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7 Ways to Carry a Phone While Horseback Riding

Keeping your phone handy while riding is a challenge for many riders. While equestrians have been effective problem-solvers for generations, the cell phone – especially the size of modern cell phones- presents a unique challenge. In this article, we’ll talk about a few of the popular ways that people carry their phone while horseback riding. You can use these methods for carrying your phone for horseback riding lessons, trail riding, or equestrian vacations.

Here’s a cheatsheet to the info I’ll share in this article from my experience as a rider, coach, and horse breeder:

MethodDescriptionYay or “Neigh”?
Thigh PocketsConvenient access without hindering movements😄
Waist Bags/Running BeltsSecure attachment and prevents phone shifting😄
ArmbandsSecure phone attachment, unrestricted leg movement😄
Phone in BootsLimited comfort, may not suit all sizes😕
Belt ClipsHands-free option, secure attachment, easy access😄
SaddlebagsRisk of detachment, unable to call for help😔

Why saddlebags don’t work for cell phones

There’s a huge variety of saddlebags ranging from the enormous overnight bags too small carriers designed to hold and protect mobile phones. The problem is, if you fall or are otherwise separated from your horse unexpectedly, you won’t be able to call for help if your phone has departed with your horse. For that reason, it’s important to keep your cell phone on your body while horseback riding.

7 Ways to Carry a Phone While Horseback Riding

1. Thigh pockets in breeches and riding leggings

Increasingly popular, one favored way to carry a phone while horseback riding is in the side pocket. In fact, many horseback riders ride in leggings designed for runners for this reason – a wide, easy to access pocket just above the knee where it can’t interfere with your riding.

Thankfully, many manufacturers of breeches and riding pants are answering the “call” and beginning to develop specialty horseback riding clothing designed with pockets for large mobile phones.

It's difficult to carry a phone in typical riding clothing.

2. Carry your phone in a waist bag, or running belt

Horseback riders aren’t the only athletes to struggle with ways to conveniently carry a mobile phone and keep it handy in case of emergency. Many riders have a good experience using equipment made for runners to carry their phones while they are riding. While waist bags (a.k.a. Fanny packs) can bounce awkwardly at a trot and canter, elastic running belts may be a better choice. Running belts are comfy, stretchy spandex belts with pockets that keep the contents secured against your body so they won’t shift while you are riding.

3. Carry your phone while riding with an arm band

One of the first popular ways to carry mobile phones whyile horseback riding is still a great option. Armbands secure your cell phone to your upper arm, keeping your legs completely free to apply cues freely to your horse.

A well fit armband stays in place without shifting while riding, and has the benefit of being a great way to listen to music while riding.

4. Put your mobile phone in your boots

One effective way to make sure that your phone stays with you while riding is to place your mobile phone inside of your boot on the outside of your calf. Riding boots typically have a little bit of space around the calf but very little around the ankle, making it a perfectly adequate place to place your mobile phone – although if you have very slender calves in a very large phone you may find this a less comfortable option.

5. Use a belt clip to keep your phone handy while riding

Although it is Probably the least popular option for carrying a phone while horseback riding, a belt clip is a great option for horseback riders.

A number of manufacturers that design rugged phone cases for outdoor professionals – including an Otterbox phone case– have a belt clip design available. These holders are designed to keep a secure hold on cell phones while remaining hands-free.

Belt clips are one of the safest options for horseback riders who plan to use their phone during their ride. The belt clip attachment requires no bending, twisting, or reaching to retrieve your mobile phone while in the saddle, and makes it a slightly safer option.

In Summary

There’s no one size fits all solution for keeping a mobile phone handy (and safe!) while horseback riding. In review, these are the most popular ways to keep a phone handy while riding:

  • Thigh pockets in breeches and riding leggings for convenient access without hindering movements 🩲👖
  • Waist bags or running belts designed for athletes to prevent phone shifting during rides 🧺🏃‍♂️
  • Armbands for secure phone attachment to the upper arm, allowing unrestricted leg movement 💪💼
  • Placing phones in riding boots, although comfort may vary based on calf size and phone dimensions 🥾📏
  • Belt clips designed for rugged phone cases as a hands-free option, providing secure attachments without reaching or bending 📎📲

While it is a good idea to have a phone nearby, if you plan to ride in an arena or stay near others, it might be best to leave your phone in a tack room. Riders should prioritize safety and choose their preferred method to keep phones within easy reach during emergencies. 📱🏇

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