View Full Version : Spinoff on the dress code...what does your trainer wear to teach and ride?

Dec. 4, 2009, 02:55 PM
Thought it was pertinent to look at the other side here.

Like most serious show barns, mine ride in breeches and either half chaps or boots. Once in awhile neat jeans but they all say riding 15 or so a day is hard on the...er...certain parts in jeans. And the jeans can bunch around your knee if you sweat.

If they have been riding, they teach in what they rode in, if not? It's neat jeans, appropriate footwear and a professional looking polo, long sleeved shirt with collar, sweater or something of that nature.

Barn staff is expected to look professional as it is a busy teaching barn witha public program and alot of little kids.

Point being...if the trainer taught in cut offs and flip flops, the client would dress accordingly. If all the staff is dressed professionally, the client wants to do the same. Professionally dressed need not = expensive.

So, those in more casual barns, what does your trainer wear to teach?

Dec. 4, 2009, 03:01 PM
In high school, she wore fairly nice shirt (sometimes t-shirts in the middle of summer, if I remember correctly) and jeans. Growing up, she rode and competed Appaloosas heavily - both English and Western, so that probably influences her teaching attire.

My current trainer, Pony Club A graduate - jeans and some sort of work related shirt. Always looks really nice, neat jeans and nice shirt, but workable, more like the under armor shirts than polos. She can go from the barn to out with friends and no one would know she spent half the day riding and doing barn work....I'm jealous....dirt just transfers from horse to me when at the barn.

My trainer comes to me to teach and I am the only 'serious' rider there. The only one of about 5 boarders that goes to ride at all, let alone almost every day (though between the weather and end of quarter at school, she's getting a bit of a break). There are beginner lessons taught one day a week, but the attire is much more workman than competition. The kids go to the county fair every year as their big show. They are big in 4H, but do not really have the money for a lot of shows per year. Some of the kids in the lesson ride western and some ride English. They all go over crossrails and do barrels, regardless of saddle.

Dec. 4, 2009, 03:03 PM
I have two different coaches at the same barn. Mostly they teach in their riding clothes, breeches and field boots or breeches and full chaps, collared shirt or fitted t-shirt. In winter they add a sweater (no hooded sweaters unless it's really, really cold) and vest or jacket as well as more layers underneath.

Dressage coach adds big winter coats and a toque when not riding (in the winter), jumping coach stays in the coat or vest she rides in.

In the summer the dressage coach always wears a button down shirt tucked into her breeches, jumping coach wears well fitting t-shirts or polos.

If they haven't been riding they are generally wearing well fitting jeans with paddock boots with the same tops as above.

I think most of the time they teach in riding clothes so that they can hop on the horse, if need be. When they're teaching out of riding clothes it's usually because they are coming from or going to somewhere else.

Dec. 4, 2009, 03:27 PM
This ones funny and at a show no less!! NOT my trainer but is apparently a big hunter/jumper trainer in my area. Any time I've been around her she's been a ...... lets just say a little less then courteous;) I think she's kinda crazy but thats just me.

OK ready......

Green shorts, hot pink tall rubber boots (can't remember her shirt) and a orange hat, like a fancy big ladies hat! :eek:

No really I'm totally serious!!!! This is not the only weird get up either, just the one I remember the most! lol I can never she taking lessons from her I just can't respect her when she is dressed so unprofessionally. Also her attitude!!

Her sister has something to do with spruce meadows....I'm not saying what because I don't want to give away who she is.

Dec. 4, 2009, 03:47 PM
For riding: I wear tan breeches, tall boots and a polo in warm weather or a very fitted jacket in cold weather.

For teaching: A lot of times I am wearing my riding clothes (above) but if I am wearing 'street' clothes I wear jeans with a polo or fitted jacket.

For barn chores: Haha, usually polo, jeans, etc. On really hot days I will wear a fitted tank top (modest), and if I am really sloppy I will wear a T-shirt with no logos.

tidy rabbit
Dec. 4, 2009, 03:55 PM
OK ready......

Green shorts, hot pink tall rubber boots (can't remember her shirt) and a orange hat, like a fancy big ladies hat! :eek:

OMG!!!!! Stop making fun of me. Do you have crystal ball that allows you to see into my office and barn right now?

I didn't think anyone could see me. :cry:

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:02 PM
Breeches, tall boots, spurs, black belt, a tucked in polo in summer and a polo under a sweater in the fall/winter.

He spends his days either at horse shows or traveling to give clinics so this is his everyday attire. Not sure he even owns a pair of jeans.

