It’s vital to take good care of your hands when riding a horse, and holding onto reins for extended periods can be notoriously hard on your hands. A good pair of riding gloves will keep your hands safe and help improve your grip dramatically. Gloves are also vital when riding in cold weather by keeping them warm and maintaining circulation while you ride, and they will keep your hands dry during wet weather and reduce the chances of reins slipping from your hands.
With all the different types of horse-riding gloves on the market these days, it can become overwhelming to try and find the right pair to suit your needs. We put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you find the perfect gloves!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
|Horze Equestrian Eleanor Flex Fit Horse Riding Gloves
|Thapower Women Horse Riding Gloves
|Shires Equestrian Products Aubrion Leather Ladies Horse Riding Gloves
|Best for Kids
|Mashfa Kids Horse Riding Gloves
|Heritage Crochet Riding Glove
The 7 Best Horse-Riding Gloves
1. Horze Equestrian Eleanor Flex Fit Horse Riding Gloves, Black – Best Overall
|Faux leather, synthetic fabrics
The Horze Equestrian Eleanor Flex Fit Horse Riding Gloves, Black are an excellent all-around set of versatile riding gloves. These gloves are breathable, flexible, and comfortable. They have a faux leather outer shell with durable synthetic fabrics between the fingers. Horze even reinforced the fabric between the thumb and pointer finger so you can rest your reins without worrying about wearing out your gloves. There are small holes for breathability that prevent your hands from getting too hot during warm days. These gloves also come in multiple sizes ranging from a 6 to a 10. In addition to featuring multiple sizes, these gloves also come with a loop and hook adjustment so you can tighten or loosen them as you need to while you are out in the field.
The only drawback here is that some people don’t like faux leather gloves with synthetics. Some people prefer real leather. However, real leather is less breathable and more expensive. These gloves will appeal to a large number of people, but they won’t win everyone over due to their lack of real leather. They’re still good enough to earn our pick for the best overall horse-riding gloves this year.
2. Thapower Women Horse Riding Gloves – Best Value
|Microfiber and fabric
|Black, orange, green, pink or red
If you are looking to save money on a pair of riding gloves that you can wear out without feeling bad about it, look no further. The Thapower Women Horse Riding Gloves are effective and very affordable. They come in multiple sizes and colors, so you can personalize your choice to fit your exact needs. The palm is made out of reinforced microfiber, while the backhand consists of woven fabric. These gloves look great, are super affordable, and will work for general riding in nearly every season. They fit very well and feel good on the hands while you have your reins.
These gloves are advertised as winter gloves or cold weather gloves, but they are thinner than expected. They would work great in cool temperatures, but they will be a little too thin for freezing temperatures. Ironically, the thinness of the gloves makes them decent warm weather gloves as well, despite the ineffective advertising. But we think they’re the best overall horse-riding gloves for the money.
3. Shires Equestrian Products Aubrion Leather Ladies Horse Riding Gloves – Premium Choice
|Black, brown, navy
Some people are adamant that their riding gloves have to be genuine leather. Faux leather saves money, and synthetics are readily available, but there is something about a pair of true leather gloves that is just different from anything else. The Shires Equestrian Products Aubrion Leather Ladies Horse Riding Gloves are made from soft goat leather. They are comfortable and stylish. Better yet, they are unlined. This means you get an unparalleled grip when you are riding. You will be able to feel the reigns in your hand with more adept control without any unnecessary layers getting in the way. They also have gusseted openings, which allow you to get a strong fastening around the wrist.
Not everyone is going to love an unlined pair of real leather gloves. They tend to be a bit stuffy and can get sweaty; however, some people won’t ride with anything else. It is mostly a personal preference.
4. Mashfa Kids Horse Riding Gloves – Best for Kids
|Blue or pink
Kids need gloves when they go riding too. Choosing gloves for kids can be tricky. Children can be picky about what goes on their hands, they are often rougher on items than adults, and they grow quickly, meaning you don’t want to spend too much on a pair that is going to be obsolete in a few months. The Mashfa Kids Horse Riding Gloves solve most of these problems by being versatile, affordable, and coming in multiple sizes. These gloves are made from durable fabric which has been reinforced between the fingers, making them ideal for riding. They can fit nearly any children’s hands if you choose the right size. They can last a year or two before you need to change the size as your child grows. These gloves can also be used for other sports or general outdoor activities too if your kids end up wanting to wear them more frequently.
These gloves are not great for winter work, so be aware that they are not warm enough for freezing temperatures. These gloves also won’t impress adults; they are best suited for children or inexperienced riders.
5. Heritage Crochet Riding Glove
|Leather and cotton
|Tan, brown, black
For some people in the equestrian world, style is everything. A pair of riding gloves does not just have to be effective; they also have to look good. The Heritage Crochet Riding Glove checks both of these boxes. They are very stylish, with a beautiful crochet pattern that is sure to stand out. They are also effective riding gloves with durable leather palms and a soft cotton backhand. These gloves can come in nine different sizes and in three different colors allowing you to pick the one that is the best fit for you. (Personally, the lighter colors look the best with the woven crochet pattern!) These gloves are also fairly priced and won’t break the bank.
The only downside is that these gloves are a bit on the bulky side. The palms feel stiff until you break them in, and they are not as sleek as some riding gloves. Still, they are great for general riding and are particularly touted by fox hunters that need to do hard riding in dreary weather conditions.
