*Outside in this context means the Lower 48 states
I have been reading books about horse riding/maintenance, etc. (Donna, I've got two books by Mark Rashid on order- thanks for the suggestion) I think the one I'm currently reading must be written by someone from the east coast. It's a good book - don't get me wrong - but she comments on the importance of wearing the proper riding attire when approaching a new stable so that you will be taken seriously. She also calls rental horses "hacks." I always thought a hack was an inferior horse but it apparently means a horse available for non-owners to ride, i.e. lesson horses. My previous misinterpretation of the word causes it to jar me a little every time I read it and she uses the word a lot. Anyway, both the stables I've ridden at here in Alaska have been very easy going about my choice of clothing. Wearing a helmut is the only "must." As I've mentioned before, I'm overweight so wear jeans with an elastic waistband. I'm still reeling at the thought of wearing riding tights. I also originally thought I'd be riding Western so have a very nice pair of Luchesse cowboy boots that I bought in June. Both barns have indicated that the style of boots is unimportant, just so they have a heel so my foot won't slip through the stirrup. Now I admit I'm jonsing for a pair of paddock boots and some half chaps but they will just have to wait.
My computer just deleted a long paragraph I had written and I'm not in the mood to recreate it. My point is that even the supposed "snobby" English only riding stable staff and boarders have been friendly and helpful. It may be because Alaska is so far from mainstream equestrian events that the few horse people up here stick together. Whatever the reason, it sure makes the experience nice for a newby like me.