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relax dress code for dressage now....

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    relax dress code for dressage now....

    Now that ASTM helmets are required for all levels at USEA events,(YEAH!!!! all for approved helmets) I vote for getting rid of coats also. I believe this was proposed a few years ago by one of the O'Conners and I am all for it. Part of the reason to keep the stuffy look in dressage was tradition, well part of that tradition is now gone. Eventing needs to be recognized for the athletic sport it is, and we as riders need to dress the part. Event riders are just as much an athlete ans any other sport but it is hard for the public to take us that way when we look like penguins.

    We can now wear leather leggins and not tall boots, (still look like half chaps to me, lol) so why not complete the athletic look and get rid of coats. We have done away with tall boots and top hats or caps. There are some recognized events where the rider has to do stadium in cross country garb anyway as they go right to XC after stadium. Why cant dressage catch up with the times?

    Just an opinion from a smurf!!

    For events that are contested in one day, you don't have to wear a coat and neckwear. This rule was made a couple years ago. For events that are contested over more than one day, then you do have to wear a coat and neckwear. Here in Area 2, most events are contested over one day, so you will see a lot of people in polos.


      Original Poster

      All the more reason....

      Originally posted by curlykarot View Post
      For events that are contested in one day, you don't have to wear a coat and neckwear. This rule was made a couple years ago. For events that are contested over more than one day, then you do have to wear a coat and neckwear. Here in Area 2, most events are contested over one day, so you will see a lot of people in polos.
      All the more reason to do away with coats all together. Leave the coats for the hunter ring......


        I disagree. I personally like having a traditional dress code and wear my coat even in one-day events. The helmet rule was changed for SAFETY, not comfort or "sporty-ness".


          It would be just fine with me to get rid of the need to buy some silly expensive coat that makes you sweat your bum off and serves no practical purpose!
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            Actually at FEI you still wear your top hat and tails at the upper levels and as someone else said the rule change was for safety.
            Pesonally I will always wear my coat unless it's extremely hot and even then sometimes I do but then I was raised in the old school belief that it was respectful to the judge and to the sport to have a nice turn out.
            I mean seriously what's next....hey I know let's all just not braid either because well you know it's a pain in the ass and then you could all sleep in later and while we're at it let's just not wear breeches either cause their not comfortable to everyone and we can all wear whatever we want and hey don't bother washing your horse after all he'll just get dirty on x-co.
            Hey I have an idea...why don't YOU just go compete at unrecognized events where it is suppose to be like a "schooling" show and you can wear your polo shirt and your half chaps.
            "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"


              I'm sitting on the fence on this one. I like that a coat looks neater and more polished, but I hate how hot and nasty it makes you in the summer. Maybe make it mandatory for only Prelim and up (considered Upper Level by USEA) but encouraged for lower levels?
              Last edited by GingerJumper; Jul. 13, 2011, 09:46 AM.
              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                I disagree because I like the look of the traditional coats, but I have heard this argument before. Coats are waived when it gets above 80F, and I don't usually get hot in mine until the temps reach that. If I'm hot, and it's below 80F then I will just not wear it in warm up. Many events are starting to run as one-days, and you can wear polos at those! Also, I don't really see how getting rid of the coats is going to help us achieve more recognition as an athletic sport.

                ETA: Not all coats are expensive although I agree that many are pricey. If you look around, sometimes you can get very nice used ones, on sale, etc. I have a gorgeous hunt coat that was given to me for free a few years ago!
                T3DE Pact


                  Me too. As much as I like the look and the tradition of the coat and stock tie, I'm the fist one to cheer when the "coats are waived" announcement goes out! I do not do well in the heat, I overheat quickly, so the coat goes in preference to having a decent ride.


                    I also like the traditional look for dressage, with the caveat that coats are optionally waived at a certain temperature, and mandatory waived when it is very hot out. Different people have different tolerances to heat, and it gets dangerous to wear them depending on the temp. In Virginia, I have been to a few horse trials during the summer when they would not let you compete with a jacket. It was about 95 out on both occations, and I thought it was very smart. They are generally good about waiving them when it's above 80, but I've only seen a mandatory waive a few times.


                      I always wear my coat in dressage, and I can't warm up and put it on just before my test because my horse doesn't like fabric flapping around above him.

                      But-- food for thought-- I was scribing for a former team rider turned FEI "I" judge, and coats had been waived. A rider came into the arena wearing a coat, and the judge exclaimed under his breath that he wished she would have left her coat off in the heat. So I don't believe that judges necessarily feel you are showing them more respect if you are sweltering around in a jacket.
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                      *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                        NO way. Honestly, I think there is something to be said for tradition ( as long as it includes safety/technology) but polo's are just to casual for big events IMO... I have been known to wear polos at one day events in the summer, but I kind of like the stock/coat look...I mean it really doesn't take that much extra effort and in early spring/fall I would be wearing a jacket of some sort anyway so why not look professional.


