View Full Version : IHSA -- appropriate attire questions (semi long)

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:29 PM

I am planning to join my school's IHSA team next year, and I was wondering if rust breeches would be appropriate to wear? To be more specific, here's my 'rusty' outfit:


It's TS schoolies in rust, a plain powder blue shirt, and a light tan/taupey GP hunt coat (it's actually too small for me now--this photo is from back when i still fit into childrens sizes! so I guess if I can wear my rusties, i'll just try and find a larger size of that coat.) Ive worn my rust outfit to several usef shows and have gotten lots of compliments, but I don't know if it would be acceptable in the IHSA? I cant think of why it wouldnt exactly, but I just want to be sure. I guess the final answer would have to come from a coach of coarse, but I probably shouldn't bother asking if the resounding answer in this thread is that it's not okay to wear.

In short, I havent ridden for about a year (swamped with work, needed to focus more on classes) so a lot of my old riding clothes dont fit. I plan on putting them on consignment or selling them on ebay I guess, but I dont want to spend everything I get back on show clothes. I just want to get essentials... and since those rust breeches still fit really nicely, I was hoping I could keep wearing them and just get a new coat for it :P I guess I will get a pair of tan TS schoolies as well (I think theyre the only cheaper breeches that really fit me and are show appropriate at the same time) just in case.

Thanks in advance!

ETA: is there any kind of rule in IHSA where short people can use their own stirrups? my only worry is that I will draw some huge horse that has really long stirrups (I have never fit into adult stirrup leathers!) and that'll be problematic.

To the MAX
Nov. 2, 2011, 08:32 PM
Most coaches will want you in a dark coat (navy or black), light or white shirt, and tan breeches.

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:32 PM
Depends on the team. It would have been acceptable at mine (although probably not favored), but not several others in our region. Some teams had team shirts that they all wore. Others had stricter dress codes- navy coat, TS breeches, white shirt (aka typical Big Eq finals attire).

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:33 PM
You cannot use your own stirrups. You can roll the leathers, but otherwise, it's pretty much tough luck (but I feel your pain, I am 5'1 and always drew huge horses).

You should show in a dark coat, white shirt, and tan breeches.

To the MAX
Nov. 2, 2011, 08:37 PM
Oops, didn't see the second part of your post.
In some regions you can get permission to use your own stirrups - I know some kid in ours had his own because his feet were REALLY big and rarely fit in normal irons. But if it's just because you're short? Probably not. Doesn't hurt to ask, though!

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:40 PM
Re: Stirrups: When I was captain I had a 6'1" male advanced w/t/c rider. My region had a lot of large ponies in w/t/c, so he often ended up on a pony in a child's saddle. We always had his stirrups and leathers in the van, and quite often I had to get the Steward's permission to switch them out because the irons weren't wide enough for his feet.

However, since you are allowed to roll the leathers, I doubt you will get permission to change irons.

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:45 PM
The thing about stirrups can be decided by region--if yours allows it, you're okay; otherwise, you'll have to wrap.

The rust isn't the "traditional" equitation look, but if you're not at the Intermediate or Open level, you can probably get away with it. There are some coaches who are strict about this, some are more understanding of the issue of college student's budgets. I guess you'll just have to ask and see what yours says.

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:46 PM
I'm 4'11" and always had to roll the leathers.

I seem to recall that I sometimes wore a grey jacket and breeches, but the blue/white/tan was preferred.

Nov. 2, 2011, 08:46 PM
If your coach has specifics for what they want you to wear then you'll have to go with that however in my IHSA experience (2001-2005 Novice through Open fences and flat) it helped when I didn't wear the typical 'hunter' attire of a white shirt and instead had on a colored shirt. In big classes sometimes a little thing that can attract the eye of the judge could be a good thing.

I don't remember anyone ever wearing rust breeches and unfortunately a lot depends on what the judge is looking for. Some of the stickier judges might want a more traditional outfit.

Nov. 2, 2011, 09:24 PM
Talk to the coach at your school. Rules and preferences vary GREATLY depending on the school and the region. My school had very specific guidelines for showing attire, but they also had an entire closet full of "approved" show clothes (and helmets and boots), so girls who didn't have appropriate clothing didn't necessarily have to buy new stuff. Some coaches may not care what you wear.

And also ask the coach about the stirrup leathers. In my region, we could punch holes in the leathers because most of the saddles were owned by the schools. However, I know a lot of schools in other regions use student saddles or boarder saddles, so obviously that wouldn't fly. There have been quite a few threads about this on the board, if you do a search I'm sure you'll find something.

Nov. 2, 2011, 09:36 PM
Most coaches will probably want you in tan breeches. No bringing your own tack, your stuck with what the horse has on. I've had my stirrups wrapped a few times because they were too long, and I'm 5'5" so not super short.

Nov. 2, 2011, 10:20 PM
I'm 5'1'' so I feel your pain, but I've just had to suck it up and roll stirrups.

