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Dd11 beginner, what kit does she need

36 replies

Starmer · 15/09/2020 09:35

Hello. DD is nearly 11 and has just started riding, which she loves. She has some jodhpurs, and the riding school provides a hat and back protector. Her birthday is coming up soon and I was thinking of getting her some kit.

The other children in her group have crops (with horses heads, apparently- much envy from Dd!!) but I was also thinking about boots as she’s currently wearing wellies.

Any thoughts / recommendations would be great. I always wanted to ride when I was younger, and so it’s lovely to see how enthusiastic she is!

OP posts:
britnay · 15/09/2020 09:46

Jodphur boots and her own hat. Make sure she gets properly fitted for her hat at a tack shop as different brands will be slightly differently shaped to fit different head shapes. The wrong shaped hat could be very uncomfortable and be more likely to come off in a fall.

hradvice · 15/09/2020 09:51

I'd get her her own back protector too - shared ones can get quite manky. How about some riding gloves too? Memories of icy winter riding fingers!!

Floralnomad · 15/09/2020 09:56

Her own hat is really the priority , other things would be jodhpurs boots , half chaps , riding tights ( really comfortable) . I wouldn’t worry about a body protector until she’s more proficient particularly if she can borrow one from the school .

Starmer · 15/09/2020 10:00

Brilliant - thank you!

We could get the hat after her birthday, but could get boots to wrap up. Any particular makes people would recommend?

And the much desired crop??

OP posts:
maxelly · 15/09/2020 10:01

Yes a short riding crop would be a useful addition esp if the school doesn't provide one (just make sure her instructor shows her how to hold and use it if she's not used to riding with one), and some proper riding boots will improve her lower leg 'feel' and stability compared to riding in wellies - you can buy these second hand off ebay or similar, either short leather jodhpur boots (with or without the addition of half-chaps, the ones that come up to the knee) or rubber/plastic long boots. Later on you could get her some proper leather long boots which most adults wear but they are a bit pricey for children/beginners as they'll only get grown out of!

Other things you could look at getting her are some riding gloves (wool magic gloves are fine and very cheap), her own hat and jockey silk (there's another recent thread on here on the benefits of having your own properly fitted hat vs borrowing from riding school), maybe her own mini grooming kit if she's allowed/encouraged to brush off her pony before/after her lessons - you could probably get a body brush, plastic curry comb, hoof pick and a little bag to put it in for £10-£15 or so... I think even if in reality the school look after the ponies fully, I always like to instil in beginner riders the concept that you always look after your pony first after a ride, so making sure girths are loosened (untacked if appropriate), pony gets taken back to stable/stall, has clean water, is brushed off and made comfortable and so on, all before you get your own drink, take your hat off etc. I understand why they do it but I don't like riding schools where helpers rush up and the kids just hand over their ponies after their lesson, to me it's just as important to learn the fundamentals of care as it is to learn to ride. You could look at getting her a book on pony care, it's a bit old-fashioned but something like the pony club manual on horsemanship would be good or I am sure there are plenty of others on the market?

Floralnomad · 15/09/2020 10:06

@maxelly , we must mix in different circles , practically all the adults I know wear jodhpurs boots and half chaps unless they are at a show .

maxelly · 15/09/2020 10:54

@Floralnomad maybe! There definitely did seem to be more of a fashion for chaps or gaiters round this way a few years ago and some of the youngsters/teens still seem to go for jod boots and long colourful socks pulled up to the knee (is this meant to be more comfy than chaps or is it purely fashion? Just looks a bit chilly to me!) but us oldies seem to be back on the long boots for the most part (not talking lovely shiny dressage/showing boots here, more old comfy saggy battered up leather or those yard-boot style leather-look ones)? Odd how fashions come and go - even the kids don't seem to wear just the jod boots any more, most do have chaps (or they have the plastic long boots) whereas when mine were little (admittedly a while back!) I think they'd have looked a bit Hmm at anyone turning up to PC in chaps as just jods and short boots were de rigeur!

Pleasedontdothat · 15/09/2020 10:55

Definitely jodhpur boots - horseware, shires and brogini are all good mid-range brands (save the ariats for when her feet have stopped growing!). Dd usually gets zip on ones as she has long, narrow feet and find they give her the best fit. Pair the boots with half chaps and she’ll look very smart - dd used these ones for years.

Personally I wouldn’t bother with a body protector until she starts jumping as they can interfere with her position - they’re also expensive and she will grow out of it quickly.

Her own hat is a must and much nicer than sharing manky riding school ones, however much they’ve been disinfected between riders!

All the girls at the yard wear riding tights instead of jodhpurs - the young teens’ brand of choice round here at the moment is Aztec diamond equestrian.

Also gloves (with a decent palm grip - don’t have to be expensive) and long socks to keep her toes warm in winter make good little presents/stocking fillers.

