Horseback riding’s popularity is constantly growing. More and more people, both adults and children, become interested in equestrianism, taking lessons, and learning new secrets of this wonderful discipline. Horse riding provides close contact with nature, it allows you to become friends with a horse, additionally developing the body, improving physical shape and durability. Horseback riding is associated with class and elegance, but of course, there is a required equipment needed for the discipline both for the rider and the horse. A different attire is expected while learning from the one requested at competitions. In the first situation, you could use comfortable clothing that would not restrict your movements with high shoes and headgear. During official competitions, exams, and important ceremonies, there is a required regulated outfit.
Equestrian clothing for competitions
Proper outfit for competitions is crucial – it affects the rider’s aesthetics, looks exceptionally elegant, and makes everybody see the rider as a professional. How the rider and the horse look is also taken into consideration for general assessment, which is why you should make sure everything is properly matched. The necessary equipment includes riding boots, breeches, toque, and gloves. People, who take part in dressage or show jumping need a white shirt, bright breeches – pants without seams on the inner side – and a show jacket.
Show jacket – which to choose?
Equestrian competitions and shows have their own stiff rules and the riders’ outfits must perfectly match the regulations – all details matter. Riders without the requested outfit might not be allowed to participate. One of the required elements of clothing is a show jacket, which has to be matched to the type of discipline.
- show jacket for show jumping must be short,
- show coat for dressage – here you have more freedom. Riders can pick a long jacket, the so-called swallowtail, but they can also pick a short show jacket.
The choice of colors is very limited, shades need to be accepted by the national equestrian association of your country. In Poland, the riders can choose from jackets of the following colors: black, navy blue, red, green, brown, gray.
Show jacket – what to pay attention to?
Despite the fact that the offer of riding coats is vast, it is not easy to pick the perfect model. There are available show jackets for teens, women, and men that differ in cuts and ornaments. The garment has to be comfortable, it cannot restrict the movements, but it also has to look elegant. Its size should be perfectly matched because only then will the rider’s shape look amazing. The show coat should be tried on before a purchase – it is good to take poses you would take on the horse’s back, make a couple moves you would make while riding. That would allow you to check if the jacket would not hinder you, as a wrongly fitted jacket could decrease the quality of your riding. There are a couple of elements you should pay attention to while buying a show jacket. They are:
- material – it is good to pick a model made of material(s) with an admixture of elastin. That would make the jacket fit the body more easily, not restrict movements, provide comfort while riding. The fabric should be breathable and guarantee optimal thermal comfort so that the moisture would not irritate your body. It is also important that the material does not crease because that might negatively affect the rider’s look. For colder seasons, you can pick a show jacket made of softshell, which is durable and easy in maintenance,
- details and ornaments – the jacket must look flawlessly, which is why it is good to pick a model in vogue, which would be elegant and eye-catching. Currently, fashionable are jackets with a stand-up collar and buttons sewn on with contrasting thread or with ornamental seams. Women’s coats might have beautiful crystal trim, shiny rivets, or decorative buttons. Elegant embroideries and velvet inserts are also allowed,
- easy to keep clean – show coats must always be clean and fresh, which is why it is good to buy a model you could wash in a washing machine so that you would not have to worry it might lose its shape or color,
- comfort – it is important for the jacket to have seams in the proper places, which would not cause you discomfort. A swallowtail jacket should have weights in the flaps, which would prevent excessive movements while riding,
- right cut – the jacket has to be of proper length, it cannot roll up while riding. For women, we recommend show jackets with highlighted waists, which would ideally emphasize body shapes.
A perfectly chosen show jacket will make the rider more valuable in the eyes of the audience and judges. The most important will always be the rider’s skills, but the presentation of the rider and the steed is also very important.