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What Should I Get for Lessons?

We've put together a list of basic suggestions for helpful items as you get started on your riding journey.  Please note these are not required purchases, and Bennett Farms is not affiliated with and does not receive payment for any of the suggested items linked below.  We encourage you to conduct your own pricing comparisons online and explore consignment options for all budgets.  Our trainers are always available to provide more purchasing guidance.

The Starter
Monthly Riding

If you're just getting started with riding, the best thing to focus on is your safety!  We recommend starting with these three items: 



Horseback riding is a high risk sport, and equestrian helmets are specifically designed specifically to protect riders.  Helmets designed for other sports like skateboarding or bike riding don't provide proper protection for equestrian sports.


Ovation and Troxel are two brands we recommend that can be found in local tack stores and online retailers.  


Paddock boots and cowboy boots are the only type of footwear allowed in the barn for safety reasons.  Paddock boots are low, leather boots that either zip, slip, or tie on.  We prefer the zipper or pull-on paddock boots as they allow your ankles more freedom of movement.

Ariat and TuffRider are two brands we recommend that can be found in local tack stores and online retailers.  Secondhand boots may be available on consignment as a budgetary consideration.


Sneakers, work boots, and fashion boots are not allowed as they have a wider body with larger tread that can get caught in the stirrups and result in injury.  Tall English riding boots are not recommended for the type of riding we teach at Bennett Farms.



Gloves will protect your fingers from blisters or sore spots when handling the reins, and will provide better grip to ensure the best control during your ride. 

Heritage and Roeckl are two brands we recommend that can be found in local tack stores and online retailers.


The Regular
Weekly Riding

You're riding more often, now what?  As you come to the barn weekly, you may want to consider the below items to make your lessons even better:  

Stirrup Leathers

The length of your adjustable stirrup leathers depends on your height and leg length, so not everyone has the same setting!  To ensure you have the right length every time, consider getting your own leathers that easily slip on and off our lesson saddles.  Our guidelines are to look for real leather (not faux), 1 inch wide, in brown or Havana color, in the adjustable length that suits you:

  • Adults: 52”, 54", 60”

  • Children: 48" (42" for the littlest)

Leathers are available in a wide price range depending on your needs, from Gatsby to Perfection to Freedman's.

Stirrup Irons

Just how the leathers are matched to your height, the irons are matched to your foot! The general rule is that your stirrup irons should be one inch wider than the width of your boot at the ball of the foot, giving you a half inch of room on either side when your boot is in the stirrup.

Irons are available in 1/4" increments, and the most common widths are:

  • Adults: 4.25", 4.5", 4.75", 5.00"

  • Children: 3.5", 4.00", 4.25"


Irons are also available in a range of prices, Tough1 is a good starting point, moving up to Shelby Horse Supply and MDC S 


Chafing and bunching up?  No thanks!  Riding jods are designed to stretch with your movement, protect against rubbing, and give you some grip on a smooth leather saddle. We prefer the long bell “Kentucky” jods as they lengthen your profile and are specific for saddle seat.  Bootcut jods work as well as they are worn over our shorter boots. 

Kerrits and Freedman's offer great over the boot options with comfortable stretch for a day at the barn.  Secondhand jods can be found on consignment for budgetary consideration. 

The Barn Bum
Daily Riding

The suggested items for daily riding will be different depending on whether you ride with a lesson horse, lease a horse, or own a horse.  We recommend working with your trainer for all of the below decisions.


Saddleseat and Western saddles are available in different sizes and construction, with varying performance and comfort options.  Due to their durability saddles are often bought secondhand and can last many years.  Saddles feature a metal plate with your name on them.

Saddle Pad:

Saddle pads sit under the saddle and protects your horse's back from rubbing and pinching while under saddle.  Saddle pads can be embroidered with your name or your horse's name.

Saddle Gel or Foam Pad:

This additional padding will work with your horse's anatomy and saddle shape to provide the best protection for your horse while under saddle.

Grooming Tools:

Brushes, sprays, combs, picks, soaps, sponges, cloths, and medicines help you ensure your horse is taken care of with the best hygienic practices.


A leather halter with a brass name plate ensures your halter stays with your horse and you don't have to try on 3 barn ones to get the right size!


Work with your trainer to determine what type of bridle and bit works best for your discipline and your horse's needs.



The Showstopper
Competitive Riding

There are so many things to learn about showing horses!  To make it easier, we've broken it down into bite-sized pieces on our Show With Us page.  Everything from budgeting, class guides, and apparel tips.  Check it out below!

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