How to Stay Cool While Competing | Summer 2021 Guide

Sunny summer days out competing with your horse are so much fun. Sweating through your shirt in the heat isn’t quite as appealing… Stay cool under pressure by selecting equestrian clothing up to the job. We’ll talk you through what to look for as well as some of our top picks.

1. Riding Hat

2. Competition Shirt

3. Competition Breeches

4. Riding Boots

5. Riding Gloves

6. Spare Top

Riding Hat

Keep a cool head, literally, on show day with a ventilated riding hat. With modern technology, you can have a lightweight helmet that still offers excellent protection.

Look for a hat with vents to keep the cool air flowing. Some hats also include wicking linings that are removable. These are great because you can wash them after a sweaty ride so the lining says clean and fresh.

We love the Whitaker VX2 Sparkly Riding Hat for competing. It has a Dial-to-Fit system for a great fit, front vents, and a Coolmax treated removable liner. Plus, it has just enough bling to make you sparkle in the ring.


Whitaker Sparkly Riding Hat Ventilated

Back to Top

Competition Shirt

Breathable, lightweight fabric is key in a show shirt for warm summer days. Whilst short-sleeve, or sleeveless designs might seem cooler, long-sleeve shirts can offer UV protection from the sun. If you’re competing without a jacket, a long-sleeve shirt will also protect your arms in case of a fall.

Check out the Tredstep Symphony Paris Competition Riding Shirt. The special Cool Touch fabric feels cooling on the skin, protects against harmful UV rays, and repels sweaty odours. We also love that it has mesh under the arms for extra ventilation.


Tredstep Symphony Riding Competition Shirt

Competition Breeches

Uncomfortable breeches aren’t going to cut it on show day. You need a pair that feel like a second skin, rather than restricting you mid-way through the jump off.

Look for stretchy, lightweight fabrics. You’ll also want to pay attention to the level of grip – do you prefer the security of a full seat, or prefer more of a euro seat with knee patches?

We like the Horse Pilot X-Balance Breeches. Designed to act like a second skin, these breeches offer complete freedom of movement. The Sensitive Fit

® fabric is breathable, flexible and hardwearing. 


Horse Pilot X-Balance Breeches


Riding Boots

Smart boots are vital for looking smart out competing. Whilst long boots are not known for being particularly cooling, there are some features to look out for when choosing a pair.

Boots with a stretch panel offer a close yet unrestricted fit. Combine this with a cushioned insole for all-day comfort. You might also want to look for boots with a wicking or breathable lining.

The Tredstep Donatello SQ II Field Tall Boots are perfect for both everyday and competition use. They have a stretch panel for close contact and a Coolmax lined insole. The full grain leather outer and lining are also breathable.
Tredstep Competition Riding Boots


We have a whole guide on choosing the best riding boots for you which goes into more detail on what to look for.

Back to Top

Riding Gloves

You might be tempted to go without gloves in hot weather. Reins can slip through sweaty fingers though and cause blisters. Gloves are also a smart final touch to your outfit.

To avoid hot hands, select a pair of gloves that are ventilated. Roeckl are experts in the art of glove making and use their ROECK-GRIP® fabric which is breathable, elastic and supple. Their Roeck-Grip Pro Riding Gloves offer a close fit and are used by top equestrian competitors.
Roeckl Pro Riding Gloves

Spare Top

So this isn’t strictly part of your competition outfit but it’s nice to have a fresh top to change into after competing. Hopefully you’ll be in the running for a rosette so might be hanging around for prize giving, or it will keep you cool whilst doing chores once you head back to the yard.

The Horse Pilot Ariia Mesh Polo Shirt has strategically placed mesh panels and is made from a super soft fabric. It’s also quick-drying and breathable.
Horse Pilot Ariia Polo Shirt


Good luck out competing! We would love to see photos of you and your horse on show day. Feel free to tag us @harnessstuff, or email us at

We are very happy for you to share our blog posts via social media buttons, in fact we're delighted if you do! However, please do not copy our content as it is protected by copyscape so we will know very quickly if you do! Thank you.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published