Riding gloves are certainly an important aspect of your equestrian wardrobe. They essentially act as a second skin and can protect your hands when holding the reins. Wearing a pair of gloves also improves your grip on the reins - your reins are less likely to be pulled from your hands with a pair of well-fitted gloves.
A question many equestrians ponder is whether their riding gloves fit properly. Unlike a regular pair of winter weather gloves, it is important that your gloves fit correctly for optimum performance and comfort when riding.
Gloves can be sized in two different conversions. Often they will be labeled using the universal sizes - small, medium and large. An approximate measurement for these sizes can be seen in the table below. Please be aware that these can vary slightly according to the brand of the glove.
To measure your hands correctly you will need a cloth tape measure. Place the tape measure around the widest part of your hand, excluding your thumb, and take a measurement. The tape measure should not be slack around your hand, or too tight – this could cause an inaccurate measurement and consequently an ill-fitting glove. If your measurement comes out in-between sizes, for example between 7 – 7.5, it is advisable to go for the larger one.
When trying gloves on make sure the palm of your hand, and wrist, fit in the glove nicely. You do not want the closure to be sitting too low as this may affect the way you hold the reins. Many closures are created using Velcro, therefore you can alter how tight the glove is around your wrist to some extent. Make sure the Velcro fastening is sitting across the top of your wrist for the perfect fit.
Your fingers should fit snugly when in the gloves. There should not be an abundance of excess material at the tips of your fingers. If this is the case you may need to size down. Many people may believe that this loose material will not affect the performance of the glove, however, loose material has been known to limit the grip on the gloves on the reins.
The glove also needs to fit correctly around the knuckles. If your gloves are too tight around the knuckles it could restrict your movement when holding the reins. To test for flexibility in this area, clench your fists into a ball inside in the gloves. If you feel like the material is restricting this movement you may need to size up. Alternatively, if you have too much material when doing this test, you may need to drop a size. The perfect fit would see the glove allowing the movement but not causing the material to slack too much.
As mentioned initially, riding gloves really are an important equestrian piece. They are not only for hand protection, but they may also improve hand to mouth contact and grip of the reins. With this in mind, it is important you get the correct fit when purchasing gloves. We hope this guide has been beneficial in assisting in the process and that the next pair of gloves you wear are the perfect fit!
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