And if you get her a short crop, get it in a distinctive colour as they tend to drop them at the side of the arena/in the tack room/outside the stable and then you’ll never see it again ...

lastqueenofscotland · 15/09/2020 11:03

Yes to boots and her own hat.
I’d not buy a growing child ariats!
I have a surprisingly good cheap pair from Horze which I use for day to day riding and they hold up amazing well for the price. I’ve had them about a year and they really have held up amazingly.

RatherBeRiding · 15/09/2020 17:31

Definitely own hat and boots (if she's growing quickly then Ebay is a good source of jod boots/half chaps.). Decent gloves.

I'd really not bother at all with a body protector unless/until she starts doing cross-country - i have only ever worn one for XC as I detest them all with a passion and find they really interfere with balance and position. Having said that, the "jockey" style ones are miles better than the rigid ones. Much comfier to wear and they don't get in the way half as much.

Starmer · 16/09/2020 09:09

Thanks again. Ideas for Christmas now too (though not the pony she requested rather optimistically!)

OP posts:
justdontatme · 16/09/2020 09:12

Our riding stables won’t let you use a crop until the instructor has deemed you competent!

My kids (12 & 9, been riding for about 18m), tell me that everyone has their own nummah which they bring to their lessons, & some have their own head collars too - I suppose this depends on whether the kid does the tacking/untacking, which they do at our stables. Also tack cleaning kits, & those hat covers with ridiculous pom-poms...

justdontatme · 16/09/2020 09:14

Oh, their own high vis for hacking out.

Mumsnut · 16/09/2020 09:18


historyrocks · 17/09/2020 20:32

Yes to all the kids having the huge Pom Pom silks. They go mad for Le Mieux
It’s very expensive. DD tells me that all her friends have Le Mieux face masks!

justdontatme · 17/09/2020 21:22

My 12 year old was carefully showing me the Le Mieux website today & telling me which colours the other kids have!

LaPufalina · 18/09/2020 06:39

Yes, I'm back pony-owning for the first time in 25 years (for my 3yo this time! I loan "my" horse rather than owning him). Le mieux has its own Facebook selling groups and discontinued colours can go for a lot. I looked for a hat silk with pompom in a "temp out of stock" colour and it went for £60 on eBay Shock
I've seen lots about riding tights, what's the difference? The fabric?

Floralnomad · 18/09/2020 09:03

Riding tights are just way more comfortable than jodhpurs , you should definitely try some

Pleasedontdothat · 18/09/2020 09:10

@LaPufalina riding tights are stretchier, more like gym leggings than jodhpurs/breeches - they often have a sticky bum to stop you sliding around in the saddle. My leggy teen dd lives in them - they look fabulous on her but I don’t think they’re very forgiving if you’re older/larger.

Secondhand LeMieux can go for more than it cost new 😯. DD’s got a saddle pad in a discontinued colour which doesn’t fit her new saddle. She’s hanging onto it for a few more months as the rarer it gets, the more she can charge 😳

At the riding school where dd works lots of the younger ones turn up with their own saddle pads and head collars and dressed head to toe in Ariat - dd is quite bemused 😉

LaPufalina · 18/09/2020 12:17

Ok thanks! I'll check them out. I'm 41/size 10 so would probably carry them off (just)! Grin

IpanemaFlowers · 21/09/2020 17:18

Just jumping on the thread to ask about Gatehouse Conquest MK11 riding hats for a 12 year old? It what the riding school recommended but it seems a bit pricey. She’s a beginner since last year but very keen.

Happydaysforever123 · 21/09/2020 17:29

Take her to a shop with a good selection to have it fitted. The best hat is to current safety standards and fits well. Gatehouse are a good make but it needs to be fitted to your daughter.

IpanemaFlowers · 22/09/2020 07:01

Thank you, there is one is in the next town so will over at the weekend.

MrsBooks · 11/10/2020 22:50

If you're still looking, Decathlon have a great equestrian range at very good prices, horse and rider equipment!

Any1846399 · 03/11/2020 11:22

The correct footwear is so important and your own profesionally fitted hat is a must. You don't know how many knocks a riding school hat has had, or when it might slide forward (not having the benefit of rolls of kitchen roll painstakingly folded to fit your child's head!).

Gloves (riding gloves can be bought so cheaply) are essential.

The crop is unnecessary! If she needs a crop it will be provided. If she isn't given one she shouldn't really be using it. But a lovely ridiculously coloured silk is very nice to have (I am fending off requests for spiderman!). Having your own numnah without the pony seems ridiculous given the trials we have gone through to get a numnah that supported the saddle. I feel sorry for riding school ponies having to chop and change all the time.

My DD wears Bella Rose riding leggings with chaps and short boots. She couldn't get on with long boots (affected her leg position) but does love chaps which give much needed ankle support.

DD has a back protector and while I can see there is a lovely fluidity to riding without it, you feel very differently after a fall and your child is having an MRI scan, even with the back protector. Safety equipment should be fitted to the child and should have a known history, like a car seat. Borrowing someone else's isn't really good enough.

Etsy do gorgeous equestrian hoodies that can be personalised.

If she's riding in all weathers, a base layer top and waterproof riding jacket are important.

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