If you have decided to pursue the equestrian sport of eventing, then sooner or later, you're going to head out to school cross-country on a nearby course. Cross-country schooling can be incredibly enjoyable and educational for both you and the horse. But since it is quite different from riding in the ring, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to protect yourself and your mount before you head out. Here are four things you'll need.

A Safety Vest

Safety vests are required on the cross-country course at all recognized horse trials and events, and most course owners require them for schooling, too. The vest helps protect your back and midsection if you happen to fall off during your ride. Look for a vest hat fits snugly and does not rise up over your shoulders when you shrug. There are many brands to choose from, and everyone has their own preferences -- so try on a few types before you buy one.

An ASTM-Approved Helmet

Even if you're not someone who wears a helmet in the ring, you must wear one cross-country. Falls can happen at high speeds and on rough ground, making them even more dangerous. Make sure the helmet you choose fits snugly and does not wiggle up and down when you shake your head. A helmet that shifts won't protect you well and may even obstruct your vision out on the cross-country course.

Boots For Your Horse

Cross-country jumps don't move or get knocked down like jumps in the ring. If your horse hits one, it will hurt. Good protective boots are essential. You can get away with polo wraps if the weather is nice, but if you plan on schooling any water hazards or it's at all rainy, you need good splint boots that shed water. Open-front jump boots also work. Make sure they fit your horse and don't rub.

A Breast Collar

There are some horses whose saddles won't slide around on the uneven terrain and over big fences, but they are few and far between. So, to keep your saddle in place, you should really invest in a breast collar to use cross-country. The five-point ones are stylish right now, but a basic 3-point breast collar will work sufficiently assuming you're sticking to beginner novice and novice-height fences. Make sure your breast collar has enough room in the shoulders for your horse to move freely.

For more information, contact companies like Kastel Denmark.