What do I need?
When I start taking my horse to Dressage shows, what will I need for me to look proper? I have a navy show jacket I used at english pleasure classes years ago, I don't know if that is acceptable, but would black half chaps do instead of tall boots? I have the Ariat stable half chap that looks like a tall boot, kind of, from a distance. Or does it depend on the show, like schooling vs. rated?
Also, should I just stick to black and white, or would a pop of color (tastefully) work in my favor? Oh, and for bands for braiding the mane, would black or white bands look better for a chestnut horse? I'm thinking black.
As far as for the rules, you're going to have to check what's legal in your area. In Canada any show sanctioned by the EC beyond a "discovery" rating requires full dress, including tall boots.
Colour is frowned upon, and is usually illegal. In Canada what is allowed is a dark coloured coat, light coloured breeches, stock tie and gloves with a black or navy hunt cap, bowler, top hat or protective helmet. You are also only allowed neutral coloured bands in your horse's mane, ie black, white, grey, brown. Personally, I always use bands that match the colour of my horse's mane. Your boots can be of any colour (as far as I know) except in championships and FEI levels.
Thanks! I have a friend who shows Dressage so I'll check with her what the rules say for our area. I have a pair of black FITS breeches that I LOVE so I hope those would be legal......I don't like the idea of wearing white breeches! lol.
When you planning on going???
Black breeches are not legal unless you are riding side saddle or at an unrated show, btw.
Generally in lower level dressage you can wear white or beige/cream jodphurs/breeches. Even at the lowest levels black is not a suitable colour for jodhpurs/breeches. Most people wish they could ride in black - its a lot more flattering - but that is not what is done. I am not sure exactly why these colours are used, probably a mix of tradition, smart looking and make the leg position visible against the saddle which can be important in judging.
Bands rarely look good in manes, and if you use them you must use a colour that suits the mane. Black or white is not a good look in chestnut main. Choose browny bands, or even clear ones if you are desperate. Sewing braids takes little more time, but they stay in securely and look much better.
Colour is not used in the dressage ring. Dressage is one of the oldest sports in horse riding. The riders generally take it very seriously and if you were to use bright colours it would probably seem disrespectful. You are best to use a white saddle cloth or numnah, and black or brown leather tack.
Unless you are at low levels (pony club type deal) you will be expected to wear either long boots or gaiters. I have a pair of Ariats - I call them chaps but they are generally considered gaiters. I don't know what the actual official difference is, but if they have smooth shiny leather on the outside generally they pass. Ensure your boots and gaiters are the same colour.
As far as I am aware show and dressage jackets are different, but again at low levels either should be fine. Black or navy.
Be aware generally you are not allowed to have bandages or boots on the horses legs. In the few unofficial shows I have been in they do not allow whips or aids such as martingales. Bits and spurs are often limited to level.
@ Saskia, you're right about long boots and gaiters, the different between chaps and gaiters is that gaiters are made of smooth leather, where as chaps are out of material. However, in low level comps (in Aus, not sure about O/S) you are permitted to wear jodhpur boots, but this is frowed upon.
Lower level dressage you can just wear a normal hacking/showing jacket as long as it is navy blue or black. Helmet should be a velevt covered one and needs to match the colour of your jacket.
You need also need a light coloured shirt which matches the colour of your jods, and a stock- can be pre-tied or a cravat. I am too slack to get a cravat and have to tie it myself, so I use a pre-tied stock with a pin and with a jacket it looks just fine.
No leg protection is allowed to be worn on the horse AT ALL once it enters the ring. Also no 'gadgets' such as martingales, draw reins etc. You can only enter with a saddle, snaffle bridle and saddle cloth.
PLease don't use a ribbon browband either!! They look so tacky in a dressage arena, you can pick the showies and PC kids out at a dressage comp by the ribbon browbands so just go for a plain leather one or one with a few stones set in it.
Thanks everyone! I didn't think black breeches were proper, just watned to make sure.
I don't use gadgets on my horse, so I don't have to worry about that. I already know the dressage bridle I'm getting for him, I tried one on him a while back and it looks soooo nice on him! lol.
When are you going! LOL
Oh sry! I forgot to reply to you! lol. I've told you when I'm going ;) I'm just getting everything in order so that when the time comes I'll be ready!
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