Keeping it Clean: Tips for Equestrian Apparel Care and Maintenance

An illustration of a female Hispanic equestrian brushing her white horse with a soft brush, under the shade of a large tree in a green pasture, with a wooden fence in the background. On the ground nex

Introduction to Equestrian Apparel Care

Equestrian apparel is not just clothing; it's part of the bond between horse and rider, a symbol of the discipline and passion that goes into the sport. Whether you're a seasoned competitor or a casual rider, taking care of your equestrian clothing and gear is essential for maintaining both appearance and function. In this guide, we'll share some essential tips for the care and maintenance of your equestrian apparel, ensuring that it lasts longer and continues to look great.

Understanding Your Equestrian Apparel

Before jumping into the care instructions, it's crucial to understand the materials that make up your equestrian apparel. Fabrics like cotton, polyester, and technical materials designed to wick away moisture are common. Each material has its care specifics, which if followed, can significantly extend the life of your clothing. Moreover, protective gear and boots require special attention due to the materials they are made from, such as leather or synthetic components.

Cleaning Riding Breeches and Jodhpurs

Riding breeches and jodhpurs often bear the brunt of the equestrian lifestyle, collecting dirt, sweat, and horse hair. For these items, it's best to turn them inside out before washing to preserve the color and protect any embellishments. Use cold water and a gentle cycle, along with a mild detergent, to prevent shrinkage and color fading. Avoid fabric softeners as they can impair the moisture-wicking properties of technical fabrics. Always check the care label before washing for the best results.

Caring for Show Jackets and Shirts

Show jackets and shirts need special attention due to their delicate fabrics and details. To maintain their crisp appearance, dry cleaning is often recommended. However, for those that are machine washable, use a gentle cycle and lay flat to dry to prevent any damage or misshaping. Ironing on a low setting can help remove any wrinkles, but be sure to check the garment's care instructions beforehand.

Boots and Leather Care

Equestrian boots, whether made of leather or synthetic materials, require regular cleaning and conditioning to maintain their look and longevity. For leather boots, use a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt and sweat after each use. Conditioning the leather with a suitable product helps keep it supple and prevents cracking. Synthetic boots can usually be cleaned with soap and water. Storing boots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight helps prevent color fading and material degradation.

Protective Gear and Accessories Maintenance

Helmets, gloves, and protective vests also need regular care to ensure they remain effective and comfortable. Wipe down your helmet with a gentle, damp cloth and use mild soap for tougher marks. Most gloves are machine washable, but it’s critical to reshape them while they're damp. For protective vests, follow the manufacturer's care instructions closely, as these items are crucial for your safety.

General Tips for Equestrian Apparel Care

  • Follow the Care Label: This may seem obvious, but always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid any cleaning mishaps.
  • Air Drying: Whenever possible, air dry your equestrian apparel to preserve its shape and fabric integrity.
  • Immediate Attention: Address stains and dirt as soon as possible to prevent them from setting into the fabric.
  • Proper Storage: Use padded hangers for jackets and shirts, and consider boot trees for your riding boots to maintain their shape.


Maintaining your equestrian apparel through proper care and attention not only ensures that you look your best while riding but also extends the lifespan of your gear, offering long-term savings and reliability. By following these simple guidelines for each type of apparel and gear, you can ensure that your equestrian wardrobe remains in top condition, ready for every ride.

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