What to Wear to an Open Breed Horse Show: English

How to Dress for an English Horse Show



  1. Wear the correct boots for your age group.Riders on larger animals should ideally wear long boots whereas riders of smaller animals should wear ankle length boots.
  2. Find the correct colour.Short boots should be ox-blood or brown in colouring and co-ordinated with the rest of the leather on the outfit. Long boots are usually black.
  3. Look clean.Ensure boots have been freshly cleaned before entering a showing ring.
    • Polish your boots for a better look.

Jacket, shirt and tie

  1. Wear the correct jacket for your class and horse.
    • A show jacket should be navy, black or gray and can also be pinstriped in any of those colors.
    • For hunters, jackets must have only three buttons.
    • For jumpers, jackets can have four buttons, but most prefer three buttons.
    • Mountain and Moorland and hunter classes require a tweed jacket.
    • Riders in riding pony classes should wear a navy blue jacket.
  2. Co-ordinate your shirt and tie with your riding jacket.Ensure that you have a shirt and tie that match your jacket e.g. red tie, white shirt, navy jacket.
    • A show shirt is worn sometimes with a white stock tie or ratcatcher, plus a pin.
    • A show shirt is usually white but can be light blue, light purple, light pink or peach.


  1. Wear well fitting jodhpurs or breeches.Make sure you have jodhpurs you feel comfortable wearing because, depending on your chosen class, you'll be spending a lot of time in them.
  1. Keep hair neat and tidy.Boys should keep their hair short enough to stay under a hat or long enough that it can be tied back easily. Girls should do the same but preferably have their hair long enough to be styled neatly under a hat, using a hairnet. Hair is worn up in a hairnet most of the time.
    • Ask someone how to put your hair in a hairnet if you don't know how to do it.
  2. Braid hair correctly.A neat plait or bun can go a long way to making you look more polished in the ring so try to style hair neatly before going into the ring.
  1. Wear a helmet.This is obligatory. Black is the preferred color. Some popular brands are Charles Owen, Samshield, and GPA. Some cheaper alternatives are Ovation or IRH.
  2. Wear a suitable hat for the show ring.Your hat should always have a recognisable standard. Within a show ring you should wear a velvet hat with leather strap and the velvet of the hat should match the colour of your velvet jacket collar.


  1. Wear suitable gloves.Gloves you wear in the show ring should be comfortable enough to wear on a day to day basis but should look clean and not overly worn. They should match the colour of other leather accessories such as whip, boots and tack.
  2. Carry a suitable whip.Your whip should once again match the leather colour of other items, also there are usually restrictions on whip length under certain show societies.

Age Appropriate Requirements

  1. Follow these basics for under 12 riders (but always check with your club's requirements):
    • Riders 12 or under wear tan jodhpurs with brown paddock boots and garter straps (and a belt) that match
    • Riders 12 or under wear their hair in two braids with hair bows at the ends
    • If you are 12 or under but you are very tall, you can wear tall boots but it is not preferred
  2. Follow these basics for 13 or older riders (but always check with your club's requirements):
    • Riders 13 or older wear breeches (usually tan) with black tall boots and a black belt.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Does the breed of your horse affect your dressing? For example, I have a cob and I've been told I need to wear a tweed jacket because of it.
    Community Answer
    It depends on the class you are entering. If it's showing, yes, it normally does affect your dressing, but if it is simply a jumping competition, it doesn't really matter.
  • Question
    Is it okay to wear white, as that's what my team does?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If the rest of your team is wearing white, yes, you should wear white as well.
  • Question
    What is the dress code, including footwear, for in hand showing?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    For English classes, such as Conformation or Modeling, the dress should be the same as that of a rider. Certain classes have restrictions on who can show the horse/pony. If someone other than the rider is showing the horse, they should be dressed formally, such as a nice suit or dress outfit, but functionally, no high heels or tight skirts for ladies, as they will be running into the ring with the horse.
  • Question
    For showing in hand do I have to wear a tweed jacket?
    Ariel Griffith
    Community Answer
    In my experience, no. You should, however, be wearing clothing appropriate for riding classes, such as boots and breeches. At most shows, you could probably get away with a white show shirt without a hunt coat, although I would recommend a hunt coat as it looks more professional.
  • Question
    Can I wear tall boots and still wear braids?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    According to my trainer, yes, you can. I asked the same question. If it is a higher level show, you might want to check with your own trainer just to be sure, though.
  • Question
    Is it true that I cannot wear a colored shirt at a show?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can wear colored clothing at shows unless it is explicitly prohibited by the judges.
  • Question
    Does my helmet have to be velvet?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, but it looks neat in classes such as hacking. Show jumping does not require a velvet helmet.
  • Question
    Do I have to wear a tie for show jumping?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should look up the rules of the show, because it should have the outfit requirements. Ties are not always required, but sometimes they might be.
  • Question
    What is the proper male attire for gait classes?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It depends on the show and area, but most of the time the main elements are the same, just made for a man instead of a woman.
Unanswered Questions
  • Showing mountain and moorland in hand - can you wear a raincoat?
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  • Keep all of your showing clothes clean. It doesn't matter if they look worn as long as they look well cared for.
  • If you can't afford show attire ask a friend or mentor if you can borrow things.
  • If you’re still growing you can try to find used clothes for a cheaper price, it might be more affordable if you need a new suit every year.

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Date: 11.01.2019, 02:13 / Views: 93184