Each sport has its own attire that is appropriate for that particular sport. What is appropriate in most sports is padding for safety such as for football, close fitting items such as above for speed. However the particular ridiculous example you keep wanting to use would not be appropriate for riding and likely dangerous. Since it is made from Lycra it would be highly slippery against a saddle and therefore not a good example of sport attire suitable for equestrian sports with the exception of vaulting.
The ridiculous argument is made by the helmet brigade that points to a hat as not approriate for equestrian sport but stay silent when asked about equally inappropriate attire that would be more at home in a night time formal dinner.
You are already wearing a skin tight garment made for equestrian use on the bottom half of the body. It would be no big feat of garment design to extend the same fabric to the upper body.
And maybe you should tell eventers that padding is not necessary in equestrian sports.
The other night, a friend and I were looking at a few pictures of my old horses, including one in which I was jumping a good-sized oxer--sidesaddle, in my hunting bowler.
She sighed and said, "What a wonderful time you guys all had! I wonder if there's anyplace left in the world where it's still like that today."
Ireland? I said. Virginia, or Aiken, maybe?
She sighed and said, "Don't I just wish. It'll never be that way there again. Everyone's just so . . . AFRAID nowadays. They won't try anything, or they don't believe they can, or their trainers won't let them, because they think every time they get on a horse they're gonna get killed."
Over-emphasis on making this sport "safe," which is interpreted as trying to eliminate all risk, started around 1988 when the Pony Club Mommies got "activist" doctors and insurance execs. on board with their agenda. For juniors, it was a responsible decision. In loco parentis!
But there were, and are, a GREAT many riders in this country who definitely think that the entire culture of risk-avoidance has taken a great deal away from the whole culture of horsemanship; where it used to be assumed you had to have some guts and the willingness to TAKE some risk, at least as an adult. The attitude toward risk was, to coin a phrase, a bit "cavalier." If that wasn't your cup of tea, play tennis or do needlepoint. There are high-risk and low-risk equestrian sports as well.
Today, the Nervous-Nellie-Nannies have replaced the riding culture I grew up in, which survives, if at all, in foxhunting, with an environment in which people must CONSTANTLY fight fear in order to get anything done at all. If you don't believe me, go over to "Off Course" and read the thread about the kid throwing fits at her lessons. Hundreds of COTH'ers have confessed on that thread to having to fight terrible fear virtually all the time. What a pity. The people who are afraid to go outside a ring, or whose trainers won't allow any but the most hyper-controlled "lessoning" situation. The horses longed (or drugged) till dead, sometimes too literally. . .
I would put forth the opinion that the very fear they have to fight has been planted in their brains, insidiously, by these very industries who aim to keep us all "safe." Soon we'll be mandated also to wear helmets, flak-jackets, panic-buttons, etc. even in our cars and maybe while taking a shower. Should we outlaw stairs? Damn! Bathtubs are dangerous! How about sidewalks? We're now thought too stupid to drive, cars will be computerized soon. What about subway platforms and crossing streets? Maybe, as the saying goes, "I shoulda stood in bed!" Except for the "risk" of thrombosis!
Very soon, folks, the only "sport" that will be deemed "safe" enough will be medically-monitored treadmill walking, and our Olympic and FEI gold medals will be replaced by a gold star going "Bing!" on the machine for anyone who can get their heart rate up above 97--all while the insurance-mandated crash-cart stands by, of course!
They came for the H/J riders, and I said nothing . . .
Then they came for the Dressage riders . . .
And the reiners . . .
Maybe this is the Ultimate RARA plot, to turn all the pretty horsies loose and be FREEEEEEEE!
And anybody who thinks ANYbody looks publicly acceptable in a skin-tight Lycra suit, let alone with their love handles and boobs banging around on a horse, REALLY wants to kill the sport for sure! Ye gods, woman! I wouldn't wear that to go get the MAIL--in the DARK!
As a neurosurgeon, I have spent far too much time taking care of patients with brain injuries, and have had to tell way too many families and friends that their loved one will not live, or will live but never walk, or talk etc. Too many of these injuries have been preventable. Not wearing a helmet is very selfish IMO, and I certainly agree that any organization has the right to establish rules as they see fit. When top hats were required at FEI levels I jokingly used that as a excuse as to why I wouldn't make it there. Now I have competed at FEI levels, I did make it in my helmet.
I was trying to nail down why I'm so irritated by this. Like other posters its bigger than just the helmet rule for me, its the unending attempts by the safety police to legislate everything we do even as adults. I just got back from a visit to my parents place. Every winter the family who owns this lakeside bait shop grooms the ice when the lake freezes and fills a shed with ice skates for the community to use for free. They've done this for years, but this year someone decided to call the county or the parks department who shut this incredibly fun and generous thing down due to safety concerns. They ruined a tradition that everyone loves and looks forward to every year. That's what this represents for me. Top hats are a tradition and a right of passage. Its a tradition that i have loved and dreamed of participating in for many, many years. The safety police are welcome to disagree but I think this tradition is beautiful and I think it is important and I'm very sad to see the death of yet another one in the equestrian world.
I think this was an agenda of certain riders and low level ones at that.
I ride in a helmet but I don't feel like it should be required at all.
Yup. I don't know one FEI rider who wanted to get rid of top hats whether they chose to wear one or chose to wear a helmet. I too wear my helmet every time I ride at home and I likely would have worn my helmet to warm up at shows. I just wanted the honor of donning a top hat for the 6 or 7 minutes I spend in the show ring.
I think it's weird, I wear my helmet riding my horse, but I don't wear it while riding my bike - accidents on both could have disastrous results. I think it should be a personal preference deal. It's your choice if you want to risk it. I do like the 'classic' dressage look with the shadbelly and stock ties, black boots, white pants and the top hat.
I grew up riding at a county facility that had CEMENT posts in the riding arena. Now THAT was crazy! I wear a helmet when I ride and when I bike. I ride my bike to work in the city...and no way would I be bare headed. Car vs. Me.
It is a personal choice, like having unprotected six with 100 partners. I just think it is a smarter choice.
If I ever have the horse to go to the upper levels that I could wear a top hat, I would wear a helmet. I would hate to give up the collection of neat caps I have to cover up my helmet head.
Where I presently board, been there 4 years...no one wore a helmet (one did), I guess I rubbed off on them, I never said a word.... But I just said " I feel weird without my helmet.' So now everyone is wearing one.
Last edited by Painted Wonder; Feb. 18, 2013 at 08:37 AM.