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The Matching Riding Gear Trend

Matching riding gear
Photo by Skumer/Shutterstock

You probably already know which colors bring out the best in your horse’s shiny chestnut, bay, gray or spotted coloring—maybe you’re even getting quite a collection going of saddle pads, boots and shirts that coordinate. If so, you’re already on board the matchy-matchy trend of matching riding gear!

This is the latest fashion trend for horses that has been sweeping tack stores across the nation. It seems everyone is crazy for coordinated looks with matching gear. Most brands now offer sets that you can buy together or separately so that your pads and polos always match. If you can find a riding shirt to go with your horse’s “outfit,” you’ll add even more pop.

How to Get Started

If you haven’t started matching your riding gear yet but want to get started, the easiest way is usually with white or black. Most English and western riders have a black or white pad and boots for their horse, and probably a shirt as well. Just bring them all out for the same ride, and voila! You’re now officially matchy-matchy.

For the full look, combine a saddle pad, fly bonnet and polo wraps that are made to match. Shown: SmartPak Luxe collection.

If you have some colorful shirts and pads that match pretty well, see if you can find a set of polo wraps or (if you ride western) sports medicine boots in a similar color. The look doesn’t have to be exact to have the right effect when onlookers see how much effort you put into dressing up your horse like a handsome fashionista!

Next Level

If you want to take your look beyond the basics, think about a color that is opposite your horse’s coat on the color wheel. For example, a palomino shade is across from navy blue, meaning this color will really make him stand out and look great. But whatever color you love that looks good on your horse is fine—the great thing is there are no rules. If you want hot pink on your chestnut mare, go for it!

If you have your heart set on a proper matching set from the same brand, think about asking for it as a birthday or holiday gift. There are some super fun and funky options to choose from, like patterns and ombre.

You can get as creative as you like with the two-tone looks coming out now. Shown: Weatherbeeta Prime Ombre collection.

Just remember, there’s no wrong way to be matchy-matchy. As long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.

This article about matching riding gear appeared in the November 2021 Mini Digital issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Holly Caccamise

Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider since 2007, and in August 2019, she took over as head editor. She’s been instrumental in the production of both magazines and helped Horse Illustrated win a 2018 American Horse Publications Media Award in the General Excellence Self-Supported Publication (circulation 15,000 and over) category. Before getting involved in the editorial side of print media, she worked as an award-winning ad copywriter for Thoroughbred Times magazine. Caccamise has her MS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, where she studied equine nutrition and exercise physiology, and her Bachelor’s from UCLA in Biology. Caccamise has also worked as a research assistant, horse camp counselor teaching riding and vaulting, and as a top-level show groom in the eventing world, where she continues to compete her horse, Artie, at the lower levels.


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