If you don’t wear horse riding gloves, you should. When you have a horse who likes to pull on the reigns, your hands can end up badly chaffed and blistered. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, you need to wear riding gloves.
Over the centuries horse riding gloves have been used by countless riders. The reason being their ability to shield a rider’s hands from the reigns and the elements. Riding gloves also help enormously with the grip. And if you still a need a little push, consider this:
Riding gloves have an aura of sophistication around them. They look trendy, no matter the season.
What are Horse Riding Gloves?
Horse riding gloves are, as the name implies, gloves that you use for riding. They are mostly used in the show ring where a polished appearance is important. They look just like regular gloves with some cosmetic changes.
For starters, they are skinnier than regular gloves.
In addition to their use in the show ring, riding gloves protect your hands from getting blistered and chaffed when handling reigns, lead ropes, and doing other yard work. Some gloves for horse riding specialize in providing protection against the weather.
When it comes to materials, horse riding gloves employ a number of different fabrics. Leather, Cotton, and mesh are some of the more common ones. Each different type of fabric offers its own set of advantages. For instance, mesh is quite breathable, so it is the material of choice for summer months. On the other hand, Leather is perfect for the winter.
And speaking of the winter, here’s our list of the best horse winter blankets to keep your buddy warm.
How to Choose the Right Horse Riding Gloves?
The first thing you need to consider before getting horse riding gloves is the thing you are going to be using them for. Are your gloves for fieldwork or for dressage? The glove you choose depends on the answer to this question.
The rest is simply a matter of personal preferences.
Ask any experienced rider about what to look for when buying horseback riding gloves and you’ll get this:
Never compromise on comfort.
Your riding gloves should be comfortable to wear. This means they should fit snugly; not too tight nor too loose.
Furthermore, they should be made from a material that is also comfortable to wear. Most high-quality leather gloves are comfortable to wear if you break them in first. By breaking them in, I mean you should wear them a couple of times before using them for riding.
Breathability might seem like a trivial factor to consider, but it’s one of the most important ones. You see, when you hold the reins tightly, your hands will naturally sweat and the perspiration will make it really hard to properly hold the reins. Plus, if you sweat too much, you’ll end up ruining your gloves.
Breathability becomes quite an important factor in show gloves. When you are riding in a competition, it is crucial that you have a firm grip on the reins… and sweat will get in the way of that.
Similarly, in summer months, you cannot go without a breathable pair of gloves and they simply become a necessity.
To ensure a secure fit, many horse riding gloves come with a wrist closure. On some of the gloves, the closure is a buckle. On others, it’s a Velcro. In all its forms, a wrist closure is a sweet thing to have.
Wrist closures make it pretty easy to put the gloves on and off. They also make sure the glove fits your hand as a glove should.
Finally, you need to figure out the season you are going to be wearing the gloves in.
For summer, get a pair of gloves that are light and breathable.
In winter, you need to protect your hands from the harsh weather. So get a pair with added insulation. Try to get water-proof equestrian gloves as they will keep the warmth and the water out.
In the end, do plenty of research before buying a pair. A good pair should last you quite a while. So consider these gloves as an investment and don’t cheap out.
The 7 Best Horse Riding Gloves
Now that you know what to look for in an Equestrian riding glove, it is about time I introduced the best riding gloves for horses. These gloves have been selected because of their superior quality.
Here are the best horse riding gloves:
1. Heritage Performance Gloves
The Heritage Performance Gloves are one of the sleekest horseback riding gloves I’ve ever seen. Heritage Products did a good job making them. These gloves are made from synthetic leather and are rated for use in all weather conditions. They have got a patented rein cut design which helps with grip. Other notable things about these include a double stitched outward seam and Spandura which provides a comfortable fit.
The fit and finish of the Heritage Performance Gloves are top-notch. They fit snuggly and look great. Though you’d expect it to just be a marketing gimmick, the rein cut design actually works and provides plenty of grip to handle the reins. Moreover, the Spandura material is quite comfortable. All in all, these gloves pose no problem on longer rides.
