Life Style

What outfit for a competition

If you’re new to the world of equestrian events, you may still have a little difficulty considering what you and your horse should wear. It must be said that you have put so much effort into ensuring that he performs at his best on the big day, that your gala outfit would almost take second place. However, it’s up to you to be up to the task, including the care taken with your appearance!

Impress the judges with your impeccable look as much as your performance with a few tips. Let’s go !


Riding jackets come in a variety of colors, patterns and weights. All perfectly suited to the chosen class.

Depending on the class you enter, the dress code will change slightly. The trick to not making a mistake If your horse or pony wears a colorful browband, you will opt for a navy blue jacket. If your horse wears a plain browband, you will favor tweed and can indulge in a pretty note of color.


With so many styles to choose from, it can often be difficult to make a choice! First step find the model in which you will be comfortable and can give the best of yourself.

Every class has its own color, although tan or tan are generally acceptable for most classes. Brighter colors such as canary will be suitable for mountain competitions or exhibitions.

The shoes

Comfort is essential here! You may wear your boots all day so take your time to find the perfect ones for you. Generally prefer black to brown and opt for long boots in competition.

The accessories

They will complete the outfit without dominating it.

In most cases, a tie will be worn in the show ring and should accompany the rest of your outfit. A show cane can be worn as can brown gloves, which will generally be preferred.

The hair of adults and children should be carefully tied, or even braided with ribbons to match the children’s outfit.

And of course, we don’t forget the riding helmet. A traditional black or navy velor helmet with a beige chin guard will be required. It must coordinate with your jacket and comply with appropriate safety standards. Take care to adjust it correctly you could be disqualified for wearing it incorrectly!

Clothing adapted to the discipline

The Hunter

The Hunter is rooted in tradition so riders must be properly dressed. Always check color preferences.It is further recommended that the rider’s attire does not interfere with the performance of the horse and rider. Judges do not have the ability to eliminate a participant for inappropriate attire, except for safety reasons. Shirts must have a choker, similar collar or tie. Trousers can be buff, canary, beige, rust or white.

The jacket will traditionally be navy blue, black, green, gray or brown. Although the rules have relaxed, opening the door to burgundy for example, stick to the historically acceptable colors mentioned as much as possible. Opt for a well-fitted jacket, without any embellishments that might appear too fancy. All combined with light pants and a white shirt.

When the rider is authorized to ride without a jacket, he must however wear a traditional riding shirt, short or long sleeved with a neckband or tie. Polo shirts are not permitted except in non-judged warm-up classes.

In summary, be chic and go for a conservative style. Finish your look with tall black boots, dark gloves, a no-nonsense black helmet, and a neutral-colored belt.

The horse riding

The rules regarding riding attire are basically the same as for the hunter. You will avoid standing out with awkward or ill-fitting clothes, in order to shine only through your performance!

When standing, your jacket should fall just below the top of your pants seam.

The sleeve should touch your wrist when your arms are outstretched, so that the beginning of your shirt is visible.

Make sure the shoulders fit snugly. That is, they should not be too tight or too big. Favor the fit of the shoulders over that of the torso, without opting for a model in which you will float.

If the buttons or zipper wrinkle, the jacket is definitely too small. It should fall naturally, without needing to pull it down or adjust it regularly.

Finally, the spurs and the crop, if used, must remain neutral in color.

The competition

This can be divided into three categories , where the outfits will vary from one class to another.

Casual outfit

Dark jackets are required here. One color per team may be authorized, matched with white or fawn pants. A white tie, a neckband (unless the shirt, by design, has the neckband built into it) and a white or lightly colored shirt must be worn. Shirts must have a white collar and white cuffs.

Shirts should be tied at the neck and tucked into pants. Boots are mandatory. Half chaps are permitted as long as the color matches the paddock boots worn.

Formal Rider Attire

Jackets of any color are permitted. Pants must be light colored (white, fawn or canary). Shirts, also light-colored, must be tucked into the pants and tied at the top of the neck. Boots are mandatory.

Play with colors when it comes to the jacket, to stand out!

Standard rider outfit

Jackets are not required. Pants of any color are allowed. Shirts (polo shirts are allowed) must have collars and sleeves (sleeves can be long or short) and must be tucked into pants. Sleeveless shirts and shirts with visible hoods are prohibited.

Boots are mandatory. Half chaps are permitted as long as the color matches the paddock boots worn.

This is the most flexible category for show wear. Just make sure your shirt has sleeves, a collar, and is tucked into your pants. This category allows the use of sweaters, raincoats or jackets (with or without hood) in extreme weather conditions, but only after the competition management has approved the wearing of these garments.

Final tips

Dress for the weather

If it’s hot, opt for light, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. If it’s cold, choose a warmer material like wool or fleece.

Wear comfortable shoes

With grippy soles so you don’t slip in the mud during cross-country events or on wet grass during show jumping competitions. Don’t forget hats, jackets and gloves if the weather requires it!

Coordinate with your horse

Choose colors that coordinate with your horse’s colors. If your horse wears white, then a white shirt will be preferred. Of course, you can also opt for a color different from that of your animal, but well matched. White goes with everything, that shouldn’t pose a problem!

In any case, avoid wearing anything with rhinestones or sequins that could fall and get lost in the ground.

It’s obvious that preparing for your first horse show can be stressful. Keep in mind that expectations vary from event to event. Always remember to review the dress code rules for the particular class you are competing in so you are prepared. You can even find a lot of inspiration by looking at the attire of other participants. And above all, have fun!

For more questions, you can consult this community dedicated to services for horses:

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