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:12 PM
Last week, keeping in mind I'm in NY, she came in full ski suit. :D Two hours in upper 30 degree weather, I can't imagine anything else appropriate! I'm just grateful to have the lessons.

I'm at a casual barn, out of 10 horses, only one other rides huntseat, but I always ride in breeches and either tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots.

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:16 PM
Ha, well see..my barn is just a tad 'ghetto'. Most of the time students are allowed to wear whatever they want (as long as it's not affecting the horse or anything- fine, you can wear it.) Usually I wear my black breeches, a random t-shirt and either a sweatshirt or jacket in the winter. In the summer you can wear tank tops too. Some of the girls who work there actually ride in pajama pants if they are exercising their horses. (I've ridden in them before too. It's good when you don't wanna do anything else.)

The instructors? Well, there's like..five. The barn owner usually wears an overlarge sweatshirt and pajama pants. The girl that lives with her wears random shirts, jeans/shorts, and flipflops or boots. /My/ instructor sometime wears breeches if she's gonna ride after our lesson or jeans, hiking boots, and a sweatshirt over a shirt.

Our barn isn't very professional. It may not be the BEST barn but it's a darn good barn to be at. Just adding- the barn doesn't need to be dressed well every.single.time to be considered 'good'. I've learned so much there && I wouldn't have at my other barn that wore nothing but the top breeches and polos. So, eh. My barn may not be very professional- but hey. We are comfy all the time. :]

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:17 PM
Last week, keeping in mind I'm in NY, she came in full ski suit. :D Two hours in upper 30 degree weather, I can't imagine anything else appropriate! I'm just grateful to have the lessons.

I'm at a casual barn, out of 10 horses, only one other rides huntseat, but I always ride in breeches and either tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots.

Whoa, you live in Buffalo, NY? I live there too. :] *high fives fellow Buffalonian*

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:38 PM
I've been at mostly casual barns. My first barn had a lot of kids, did mostly local circuit stuff. Everyone wore pretty much whatever they wanted. Jeans and half chaps were probably most popular, the more serious competitors would put on breeches and tall boots for lessons, but pretty much everyone schooled in jeans/pjs/tights. Trainer wore really whatever was in her closet-shorts and t-shirts, sneakers, baseball hat in summer, jeans, sweatshirts, heavy jacket in winter.

First barn at school the trainer always looked professional. I know she did a fair amount of A shows with her boarders but no one like, lived on the circuit. She was always in clean jeans, paddock/work boots, nice top. If it was cold she'd be in a pullover or heavier jacket, ear warmers if necessary. Everyone on the team rode in whatever they were used to-some in jeans/half chaps, some in breeches/tall boots.

The barn we're at now is more casual. Lately our coach has been dressed up like the kid from A Christmas Story :lol:-those thick Mountain Horse pants, sweatshirt and heavy jacket over top. Riders wear whatever they want, but the upper level girls tend to wear breeches/tall boots, or nice half chaps.

I don't have the money to compete on the A circuit and as long as I think I'm getting good instruction, I could care less what my trainer wears. I'd say my current coach gives me the most feedback in one lesson.

Dec. 4, 2009, 04:45 PM
my trainer comes from teaching school to my barn so she'll change from her school clothes to jeans and a tee......at her barn she'll wear her breeches and a tee.

Dec. 4, 2009, 06:01 PM
My trainer wears a giant floppy hat that most horses deem absolutely terrifying. Especially when it flaps in the wind as she takes the golf cart for a spin around the arena as fast as she can go LOL.

My horse thinks the hat looks delicious.

Go Fish
Dec. 4, 2009, 06:19 PM
Nice jeans, paddock boots, half chaps, spurs, RL polo shirt in summer, sweaters in winter with a down vest and/or short coat.

He is anal-retentive clean. I've watched him clean his half-chaps (while wearing them) between horses.

I've ridden with him a long time and I've NEVER EVER seen him school in boots and breeches at home.

Dec. 4, 2009, 06:22 PM
Breeches, a nice shirt and a fitted coat. Usually riding boots, unless it is too cold, then winter boots. She doesn't usually ride in our lessons though, she runs to get a helmet if she does (barn rule). Her tack is always spotless and put away neatly with covers. In other words, she sets a good example for what she expects of the rider.

Dec. 4, 2009, 06:24 PM
Long sleeve shirt, Target brand polo shirt over that, jeans, big straw hat. No matter how she looks, though, she is thoroughly professional when conducting lessons.