                          Originally posted by CookiePony View Post
                          But-- food for thought-- I was scribing for a former team rider turned FEI "I" judge, and coats had been waived. A rider came into the arena wearing a coat, and the judge exclaimed under his breath that he wished she would have left her coat off in the heat. So I don't believe that judges necessarily feel you are showing them more respect if you are sweltering around in a jacket.
                          As others have said already, I agree to mandatory waiving when it's just terribly hot, but then again, that becomes a safety issue


                            I disagree, I like the traditional look of a Jacket for dressage, yes if its very hot then it shouldn't be required. I don't mind warming up with out but like to wear for the test. Don't think we should be changing everything. and like one person said the helemts were for safety.
                            Keep the jackets!!


                              I like coats. I think they just look nicer. We wear coats in stadium, with approved helmets, and we still look professional, not casual.

                              As for the "requirment" to "buy expensive coats", why do we have to feel like we have spend hundreds of dollars on a coat, esp at the lower levels? Mine was about $80. No, it is not as detailed as a fancy couple of hundred dollar one but you know what? 1) the judge doesn't care and 2) you can't tell the difference in photos.

                              I have shown in recognized dressage shows in my approved helmet. Admittedly it was back when bowling balls were helmets but even so, with a velvet cover it still looked ok. And again, the judge didn't care.

                              I have also "lost my figure" over the years and my family genetics of being thick in the middle (read: big tummy). A coat helps hide it!

                              If they do decide to do away with coats, I do think it should be an OPTION and not a requirment. Like the "leggings".


                                I have no intention of ever riding another dressage test as long as I live but IF I DID you bet I would wear a coat. Coats cover up a multitude of sins and at my age I want them covered up if I have to do a sitting trot!


                                  You can find a very pricey coat for under $100 if you keep an eye out on e-bay and other websites. I think our sport is very much tradition based, and it would be a disservice to out sport to abandon that. You update things in the name of safety and sometimes, practicality, but, that should be it. I would hate to see the loss of the look of the 'Sunday Jog' and the immaculately turned horses & riders. After all, this sport is a profession to many, and yes, appearance does factor into that. Perhaps this is another victim of the fall of the long-format

                                  Now I'm curious, what are these leggings everyone is referring to?


                                    Original Poster

                                    Tradition you say.........

                                    Early 1900's
                                    Double bridle required except steeplechase
                                    Military only
                                    Dressage last
                                    182 pounds required for rider
                                    Day 1- 33 miles, then cross country of 3 miles and 15 minute time limit
                                    Day 2-Steeplechase
                                    Day 3-show jumping
                                    Day 4- dressage test
                                    7 judges, including jumping, changes of pace and pirouettes
                                    1920- Antwerp
                                    dressage phase ELIMINATED
                                    another endurance phase added
                                    day 1 - 28 miles of road and tracks 3 miles of cross country 18 jumps
                                    day 2- rest
                                    day 3- 12 miles of roads and tracks
                                    day 4 rest
                                    day 5- steeplechase
                                    day 6 show jumping
                                    1924-Paris Olympics
                                    day 1- dressage with 5 meter circles, half pass
                                    day 2 endurance with a phase E to cool horse down
                                    day 3- show jumping

                                    There have been many traditions changed over the years including eliminating dressage. Makes me wonder about the validity of coats in dressage. Yes they have been a tradition for a while but also it was a tradition to NOT have the dressage test.

                                    I guess, define the length of time something has to be in existence for it to be a tradition? I have been eventing since 1977 and have always worn a coat. but may it is time for a change?

                                    Of course, steeplechase was around since 1900 and it is now gone at the FEI levels.... maybe in another 100 years coats will be gone too!!
                                    Last edited by nature; Feb. 3, 2011, 10:42 AM. Reason: added thought....


                                      I agree with most of these posters. I love the traditional, formal and respectful look of a coat & stock tie for Dressage. I think that under a certain temperature it should be mandatory at recognized events, but of course waived for a show shirt or polo after a certain temperature. At schooling shows, then whatever you want to wear is fine. The helmet rule was implemented for safety, not comfort or "look." Next thing you know, we'll do away with braiding and grooming, and be riding XC in sneakers! Let's keep a little stuffy decency


                                        I hate coats. They look great, but count me as another rider who truly suffers in full gear in hot weather. And I am stuck spending more than $80 because I haven't yet found an off the rack coat that fit me. (short-waisted, big chest, etc.)

                                        To me, this is a sport, and even if I am fit, sweat pours off of me in warmish weather when I'm riding. Even without a coat. Add a coat, and it's just not pretty. I know there are folks who don't look like they have had a bucket of water poured over their head after they finish a test, but between May and October, that's me, and it's not so attractive, tradition or not.
                                        I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                        I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09