Having said that, these gloves aren’t meant to be used in extreme weather conditions. Sure, they will work fine in a drizzle but don’t expect them to work as fine in a downpour. Similarly, they aren’t winter horseback riding gloves as well.
2. SSG Winter Rancher Gloves
If you are looking for leather horse riding gloves you should take a look at Winter Rancher Gloves from SSG. The outer surface of these gloves is made from 100% deer leather while the inside is lined with fleece. These gloves offer a gun cut finger design and they are also elasticized for easy on and off.
For starters, these work great in winter. They fit snugly and the fleece lining keeps the hands warm. At the same time, the deerskin outer surface is soft and flexible. This allows these gloves to be more than just horse riding gloves. The gun cut finger design is quite good and addresses a common concern for winter gloves because on winter gloves, the fingers are always too damn long!
Fortunately, these have shorter fingers that work great.
The first of two things which I don’t like about these gloves is that they aren’t waterproof. Secondly, these gloves don’t provide as much grip as some of the other entries on this list. So you have to hold the reins a wee bit tighter than usual.
3. Kids Horse Riding Gloves by Mashfa
Mashfa’s Kids Horse Riding Gloves are a good choice if you are looking for a kid-glove that can do more than just horse riding. These are made from a stretchable synthetic fiber. The velcro straps on the wrists are there to ensure a snug fit. Plus, Mashfa says it reinforced the forefinger, the pinky, and the thumb to provide improved grip to hold the reins.
Firstly, these are great horse riding gloves for the summer and spring. They are comfortable, snug, and perform quite well in horse riding. The insides of these gloves are made from Ammara fabric. It provides a reasonable amount of grip for holding the reins. The outside is lined with Foreway fabric. This fabric is breathable and is thus great for summer/spring riding.
The sizing, however, is a little off. They run bigger than advertised. So, definitely pay attention to that while ordering.
4. Heritage Premier Show Gloves
If you are after a pair of great show gloves, give the Heritage Premier a look. These horse riding gloves are made from, what Heritage calls, Microtech synthetic leather. This fabric offers superior grip and breathability. The stretchable flex panel present on the knuckles offers a comfortable fit. Oh, and the critical seams have double stitches to help the gloves last longer.
Heritage Premier Show Gloves are a great pair that’s incredibly lightweight– a must-have feature for showing. Complementing the lightweight nature is the porous surface of the gloves. As a result, these gloves are pretty breathable. which is great for summer shows. The rein cut design works in tandem with the stretchable flex panel on the knuckles and creates a comfortable surface that offers a great grip.
One downside of being a show glove is that they don’t hold up well in day to day use. But to be fair to the people at Heritage, these gloves aren’t meant to last. Similarly, they are in no shape or form a winter riding glove. So, keep that in mind.
5. ALLNESS INC Equestrian Riding Gloves
This equestrian riding glove is specially designed for the ladies. ALLNESS INC claims the gloves to be suitable for both day-to-day use and for showing. The gloves are made from synthetic leather. The use of synthetic leather ensures they fit great, are comfortable, and last longer. The gloves boast a double stitched outer seam, pores for increased breathability, and a Velcro strap to adjust the fit.
When it comes to ALLNESS INC Equestrian Riding Gloves, most claims made by the manufacturer are true. The gloves do fit great and are quite breathable. Moreover, the index finger, the thumb, and the pinky are reinforced to provide additional grip. And truth be told, they provide an awesome grip as well. Also, kudos to ALLNESS INC for making them so light.
The overall durability of this pair is nice. However, the Velcro strap leaves much to be desired. It functions well but doesn’t look like it will hold.
6. SSG Work n’ Horse Lined Gloves
Finally, for folks who do a lot of fieldwork in addition to riding, SSG Work n’ Horse Lined Gloves will be a good bet. The gloves are made from genuine leather and are lined with fleece. Also, they have an adjustable snap closure on the wrist which ensures a snug fit.
