What to Wear: Working Hunter

 Now that the foal is weaned and away from Liath, I'm working on getting her fit and back in action again. The plan is to hopefully move her to a nearby yard for a week or two and make the most of their walker! Then the real fun starts :)

I've a few shows lined up that I want to go to this year, and one of the fist big ones is The Northern Ireland Working Hunter Festival. Once I've gotten her going well and looking fab then the rest is up to me. I have won ''best turned out'' in shows before so really know how important it is for the rider to be dressed appropriately and properly for the class. A badly dressed rider really can make the most fabulous horse look tatty!

Riding Hat 
A correctly fitted and secured skull cap or hat that meets current safety standards (such as EN 1384, PAS015). 
Traditional velvet hats with a fixed peak and a flesh coloured harness are preferable, but a skull cap with a smart silk or velvet cover are acceptable. These should be plain and dark and should compliment the jacket. 
I tend to put my hair in a bun and hairnet when riding. This keeps all those little stray hairs off my face and it looks neater and more presentable than having hair in a plait running down your back. 

Jacket / Coat

traditional and well fitting tweed jacket is correct for daytime classes whereas a navy jacket should be worn for evening championships. 

Shirt / Waistcoat
A shirt with a collar should be worn with a plain or discreetly patterned matching tie. 
A collarless shirt with a stock and pin may also be worn. This should compliment the tone of the jacket.

Jodhpurs / Breeches

Plain fawn, banana, cream or buff coloured jodhpurs or breeches are correct. White is considered incorrect. 

Boots and Spurs 

Long black or brown boots (or matching jodhpur boots and gaitors) should be worn. Men are often seen in black boots with brown tops.
Spurs can be worn. 

Body Protectors

In most competitions these are compulsory during the jumping phase. They must meet the most recent safety standard (BETA Level 3).

Gloves should be worn by all exhibitors. Gloves can be made of leather or string. Leather gloves should match the colour of the saddle and bridle of the horse and string gloves should match the colour of the rider’s jodhpurs or breeches. 


A whip or crop may be carried. It should be a dark colour. 

Now all I've to do is get my arse in gear and get Liath (and myself!) fit. The plan is to go qualify for the 80 cms class for The Northern Ireland Working Hunter Festival. Whether or not it all goes to plan is another story ... I'll let you know how we get on! :) 


  1. Hi Ashling,

    Love the blog! As someone who's just getting into riding I found your stuff really insightful, looking forward to future posts! xox

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