Okay, so this is going to sound like a dumb question, but what do you consider appropriate for riding apparel during the summer? By this I mean, do you personally think it's acceptable to ride in a tank top or cami--only when schooling at the barn-- if it's really hot?
The reason I ask is that the barn where I ride during the school year doesn't allow riders to wear tank tops, but I've never had a problem with that at the place I ride in the summer. It's just much more comfortable in the 100-degree heat to wear as little as possible, y'know? Anyway, what do you think? Would you ride in a tank top? Why/why not?
it depends on the tank top, if its a super tight, low cut wifebeater then no I don't think its particularly apropriate. But if its higher rise and you're locked and loaded and not totally skin tight, then I think they are fine. I also wear cut up t-shirts to school during the summer, something that my trainer isn't overly excited about but I'm not flashing anyone and its not skin tight.
If it's allowed at the barn and it's not too low, it's fine.
Some barns have had issues with people wearing things too low and skimpy (I heard of a girl at a friend's barn that showed up to a lesson in a TUBE TOP!!!) and sometimes they have to implement rules against this.
Maybe I'm just getting old but I really don't feel appropriate riding in a tank top anymore. I love the EIS shirts (and those that are similar), and now that I've had a battle with skin cancer, I'm all about the full coverage. Plus no tan lines!
Clearly, functionality is first and foremost - like, a tube top is absurd in my opinion because it's not functional. Lucky that girl didn't end up flashing everyone in the arena while she was riding! I run marathons so definitely agree that what's considered proper athletic gear should be acceptable in our sport. I personally ride in very supportive breathable tank tops on hot days at my current barn all the time because my trainer doesn't mind; however, I would never ride in a tank top at some of the other barns I've ridden at and would never EVER school in anything but a polo shirt at a horse show, no matter how hot it is. The fact of the matter is our sport has a strong sense of tradition. That's never going to go away. So, my advice is to follow your barn's rules or at the very least pay attention to what others wear on hot days. You're not going to be scoring any brownie points with your trainer if you're the only girl showing up to lessons in a tank top just because that is acceptable at your other barn. While it may seem impractical, it's a matter of respect. How you present yourself has a major impact on your reputation in any part of life. The same goes for the horse world. It's a bummer your barn doesn't allow tank tops, but you could look into some of the new tops different brands have been coming out with. I have some by Grand Prix, Animo, and Kingsland that are all really great for hot weather riding, and I know there are a bunch of other options out there. Unfortunately though, those tops don't help with awesome farmer tans.
A barn I boarded at there was a no tank top rule more because of the potential for road-rash than because of modesty. The barn owner had seen a rider fall off in a tank top and then subsequently have to have a bunch of sand washed and picked out of their skin, so the rule was "shoulders covered".
Ever since then I have always stuck with it, both from a road-rash and sunburn perspective. In the right fabric I actually find something a little loose fitting with sleeves to be cooler anyways, it keeps the sun off!
Do you differentiate between "tank tops" and "sleeveless tops"? My favourite hot weather schooling attire is a yoga top (I have never been comfortable in super smushy "sports bras", and with a regular bra I spend more time pulling up bra straps than actually riding - yoga tops seem to do the job of a sports bra without the "smush" factor), covered by a sleeveless top. Not a tank, this is a microfibre top with a just slightly lower than crew neck neckline, but wide over the shoulders, with no sleeves. I've got two issues with mid bicep sleeves (1) they tickle my arms and I'm constantly tugging them up, (2) the dreaded farmer's tan. This is the one I wear: Columbia Anytime Sleeveless. I can't imagine anyone outside of a golf club (because it doesn't have a collar) finding that unacceptable. It fits loosely so kind of floats over the mid-section tightness of the yoga top that I would prefer no one noticed on my +50 year old "long-past-20yearold- body".
I ride in a polo shirt. If it's super hot and I have a lot to ride, I'll keep a spare one in my trunk so I can change afterward. No issue with sleeveless collared shirts, but I personally don't use them.
I ride in similar tops to ElisLove. I'm pretty small chested so there is zero chance of anything coming out. I ride at a high end facility but we have no dresscode and no one's ever said anything. Darnit, it's hot and I get pretty sweaty just walking around in the heat. There is nothing innapropriate about it so long as no cleavage is out and the straps can't slide down.
i school in t-shirts and thankfully have my barn and arena in mybackyard, so as soon as i'm done i can come in and change...i hate being sweaty. and dirty. people ask me all the time why i work with horses then.
I will wear tank tops if its home and just schooling. If its for a show I'll throw a polo on to school. I overheat easily in the summer and so I wear what I can stay the coolest in so I can focus on my horse and not worry about the heat.
For lessons I wear a polo tucked in with breeches and tall boots.
I want to invest in those sunshield shirts this summer. Those look nice and cool and protect your skin! (pale girl here).
I do school in tank tops. However, my tank tops are the wide band type from Old Navy or Target. Not the spaghetti straps. I am not flat chested by any means, but the tank tops I choose don't show cleavage it worn with a proper fitting sports bra.
I also always wear breeches (they are cooler than jeans anyway), tank top tucked in, a belt, hair up in helmet, and my boots are polished. I would say I look more presentable in a tank top then some people do in a polo or other sleeved shirt.
For lessons I always wear a polo shirt. They have new athletic wear material at a lot of sporting and golf stores (I get mine at my college apparel store) that is the lighter cool material.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
I don't like tank tops because I find watching someone's bare arms and shoulders very distracting. When I see someone riding in a tank top, I just cannot focus on their riding, other than their arms. I think it might be because pale skin contrasts with most colors, I'm not totally sure.
Also, I have seen some nasty falls while people were wearing tank tops. I assure you, they were never wearing tank tops again. Like was said above, the road rash is bad! I think it's best to cover as much skin as possible. I've definitely had a couple falls where lots of skin was pulled off, just from wearing a short sleeved polo. I can't imagine what it would be like on my chest, back, shoulders, ech. I almost always ride in long sleeves now, I have some of the Sunshield tops and such.
Also, I think cleavage is pretty inappropriate for the barn. A barn is a place of learning and should be treated as such. Now I know some ladies (not myself, unfortunately... flat as a board) can't control where the two gals go as much as some, but I do think that low cut tops are just ridiculous. I'm not really bothered by the thicker band tank tops as I am by spaghetti strap tops. I would never wear either to ride, and I grew up in south Louisiana.
By the way, I fully embrace myself and other members of my sex as women with womanly bodies. I just don't think the barn is the place to express this.