These gloves are great if you do fieldwork and also love to ride. Genuine leather in conjunction with a lined interior keeps the gloves warm even in the harsh winter climate. Moreover, if you follow the sizing instructions when ordering, they’ll fit great. And they are also quite durable–perfect for outdoor work and perfect for horse riding, just like a pair of well-made custom gloves.
As good as these gloves are, SSG still has a few things to improve. First up is the length of the cuff which is a bit short. Secondly, they could have been a little warmer.
7. Finger Ten Horse Riding Gloves (for kids)
Horse Riding Gloves by Finger Ten is what’s created when you take quality adult equestrian riding gloves and shrink them down a notch. That’s why these are one of the leading horse riding gloves for kids. Finger Ten, the company behind these, makes these with a synthetic fiber named Serino. They carry elastic wrists for a good fit and are rated by the manufacturer as all-season gloves.
Overall the gloves are quite good. The Serino fabric makes the gloves comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. And as a bonus, the fabric doesn’t add too much bulk either. In a similar fashion, the phrase “fit like a glove” is truly applicable here. These gloves are all-season which means your kids can ride with these throughout the year.
One thing that I feel could be improved is their sizing chart. For the most part, the sizing is spot on but there is still room for improvement in this regard.
FAQs About Horse Riding Gloves
So, there you have it, people. In this article, I tried reviewing the best horse riding gloves in the market. But before you make the purchase, you might have a few questions in your head.
So for that, I’ve added this section on some of the most commonly asked questions on the topic.
How to Assess the fitting of your horse riding gloves?
Here’s how you can assess the fitting of your horse riding gloves. Manufacturers use two ways to measure sizes:
- Half-inch increments
- Universal sizing
In half-inch increments, the size of the gloves increases in an increment of half inches. For instance, the glove sizes can be 6.5, 7, or 7.5 inches.
When it comes to universal sizing, a range is defined. The range of sizing is then put in a size bracket. Common size brackets are S = small, M = medium, and L = large.
Both of the above schemes require that you measure your hands in inches. To do that follow these guidelines:
- Wrap a fabric measure tape around your knuckles excluding the thumb and measure the inches
- Round the measurement to the nearest half-inch. For example, if the measurement is 6.3 inches, take it as 6.5
Now for half-inch sizing, this measurement directly corresponds to the glove size. For universal sizing, the brackets mentioned above usually contain the following inch measurements:
|S||6.5 – 7 inches|
|M||7.5 – 8 inches|
|L||8.5 – 9 inches|
With that said, make sure you check the sizing chart for the manufacturer you’re buying from.
Is it important to have riding gloves?
Yes, it is quite important to have horse riding gloves. If you ride without riding gloves, that will result in:
- Your hands getting chaffed and blistered
- Difficulty in gripping the reins
- Your hands freezing without gloves in the winter and getting sunburnt in the summer
So it is best if you get a pair of quality gloves for horse riding.
What is the right material for horse riding gloves?
The right material for most horse riding gloves is leather. It is as close to the perfect riding glove material as it could get. A quality leather glove will not only be warm, but it will also be extremely durable provided you take good care of it. Leather also adapts to the shape of your hand, so it makes sense to get a leather glove if you are just starting out.
Having said that, the right material for horse riding gloves varies from person to person. There is no universal right material here and it all depends on your personal use and preference.
However, if you don’t want leather, you can find good gloves made from synthetic fibers like Spandex and Lycra. These gloves fit pretty well and are also lightweight.
Can I wash my riding gloves?
Generally, you can wash your riding gloves. You should prefer hand washing, but you can also machine wash them. After washing, however, let your riding gloves air dry. Do not iron or wring them. If you try to dry them any other way, most leather gloves will be destroyed. So, hand-wash or machine-wash your horse riding gloves and then air-dry them.