If you’re wondering what to look for in Hi-Viz horse riding gear, then this guide is for you. It will offer help and give ideas on the right type of gear you need to help with safety and comfort while riding on the road.
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Colours and Reflection
Ideally, you’ll be looking for items that are bright in colour, i.e. yellow, orange, pink or green, that include areas of material that are reflective to the front and rear.
A dual approach (using both colour and reflection) is ideal as lighting conditions alter quickly when on the road, whether it be during the summer or winter.
Weather conditions such as rain, sun, shadows and water can all affect other road users’ visibility in a split second. Combining bright colours and reflective materials offers you and your horse greater visibility.
Ventilation and Elasticity
Ventilation and elasticity of the garment should also be considered when purchasing jackets or overcoats for the rider and an exercise sheet for the horse.
Exercise sheets for horses have different measurements to rugs, so be careful before purchasing and remember to check with the manufacturer about the size guides.
If garments are too tight for the rider, you’ll run the risk of restriction and getting too warm, which will probably cause you to take it off – quite counterproductive.
Choose a breathable fabric with vents, which are often found in jackets under the arms or across the back. Teflon is used widely across the industry.
Multiway zips are a good option for those materials that offer less flexibility.
Be sure all items are comfortably fitted to your horse. Anything that’s too tight, or loose, could aggravate your horse or course unnecessary discomfort.
Waterproof or Water Resistant
Hi-Viz gear is available with waterproof or water-resistant coatings. Be sure to read any information tags on garments prior to purchase as these will be able to tell you more about the level of protection.
Tip: make a note of the washing instructions on purchase, or keep the tags to one side. This will help when it comes to cleaning so you don’t disturb any coating to the fabric.
Wording and Images
Many items of hi-viz horse riding gear are available, offering messages to other road users, especially when riding out with younger horses.
Messages such as ‘caution young horse’, ‘please pass wide and slow’ and ‘caution horse and rider’ are available. Other, more recent additions, include ‘Slow, you’re on camera’ which is especially useful when wearing a rider cam.
Messages are typically seen on rider vests/jackets, on the reverse. Some companies also offer personalised printing.
Many items are now approved by the BSI for meeting certain standards, these items are identifiable by the BSEN1150 mark.
Other hi-viz accessories can include items meeting the BSEN13356 (2021) standard. For more information on this visit the BHS.