What do eventers wear?
In my last blog I covered the items that would normally be found in an event horse’s wardrobe, but let’s not forget the rider! The rider’s kit list can be just as expansive as the equine athlete’s, especially as there are three disciplines to consider.
When you’re preparing the horse for the event in the morning before leaving and also whilst at the event itself, one of the most difficult things is to keep yourself clean! So often I have had my horse immaculately turned out only to end up with mud or slobber stains down my nice white breeches! I would suggest a pair of loose jeans or joggers which can be easily slipped on and off over your breeches. The Horze Unisex Waterproof Shell Trousers are perfect as they have side zippers so they can easily be removed and they also have the added bonus of being waterproof. A jumper or zip up top to go over your stock shirt is also recommended, such as the Horze Supreme Langston Unisex Fleece Jacket.
On cooler days I like to wear a gilet over my jacket to warm-up (as long as someone is on hand to hold it when I take it off to compete) – the HKM Cavallino Marino Seaside Gilet is ideal as it is smart and functional without being too heavy. Or how about the HKM Reversible Gilet for two looks in one! For rainy days the HKM Pro Team International Riding Jacket is perfect for keeping you dry without getting too hot underneath. It's windproof too.
This is the fun part - picking your outfit for the competition. Not that it’s a fashion show, although a bit of style and good turnout does undoubtedly help! Starting from the bottom, I love the Mountain Horse Sovereign Riding Boots. They are beautifully soft and mould to your feet very quickly. They are top-end quality and look extremely flattering, and have the added bonus of being available in classic black and a stylish two-tone brown colour.
My favourite breeches are either the Mark Todd Taranga Ladies Full Seat Breeches in beige or I also have the Tredstep Symphony Azzura Breeches in white so I have a choice of colours. I finish off the Tredstep breeches with the matching Curve Belt. The Mark Todd ones are really comfy and fit very well, whilst the Tredstep range of breeches are equipped with Nanosphere technology which is great at repelling stains – check out the video which demonstrates how ketchup and honey will just run off the fabric if it is spilt on the breeches – a very useful feature for when you need to get rid of green horse slobber!!
For a stock shirt I like to wear the Tredstep Solo Short Sleeved Competition Shirt which is manufactured with a lovely silky fabric which really helps keep you cool. It has poppers at the neck so there’s no need to faff with fiddly buttons and it also has an eye-catching, colourful trim on the inside of the collar which is a nice detail.
You can finish the look with a riding stock and stock pin from the extensive Equetech range. Tredstep also have some long-sleeved, coloured shirts in the Symphony range (the Futura Sport Top) which are ideal for the cross-country phase to fit in with your colour scheme – my favourite is the royal blue one.
There are a range of show jackets available nowadays, giving you the freedom to choose a functional softshell jacket or something with a bit more bling and individuality. Stretchy fabrics are now commonplace although the traditional wool tweed jackets are still available if this is more to your taste. I prefer to wear a navy jacket with a coloured collar, although at the lower levels of eventing a hacking jacket is more acceptable. The Equetech In-Vent is great if you like to change your look frequently as it has interchangeable collars which are available in a variety of colours. It’s also stretchy and showerproof as an added bonus. If a tailored hacking jacket is more your style then the Dublin Wolverton Ladies Tweed Jacket fits the bill perfectly with its quality wool blend fabric and velvet collar.
Choose gloves to match your look. I only wear white gloves if I have my white breeches on. Although mostly I wear navy to match my jacket and Charles Owen Ayr8 Leather Look hat. Plus it’s one less thing to keep clean! The Woof Wear Competition Gloves are ideal as they are available in a range of colours, are lightweight and have reinforced fingers for strength and durability. Complete the look with a Competition Bib, available from the Mark Todd collection, which is required to be worn at British Eventing competitions.
For the cross-country phase, a skull hat is required rather than a fixed peak hat and I use the Gatehouse HS1 with a coloured silk. Don’t forget you will also need an approved body protector, with an air jacket if you choose to wear one.
And an Event Watch if you’re used to using one - it comes in lots of colours including my favourite, blue!
As I always seem to be incredibly unlucky with the weather, I pack a waterproof jacket. If you want maximum protection, go for HKM’s Long Transparent Rain Mac, alternatively a short version exists also.
Take some comfortable clothes to change into afterwards – a complete change of clothing is always recommended for any unplanned dunkings in the water jump! I like the Tredstep Ladies Polo Shirt – in my trademark royal blue colour of course – because it’s smart, stretchy and composed of a technical fabric to help keep you cool. It’s also a good idea to have a clean pair of breeches to put on in the event of a prize giving. And finally at the start and end of the season (and sometimes in the middle too!) I would always pack a coat! Strange you might say but it’s always best to be prepared, isn’t it especially when Summer is nowhere to be seen?
Last but not least!
Aside from the clothing requirements, I always have a supply of Pimms and chocolate in the lorry – perfect for either commiserating or celebrating at the end of the day!
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