My first recommendation for riding during the summer is protect your skin from the sun, duh! Start with a wide-brim helmet or visor to keep the sun off your face. I ride in a GPA First Lady (I do not have the 2X) that has a wide brim. This helmet shades my eyes very well, although the brim is not so wide as to offer complete protection from the sun. I am looking at adding a visor to the mix for extra sun protection–I am leaning toward a Soless visor, but also considering a jute Equivisor.
I’ve thrown together a few outfits that are typical of my summer riding attire, all intended to help me stay cool. Or, at least, less hot.
Romfh Sarafina Euro Seat Breeches & EIS COOL Shirt
Finding the right balance of staying cool, or really just not too hot at this point, and sun protection is the key to summer riding attire. Lightweight, synthetic-blend Icefil fabric tops absolutely rule the roost of equestrian summer shirts. I have two favorites, Equi In Style and Kastel Denmark, and I have almost an embarrassing number of tops in each brand. EIS features bright colors and stiff collars that stay upright, and a straight fit that works for my body. While retail can seem steep, I have frequently found these shirts on sale, or at a store that accepts coupon codes on EIS shirts. I’ve never actually paid $96 for one. The Tack Room Online periodically sends out generous coupon codes, and a few of my EIS shirts have come from them. I definitely suggest subscribing to their email list.
Romfh Sarafina breeches are new-to-me and I just picked up a pair in Sea Glass. I LOVE this perfectly peacock shade and they look great with my brown Ariats. I have been hunting for a reasonably-priced alternative to Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunters–haven’t we all–and these are superior to Trophy Hunters in a few ways. The first is the price–retail around $150 and well under the Trophy Hunter price tag of $190. The second is the fabric. Stretchy, soft, sporty, wicks sweat to an extent, conforms to my shape without clinging, conforms to my waist without gapping, and smooth sock bottoms instead of Velcro … so many features about this fabric make me prefer it to the Trophy Hunter fabric. The cut of these breeches suits the hunter/jumper aesthetic, and the color offerings will satisfy both those who prefer traditional palettes and riders who like brighter colors that pop. The fit is even a bit generous, so if you are in between sizes, size down instead of up. The white and tan are show-worthy, and this will not be my only pair of Sarafinas for very long.
Goode Rider Legacy Knee Patch Breeches & Kastel Denmark Short Sleeve Polo
I have already reviewed the Goode Rider Legacy breeches, and my feelings for them run deep. The styling, fabric, and fit suit me, and they transition from schooling to showing easily. Please make them in white, Goode Rider! They are a great summer-weight breech and I highly recommend them. I purchased two pair from Adams Horse and Pet Supply, a fantastic tack shop in Maine with excellent customer service and a great selection. I want to visit Maine solely for the purpose of visiting this place in person.
For my birthday, I got a couple of the Kastel Denmark short sleeve polos. While they do not offer the same sun protection as their long sleeve shirts, the fabric is the same–that wonderful Icefil. The fabric is silkier than the EIS fabric (not all Icefils are equal) and the collars are less stiff. The fit of Kastel shirts is contoured and extremely figure-flattering, so if you are shapelier than I am these might be the way to go for you. Their color palette is extensive and sophisticated. The vibrant purple they came out with recently looks great with grey, taupe, or blue breeches. And it makes me happy. The power of color is real, y’all.
One Horse Threads Tank & Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunter Breeches
Ugh. Y’all. I have a very Brokeback relationship with Trophy Hunters. We are all familiar with them, so I’ll just leave it at that.
What I CAN get excited about are the tank tops from One Horse Threads. For those of you sun worshippers who fear no tans, One Horse Threads tanks tops need to get in your closet. If I know I will be riding when the sun is low enough on the horizon to be less oppressive, I forgo the Icefil and throw on a tank top like the one above.
One last piece that has quickly become a staple for my summer riding is the Asmar Equestrian Logo Long Sleeve Tee.
I have a kelly green one, and I just saw a plum color that is not on the website yet, but I WANT IT. You want one of these shirts, too, if you live in a hot climate. This thing wicks sweat like you wouldn’t believe. The humidity here was Houston% recently, and this shirt kept me dry dry dry. Not kidding. My only regret is that I didn’t believe Amanda–I should have got one of these a long time ago.
Other great products appearing in this post are:
Spur Belt, purchased from Equestri Lifestyle, Baseball hat from Luxe Eq, & Ariat Heritage Contour Field Boots
What do you wear while riding in the summer? Does anyone have any good over-the-counter face sunscreen recommendations for people with sensitive and temperamental skin?