Horse Safe Footwear Information

Greetings Equestrian Families,

Thanks for choosing to enroll in one of our programs at the Sienna Ranch Riding and Horsemanship School. We’re excited to have your child work with our horses!


Proper footwear is very important when working around and riding horses. Since horses are very large individuals, we put safety first in our horse program. We require participants to wear good boots or shoes that help protect feet if they get stepped on, and, most importantly, to keep feet from sliding through the stirrup and getting stuck in the event of a fall. Participants must wear appropriate footwear to be allowed to work around and ride our horses. We ask that you send your child in horse-safe footwear for their program. Before investing in new boots, check to see if your child may already have something that would be appropriate for our riding and horsemanship programs. If you do not have a pair of suitable boots please let us know. We have a few sets of borrowed boots that your child can borrow for the day if you do not have a pair of boots. Here are some examples:

Safe Footwear

  • Structured boot or shoe with hard toe. Footwear should protect toes, you can test this by pressing down on toe with thumb.
  • Boots designed for riding such as paddock boots, ropers, or cowboy boots
  • Shoe or boot with smooth sole (no significant treads) and a square 1” – 1.5” heel

Unsafe Footwear (not permitted for Sienna Ranch Riding Programming)

  • Flip Flops
  • Sandals
  • Open-toed shoes
  • Sneakers
  • Canvas shoes (example: Toms)
  • Clogs
  • Garden shoes (example: Crocs)
  • Hiking/snow boots
  • Work boots (example: Craftsman, Caterpillar)


The Riding and Horsemanship School requires that all participants wear a correctly fitted ASTM-SEI riding helmet while on horseback. Sienna Ranch provides ASTM-SEI riding helmets for your child to use. Please note that riders with long hair should be prepared to wear it pulled back in a low ponytail while riding.

If you have your own helmet and would like to use it at the Ranch, please bring it with you the first day of program to be inspected. If necessary, your student can always count on using a Sienna Ranch helmet.

Riding Pants

We find that the most comfortable riding pant is a stretchy pant/legging or “jegging.” Our riding camps typically spend less than 30 minutes at a time on horseback, so most long pants will be ok for the camps. Students should avoid loose pants that can wrinkle, twist, and bunch up along the inside of the leg or around the knee. Capris, shorts, and jeans are also inappropriate for riding as, like pants that are too loose, they can cause rubs, blisters, or leather burns. *For private lessons where more time is spent on the horse you might want to invest in thicker riding pants.*

Riding shirt

A fitted, weather-appropriate shirt is fine. Looser shirts must be tucked in to avoid catching on the saddle or other equipment.  


Long hair should be tied back in a low ponytail to avoid getting caught on tack or interfering with the rider’s vision. Hair should be free of barrettes and clips. No jewelry other than post / stud earrings.

Students wishing to continue with ongoing lessons may be interested in riding pants with leather knee pads (leggings can be a bit slippery) and/or half chaps as well as riding gloves and their own helmet & paddock boots.  

If you want to purchase your own equipment:

Dover Saddlery 444 Center Street, Moraga CA

Concord Feed Pet & Livestock Supply 228 Hookston Road, Pleasant Hill, CA

Arney’s Crow Canyon Saddlery 10730 Crow Canyon Road, Castro Valley, CA

Used items can sometimes be found online at Bay Area Equestrian Network

Other Safety Information

In addition to safe footwear, we ask that students wear long pants, comfortable clothing that isn’t loose enough to get hung up or caught on anything, and leave all jewelry at home.

Thanks for helping us to provide site the safest experience possible for your young equestrians.  Please contact our Animal Care and Education Manager with any questions. Contact info is below.


Sienna Ranch

Questions?  Email