show clothes?

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show clothes?

This is a discussion on show clothes? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Show clothes i should weR at 49
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  • 1 Post By verona1016

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    07-25-2012, 06:55 PM
show clothes?

I'm looking at taking Huey to a small country show next month or in September. We're learning dressage, but since I've never been in any kind of show at all before, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the open show with the kids from my barn, that way I know people there, my horse is comfortable with those horses, etc. I don't know what this kind of show is called, but they have several classes, like showing in hand a couple of ways, riding in with a bunch of people walk-trot, or walk-trot-canter, some kind of trail ride, etc. There are different divisions for different kinds of horse-rider pairs, beginner kids, beginner adults, english, western, 4-H, etc.

I thought it would be a good idea to start with this kind of thing because it's not like the dressage and jumping shows I've been to where it's 1 horse in the ring at a time, and this way if I get some kind of Stage Fright I won't be in there all by myself. I don't *expect* stage fright, but I don't want to take the chance. So I'm starting here.

My trainer said the right thing to do, since Huey goes in dressage tack, would be for me to go in dressage show clothes, and to braid up his mane as would be correct for a dressage show too. The mane braiding thing I can learn from a girl at the barn. For me, I'm not sure what the right show clothes are.

What do people show in at the Super Ultra Baby Beginner Level at dressage shows? Can I wear paddock boots and half-chaps, or does it have to be tall boots? Is the coat/shirt/tie thing different than it is for hunter/jumpers? What color are my breeches supposed to be? I have longish hair, what do I do with it? Can I wear my simple black Ovation schooling helmet, or should it be covered up with something? Should I wear gloves? I usually ride with one of these (in black). I'm not good enough to handle a long dressage whip properly. Is this thing OK?

I know that since it's a rustic country show it probably doesn't matter that much, but since I do intend, eventually, to take him to a proper dressage test, I feel I should start out as I mean to go on. Also, no point in laying out for show clothes I won't be able to use once we start showing in our proper discipline.
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    07-26-2012, 07:34 AM
TN, by super baby beginner you mean Intro classes? :)

At ALL local dressage shows I've been to in my area people (kids including) were dressed appropriatly: tall boots, gloves (either white or black, I personally use black), lighter color breeches, and lighter color shirt (many had dressage coat on, although most of the time we are allowed to skip it because it's so hot here, so I personally had it on just once). In fact the rules for every show did say you have to follow USDF rules on your cloth and equipment. I also put my hair in net.

Since in your area it can be different and not that strict I'd give a call or email organizers to double check if you can use paddock boots, non-dressage whip, etc.
    07-26-2012, 11:28 AM
Thanks, Kitten.

It's not a dressage show, it's some kind of all-purpose open show. The question arises because I'm not going to be doing any kind of dressage tests, just riding in the ring with a pack of riders of approximately equivalent degree of general riding skill (adult novices, I should think). I could wind up in the ring with hunter/jumpers and HUS doing walk/trot/canter AND western pleasure riders doing walk/jog/lope...all at the same time. If it's anything like the show in this series I went to last month, we will be the *only* ones in our class with dressage tack.

My trainer said that the rider's attire should match the horse's tack, so hunter tack should be matched with hunter clothes, boots, and hair, dressage with dressage clothes, boots, hair, etc. By super baby etc I mean the pure introductory entry-level stuff. I read the "rules" and they seem confusing...especially when it comes to the boots and breeches. The coat seems pretty clear: an english-style show coat NOT tails. But it looks like in some cases, paddock boots and half-chaps are acceptable, but not always. I'd really prefer to go that route, because I have 17.5" calves and size 10.5 feet, and when I get a pair of tall boots, it's almost certain that they'll have to be custom-made. I can't even wear extra-wide wellies, not if I want anything tucked into them other than a pair of thin socks. Since I've never participated in a show, I don't know if I like it, and I don't really want to get a pair of monstrously expensive boots unless I think I'm going to be doing more showing. I can justify the $100 show coat but not the $900 boots...

I'm also confused about the breeches. I know that white is what the serious people wear, but it's not clear whether other light colors (fawn, beige) would be OK either.

Mostly what I want to do here is to avoid investing in clothes that won't work for me if I want to go into some proper dressage shows, I want to avoid investing in massive quantities of clothes that I won't wear again if it turns out that I hate being in shows, and I also want to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. There will be people around who ride dressage properly, and I'd rather look like a total green noob with Good Intentions than some kind of patchwork horror monster to those guys.
    07-26-2012, 12:34 PM
Oh, I see. I was talking strictly about dressage shows.

