rub on your shins from the stirrup leathers if you wear short boots without the half chaps. I think my boots were from Dublin in the sale, and my half chaps were from shires. Probably about £40 total outlay.

Jodhpurs - I have a mix of Decathlon own brand and Dublin jodhs. I think the most I've ever paid is about £30 a pair. If you don't want to invest in a pair until you're sure you're keeping going, you need to wear something close fitting, without too much of a seam in the inner thigh area. So a pair of leggings will do, but trust me, they will wear out quickly in the seat area.

Back protector - again, get fitted for them if you want to wear one. Don't buy second hand as you don't know what has happened to them. I've struggled to get one to fit (for a price I'm willing to pay) as my my enormo-knockers + short back length causes problems, so I don't wear one. I think they are more widespread amongst kids, but I'm seeing a few more people wearing them in lessons.

Something not on your list - sports bra? I swapped to wearing one after I 'grated' my nipple on a lacy bra one day.

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Puppymouse · 23/06/2017 12:22

Have a look at Sports Direct or eBay for jodhpurs. Also Aldi sold them at one point. I gave some nice ones from there. You can prob get some for around £10-15. But go to a tack shop for a hat. You should expect to pay around £60 for a basic skull helmet (Champion/Charles Owen) but it has to fit well so get advice and try a few on.

Re boots I think everyone feels comfy in different stuff. I ride in long boots in winter (sometimes my wellies when it's super cold as they're neoprene lined shhh) but in summer I ride in Mountain Horse rider boots which are like walking boots. Again look at Sports Direct if you don't want to pay too much or eBay. Long boots will be more expensive and if you go for jodhpur boots and chaps I'd buy in person to get the fit right.

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RatherBeRiding · 23/06/2017 14:36

Definitely get your hat fitted by a proper shop. If you have a smallish head you might be able to get a child's size (cheaper!). Charles Owen/Champion skulls are reasonably priced.

Jods/boots/half chaps - ebay. Again, if you're the right size you can get into child's jods which are, again, cheaper. I wear Caldene child's jods in the largest size.

I wouldn't worry about a body protector unless you're doing cross-country. Even when you start jumping you won't necessarily need one unless you feel the need. I never wear mine unless going over solid fences. I find it very restrictive for every day.

If you particularly wanted long riding boots try Go Outdoors where they stock some relatively inexpensive and perfectly serviceable long boots for everyday wear. Nothing wrong with half chaps but they can be a bit of a faff.

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makemepretty17 · 23/06/2017 17:31

I'm in my 30s and only started at the beginning of the year- so you're not alone! I'm hooked too.
I rented hats until a few weeks ago, when I knew I was in for the long haul. Make sure that whatever you buy, it is PAS105 approved, as a lot of riding schools won't let you ride without that accreditation. My hat cost around £60.
Jodphurs- just bought them off amazon.
Boots- my school recommended Chelsea style boots (Tuffa- about £40), and chaps (£20) rather than a full length boot as you have more flexibility and feel, but I think I'll be getting myself some boots for winter.
I haven't thought about a body protector yet, and no one at my school is using them yet, so might be worth waiting for a bit on that one.
Would love to hear how you are finding the experience, I am cross with myself that I didn't take it up when I was younger, as I feel at a disadvantage, and sometimes feel I'm taking a long time to learn the basics. I'm working on cantering at the moment, can get a horse into it, but having trouble sustaining it round the school.

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Pixel · 24/06/2017 22:38

Just in case you DO want a body protector and happen to have big boobs, I was recommended an Airowear one which I had fitted and must admit it does the job and I now tend to forget I'm wearing it. Good thing is it makes the sports bra redundant as everything is held in anyway!
I've just got my son some jodhpur boots from Decathlon. They were just over £20 (did collection from ASDA for free) and for the money they are a nice basic everyday boot. Half chaps can be picked up fairly cheaply but I find that wearing long riding socks under my jodhs helps stop the leathers pinching as well. Very important is to wear comfy knickers. Avoid lacy bits or anything resembling a thong or you will regret it.
You might treat yourself to some proper gloves as well, they start at a few pounds for a lightweight summer pair, as some reins (plaited leather or rubber) can sometimes make your hands sore if you are not used to them, and plain leather can be a bit slippery if you get caught in the rain.

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user0000012378 · 25/06/2017 20:46

Thanks for all the replies & suggestions!

I live in Newmarket so there's plenty of riding shops around that I'm going to go get my head measured for a hat. Riding in the weather we've been having recently with a borrowed hat was very unpleasant, kept thinking of everyone else's sweaty heads being in it lol! I've found a Harry hall one for a reasonable price that I like so going to check out a few shops nearby.