6. Tuff Mate 1301 Gloves
The “Cutting Horse” Gloves from Tuff Mate were made with functionality and durability in mind. These simple yet effective gloves are tough and made to last, with a grained goatskin palm panel for superior grip and durability and an inset thumb. The wrist cuffs are easily adjusted with an elastic for a snug fit and have a soft and comfortable feel on the hand. These gloves are a classic among equestrians and for good reason, as they will outlast most other gloves on the market.
While they are tough, these gloves do not offer much in the way of breathability, and your hands can quickly become sweaty in hot weather. They are also fairly loose-fitting, which may cause a loss of functionality.
7. SSG Pro Show Grip Gloves
Worn by show-jumping Olympic star Beezie Madden in her 2004 victory, the SSG Pro Show gloves are great for beginners and pros alike. They are made with an Aqua-suede palm for superior grip and durability where you need it most, and a Coolmax Lycra back for optimum comfort, breathability, and flexibility. A hook-and-tab loop on the wrist cuff allows for quick and easy adjustment and a tight, snug fit. The gloves are breathable and great for use in warm weather but durable and grippy enough for wet weather too.
Several customers report that these gloves are grippy at first but quickly lose that grip after only a few uses. They also came apart at the seams quickly for some users and are comparatively expensive.
Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Horse-Riding Gloves
A good pair of gloves is a staple item in your equestrian wardrobe. While gloves are not always essential, they are definitely useful, as they can keep your hands dry, comfortable, and protected while riding. Some riders feel that gloves hinder your feel of the reins and thus, your connection with your horse, but with the right pair of gloves, this shouldn’t be the case. This is especially true if you have a difficult horse that pulls at the reins frequently or if you are going on a long ride.
When choosing the right pair of riding gloves, you will need to rely on personal preference, as you’ll need to walk the line between durability, comfort, and feel, and this is largely dependent on your unique riding style and your needs from a riding glove. That being said, there are important factors to take into consideration before buying.
Riding gloves are made from a wide variety of materials nowadays, most commonly, a blended set of different materials to ensure a good combination of strength and flexibility. In the past, they were traditionally almost exclusively made from leather due to its availability and superior strength. However, leather lacks breathability and flexibility, and while it is still largely in use today, some other materials have taken over the market.
A combination of the above materials is ideal, as it can offer the comfort of spandex, polyester, or cotton and the strength of leather. There is typically more stitching on combination gloves, though, which always has a good chance of coming apart.
Comfort and Breathability
Comfortable gloves are not only essential to keep your hands free from chafe but also for safety. Your gloves should be tight-fitting enough that you can maintain control of your horse, as loose gloves can easily slide off with a quick jerk of the reins. The gloves you choose should also have tight-fitting and easily adjustable wrist closures to help keep them in place. These are typically made from plastic, Velcro, buttons, or a combination of these.
Breathability is important for both comfort and safety too. If your gloves are not breathable enough, they will cause your hands to sweat, especially in hotter months, and potentially cause you to lose grip on the reins. Gloves with mesh built in are great for summer, but even in winter, your hands may sweat on long rides, and warm gloves should still have some form of breathability.
Naturally, you’ll want your riding gloves to have some grip on the palm and fingers, namely the thumb and forefinger. They should be grippy enough that the reins don’t easily slide from your hands but flexible enough to be able to close your fingers around the reins too. Leather gloves are usually grippy enough all on their own, but other materials will need either a leather grip pad sewn in or rubber or PVC grip dots or pads to ensure a good grip. The grip is an essential factor in the safety of your gloves.
How to Choose the Right Size
When picking gloves for everyday use, size is not usually a massive issue. But with horse riding, it’s important that your gloves are not loose-fitting and are as snug as possible, both for comfort and safety. It’s important to note that every time you buy new gloves, especially from a different manufacturer, you’ll need to measure and fit the glove again and not take the given size for granted, as sizes can differ between manufacturers.
Gloves are mostly available in international sizes, like XS or XXL, and this is frustratingly inaccurate at times. Some sizes are given in inches, which is a far better way of indicating size. If the manufacturer just uses “XL” to indicate size, see if it has a sizing chart on the tag or on its website to indicate the dimensions of each size.
Sizing your hand is fairly simple: You’ll just need to measure the girth of your hands without your thumb. Measure the size around your knuckles, and then round up the measurement to the nearest half-inch: Gloves that are slightly too big are far better than gloves that are too small.
Our top choice overall of horse-riding gloves is the riding gloves from Horze Equestrian. These gloves are breathable, flexible, and comfortable. They have a faux leather outer shell with durable synthetic fabrics between the fingers. Horze even reinforced the fabric between the thumb and pointer finger so you can rest your reins without worrying about wearing out your gloves.
The best horse-riding gloves for the money are the Thapower Women. They come in multiple sizes and colors, so you can personalize your choice to fit your exact needs. The palm is made out of reinforced microfiber, while the backhand consists of woven fabric.
With gloves being such a vital part of your equestrian toolkit, finding the right pair can be a daunting experience. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped narrow down the options so you can find a pair of horse riding gloves that are the perfect fit for your unique needs.
Featured Image Credit By: FitsT4, amazon