Sunday, Apr. 14, 2024




We’ve all been waiting for summer to sweep in and melt away the last of winter woes. And it’s finally here! Oh the joy in shedding those extra layers, hosing our horses instead of hot walking them, vacations, free time and extra hours spent at the barn.

It’s easy to get caught up in the lax and laidback atmosphere of the sunny season, but often times, as horsemen who inarguably spend a great deal of time in extreme heat, our dress decisions are not thought through as, say, well as they could be.

Buyers from two of the leading tack suppliers said that they see the trend in shadbellies moving back to the more traditional look. Until then, we’re certainly seeing a wide array of styles and colors, some that are great, and some that are very, ah, colorful.

Or, as a leading hunter/jumper judge commented, “I hope they ride as well as they accessorize.”

Although some would say that we spend far too much time worrying about OPVPL—other people’s visible panty line—it seems that some of us have not looked at our backsides in the mirror while in our breeches and addressed our own. Not me, of course, but some of you.

Recently, discussion has raged amongst the hunter/jumper crowd as to whether front-zip breeches are “coming back.” If I’m that worried about where the zipper on my breeches is located, please just take me behind the barn and shoot me dead.

That said, for some it would be a good move. Although side-zips seemed to be de rigueur for years and years, I’ll let you in on a secret: many women in side-zips should rethink their fashion choices. That area so many of you want to hide in real life—now you have it out on display without a thing to break up the line? For real? No!


•    Head-to-toe grey/tan/khaki: I have no problem galloping around a four-star cross-country course draped in every color in the rainbow, but out of the saddle, I have the personality of a wet sock.

•    Browns/greens: I’m resigned to the fact that my horse does not understand the concept of personal space and regards me as his own personal dinner napkin.

•    White linen: I like to live dangerously.

In honor of the start of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, we decided it was high time we reprinted this classic advice column on how to dress for the horse inspection. It originally ran in the Feb. 21, 2008, issue of the Chronicle. Without further ado: An eventer’s guide to dressing for success (and avoiding fashion faux pas) at the jogs.

As the frigid days of winter recede and spring inches her way into existence, the thoughts of eventers across the country collectively turn once again to one thing: fashion.

OK, perhaps not.



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