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Home » Buyer’s guide to high vis clothing for horse riders

Buyer’s guide to high vis clothing for horse riders

Rachael Turner
Charlotte Dujardin is pictured wearing an Equisafety high vis gilet and hat band

Whether you enjoy regularly hacking a horse out on roads or are lucky enough to have miles of bridleways and off-road riding to explore, wearing high vis — both you and your horse — is a must. High vis clothing isn’t just something that horse riders should wear when the weather is bad; this gear forms a part of every rider’s essential safety equipment and is just as important as remembering to put on a riding hat. High vis clothing helps you to be seen every time that you ride, and not wearing it could leave you vulnerable in the event of an insurance claim if you are unfortunately involved in an incident while out hacking.

The choice of high vis gear for riders and horses is vast and thankfully many manufacturers have designed ranges that do a great job, but also look and fit well too, so there really is no excuse to go out without. As a minimum, the British Horse Society (BHS) recommends that the rider wears a high vis jacket or tabard, and their horse should wear leg bands. Ideally, the society suggests that LED lights should be worn wherever possible that highlight the width of you and your horse. Essentially wearing the more high vis is the better, as it means you will be brighter and easier to see by other road users. This is the key message.

Choosing high vis clothing for horse riders

When looking to buy high vis clothing for horse riders there is a choice of colours. When you are considering which shade to buy, think about where you ride and the backgrounds — which colour will make you stand out the most? Also think about the time of year. At certain times some colours may make you blend into the background so that you aren’t as visible as you intend to be. This may mean that you need different high vis items for different times of the year.

But it isn’t only vehicles that need to see horses and riders on the road; it also allows cyclists, runners and dog walkers to spot them from a distance. In areas where there are helicopters, or low flying military aircraft, high vis will make the duo visible to the pilot. It also means that in the unfortunate event that the rider and horse part company while out for a hack in the open countryside, they may be seen much sooner, hopefully preventing any injuries from becoming more serious.

Many equine high vis garments now reach BSI approved standards. The two that are aimed at leisure riders are BSEN1150 and EN1150, so when you are buying it is recommended that you select products that meet this standard.

You will find that most high vis clothing for horse riders combines both reflective and fluorescent material. Fluorescent clothing is perfect for keeping the rider visible in natural light, while reflective material will illuminate when light shines on it. When used together it ensures that horse and rider will be clearly visible in all conditions.


Shop for high vis clothing for horse riders

Equisafety Multi-Colour Waistcoat

RRP £34.99

Colours: Green/ yellow, pink/ orange, pink/ yellow, yellow/ orange

Sizes: S – XXL

equisafety.com

This technical, lightweight, breathable mesh high vis waistcoat is fully adjustable at the back and boasts two large zipped pockets.


Vizirider Vest

RRP £33.15

Colours: Yellow

Sizes: XS – XXL

vizirider.co.uk

The Vizirider Vest combines bright LED lights and reflective panels. It boasts a rechargeable USB battery that lasts for up to 20 hours and features 12 bright LEDs (six white on the front and six red on the back), plus highly reflective panels. The Vizirider Vest can be worn over a coat or layers in the winter, or a T-shirt in the summer. View our review of the vest here.


HY Equestrian Reflector Base Layer

RRP £34.99 (child), £44.99 (adult)

Colours: Pink, yellow

Sizes: 7-8 years, 9-10 years, 11-12 years, 13-14 years, 15-16 years, adults XS – XL

hy-equestrian.com

This base layer can be worn alone in the summer months or as a layer in colder weather. Made from a fluorescent stretch material, this not only allows for a full range of movement but also optimum visibility. It boasts reflective detailing on the arms and shoulders.


HY Equestrian Reflector Gilet – Pass Wide & Slow

RRP £34.99 (child), £44.99 (adult)

Colours: Pink, yellow

Sizes: 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8 – 10 years, adults XS – XL

hy-equestrian.com

This lightweight gilet is made from fluorescent fabric and reflective strips, making the wearer easy to spot. ‘Please pass wide & slow’ is printed on the back.


Equetech Vision Pom Hat Silk

RRP £18.95

Colours: Orange, yellow

Size: One size

equetech.com

A high vis reflective vented hat silk with a flexible peak and a grey faux plush pom-pom, other features include a front vent for breathability and 3M reflective tape to the sides. The Equetech Vision Pom Hat Silk is designed to fit over skull cap riding helmets.


Equi-Flector Hat Cover

RRP £13.49

Colours: Yellow, pink, orange

Size: One size

thesaddleryshop.co.uk

Stay as visible as possible in this brightly coloured hat cover with reflective stars.


Eqcouture Winter Thermal Reflective Riding Tights

RRP £64.99

Colour: Black/ high vis

Sizes: XXS – XL

eqcouture.co.uk

Featuring bright high-visibility panelling with reflective double piping, these riding tights are a great addition to any high-visibility wardrobe.


Visiwhip Flag

RRP £19

Colour: Orange

Sizes: One size

visiwhip.co.uk

The Visiwhip Flag is hand-stitched and attaches easily to either the Visiwhip whip, or your own dressage whip, allowing drivers to see you sooner and pass wide and slow.


Why I wouldn’t hack without high vis

I’ve always worn high vis gear since I first started hacking at my local riding school, Cornilo Riding in Sutton, Kent. It is a very safety-focused BHS centre and they wouldn’t allow riders to hack out without a high vis vest, which I think was a sensible rule. Today I hack out wearing a high vis vest and a high vis breast plate on my horse, and sometimes he wears a high vis exercise sheet too. Unfortunately the majority of my riding is on the lanes, but I find drivers are generally very considerate.

I vary the colour of my high vis depending on the time of year. In summer we have lots of bright yellow rapeseed in the fields around us, so I wear pink so there is a contrast, whereas on dull winter days I find yellow more eye-catching. Last year I trialled the Vizirider LED Vest and found the lights a fantastic addition to a traditional high vis piece of clothing, and something I will try to implement more in the future. You can read my review here.


Main picture: Charlotte Dujardin wears the Equisafety Multi-Coloured High Visibility Gilet

Profile image of Rachael Turner Rachael Turner

About

Rachael is a writer for Your Horse. She has worked for equestrian, lifestyle and news publications and trained with the Press Association. Rachael has ridden all her life, enjoying showing and mounted games as a child. She was a member of West Street Pony Club and competed in area championships in jumping, dressage and horse trials. Today she likes to venture between the white boards, as well as taking part in fun rides, hacking and a bit of jumping. Have a story? Email rachaelmaryturnerhook@gmail.com

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