Riding Attire in different disciplines - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Riding Attire in different disciplines

So I've just been wondering what do you wear when you ride? Man that might've sounded odd... I ride western and english and I ride in my cowboy boots and jeans for both disciplines. However, I've been seeing and hearing from some people (outside of the forum) about riding attire for disciplines. For example, an english rider was ranting about how people shouldn't wear jeans and 'western' stuff to ride in an english saddle but english boots and breeches. I've also gotten a few looks from the dressage barn I took a couple of lessons at. I don't see the problem. Is there some secret I've been missing out on about what you wear effecting your riding ability? haha This is just general riding, if I was showing that would be a different story. Just wanted to see your opinions.

I guess as another side point: Have you ever mixed disciplines tack? I.E. an english saddle and western bridle? I've done it a couple of times due to circumstances but just wanted to see what everyone thought on this?
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 04:45 PM
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I wore jeans and cowboy boots all through college to ride English because I was broke and that's what I had. I was only riding in university classes, and we were in Montana, so while I got looks from the snobby girls from the East coast, the instructor didn't mind.

However, I feel like it is a respect thing. I will wear whatever to ride in my pasture at home, but I try to wear clean full seat breeches, paddock boots, and a tucked in polo at my lesson barn out of respect for the instructor and her beautiful facilities. You wouldn't show up to work in dirty, holey clothes, or something inappropriate for the job for similar reasons.

There's also the issue of damaging an English saddle with the seam on jeans from repeated use. Some newer English saddles have really soft leather, so this can be a problem. Some don't though.

It also really depends on the kind of barn you are at. You could try chatting with your trainer about it. If they actually have somewhat of a dress code, you could probably be compliant with a $20 pair of Dover breeches, a cheap polo from JC Penney, and cheap half chaps over your western boots (depending on what type they are). Some barns are very relaxed and riding in Western attire would not be an issue at all.

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post #3 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 04:48 PM
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I wear jeans, a t shirt or hoodie, and cowboy boots for western. For English I wear breeches, tall boots, and a t shirt/polo or hoodie. I wear my nicer stuff for hauling out or when I'm riding with other people, but since I keep my horses at home I've been known to ride around the pasture in yoga pants occasionally.
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 04:49 PM
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I switch on and off from western and english...I just wear leggins and boots simple Justin western boots. Except for when I'm riding english/saddle seat, then I will try to wear longer field boots...Sometimes its annoying getting your boot caught by the leathers/flap.

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post #5 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with the looking decent. When I take lessons with my western instructor (or am on the job there) I always wear a nice pair of jeans and a tee shirt. I asked the main trainer/owner/lesson instructor at the dressage barn if it was okay (because I'm one of those people that's dead broke, and was very concerned about being a good client at the upper class dressage barn lol) and she insisted that it was fine because I wasn't showing. It seems to be one of her lesson instructors and the others that are not okay with it. I didn't realize that about the seam and leather! I've never noticed it on my saddle but then it is older.... :) So I guess there is no secret stickability trick that breeches give a person? Darn. ;)
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 05:20 PM
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I ride in jeans and a T-shirt when it is hot, and with a sweatshirt on top if it is cool. My jeans seem to have had no effect on my Bates English saddles - haven't tried anything else. I normally use an Australian-style saddle, so no one in the US knows what to think anyways.

I do mix tack, and see no harm in it. But then, I don't show. I ride for my pleasure in my neighborhood & desert. And no, my mare hasn't seemed to notice that the stirrup leathers are a different color than the saddle, or that they have 4-bar Australian stirrups attached...

If I was at a 'barn', I'd ask before I got there about their business model. I do understand how a barn that builds its reputation on showing or on posh-ness would wet themselves at the sight of Mia & I strolling along. If the other folks are paying for atmosphere, then Mia & I wouldn't fit in, and shouldn't try. Or, at a minimum, I'd have to keep a can of cheap beer in my free hand so they could say, "That's Drunk Bob & his **** Horse Mia..."
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 05:37 PM
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When I rode English I always wore my field boots with skinny stretchy jeans. Jeans and my cowboy boots my jeans rode up my leg and the leathers pinched me. Western well normally jeans an cowboy boots. Sometimes shorts, maybe tennis shoes. I don't like mixing tack just because I'm OCD about it but I have, western saddle and English bridle or vice versa.
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post #8 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
If the other folks are paying for atmosphere, then Mia & I wouldn't fit in, and shouldn't try. Or, at a minimum, I'd have to keep a can of cheap beer in my free hand so they could say, "That's Drunk Bob & his **** Horse Mia..."

I love the atmosphere saying! I've been having conflicting emotions about this barn because of that. The owner says it's fine and to 'not pay any mind to the snobs' but I'm not going to put money into being critiqued on how I look, and taught was breeches to wear.

And as for the can of cheap beer and your **** horse: you guys must be related to me and my mare! I just recently learned that in my town (and hers where she grew up before I had her) she was known as the 'Red Bitch Beast' to the stud owners. And her rider has always been called, 'The Enabler'.... or 'The Stupid One'. I would have no problem going out for a ride with you guys posh barn or not!
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 05:44 PM
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As long as I don't change the bit my horse notices nothing.
My horse does not mind the smell of cigars nor does he mind the smell of whiskey.
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-18-2013, 07:40 PM
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If I am in a lesson or riding with my trainer it's tall boots, breeches, polo shirt, helmet and gloves plus a saddle pad in navy blue or black. It's a matter of respect for the trainer, being seen with a ragtag rider makes her seem way less professional. Well that and she'll spend the whole lesson commenting on the horror of a purple saddle pad...

On my own though, nothing remotely fancy about my place so I wear jeans, cowboy boots, full suede chaps and the aforementioned purple saddle pad with my dressage saddle and bridle.
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attire , clothing , english , western

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