Top Ranch Riding Shirts - Performance & Style

Top Ranch Riding Shirts - Performance & Style
Table Of Content

The Popularity of Ranch Riding Continues to Grow

Ranch riding has become an increasingly popular equestrian sport over the last decade. As more people discover the enjoyment of riding ranch horses, demand has grown for equipment and apparel suited for ranch riding competitions and practice. One item that has seen a surge in popularity is the ranch riding shirt.

What is Ranch Riding?

Ranch riding is a western style horseback riding competition focused on maneuvers that mimic the work performed on ranches. Riders guide their horses through a pattern of walk, trot and lope gaits, making precise turns and changes of speed. Horses are judged on qualities such as manners, obedience and movement.

The overall goal is to demonstrate the same smooth responsiveness seen in a trained ranch horse working cattle out on the range. As ranch riding continues to gain prestige within western riding circles, specialized equipment and clothing have developed to meet the needs of competitors.

Key Attributes of Ranch Riding Shirts

A good ranch riding shirt shares many attributes found in standard western style show shirts. Features typically include:

  • Long sleeves to protect arms from sun exposure
  • Collars designed specifically for wearing with bolo ties
  • Snap closures rather than buttons for easy fastening and removal
  • Bold patterns and colors approved for competition

However, the action of ranch riding demands design modifications not found on standard show shirts. The most important differences relate to freedom of movement.

Emphasizing Range of Motion and Air Flow

Since ranch riding patterns require more athletic maneuvering than routine rail classes, shirts intended for competition incorporate design elements to maximize movement without restrictions. These include:

  • Looser overall fit through the torso and arms
  • Gusseted construction in high motion areas
  • Vented mesh panels to increase airflow
  • Higher grade, stretchy fabrics

Popular Brands Catering to Ranch Riders

As participation in ranch riding expands, all the major players in western apparel have jumped into the market. Big names like Cinch, Ariat and Wrangler now produce specialized ranch riding shirts tailored for both male and female competitors. Lesser known brands focused specifically on the ranch horse community have also grown in popularity, including Ranch & Rodeo USA and No Boundaries. Here is a sampling of what some of the top brands offer:


Known for combining vivid colors with eye-catching patterns, Cinch provides multiple ranch riding shirt designs that make a bold fashion statement in the arena. Made from high grade cotton and spandex blends, they promote airflow while allowing full range of motion. Snap closures and tailored lines provide a flattering profile without limiting movement.


Bringing their expertise in performance equestrian clothing to the ranch riding scene, Ariat features shirts with special ventilation panels to keep riders cool in competition. Using lightweight, moisture wicking fabric blends, Ariat shirts feature long tails that stay neatly tucked into jeans or breeches while riding. Available styles include solid color choices alongside bolder plaids and checks.

Ranch & Rodeo USA

Catering specifically to the ranch horse community, Ranch & Rodeo USA produces modern performance shirts just for ranch riding enthusiasts. Featuring athletic cuts designed for riding comfort, their shirts focus on high airflow, unrestricted mobility and attention getting style. Signature elements include contrast color piping and embellishments along with premium snap closures.

Finding the Best Ranch Riding Shirts for Performance & Value

While style plays an important role in ranch riding apparel, the highest priority for any competition shirt comes down to performance. Only shirts specially engineered to deliver a balance of comfort, airflow and freedom of movement will enable riders to achieve their best runs during ranch riding runs. With more brands recognizing the need for specialized design, high quality ranch shirts are now readily available.

Retail prices vary widely for performance oriented ranch riding shirts depending on materials used and brand reputation. Like most apparel though, huge markdowns can happen during seasonal sales or special promotional events. Savvy competitors looking to save will want to monitor their favorite brands for periodic price reductions to keep their competition wardrobe stocked at the most economical cost.

Ranch riding's popularity looks likely to keep growing into the future. As more riders discover this fast paced, technique focused equestrian sport, demand will continue for shirts that offer exceptional comfort and mobility in the arena. Expect even more apparel companies to offer new shirt designs intended specifically for those who love putting ranch horses through their paces in competition.


What fabrics are best for ranch riding shirts?

Lightweight, breathable fabrics with stretch and moisture wicking properties provide maximum comfort and unrestricted mobility. Popular options include spandex blends, polyester/cotton blends, and athletic style performance fabrics.

Which shirt style is most suitable for ranch riding competitions?

A relaxed fitting athletic cut allows full range of motion while riding. Consider styles with ventilation panels, mesh fabric and tapered tails that tuck in for optimal comfort and performance.

How much do ranch riding shirts cost?

Prices can vary from $40 to $150+ depending on fabric, technology, and brand. Top western wear names like Cinch and Ariat tend to offer mid-range options. Smaller niche brands may have budget or premium-priced selections.

What are the most popular colors for ranch riding shirts?

While a range of versatile neutrals like white, grey and tan are readily available, bolder plaids, vibrant jewel tones, and contrasting colors reflect the daring fashion sense of many competitors.

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