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Show Apparel

Show Apparel

There are specific and nuanced guidelines regarding what to wear in horse shows and most other types of equine competitions. A sport rooted in tradition, most horseback riding show clothing is heavily influenced by the origins of the discipline. English show clothing is inspired by that of the cavalry and foxhunters, and Western show clothing descends from that originally worn by Conquistadors and other Spanish settlers in early America and Mexico.

In the dressage show ring, the specific garments and accessories vary based on your level of competition. Overall though, competitors typically wear white full seat breeches, tall boots, an English show shirt with a stock tie, a dressage coat - or shadbelly for upper-level classes, and conservatively colored gloves. Hair should be pulled back into a show bow or bun, and to top it off many dressage riders now choose to wear an ASTM/SEI certified helmet (rather than the traditional top hat).

Hunter riders will excel by dressing conservatively and neatly. The typical dress includes tan colored breeches, black tall boots, a white show shirt, a dark colored hunt coat, black gloves, and an ASTM/SEI certified helmet.

A wider variety of attire is acceptable in the jumper ring, although a neat appearance is desirable for competition. White or tan breeches as optimal, as well as black leather tall boots, a light-colored shirt with a collar, and typically a hunt coat with some stretch. Gloves are optional, and an ASTM/SEI certified helmet is mandatory.

The Western show ring calls upon the traditions of the West. Competitors should appear polished, and they should consider color when putting together a show outfit, since a wider variety of colors are acceptable in the Western show ring. Jeans or other pants that fit under and match your Western chaps, a Western show shirt, and boots that match your chaps make up the foundation of a Western show outfit. Accessorize your look to stick out in competition with a Western belt and belt buckle, a crisp clean hat, spurs (if needed on your mount), and earrings and/or a scarf.

Learn more about what to wear in the show ring on our blog.