I went to open shows couple times (just to watch, I didn't take my horse), but people seemed to wear pretty much everything. I very much agree with your trainer that you want to look "consistent" (tack and outfit). I mean... Looking neat and professional always makes yourself feel better too (and in the end the judges are people too and have eyes).

Light color breeches (say, beige) are acceptable. I saw people wearing them at the shows.

What exactly the rules say about boots + chaps?

Just wondering... Is it cool down there? Because again during summer almost every show around here allows to ride in just a shirt (or you can melt :) ).

Also have you ever tried Mt Horse tall boots? That's what I have (my size is 10 and calves are not the thinnest in world lol!).
    07-26-2012, 12:38 PM
Super Moderator
I don't "do" dressage anymore and haven't for a good many years (probably 20 and that was entry level) but I do have a friend that does and the photos she posts are in white pants tall boots and polo shirts. I was wondering if dressage had gone more relaxed? Or maybe she's a lower level but she mentions qualifiying for this or that so... I don't know?

Do you have a show billet? They usuall will tell you what is appropriate.

OOpsie... should have red Kittens response... she answered my questions! LOL...
    07-26-2012, 12:58 PM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
I do have a friend that does and the photos she posts are in white pants tall boots and polo shirts. I was wondering if dressage had gone more relaxed?
The rules allow light colors, but I'm not sure if it was a case while back. Personally I show in white (I have 2 pairs I keep just for showing and you couldn't beat a price I paid for them anyway ).
    07-26-2012, 03:00 PM
My winter riding boots are Mountain Horse. They fit really well, but they're waterproof-ish, lined with fake fur (for warmth) and make my legs look like upholstered tree trunks. OTOH, when they say "large calf" they actually mean it, unlike Ariat, Tredstep, and the rest. I didn't know that they had a line of dress boots. I will check that out!

My trainer is going to round up the show materials as soon as I remind her. Lol.

The USEF rules say "Riders through First Level may wear half-chaps, gaiters or leggings in solid black or brown, without fringe, matching the color of their boots, and made of smooth leather or leather-like material." When the rules talk about the whip, they spell out that it cannot be *longer* than 120cm and that no whips of adjustable length are permitted (whatever those are), but they don't say anything about shorter whips and it seems to be silent on the subject of crops and bats.

It sounds like light tan breeches will be OK. If I decide to keep on with the showing, I can look out for white ones. Maybe I can wear sweatpants over them or something, because lord knows, I get filthy just looking at my horse...

Thanks guys!
    07-26-2012, 03:16 PM
Originally Posted by ThursdayNext    
My winter riding boots are Mountain Horse. They fit really well, but they're waterproof-ish, lined with fake fur (for warmth) and make my legs look like upholstered tree trunks. OTOH, when they say "large calf" they actually mean it, unlike Ariat, Tredstep, and the rest. I didn't know that they had a line of dress boots. I will check that out!
I got a pair of new dressage Mt Horse in my consignment store last year (1/3 of price, still can't believe that :) ). VERY comfy and for the bigger leg (but leg in boot looks rather slim on pics though).
    07-26-2012, 05:46 PM
Green Broke
Competing in local level dressage shows I wear:

* Black paddock boots w/ black smooth leather half chaps; tall boots are great if you have them, but I have short wide legs and have never found a pair that fit me well. I'm waiting until I'm required to wear them (2nd level, IIRC) before shelling out for a pair of customs
* White full seat breeches. Beige or light gray would be OK, too, but don't give quite the same effect as white
* White short sleeved show shirt- basically a white zip polo shirt with a stock tie loop on the back of the collar
* Stock tie w/ stock tie pin
* Black dressage coat
* Black gloves
* Dark gray Tipperary helmet; I used to put a black cover over it but decided it looks better with it off (not to mention the cover didn't breathe very well...)
* Hair up in a show bow; you can also tuck it up in your helmet if you have room.

In hot weather (and at some schooling shows), they sometimes relax the rules and don't require a show coat. In such cases, a black vest works well.
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    07-26-2012, 10:08 PM
Originally Posted by verona1016    
* White full seat breeches. Beige or light gray would be OK, too, but don't give quite the same effect as white
I'm afraid that the "effect" of white breeches for me would be something akin to the advent of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man onto the scene...Light gray might be, ah, than white.

Seriously - thanks for the answer. This is just the kind of info I need.

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