In English riding, the apparel is just as important as the riding skills. Every piece of the outfit serves a purpose, and during competitions, helps the rider look their most polished. Girls riding pants, for example, during competitions, must be neutral in color and can be full seat or have knee patch breeches. For practice and riding lessons, the pants can be any color. Plus, riding pants are designed to provide maximum comfort and functionality.
Here are two more English riding apparel must-haves.
While the riding pants are the most essential item in an English riding
outfit, the shirt is the second most important. During competitions,
riders must wear collared show shirts. Women must also wear a stock tie.
For practice and riding lessons, riders can wear any shirt they would
like. There is an unspoken dress code in the riding world, though, and
due to practical reasons, collared shirts or polo shirts are
During competitions, riders are expected to wear a riding coat. The
color of the coat will most likely depend on the team's color, but
usually they are black, blue or red. For practices or riding lessons,
coats are not required. It is a good idea to get some practice in them
before an actual competition simply to ensure the fit is comfortable.
Since the coats tend to be form-fitting, movement may feel different
especially if the coat has not been broken in yet.
Belts have become a fun fashion accessory that give the English riding
outfit a little bit of personality. Available in an array of styles,
each rider is free to wear a belt that fits their taste. Boots and boot
socks go hand in hand. Since riding boots are tall in order to protect
against chaffing in the calf area, they may cause some pinching or
discomfort with certain movements in other areas. The socks act as a
comfort barrier making the boots and chaps a little more enjoyable to
wear. Helmets are a must for riders so that their head is protected in
case of a fall. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred to riders who
fell off their horse and were not wearing a helmet.
English riding has been raised to art form, and the outfit riders are
expected to wear during competitions adds to the prestige and integrity
of the sport.