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Layering tips for riders

Layering Tips for Riders

Late Summer: the wettest and most unpredictable time of the year. How should you dress? Fortunately for you, the basic approach is the same whether you’re riding or just doing chores. 

It's all about layers

You probably know this already...but just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s recap: base layers keep you dry, mid layers provide insulation, and outer layers keep out the weather. Mixing up the three and stripping some of them off allows you to stay comfortable across varying weather conditions and through different levels of exertion.

Base Layer

Like it or not, all of us riders perspire to some degree when riding and doing chores. This is a fact of life. However if perspiration stays close to the skin, it will make you damp and uncomfortable.

The purpose of this "next-to-the-skin" layer is to help regulate your body temperature by wicking away, or put simply, moving perspiration away from the skin. 

Your base layer should be a snug fit without feeling too restrictive.

They're available with two different neck lines: a crew neck, that sits close to the neck line like a T Shirt, or a high neck, that partially covers the neck. The Hy Signature Base Layer on the left below has a crew neck and is available in classic navy with red or royal blue top stitching. The base layer on the right, the Woof Wear Performance Riding Shirt has a high neck and comes in a stunning palette of colours, there's definitely something to suit all tastes. 

    Hy Signature Base Layer       Woof Wear Performance Riding Shirt

Mid Layer

The mid layer is designed to retain warmth and to insulate as well as wicking away any moisture from the base layer.

This layer should fit more loosely than the base layer but remember, it needs to touch the base layer in order to wick effectively.

The mid layer is heavier than the base layer and often cosier. The traditional fleece is often seen as a popular choice as a mid layer. The Hy Signature Fleece Jacket matches the Hy Signature Base LayerOr if you  prefer a more modern fabric and look, the LeMieux Loire Jacket is a great choice. 

  Hy Signature Fleece Jacket   LeMieux Loire Jacket      

The Gilet is the most versatile of layering pieces as it can be worn as a mid or outer layer depending on the temperature. A perfect layer under a jacket that offers extra warmth without being restrictive! Gilets of old, often called body warmers, were thick and bulky, whereas nowadays soft shell prevails, like this Shires Aubrion Ealing Softshell Gilet

Shires Aubrion Ealing Softshell Gilet

Outer Layer

This is the layer that is outermost to the elements. When it rains ideally this layer needs to be waterproof. So look for waterproof labels or the next best thing, i.e. water-resistant.

Do bear in mind that when it rains, the temperature usually rises a couple of degrees, so you don't really need a waterproof jacket that's down filled as it'll be like being in a sauna! These pieces tend to be lighter in weight and design. Like the LeMieux Team Crew Waterproof Jacket.

LeMieux Team Crew Waterproof Jacket



You'll find all our Waterproof Riding Wear includes everything you need to keep you dry in wet weather. 

 Mark Todd Inga Ladies Waterproof Jacket

 Ready to layer?

Take a look at our Women's Riding Coats and Jackets. And remember, we offer free UK delivery on all orders at EQUUS, with no minimum spend!

Shop Women's Riding Coats and Jackets


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Vanessa Hill posted on October 06 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Good article. I have osteo arthritis and have to keep warm.
    My biggest problem is keeping my feet warm. I tend to go through the toes of my socks within a few weeks

  • Lynda Barnes posted on October 12 2018 at 10:10 PM

    Hello from Australia, great information here. I like layering in winter, cooler months here, including wearing outer puffy vests to keep warm. Currently we are heading into summer so now looking at staying cooler, using layers if needed, also use neck chill scarves to try and keep cool. Have lessons early in morning due to heat. (here in South Australia we can get temperatures over 40c so need to keep cool, and keep horses cool too, no riding in extreme heat). Cheers.

  • Anne-Marie Durno posted on October 12 2018 at 10:10 PM

    I recently bought some Noble Outfiuters pedi socks. I have very damaged legs and feet do my calves are distorted, one foit has no feeling and they swell up. The socks fit well, keep my feet warm and don’t cut into my legs. I’d recommend them for regulating moisture and heat in your trotters!

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