Ideal Show Coat?

So! I just received this show coat:

I know it’s not exactly traditional for Hunters/Jumpers, but seeing as I’m only showing in 4-H and a few open classes at a county fair this year, is this a good coat?

I’m attending college in the fall, and I’m going to try out for the IHSA team, so I was also wondering if it would be good for that as well, or if I should just leave it home?

How traditional is your 4H region and your potential IHSA team? I sometimes judge 4H and see all a manner of crazy. You’d have no problem… people wear all sorts of stuff. The next county over, 4H looks like the A circuit and that coat would not do (maybe if you took off the stirrup zipper pulls and swapped to more traditional buttons).

IHSA, that would have never flown on my team or region. Everyone was turned out to look exactly A circuit and the team I rode for we not only had to look A circuit but had to have the fanciest/trendiest brand. We did share clothing for shows though, which helped.

So I guess the answer is “it depends.” If you’re worried, you can buy an older wool traditional hunt coat on ebay for literally peanuts. Even if you had to have it tailored, if you were patient you could get that accomplished for under $50 and have something that you’d know was appropriate (if not trendy).

I like the jacket, but if you are worried about having a versatile coat that will work for everything from 4-H to IHSA I’d get something a bit more traditional.

That said, I know a girl who did the big eq in a similar jacket so I think sometimes we obsess about these things unnecessarily.

It doesn’t have the zipper pulls!

As far as I know, our 4-H is pretty lackadaisical, I’ve seen kids in a plain pair of blue jeans win a class, although some kids do go all out.

The IHSA team is a bit more competitive, but I hear they share clothing also, so if needed I’m sure we’d be able to figure something out. .

Thank you for your help!

If you’re going out for Caz’s hunt seat team, I strongly advise you avoid that coat. There are lots of affordable, more traditional looking coats (three button front, no buttons on the back, buttons are subdued colors), many of them in technical fabrics these days. The coat you posted would probably be fine if you were looking at doing the Dressage team.

I agree it’s not the best coat for what you want to do; the back is very distracting. The new soft shell Ariat is more conservative and $50 less. I would return it and look for something else.

If you had an unlimited budget for coats, I can see getting a ‘fun’ one but if funds are limited why not get an equally nice, cheaper, but more traditional and functional coat instead you can wear for everything?

I found a plain black coat for $80 on sale at my local tack store. It’s even washable.

I just got back from IHSA Zones and that coat, while cute, is not going to fit in on most IHSA teams. I saw 98% plain navy or black 3-button hunt coats. A few teams had subtle piping on the lapel in school colors, and 1 or 2 girls had a 4 button coat with plain (not shiny) buttons.

It’s true that IHSA teams often share coats, but it can get pretty dicey if the only girl with a coat that fits you has her class just before yours and she’s in the ring for awards but you’re supposed to be mounting up for your flat class at the same time. I get super stressed when I’m not dressed in plenty of time and then I ride stiff!

I’d always recommend getting your own gear if you can, so you can control when you get dressed, how clean it is, whether it fits, etc., and for $300 (the cost of that coat new) you can find some beautiful jackets! I love the Irideon Kismet – I just wore it this weekend, and it drapes beautifully, especially for a soft shell, and it’s very cool and breathable.

ETA: Just saw that you received the coat!! So I gather it was a gift. In that case, you can either sell it on Facebook (English Tack Trader is a great group) and put the money towards a more traditional coat, or if you want to keep it (which is also a totally valid choice – it is a cute coat!) there are lots of used coats for sale on the same group or on ebay. Figure out your size and go hunting!

Some IHSA teams have show attire in various sizes for the girls to wear. This season, my DD’s team ordered a selection of shirts and jackets to share amongst the girls who didn’t have/couldn’t afford the items on their own. You could ask if you team does the same thing?