Its hard to tell the exact color of your jacket, but I show IHSA with a grey jacket (albeit a little darker than yours I think.)

Again, I can't really tell the color of your show shirt, but I don't show in white. I have lightly colored show shirts that have not been a problem.

Tan pants would be more appropriate than rust though :)

Nov. 2, 2011, 10:38 PM
My daughter joined an IHSA team this year, and I had to buy new breeches, jacket, and helmet. Her own things were not the color/type the coaches wanted. Be prepared.

Nov. 2, 2011, 10:38 PM
On our team, if someone didn't have a certain item of clothing we would always share. It doesn't make sense to buy something if you don't really need it. Our walk trot rider was always hilarious- wearing a mixture of people's show clothes!
(I would have loved to wear my rust breeches, but I think I would have been in trouble if I tried haha)

Nov. 2, 2011, 10:40 PM
It depends on the coach/team. Rust breeches would not be okay on my team. I've never seen anyone wear anything other than tan or khaki in my region.

Nov. 2, 2011, 11:00 PM
I was my school's team captain my senior year and I'd have recommended that if you weren't in a position to purchase new breeches, you borrow them from another girl on the team... unless you were absolutely the world beater in any company. I love the look, but it's not the classic attire for equitation.

Roll your stirrup leathers. One of our riders is 4'11" on a tall day, and ran into the same issue you will.

Nov. 2, 2011, 11:07 PM
I don't think rust is appropriate for equitation, but I am sure people on your team can share. On my team, it is like a huge clothing swap at shows, because almost everyone has at least one thing that they need to borrow. You can probably get away with a lighter coat, but I would definitely suggest tan breeches.

Haileys Comet
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:02 AM
I think you would be much safer in choosing the "traditional" hunter Eq attire. A dark coat ,white shirt, and beige TS , and tall black boots [not 1/2 chaps]. Good luck and enjoy showing .It's a great experience.

Nov. 3, 2011, 12:27 AM
Also, wanted to point out that if you ever made it to zones or nationals on the team, you only wear navy and white with tan or beige breeches. But as everyone else pointed out, no need to immediately go out and buy tons of stuff, most teams have clothes to borrow or share.

Nov. 3, 2011, 01:21 AM
Get the tan/khaki breeches. Years from now you don't want to look at the team picture and see that you're the only one wearing rust.

Don't worry, they'll make great schooling breeches.

Talk of the Town
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:56 AM
I agree with the tan breeches but I rode in my light grey jacket many a time and didn't feel like it was a hinderance when it came to judging. I showed open and ended up cacchione rider my senior year for our region so if you like the grey jacket and your team doesn't care I say go for it.

Nov. 3, 2011, 09:37 AM
I agree with the tan breeches but I rode in my light grey jacket many a time and didn't feel like it was a hinderance when it came to judging. I showed open and ended up cacchione rider my senior year for our region so if you like the grey jacket and your team doesn't care I say go for it.

I rode with a brown helmet the whole time I did IHSA and it never hurt my placings. It was just a little way to stand out! I also did open and was Cacchione rider as well. No one has mentioned helmet color yet, but it kind of goes along with what everyone else has said. OP: I still would not wear rust unless you're really, really good (even if your team allows it) because you will stand out and be that much more memorable, which can work for or against you.

Nov. 3, 2011, 10:36 AM
A lot is going to depend on your particular school/coach's regulations. I think IHSA in general is fairly laid back when it comes to outfits - there are probably a lot of things about your riding the judges will critique before they think to care about what you're wearing ;)

As for the 6'1" guy riding ponies - wasn't there a height restriction for them? When our school's larger riders drew smaller mounts, they were usually switched out to something more suitable. This is only allowed if the horses have posted restrictions, of course. Sadly for your case, I don't think there's ever a minimum height requirement!

Nov. 3, 2011, 10:53 AM
This is only allowed if the horses have posted restrictions, of course. Sadly for your case, I don't think there's ever a minimum height requirement!

Actually, there was when I showed at Nationals! Height/weight riders and riders 5'1'' or smaller got to draw first and did not get to ride certain horses.

Nov. 3, 2011, 11:03 AM
I showed in IHSA. You can't use your own tack on the horse...you can't even ride a horse before your first class on the day of a show (unless they changed the rules since I was in it). My team also would have been ok with rust colored breeches...but mostly everyone wore tan.

Nov. 3, 2011, 11:07 AM
I don't remember height restrictions but I definitely remember weight restrictions at our shows. But if a 6'1 guy drew a pony, I think probably they would have redrawn or something cause that's kinda ridiculous. :)

Nov. 3, 2011, 11:48 AM
Agreed with everyone else. Navy jacket, white shirt, and tan breeches. Definitely invest in breeches (you will wear them a ton) and a white show shirt but see if theres a navy jacket you can borrow because that tends to be pricier and you wont wear it that often.
We also do lots of swapping and borrowing on my team. 2 other girls wore my speedair at our last show!