Equestrian Competition Wear... for Horse Riders

equestrian competition wear

The glacial glare of competition whites is quintessentially indicative of English sport.  None more so than equestrianism.  But why do we wear whites when we compete?  White reflects the entire spectrum of light, which means it absorbs little heat.  It therefore keeps you cooler than colours that absorb most of the spectrum.   But is there more to it than that?  Yes there is.  Although riding in a competition is all about your skills as a rider, it is also important that you adhere to the strict dress code so that you get the best marks you can.

So what whites do you need?

You need white breeches.  If you’re a show jumper, you probably tend to wear ‘knee patch’ breeches.  Much like their name suggests, knee patch breeches have an imitation ‘leather’ patch on the inside of the knee.  Designed to take the brunt of the wear, knee patch breeches are a basic "must have" item for anyone riding on a close contact, all purpose or forward seat saddle.  We like Tredstep Nero Breech as it offers ultimate comfort and top class performance.

However if you’re a dressage rider, you probably wear a ‘full seat’ breech which has an imitation ‘leather’ insert that runs from the middle of the calf, up across the buttocks and down the inside of both legs.  This helps a dressage rider to stay deep in their saddle. We like the Horze Grand Prix Breech.

You also need a good show shirt.  Look for a show shirt that’s made of a ‘technical’ fabric.  The fabric of these tends to dry quickly as it wicks away any moisture to keeping you cool and comfortable.  Remember that some shirts can be worn without a stock, so if you don’t want the hassle of one of these why don’t you try the lovely Mountain Horse Victoria Top Short Sleeve.  If however you’re happy to tie a stock, you can’t go wrong with a show shirt such as the Kingsland Classic Ladies Lovita Show Shirt which is always available and one of their best sellers.

The last thing you also need of course is a decent pair of gloves.  No bare hands—they give the rider an unfinished look.  There’s a theory that says white dressage gloves emphasize a rider’s hands.  So if they’re moving too much, they’re very noticeable.  Talk to a judge and they’ll say that it doesn’t matter if a rider is wearing white, black or no gloves, nothing will hide bad hands!  My trusted favourite is a good ‘ol pair of Roeckl Ladies Light and Grip Durable Gloves.  I’ve used them for years.

Whether you’re looking for competition whites, you can find exactly what you want in our collection



Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

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