It's Heating Up: Riding Attire for Summer
Riding in the summer is a double-edged sword. You have beautiful weather and enough free time to enjoy it. Yet, at the same time, you have the heat. Like all things, when heat comes in excess, it can be harmful. It’s bad enough to worry about riding in the extreme heat, but if you’re in the southeastern United States, you know what it’s like to ride in both the extreme heat and the dreaded humidity.
If you’re new to the sport or an experienced rider, here are a few different options for riding in the heat. Both men (it is Father's Day, after all) and women will love these, and there is something at every price point. I've included links to Amazon, and I may get a small commission if you buy one of them. But don't worry; it's not going to increase your price you pay.
It's the perfect combination of lightweight fabric that fits perfectly. Because it goes down to the hips, the shirt will completely cover your back and prevent any skin showing. It also inhibits the growth of the same bacteria that causes odor, so feel free to sweat in it. It also has mesh venting that encourages airflow to keep you cool while you ride. It’s not just a great riding shirt, either. It’s a fantastic everyday t-shirt.
This shirt is also a regular t-shirt, but it also has sun protection built into the fabric. With the variety of colors, you can choose which one suits your riding needs best. The fabric also vents and allows the moisture from sweat to cool you off.
It's usually the armpits that sweat the most and cause the most problems, which is why Ariat designed this line of shirts for women. The sun protected fabric has breathable mesh paneling under the armpit to allow ventilation. This one is a great option for anyone who hates coating their arms in sunscreen before a ride.
If sweating -- and not just sweating, but extreme sweating -- is your concern when it comes to summer rides, this is your ticket. Even if you decide in the middle of your ride to take your horse for a swim, you don't have to worry in this shirt. Why? Because this shirt is designed to accelerate drying time. It's also a tight fit, which means you should probably order a size up if you're not used to having a second skin.
These shirts (and the corresponding tights) come highly recommended by several endurance riders. The fabric cools you off while the coloring and prints hide horse grime and dirt that tends to come with riding in the summer. Mesh panels are placed in high heat areas, which helps to increase air flow. These shirts are also designed with rapid cooling in a color and cut that works to keep you comfortable even in the worst heat.
Men and women love these fishing shirts because they can be found anywhere. Fishing is done in the heat, often in the middle of nowhere. My husband, an avid saltwater fisherman and diver, introduced me to these shirts when we started dating, and I haven't found anything better for the beach or riding in the heat. From the comfortable fabric to the sun protection, this shirt can be worn as long sleeves or half sleeves. The fit isn't tight and allows you to wear it in comfort that it won't show off all of your business.
This shirt is a little pricier, and my husband wears this one around town and on casual date nights. However, it's another great option for a versatile shirt you can wear riding or out on the town. There's a women's version, too. It also features a sunglass cleaning cloth built into the fabric, so if your glasses or sunglasses get dirty, you don't have to carry an extra towel to clean them.
Other things you'll want to bring with you are water and sunscreen for you, and don't forget about your horse. Horses prefer cooler temperatures, so watch them carefully throughout your ride to make sure you're not overtaxing them.
Above all, have fun!