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Traditional Outdoor Jackets For Horse Riding

Any outdoor activity you undertake is going to have to be done in cold weather at some point. But where normally any old coat will do, equestrian enthusiasts may wish to take on the more traditional, practical style of the hacking jacket.

A hacking jacket is simply a variant of a sports jacket. Contrary to what may be considered 'sporty' today, sports jackets were not made of high tech, breathable, rip-proof materials to be worn while running or training. It formed part of a smart-casual look worn by gentry while out hunting or partaking in other outdoor sports, hence the name.

Sports jackets look and feel like the top half of a suit - but they won't come with matching trousers and are usually available in an extensive variety of fabrics. Differences in colours, patterns and cut make them somewhat more light-hearted than suit jackets, but they are still smart looking. Tougher materials help them withstand the rigours of the outdoors and to keep the wearer warm. There are several variants of a sports jacket, designed or suited for different activities.

A shooting jacket is typically worn for shooting and hunting, with leather patches sewn on to areas that come into contact with shotgun or rifle parts. This is in order to stop the coat wearing out in these areas. Then there's the blazer, a tailored jacket with roots in yachting - but it doesn't necessarily carry any features today that directly attribute it to the sport.

A hacking jacket is a favourite amongst horse riders. It is often made of tweed with a single vent. A vent is a small slit near the tail of the jacket, introduced to make riding easier, but vents can be found on many types of jacket today. They improve the hang of a jacket when worn sat down or when pockets are being used. The pockets on a hacking jacket are slanted, so that when a rider is leaning forward on their mount the contents can't escape.

A hacking jacket for horse riding will typically be made of heavier, stiffer wool or wool blend tweed, but lighter options are available. Many feature weather proofing in key areas and have varying pocket options depending on your needs - traditionally, a third pocket is added above one of the main pockets. Some manufacturers are able to make a jacket to order for a perfect fit, or to use specialist materials.

As a hacking jacket is a requirement for many equestrian events, the look and cut are just as important as the functionality of it. Their quality and unique features make them sought after as fashion garments too.