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Outfitting for first--and maybe last--show?

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  • Outfitting for first--and maybe last--show?

    Bit of brief background: middle-aged rider coming from h/j to dressage. Never showed h/j--but like the idea of showing dressage to get judge's feedback and to track progress, so with my trainer's encouragement and support, I'm going to try my first show in April (at an A-rated show). I need to shop for show jacket, shirt, and white breeches & gloves, but I'm not exactly sure what to buy, especially in regards to the jacket, since I'm not convinced that my future includes a lot of shows. But I don't want to spend $70-100 on a mediocre product, just for one show, only to find out that I do--indeed-want to continue showing, and wishing I had put that $70-100 toward a better quality coat. So, I guess my question is really this: what mid-range, mid-quality coat would you suggest that I look at? I'm assuming a wool (or wool blend) would be best? Any brand names and fit tips would be appreciated (even if I scour e-bay or other consignment options).

    TIA for any suggestions!

  • #2
    If you do an ebay search for "dressage coat" you will see many. Highest thought of brands might be Pikeur and Cavallo. Other good options are Ovation, RJ Classics, Eous, and Arista.

    Depending where you are, you may also be able to find on consignment

    Great RJ Classic and Ovation here under $150: http://www.classicsaddlery.com/coats/coatsdressage.htm

    I got my Pikeur here: http://www.amirashop.co.uk/acatalog/Pikeur_Diana.html in wool for under $200 and that was 12 years ago. It is still in great shape and I have averaged over 10 events per year dressage and SJ in it.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


    • #3
      Ok, well first off they don't call the USDF shows "A-Rated". They are usually just called "Rated" or "USDF" shows. Just an FYI.

      If you have a dark colored hunt coat (ie: navy, black, or charcoal grey) there is nothing wrong with wearing that! I would just get white breeches so you don't look too "huntery" and you'll be fine. Even at a "rated" show. The judge could care less what style of coat you are wearing, and won't even notice. They are going to be looking at your seat, leg & hand position and judging your effectiveness as a rider, much more than exactly what you are wearing.

      Then if you get addicted to dressage like so many of us have, go to your local tack store and try on some jackets. Pikeurs are the "Rolls Royce's" of jackets, but there are all kinds in all price ranges. Dover Saddlery usually carries a good range of them, but I'd go to a tack store so you can try some on and see what fits you best.


      • #4
        What size do you wear and where are you located?
        I wasn't always a Smurf
        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


        • #5
          I also made the switch about 8 years ago; for my first year of recognized shows I used my old hunter coat, including at regionals, where I finally found a deal on a dressage coat. Go and enjoy!

          Edited to add: Sounds like you don't have a h/j coat; do you have any friends of similar size that you could borrow a jacket from? Check out the classifieds on this forum; you may find a good brand one there...

          Re the shirt, there are lots of nice 'breathable' riding shirts; find one you like in a light color; your stock tie will hide most of it anyway.
          Also, dont forget gloves should be white.
          We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone for the great advice.
            COTHer carolprudm has generously offered to lend me her show jacket for this show!

            I am addicted to dressage; I just don't know if I'll enjoy showing. So I'm happy for the opportunity to try it out without having to make a huge investment.

            Thanks, 2tempe, for the advice, and if I do get hooked, I'll follow the leads that scubed provided.

            Thanks again--and thanks carolprudm!


            • #7
              Would you want to try a schooling show ahead of the rated show? Might give you an idea if you like it that way, too.

              I will say I've been to local dressage shows and local h/j shows and I vastly prefer the environment of the dressage shows I've been to, in large part because of the ride times, LOL. I know precisely when I need to be ready by the ring!
              The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
              Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.