Dec. 4, 2009, 06:26 PM
:lol: Just wait until tomorrow Paintmare :lol: I'm planning on bringing the snowblower!! ROTF and, how would my Annie Girl react if I fired that baby up...........

Just pulling your leg kiddo. Annie will still get her treats, provided they don't freeze on the way......

Dec. 4, 2009, 07:04 PM
If she's riding, breeches, collared shirt of some sort, paddocks, half-chaps. Non-riding day this time of year - jeans, collared shirt, many layers of clothing, Uggs (of which she seems to have many different pairs) or paddock boots. The rider/assistant is sometimes more casual in the shirt department.

I had to show a horse for sale once at the last minute (people came out, trainer was banged up and couldn't ride) and was somewhat mortified that I had to do it in jeans and a tee shirt. But, we sold two horses that day...

Dec. 4, 2009, 09:04 PM
When I am teaching, I wear basically what I would wear in a lesson with my trainer, with the exception that I will exchange breeches and tall boots for either breeches or my riding jeans (Ariat Tek Denim ... WONDERFUL creations!) with paddocks. On top, a tidy weather-appropriate top: polo for warm; sweater/fleece for cool, with coat if necessary. Ponytail and ball cap keep my hair from looking scraggy.

Basically, I want to present a tidy appearance that has me ready to hop aboard a horse if needed and models safe and appropriate clothing for my students (and their often non-horsey parents). Other instructors I work with dress similarly, as does my own trainer.

Voldemare, the big straw hat is often seen here! My trainer dons one on sunny days, as do many others; I find myself considering trading in my ball caps for a big floppy hat. Good protection against skin cancer for those who have to be out in the sun for hours every day.

Dec. 4, 2009, 09:38 PM
I am a breeches and boots kind of gal. I like to be ready to mount up and give a demonstration ride. If a rider is having difficulties understanding what I am asking for I can give them an example of what it is that I want.
The basic gear is comfortable and I just use a different set of boots for everyday and show use. My shirts get changed often during the summer, it is hot and I like to put on fresh clothes when I need to change out of damp or dirty garments.

Dec. 4, 2009, 09:42 PM
The bottom line is that any instructor should be prepared to get on the horse if needed. If they can do that in jeans and a tee, fine. If not, they should be teaching in what they can ride in.

Dec. 4, 2009, 09:43 PM
I ride at a very laid back barn, the majority of the people wear casual clothes like jeans and half chaps. For lessons, my trainer always wears the same thing; jeans, polo and paddock boots. She doesn't get on our horses for us during lessons, but when she does ride its in the same thing, plus half chaps.

Dec. 4, 2009, 09:59 PM
It absolutely FRIES me to see trainers in shorts and flip flops!!!! The flip flops are dangerous and the shorts well, if you want to get on a horse in shorts go ahead, but not me!!

Dec. 4, 2009, 11:04 PM
Personally, when I'm teaching I'm usually dressed in riding gear, so I can hop on if I need to. In the summer that means breeches, usually schooling tights, and tall boots and a wide strapped tank top and a ball cap. In the winter, any darn thing I can to stay warm. Today for example, was 2 degrees when i got to the barn. Riding tights under flannel lined Carharts, a Carhartt thermal shirt, two sweatshirts, vest and jacket and wool cap. Lol, I was almost warm. When I'm coaching at a show, nice breeches, ball cap and a tucked in polo.

Dec. 5, 2009, 06:20 PM
I ride at a show barn - it's laid back in terms of atmosphere but I would not describe it as casual; everyone there is in a pretty structured program. Riders are in boots and breeches or the sort of half chaps that pass for tall boots from more than a foot or two away.

The head trainer is a well established, old school BNT. She normally teaches in jeans and a conservative top (fall = turtleneck, sweater, jacket as required.) Now that the weather's turned colder, she usually tops it all off with a long down stadium coat, which seems appropriate since it's COLD.

If a horse is fresh and someone needs to get on and give it a school, she will usually have the pro rider/asst. trainer get on. She is *always* in boots and breeches as far I can tell - plus, of course, a warm jacket on top this time of year.

Dec. 5, 2009, 08:18 PM
Maybe I am too traditional, but I still think it is weird to go in my bank on Halloween to see the tellers wearing a costume.
I did see some young girls at a barn riding in chaps over shorts, I thought eww no discipline here, but I am not in charge of proper gear anywhere but my domain. :lol:

Dec. 5, 2009, 09:27 PM
Personally, I am very excited to add a new pair of Sorel Joan of Arctic boots to my teaching attire this winter!!!!

