Dress for Success – How to Dress Like a Winner

My first line was, how to dress like a whiner, then I re-read it and decided I would rather dress like a winner, not a whiner.

Dress For Success

horse riding, improve your riding, thistle Ridge Skill Builders, Laura Kelland-May, horse riding, horse training Ottawa, Horse training Ontario,horses, horse info, horse judging

It Need Not be New, Just Clean and in Good Repair

Creative Commons License photo credit: Patrick Feller

This is more than wearing acceptable clothing it is being on trend, comfortable, and within the rules set by the competition. When schooling, however, wearing appropriate, safe clothing is a must.

Where do you like to shop? Do you have a favorite pair of breeches you just can’t do without?

What you wear is a reflection of you and your horse and your business. Whether at ringside, showing or schooling at home people notice what you wear and getting into the habit of wearing appropriate clothing is necessary.

 Dress Like a Winner – The Message Your Image Sends

Whether you like it or not what you wear will be judged. As the old saying goes you only have 1 chance to make a good first impression. Your image, physical appearance, voice, manners and your personal views are added into the mix. First impressions are made instantly and once an impression is made it is difficult to undo a bad first impression.

What you need to Dress Like a Winner

horse riding, improve your riding, thistle Ridge Skill Builders, Laura Kelland-May, horse riding, horse training Ottawa, Horse training Ontario,

Your Clothes Say A Lot About Who You Are

Your clothing need not be new or designer it just has to be neat, clean and in good repair. Judges are not looking for designer names or specific brands, they are looking for neat and organized riders. If you have the most expensive, hottest trending equipment and tack but can’t get your horse to the jumps properly – it really doesn’t matter.
Creative Commons License photo credit: andreavallejos

I personally prefer the less is more on the jewellery front. Dangling earrings, bangles and pony tails with rosettes are best suited for the dance floor not the show ring.

Latest Trend in Tall Boots

Remember the days when you struggled on and off with your boots? flexing and prying your swelled calves from the hot sweaty black leather. The latest from Ariat Boots is the Volant. What a lovely boot. Sleek and designed for the rider.

Although I have yet to try them they look comfy and they get thumbs up from the people I have spoken with about them. From the Ariat home page they describe the Ariat Volant:

Innovative performance, fit, and design. Premium European calf leather is combined with a breathable stretch mesh for an ergonomic, athletic fit. Cobalt Quantum technology provides superior support, control, and stability. Ready to meet any challenge with a reinforced Tec-Tuff heel counter and overlasted construction for added durability with a sleek silhouette, and Ariat’s exclusive Duratread outsole. Spur cradle with two height options.

 Latest in Riding Jackets

Even though there have been few advances in english riding apparel new coats are designed better than ever.  Now with better materials, vents and stretch riding coats are more comfortable and durable. Take a look at the description of this Tuff Rider® Coat

“Tropical weight Poly/Wool/Lycra fabric is perfect for the show ring. Touch of lycra for just enough stretch across the back and arms. Enhanced fit and elegant drape for a traditional look. Classically tailored with double vents, notched lapels, fully lined, outside flap pockets and three button front. Reinforced buttons.

There are some conservative colors available such as black herring bone and blue plaid. They are conservative but fancy enough to be unique.

Dressage coats are  more predictably conservative. Navy or black are the popular choices.

Latest in Riding Shirts

Shirts although not readily seen, must fit comfortably and not be too outrageous. You can never go wrong with a classic white or off white. Consider getting your own designed and built especially for you like these Ian Millar specials. The shirt is just as important as the jacket.

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A Long Sleeved Shirt Should Be Worn In Case Jackets Are Excused

Expect to pay from around $20 (for children’s)  – $80 for a good quality show shirt. Do not scrimp. Get the best quality you can afford. Always a long sleeve in case jackets are excused. I like visiting this store to see their lovely show clothes. They are high end but of course, worth it!

Latest in Breeches

There are many styles and fabrics to choose from. When showing consider comfort and  durability. High tech fabrics and new designs make breeches more comfy and fit nicely. Gone are wide flared jodhpurs, and even the beige-y green breeches with ironed in creases are being pushed aside for more comfortable breeches in breathable fabrics and fakey-suede full seat.

If you are ‘full size’ rider visit EighteenHands.com for specialy clothing.  for your riding clothes.

Where do you shop? Do you have a special pair of breeches you just can’t do without?

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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4 Responses to Dress for Success – How to Dress Like a Winner

  1. Jan says:

    Oh this does take me back to when we had horses. I do miss them! I don’t miss the fashion. Going to the yard with a teen daughter who insisted on labels even for everyday yard wear, just because everyone else was wearing them! It cost us more in clothing than it did to keep 2 horses!
    Loving your website, it’s very informative :)

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you Jan…
    As a Senior Judge you know i can’t see the labels from the judges box! I know you can spend alot of money on clothing to keep on trend. Even the ‘wellies’ are pricey now because they are trendy!
    Thank you for the comment and visiting my site/blog!


  3. Pingback: Horse Show Tip # 5 – Act Like a Winner | Thistle Ridge Equestrian Services

  4. Pingback: Horse Show Tip # 6 Have a Neat Clean Appearance | Thistle Ridge Equestrian Services

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