What to Wear: Dressage

With hunting season over and the last of the hunter trials finishing up it means we are well into Spring ... finally! I usually spend most of my summer's showing and doing working hunter classes and the odd dressage class to keep us ticking over nicely. I love a bit of showjumping but nothing beats the feeling of teaching your horse how to passage or even just a simple leg yield .. I always feel like a mini Edward Gal in the making! 

Tack and turnout are really important for dressage - even just for local shows! I always feel I perform so much better when I am in my best competition gear and groomed from forelock to fetlock :) Dressage is meant to be minimalistic, monochrome and neat looking. Knowing exactly what to wear can be a little daunting but this guide should help you :) It is suitable for preliminary riders (the lowest level) right up to Advanced Medium riders ...

As with other competitions a safety helmet is of upmost importance. A normal 3 point harnessed hat or a crash helmet with a black, dark blue or brown cover may be used.
It is worth nothing that from the 1st of January 2013 it will be compulsory for all riders to wear a riding hat/crash cap to a suitable safety standard. Such a hat will of PAS 015, EN1384, BSEN1384, ASTM F1163, SNELL E2001 or any new standard that meets or exceeds those stated.

A tweed coat may be worn with a collarless shirt and dark coloured stock. A plain bar stock pin is to be used. A tweed jacket may also be used with a shirt and tie.
A black or navy blue coat is also acceptable and is usually favoured by most riders. This is worn with a cream or white coloured stock and plain bar stock pin.
A plain, dark coloured waterproof may be worn in wet weather.
Body protectors are optional and can be worn over or under the jackets.

 Breeches / Jodhpurs 
These must be white, cream or beige. I personally prefer beige or fawn coloured breeches, I have no idea how people keep their jodhpurs so white ... especially when around horses! I end up covered in stains ... even if I'm not even around the horse! I simply just cant 'do' white jodhpurs! 

Gloves are compulsory.  White, Beige or cream gloves are preferred as these show up hand movements more so then black or dark brown ... so obviously I go for the darker colours!

Boots must be black or brown and may either be long boots or Jodhpur boots with gaiters. Gaiters are only allowed if they are indistinguishable from the jodhpur boots in colour and leather. 

For Dressage Ireland competitions spurs can be worn from Preliminary level but are not permitted in the Riding Club (AIRC) until the rider is an intermediate dressage rider. 
Metal spurs with round hard plastic or metal knobs are allowed. The metal band round the heel must be smooth and there must be a shank on the back of the heal pointing towards the rear.

It is permitted to carry any length whip in all National classes except Finals and Championships or 
at the request of the selectors (Dressage Ireland rule) and any level rider within the Riding Club is allowed a whip.
When saluting, competitors must not have the whip in their right hand. It should be free so they can salute the judge properly :) It may not be picked up if dropped during a test.

I think most riders doing dressage this summer will be doing unaffiliated classes and more so doing it for the experience and a fun day out. Don't worry if you don't have all the proper gear or can't get a lend of it off someone else. Just ring the organiser and explain ... any I have come across don't mind provided you have fun and just give it a go! It's really not as boring as most people think it is and I would urge people to try it at least once! :) Sure if Edward Gal can do it ... then so can we! :P

No comments:

Post a Comment