With summer in full swing and temperatures reaching a high, I was wondering how other riders beat the heat. Hosing off and drinking lots of water were definitely my best remedies, but I still end up peeling my helmet off only to find that my hair is a sweaty mess. As I was riding at the County Fair in July, I began to notice more and more riders shedding their breeches or jodhpurs and trading these long riding pants in for shorts - in the saddle.

While it's perfectly acceptable to wear shorts while you're working in the barn grooming, tacking, or cleaning, I wasn't sure what people would think about wearing them to ride. Sure, they're less clothes to wear, so they're technically less warm, but when you think about how thin jodhpurs are in comparison, it almost seems pointless. Not to mention the horrible rubbing the saddle can do to your legs if they're exposed, especially if you don't wear half-chaps. 

Then again, imagine the breeze blowing past your legs as you ride. Imagine getting off and not having to duck into the bathroom to change from your riding pants to your shorts after a lesson. Imagine being able to ride bareback and feel the horse underneath you. There are certainly both advantages and disadvantages to wearing shorts. I decided to ask the readers. This is what I received in return.


"Riding in shorts doesn't bother me at all. When it gets this hot out, the question isn't why - it's why not!"
"It doesn't matter what other people think about shorts. If you want to wear them, you can. It's really all personal preference. If wearing them isn't a bother to you, then go ahead."
"I don't mind other people wearing shorts. I don't like to wear them because it hurts my legs, but I do think that putting them on would really help cool me off."


"It does not look professional to see riders wearing shorts in the saddle. Do you really want people to see you in cutoffs when you're riding? It's not a fashion show. It's the barn."
“No one at my barn wears shorts, so I think it would look really weird if one person did. I can’t really even begin to imagine what it would be like if we all wore shorts – think about jumping! Wouldn't it hurt so bad, especially because you squeeze with your thighs?”
"I just don't know why you would want to do something so uncomfortable. Is it really so bad to change into jodhpurs before you go riding?"
It turns out, readers were pretty even when it came to deciding whether this one was a Yay or a Neigh, but in the end, the scale tipped just a little toward a "yes". So next time the temperature is reaching triple-digits and you're riding a black horse, don't hesitate before changing into shorts if you don't mind the feel. As long as you're happy in the saddle and your horse doesn't mind, it's all good.
                                                                                                                        - Emma


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