Picked up a nice pair of jodhpurs from sports direct the other day. Currently having a look at jodhpur boots & half chaps (thanks for that suggestion as didn't think of rubbing!) and yes to suitable underwear! My crotch was rather painful after wearing the wrong sort on my first lesson Blush

@makemepretty17 I'm really really enjoying it at the moment, I also wish I started at a younger age! I felt a bit silly on my first lesson with children half my size whizzing about & me not even knowing how to get on BlushI also thought the lessons were going to ease me in a bit more, with being led around etc, but within 5 mins of my first lesson (& first ever time on a horse) I was off trotting by myself lol! They were very strict too & I've been told off a few times if I haven't learnt something quick enough haha. The rising trot rhythm I found hard to master, not yet done any cantering. How are you finding it? Cantering kind of makes me nervous! Went for a hack the other day which was nice. Already wanting my own horse Grin

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makemepretty17 · 26/06/2017 07:26

I'm feeling a bit stuck on the canter at the moment, probably because I'm still a bit nervous about that speed. In my last lesson, I was given a horse that really needed me to ask it to canter (as opposed to one that would go at the slightest indication), and I got into it a few times, but couldn't sustain it for long enough to really get into the rhythm. Before my lessons, I'm always telling myself to relax, make myself long and loose etc. But as soon as I'm there and there's so much to think about I tense up! I'm counting beats in my head, trying to steer, making sure I'm sitting properly, hoping my legs are in the right place, on and on! I do think I'm improving, I don't lose stirrups any more like I did the first few lessons, I can easily ask for trot and I'm much for in control of steering when I'm in trot, and transitions between halt/ walk/ trot are much better.
I wish I was one of those natural riders that could really understand and feel the horse below me, to feel in sync with it, but I feel that's a long way off...

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RiojaHaze · 26/06/2017 16:11

I'm in my 30s and I've just started again after a twenty year gap!

I got a child's helmet which was a lot cheaper, and managed to find a great pair of full length boots on eBay for a fiver which look hardly worn.

I've just started jumping so getting a body protector, but also riders insurance which is a fiver a month but I'm a single parent and if I hurt myself falling and can't work, it covers me!

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user0000012378 · 27/06/2017 13:23

@makemepretty17 I know what you mean about having difficulty in getting the horse to go, I had the same problem but with trotting on one horse. He just really didn't want to go, and when he finally would it only lasted a couple of paces before he slowed down again. Last lesson I had a brilliant horse that would go into trot with a minimal tap, made all the difference and I could just focus on the rhythm. I also get overwhelmed with so many things to think about. I concentrate so hard on rhythm and position, I forget about where I'm leading him 🙈 we'll get there!

I have a lesson tonight, but it's pouring down here with really bad thunder and lightening, do the lessons still run in this type of weather?! Hopefully it eases off before then as I'm eager to get back on

@RiojaHaze oo how are you finding it? How many lessons did you have before you started jumping? Think I might get a body protector when I start jumping, although it feels like that'll be a long way off! Didn't even think about riders insurance tbh, but then again I don't have children, but can see it's definitely worth it in your case if it's only £5 a month!

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noitsnotteattimeyet · 27/06/2017 13:54

Definitely get gloves - dd rides several times a week but didn't wear her gloves yesterday when riding a very feisty pony and the reins rubbed so badly she's got open sores between two of her fingers ...

She didn't get a body protector until she started jumping - she hates wearing it but her current instructor says it's non-negotiable!

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RiojaHaze · 27/06/2017 16:13

@makemepretty17 I'd been on a couple of treks, nothing major.
Everyone said "oh they'll just out poles down on the floor for you to trot over" but after a warm up we went straight out into the paddock on proper jumps! I spent most of it worrying but I totally loved it.

I just found it hard to remember everything - legs, feet, arms, head...luckily I had a beaut of a horse who didn't jump a couple of times and the instructor said this was because he knew I wasn't in the best position and would've fallen if he'd jumped.
I'm obsessed and want a horse of my own already!

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Butkin1 · 27/06/2017 17:36

OP - we live there too. I recommend Alan's Ark just off bypass in Soham (opposite Scampers) for well priced and well fitted hats. They do lots of other tack and clothes as well. Also visit Dawn's Tack Box for well priced clothing - in the estate next to Matalan in BSE.

We got our boots and hats from Gibsons which are more expensive but good brands/quality. I think jod boots and chaps/long riding socks will be good for the summer and then you can think about some quality long boots (with zips up back) for the Winter. If you buy smartish black ones you'll be able to compete in them as well.

We wear BPs whenever we jump. DD wears hers just for general hacking as we tend to have babies... Where are you having lessons? What are you hoping to do riding wise?

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user0000012378 · 04/07/2017 08:26

@Butkin1 Oh I didn't know there was an Alan's Ark in Soham, I know there is one in fulbourn. I'll have to go check it out at the weekend. Thank you for your suggestions. Not totally sure what I want to do riding wise - I started thinking it'll be nice to go on a couple of gentle hacks etc, but I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed it and how much I want to progress! Definitely want to start jumping, but I suppose that will be a long way off if I've only just started

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