What does it all mean?! When buying a new horse riding jacket or trousers you need to know if it is going to be fit the purpose you want.

So is it just semantics or is there an important difference between waterproof, water reistance and water repellant riding jackets?! The short answer is yes, there is a difference. Essentially they denote the extent to which water can get through the fabric.

So here is your guide to buying a waterproof riding and leisure jacket:

Water Resistant

This is the lowest level of protection from rain. Essentially the fabric tends to be tightly woven and thus creating a fairly good barrier between your skin/under clothes and the rain. They should keep you fairly dry in a light, short drizzle or shower but won’t keep you dry in heavy or prolonged rain.

Water Repellant

This is the next level up of protection from water resistant material. The material will have a special coating on the outside to encourage the rain to pool into big droplets and run off the material. This should keep you dry in a light rain shower for a decent amount of time. However in a heavy shower, when the heavens open (!) or over a long period of time, the pressure of the rain on the fabric will cause it to seep through the material.  Softshell materials are usually noted as being water repellant.


If you want to be sure to keep dry when out in the rain for long periods then you will need a waterproof riding jacket. Fully waterproof means that the fabric won’t allow any water through.  To be completely waterproof it will also have to have taped seems which prevents the water from getting through the seems in the jacket. As the name suggests a waterproof tape is placed over any seems to prevent water getting through the stitching.


Critically with a waterproof riding jacket you also need it to be breathable. This means that moisure from your body (sweat & heat) can be moved from the inside of the fabric to the outside of the fabric preventing you from getting wet inside the jacket.


So in summary, if you are out in all weathers both riding and caring for your horse and want to stay completely dry inside and out, then you need a waterproof jacket with taped seams.

If you avoid riding in heavy showers and storms but need some protection from the odd shower, then a water-resistant and/or water-repellant riding coat will be perfectly suitable for you.

Check out our waterproof riding jacket range HERE.

My top waterproof riding coat for all year round is the Stierna Nova. Fully waterproof & with lots of ingenious features, this is perfect for those wishing to ride in all weathers! Click HERE for more info.


Stierna nova waterproof riding jacket

For a mid length waterproof jacket with a bit of warmth go with the Wintertide from Mountain Horse. A lovely warm lining which is breathable and big slits in the sides for riding.

Click HERE to see more information.


Top pick for a highly functional and great value waterproof set, is the Mountain Horse Guard jacket & over trousers to keep your legs dry ! Click HERE to find out more.

If you would like any further help or advice on choosing a waterproof horse riding jacket please don’t hesitate to get in touch. [email protected]

Thank you again for all your support!

Laura x