So my base layer for winter riding is EMS or North Face thermal/wicking top and long johns topped by breeeches/wool sweater or fleece/down vest with paddock boots and half/chaps. When I teach I add long down coat, my new boots, and fleecy hat. If its really cold I may add snow pants and another layer in between.

Summer is the breeches, collared shirt (often long sleeved), large hat!

Dec. 6, 2009, 05:59 AM
Mine usually wears dark breeches and half chaps, with a fitted coat. Very, very rarely she will wear jeans if not riding. Always looks very professional.

Dec. 6, 2009, 07:57 AM
Depends what time of the year and what else I'm doing but generally it will be jeans or cords or casual smart slacks, a tattersall check shirt, a jumper and the likes of a goretex jacket and either hunter wellies or steel toe-capped boots and always a traditional cap!

If I'm teaching then I never "hop on". I work on the theory that folks are paying me to teach them to ride and that doesn't mean watching me ride. Only time I ever get on is if it's seeming that a pupil is doing everything right and the horse isn't reacting properly or is evading.

In that case I'd be likely to do a quick horse swap and then after the customer has gone check said other horse over and if nothing obviously wrong, then get on board and see and feel how it's responding and reacting with me.

Skip's Rider
Dec. 6, 2009, 09:10 AM
If I'm teaching then I never "hop on". I work on the theory that folks are paying me to teach them to ride and that doesn't mean watching me ride. Only time I ever get on is if it's seeming that a pupil is doing everything right and the horse isn't reacting properly or is evading.

I knew I liked you Thomas! My trainer does pretty much the same thing, and I think I'm a better rider because of it. It appears that the barns where many of you ride have a distinct division of labor. I ride at a barn where the barn owners are the barn managers are the trainers are the stall cleaners, etc. So, no, they do not "dress" for lessons. They come dressed to work in the barn, and they teach when they're done with their barn work. It wouldn't make sense for them to go change clothes.

Dec. 6, 2009, 04:42 PM
I ride at two different barns- one summer, one the rest of the year. They're different... the summer barn is a lot more laid back than the winter one.

Winter trainer: jeans, sneakers (like new balance... not running shoes), a sweater/ sweatshirt w/ or w/o the barn logo when it starts to get cold, barn jacket w/ logo over that or her really big winter jacket. When it's warmer she does a regular t-shirt. When she's riding, it's usually paddock boots, half chaps, and jeans. Riders wear either jeans or breeches w/ paddock boots and chaps or tall boots. During the summer on top it's either logo barn t-shirts/ polos or regular t-shirts or tank tops. In the winter it's logo sweatshirts/ jackets or regular stuff.

Summer trainer: jeans, t-shirt, and crocs in the summer unless she's riding and then it's paddock boots w/ half chaps. I always wonder why she doesn't wear stronger shoes, but she's been taking care of horses since she was around 6 and as long as I've been riding with her (5 years) she's never been stepped on... In the winter (I see her over breaks) she wears a polar fleece on top. Riders wear whatever they want because it's mostly a pleasure/ boarding barn with my family being the only h/j people.

Dec. 6, 2009, 10:03 PM
My trainer dresses more for the weather than for anything else. She pretty much always wears breeches and boots or jeans and tennis shoes or muck boots, but she'll wear anything from a very covering sports bra, a cami, a t-shirt, or a warm jacket to ride. Whenever she's teaching younger kids, she usually puts a t-shirt over her sports bra. She pretty much always wears some kind of hat, too; a ball cap in summer and a warm hat in winter. She has very informal dress, but I could care less and she's a great teacher.

Dec. 6, 2009, 10:04 PM
I used to wear whatever.

Then I groomed at WEF. :lol:

ALWAYS a polo. Even if I'm just going to the barn to clean Dora's stall. I am not the barn owner, but I do have client horses there. I always like to look professional in case someone shows up.

In the summer, a polo, breeches (on a rare occasion - like I forgot to do laundry :winkgrin: - well fitting jeans), black belt, POLISHED paddock boots, CLEAN half chaps that look like tall boots, and a light weight white jacket (added that this year, like a workout jacket, has a collar - I HATE tan lines).

In the winter, I switch the white jacket for a vest or heavier jacket. I ride more than I teach, so I'm always prepared to hop on if I need to (lots of baby horses, lots of inexperienced riders - GREAT combo, huh?).

I am also anal-retentive clean. I keep a rag in my truck to wipe down my boots and chaps between horses . :)