The Equestrian Dress Code Requires Dressing For Your Discipline

Dressing appropriately for your discipline will not only create a good first impression with judges and fellow riders, but it can help prevent points being deducted or even elimination by the ground jury. For instance, dressage requires black or navy coat, breeches and gloves (white stock ties optional for higher-level competitors).

Long pants help reduce friction between your saddle and legs while protecting you from farrier nails, splinters, or any hay that might find its way onto your hands.


Breeches are pants designed specifically for horse riding that provide support and comfort, preventing bruises or cuts during falls. There are various kinds of breeches designed specifically to meet each need of their rider.

Jodhpurs are an excellent option for children learning how to ride, as they help them to maintain proper leg positioning in the saddle. Worn with tall riding boots and featuring Velcro or elasticated cuffs to provide a secure fit, jodhpurs offer comfort while still looking stylish.

Full-seat breeches are designed for riders who require more support in the saddle, constructed from high-quality fabrics designed to keep you feeling secure in your saddle and featuring knee patches to provide better grip when necessary. Perfect for dressage riders needing to move with their horse.

Hunterer rings can be very formal settings. Light-colored breeches are preferred because they allow judges to better assess leg positioning; tuck your show shirt tuck into them for added elegance! Long or short sleeves shirts must also be fastened at the top of neck, so judges have an accurate depiction of riders’ positions in their legs.


At an equestrian competition, riders should wear an equally important shirt to compete. A good riding shirt must be lightweight, breathable and stretchy so as to move with them while they ride; long-sleeved to protect arms from scratches and bruises while in the saddle; while also flattering them. Popular brands include Ariat and Ranch Dress’ N which offer women’s shirts in various colors, sizes and prints for their women riders.

At a dressage event, riders must dress according to traditional attire for that discipline, such as wearing white breeches (English dressage only; Western may allow other colors), white collared shirts with collars in various colors (Wilderness dressage may allow different hues), tall riding boots with white laces or boots that match these colours, tall riding boots that match these colours as well as no bright or flashy items that might distract judges from watching their horse perform; bright items could cause judges to deduct points or even eliminate riders for not dressing according to discipline requirements if wearing attire that does not match up.

Lessons in equestrian are typically less formal than competitions; however, instructors may require students to adhere to a dress code specific to them. Students typically receive a helmet, jodhpurs or paddock boots, riding crop (for safety), knee patches to enable instructors to more easily see leg positioning from younger riders, etc.


No matter the discipline, most rules require riders to wear clothing that is both stylish and comfortable. Donning appropriate gear gives riders confidence to perform at their best, while also standing out amongst peers in competition arena – which could make a critical difference when trying for top place finishers!

One of the most essential rules when riding on showgrounds is wearing protective headgear, such as a helmet in matching colors with your coat or one that coordinates, that meets or exceeds ASTM/SEI equestrian use standards and meets or exceeds all safety requirements for riding. SEI certification will indicate this fact.

Dressage is a formal equestrian event with strict clothing regulations, with traditional short riding jackets (known as plain jackets) in dark colors with metal buckles and matching breeches or jodhpurs with long sleeves, collar, collarless shirt with long sleeves, white stock tie or choker (if required for higher level competition), as well as tall black field or dress boots required, although paddock boots or half chaps may also be worn by younger competitors.

Failure to comply with dress rules could incur penalties from the Ground Jury and deducted points or even disqualification, so it’s wise to check specific competition regulations prior to attending classes to make sure you wear suitable attire for that discipline.


Boots provide essential protection to horses’ lower legs when riding, helping shield tendons from impact when landing on objects or colliding with other horses or fences. In addition, boots aid movement by helping prevent soreness when standing for long periods on hard arena footing surfaces.

There is an assortment of boots on the market for horses to wear, but it is essential that you find one which is comfortable for both your horse and yourself. Boots should fit correctly without exerting too much pressure on their tendons, and should also provide sufficient ventilation during intense exercise to prevent overheating.

Prevent slipping during jumping with boots with shallow heels to reduce risk.

Equestrians commonly wear black paddock or jodhpur boots during training and noncompetitive situations. When competing or participating in events, others may wear tall boots instead.

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