More Bang For Your Buck: A How To On Extending The Life Of Your Riding Clothes
One thing every equestrian has is riding clothes, some prefer jeans and a t-shirt while others wear breeches and a quarter zip. Regardless of what you wear most equestrian clothing costs a pretty penny, even more so for the prominant name brands. With that being said, it is safe to say that everyone wants to get the most out of their investments in riding clothes. That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite tips below!
I have a pretty strict regimen when it comes to washing my riding clothes, this is because I value the money I spent on each item and want to have them around for as long as possible. One thing I like to do is wash all of my riding clothes together, this way I can make sure that I keep track of all of my clothes and give them ample time to dry before my next ride. My wash routine looks much like the one below.
1) fill washer with dirty riding clothes
2) add slightly more detergent than usual
3) use the maximum amount of fabric softener your washer allows **so incredibly important to helping extend an items life as it keeps the fabric soft and stretchy**
4) set washer to the cool water temperature
5) put the washer on the low spin cycle
6) make sure the setting is on heavy soil level
7) run the wash cycle
8) avoid putting any of your riding clothes in the dryer, instead allow them to hang dry using the hangers shown below to avoid premature heat damage such as shrinking, less stretch, and wear and tear on the fibers when exposed to heat.
**When washing a new item for the first time wash it alone on a hot water cycle with lots of fabric softener, the hot water will help reduce chances for color bleeding later on and the fabric softener just helps the material stay stretchy and comfortable before your first use**
When it comes to show pants and shirts I am meticulous about my cleaning regimen so that I can maintain them at their best quality. I will only wash my show clothes together, and follow a majority of the steps above, only differing when setting the cycle to delicate and washing the items in cold instead of cool or room temperature water. You may ask why cold water, and that is because I am overly cautious of color bleeds and know that cold water has a greater prevention rate for color bleeding. I make sure that my show clothes have ample time to hang dry before going into my garment bag and being taken to a show. For those of you who may be traveling to a multi-day show but have limited show clothes, bring a few gallon ziplock bags and at night neatly fold each item into a ziplock bag, then simply place in your hotels fridge or freezer (freezer is preferred) as a simple way to help refresh your clothes before the next show day. This may be an old wives tale, but I fully believe it works and do it every show.
These are the only item in my whole closet that I religiously send off to the cleaners. I have a TreadStep Solo Pro, and while it can be washed in your own washer I prefer to send it off to a professional so that it is ready for the next show. Unless I get drenched from rain, show in extreme heat, or have a fall; I typically only take my show coat to be washed once every 3 or so shows. This is because I do not wear it unless I'm in the ring, so the wear and tear and dirt levels are minimal. This helps me preserve the amount of rides I have in my show coat!
If you follow these steps you can expect to have your riding clothes stay in their best condition longer, meaning that you do not have to reinvest in more clothing as frequently, saving you money to go towards clinics and shows!