Dress for Dressage

Whether you are going to a rally, headed to Championship or going to a dressage competition outside of Pony Club knowing what is the correct clothes to wear is important. Knowing what the correct dress code for pony club is important for a few obvious reasons, first the rules of the discipline are pretty well spelled out in the Horse Management rulebook on page 31 but there are always new clothes and accessories that come out between the time the rule book is revised.Not having the correct turn out for pony club could cost a point or two, not having the correct turn out at a dressage competition could cause you to feel a bit out of place.

Guidelines for Formal Attire

  • The pants can be white, canary, tan or buff.
  • The shirt must be riding shirt with long or short sleeves that is white.
  • The jacket must be a solid color no stripes, either black, blue, dark gray, or hunt colors.
  • Boots must be tall dress boots or field boots. Paddock boots with match full grain, smooth leather half chaps or leggings are also allowed.
  • Helmets must be black or have a black cover on them.
  • Belts must be worn if your pants have belt loops.
  • Gloves optional. If you do wear them they must be black, brown or white.
  • Neckwear maybe white stock tie, pre tied is ok, with plain pin.

Now here is something different. This year you can wear the new ruffle tie. These are the new ties that are easy to put on and very light weight for hot weather. Those going to Kentucky will appreciate this. Although you may see an ascot type pin being used at the recognized Dressage Competition on these ties, you cannot use them in a Pony Club competition. You must still wear a plain pin with these.

Guidelines for Informal Attire

  • Pants can be any conservative color. If you wear jodhpurs you need to wear paddock boots with garters or pant clips
  • Shirts must have a collar, long or short sleeves. It can be a riding shirt, dress shirt or turtleneck.
  • The jacket can be any color or pattern except solid black.
  • Neck wear can be choker, stock tie or neck tie. If you are wearing a turtleneck you do not have to wear anything over it. Plain stock pin is optional. Gentlemen can wear a necktie. They must be a plain dark color or white. A tack pin can be used to hold them in place.
  • Boots can be an appropriate mounted foot wear. You can wear tall boots, brown or black, paddock boots same colors or paddock boots with full-grain smooth leather half chaps or leggings.
  • Helmets, belts and gloves are the same as formal.

Now that you have an idea of the combinations of clothes that go together don’t forget some of the small details. Your hair is a good place to start.

Hair
Girls with long hair or gentlemen who like to wear their hair longer, should have it up in a hair net. This goes for any show you may attend.The last thing the judge wants to see is your hair hanging down. It is distracting and may take their attention away from your performance.

Braids are acceptable as well .Remember in Pony Club no pins or clips. Show Bows are allowed in regular competitions but not Pony Club. So find a way to put your hair up without them before you come to the rally. That will save you a lot of time and frustration when you get there.

Jewelry
Pony Club competitions are not the place to show off your jewelry. You can wear a watch, a pair of very small, nothing that hangs down, stud earrings and of course your pony club pin. You can also wear a medical necklace or bracelet or your wedding band.

No jewelry is allowed in the airways nose, lips or tongue. Remember all of these rules are put in place for your safety.The rules for jewelry are good ones to follow any time you ride.

Helmets
Make sure when you arrive at the rally you have a helmet that meets all the requirements. First and most important they have to fit. Make sure if you are not sure how to do it that you have an experienced club member help you get that right. There is nothing worse then having a child get to a rally and not have their helmet fit and be told they can not use it the way it is. That is very stressful for the child. If this does happen the HM judges can not fit the helmet for the child only the adult responsible can do that. Best to do it at home. The helmet must have a manufactures label, a label that shows it meets the ASTM /SEI standards.Before you leave home make sure all these requirements are met.Again, this if for the safety of the riders.

Shorts
One last thing, for jogs, no short shorts or jeans are allowed. You can wear slacks, skirts or riding pants for this. Although walking shorts are permitted, be careful they are not too short. Again this is representation of you, your horse and your club or region.

Remember dressage is a very traditional discipline.You want to turn your self and your horse out in a way that is respectful to the judge and in a way that makes you and your club proud. A judge can tell how much preparation you have put into the competition by the way you have turned your self out. It makes a difference and will make you feel good about the effort you have made.

I hope to see some of you in Kentucky this year and will looking at how well you all have turned yourselves out. Good Luck