A popular event in any horsemanship competition is Dressage. What the competitors are wearing is very important in order to impress the judges and the audience, it is vital to look the part! While traditionally, there is a requirement for formal dress among competitors, the outfits must also be practical to be on horseback. Some of the most common types of apparel that are required for dressage are:
• Show Coat
• Tall Dress Boots
• Breeches (Pants) in White
• Riding Shirt in White
• White Stock
• Riding Helmet in Velvet
Generally, your Show Coat is a dress coat in black that has long sleeves with buttons adorning the front. They are meant to be well fitted and properly tailored so that it will fit correctly around the waist and arms of the rider.
Tall dress boots are generally black and shiny. The can have embellishments, but no laces or buttons. They are custom fit to the rider they are made for. I really love the boots, they are comfortable and to me really add that extra something to the outfit.
When it comes to your breeches or pants, you can wear beige, however white is the most proper. You should make sure that you only wear them when you are competing and guard the color because stains are not accepted. I find that my breeches are very comfortable and cool. Mine are considered to be “full seat” and they have a strip of leather on them. The key with this type of pants is not sliding out of the saddle when you are riding!
The riding shirt should be solid white in a material that isn’t easily wrinkled. It should offer a fit that is snug. The white stock fits around your neck and the knot should be flat. Secure the tails with safety pins to the shirt to ensure they don’t show.
And, last but not least, is the helmet. The color should always match the jacket you are wearing. Some competitions will let you wear a bowler, beagle, or top hat.