about english horse show clothing and how to figure out what
you need for your classes?
Shopping and finding the right attire and
equipment can be a tedious
and somewhat confusing process, especially if you are new to showing
It gets easier once you get the hang of it and know the right questions
to ask. Below we will be answering a few common questions and pointing
you in the right direction to get more helpful information.
A brief background on the english riding discipline, an overview of
typical english horse show clothing found at a horse show, and ideas to
get you started shopping can be found if you continue reading below.
English Riding Background
The english style of riding varies from
that of the western style. At
any horse show you will notice these larger differences found in the
show clothing on each exhibitor and in the tack and equipment used on
The english style of riding originated in England and was brought to
America. It is still considered the "traditional" style of riding where
there has been little change seen over the years in attire, tack, and
In this style of riding, you ride with increased contact on your horse.
The saddle has less material surrounding you and fits closer to the
body of your horse.
English horse show clothing is very formal in competition. Next we will
briefly cover the basic pieces of english horse show clothing you need
sign up for your FREE copy of "All-Arounder
Magazine". It's packed full of helpful horse
show news, information, tips and horse keeping advice. Our magazine
contains information exclusive to readers only! Sign up NOW and you'll
also receive a FREE
printable Horse Show Checklist!
What Clothes Do I Need to Show?
overview of english horse show
clothing will kick start your
search for clothing. Keep in mind the there are other classes in the
english riding discipline that we may not cover here.
So take a moment and picture in your mind a hunt seat or english rider
decked out in full gear on her/his horse. It is that picture of a rider
waiting at the in-gate for an english pleasure or equitation class that
we are going to use for this overview.
(The video below will help give you a visual. It is
general footage of a hunt seat equitation class and the clothing on the
rider is the look you are going for.)
We'll start from the bottom and work our way up. The first piece(s) of
english horse show clothing on our rider are the riding boots.
Typically a tall black boot is required for proper attire. You may or
may not find a pair of english riding spurs attached to these boots.
Next we see our rider is wearing a pair of riding breeches (english horse riding pants). They come
in a few various neutral shades meant to blend in with the shirt and
Moving on you may see some variation of hunt seat shirt under the
jacket. Traditionally the appropriate color has been white. However,
one of the few changes to english horse show clothing has been adding
color to the shirts.
These colors can range from pastels to even bold colors. Over top the
shirt you will wear a hunt coat. They come in a few shades of grays,
blacks, and dark blues.
And to round off the ensemble is the hunt cap found on our rider's
Again I will state that this is just a brief overview of common hunt
seat attire. There are other english classes that stock breed horses
show in that we have not yet covered here.
For example, dressage (also can be considered a discipline in itself),
saddle seat, eventing, and show jumping can all be considered part of
the english riding discipline.
Hunter hack or working hunter classes are also a part of this
discipline and are commonly found at breed circuit shows. Your biggest
difference in a class involving jumps compared to a flat working class
is going to be in the tack/equipment used and your helmet (need safety
straps on the helmet).
Where Can I Go To Shop
Now that you have a basic idea on what
english horse show clothes to
wear at a show, let us give you some ideas on where to start shopping.
If this is your first shopping experience for some new show clothes, we
highly recommend taking a trip down to the nearest tack store.
This way you will be able to try on certain brands or types of clothes
to find out what fits. You also have access to the helpful staff if you
have any questions about your show clothing.
Other ideas for shopping include tack sales where you may be able to
find some pieces of clothing at a discount price.
The internet can be a great place to get
new and used show clothing.
There are tack stores that deal primarily online and you can also check
some of the major auction sites.