Knee rug?

Going to our first driving show this weekend and just realized (should have read the 20+page rulebook more carefully) that the rules require “an apron” or a “knee rug”. Now, I live in the middle of nowhere and I don’t think I’ll have time to get one of these driving aprons I see online in time.

So what is a ‘knee rug’?

Can I just wrap myself in a black blanket and call it good? (we’re not doing any ring classes if it makes any difference…). Or do I need to make new friends when I get to the show and beg & borrow someone’s spare apron?

:thinking:Not sure what classes you will be doing outside an arena…

In any case, if show rules require an apron/lap robe/knee rug (that’s a new one to me) then you need to borrow one.
Wrapping a blanket would be awkward at best & could become dangerous if you need to exit your vehicle - in or outside of an arena - quickly.

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Thanks! Yes, Cones and X-Country (whatever that is in an ADS show - still fuzzy on the details there).
Good point about being able to exit the cart quickly!

As I learned here :sunglasses: XCountry at an ADS show is more of a stroll than a race.
Leisurely (though may be timed/ have an optimum time to complete) drive through obstacles you might encounter on an actual country drive.
Crossing a road, bridge over water, etc.
May include - as I saw at Villa Louis Carriage Classic - large flock of lawn flamingos :grin:


Just heard about the flamingos this afternoon! and the cutout bear & skunks… Though I was assured it was all very “tastefully” done… ahem

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As non-driver I would think one of the small throws you get at ‘that store’ for a few bucks should work.
I mean I can visualize the aprons and the material, thinking a heavy cotton/denim would be most suitable, but a small fleece throw should work in a pinch.
You could always hide an alligator clip (something like suspenders) under the seat, so if you have to bail, the blanky stays up.
And looking at pictures, it does not seem to be much more than a small blanket with a belt.

I have some leopard print ones you can borrow.

And don’t knock the pink flamingos
I want to send my BIL about 100 of them things.
Long story for another day though.


Haha, I do love a nice animal print but I am not sure they’d know what to do with us if we showed up in one? :woman_shrugging: - I have a black fleece throws from “that place” and I was indeed thinking of macgivering something with a clip if I can’t find one to borrow on the day.

And ok, now I want to know the flamingo-related story! :slight_smile:


Check this out;

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My BIL is busy keeping up with the Joneses.
Except they have the Champagne budget, he doesn’t.
So we bought a flat bottom boat (unrelated source) and Hubby offered it to him for those days when you just want to go out on the water to fish, and not on the party barge. (BIL bought himself a mansion on the water)
So wify remarked if we thought they lived in a trailer park. BIL had not turned the speaker phone off yet.


100 pink flamingos would look nice on the lawn of thal million dollar house.
A string of Budweiser patio lights, A set of glasses cut from Miller bottles…

I am petty, I know :yum:
But snob boy hurt his brother’s feelings.


You can’t buy class.


For Villa Louis leopard print is guaranteed to give the Judges (& some, if not most, other competitors) The Vapors.
This is a rated ADS show & uber-conservative attire rules.
I was advised the very muted sparkly navy blue jacket I brought was only suitable for Cones or Gamblers Choice. The “sportier” classes.

@BrendaJane The laprobe traditionally coordinates with carriage upholstery. The Driver (referred to as Whip) is dressed to compliment the Turnout of horse & vehicle, rather than sticking out.
You want the Judge to look at how your horse moves & how well you drive, not how fancy you are dressed.
Eye-Popping attire is not in your favor.
Some examples from VL 2015:
Not totally stodgy, last pic from Carriage Dog class - judged by audience applause :grin:


Thank you all!
Thanks for sharing these photos @2DogsFarm! Such lovely turnouts!

We’re only doing the “sportier” classes so I am not at all worried about making it to the Concours d’Elégance… But I still want to strive for “neat & tidy” so as not to offend anyone.

and ps: @BrendaJane, your brother in law definitely deserves flamingos - and more! :wink:

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I guarantee you will be amazed by some of the more opulent turnouts.
Ever see a 4 put to a Break?
Complete with groom in full livery :open_mouth:
There are tandems, IIRC (& based on entries) even a class just for them.

Funniest thing I ever saw there was a tandem going cross country.
They came to a bridge, lead horse balked & wheeler chest-bumped him as if to say “We ARE going over this!”
They did.

If you can’t get hold of a purpose-made apron, at least consider using Velcro as a waistband. Much more discreet & secure than a clip or pin.
I think you can get some that you can iron on.
Make the fabric long enough to completely wrap around - no butt (yours) uncovered - and long enough to brush the top of your shoes when seated in your vehicle.

Don’t miss out on the bargain ice cream sundaes served on Sunday
$2 last time I was there (2017)



I was actually just kidding.
I envision a heavy cotton type fabric for neatness, but of course real blankets are probably also traditional. The little fleece throw would be merely a bandaid.

very nice pictures.


$2 Sundaes?! Now, I knew I was going to like this driving gig! :slight_smile:

Did I mention the cheap cocktails :tropical_drink::cocktail:?

& Vendors to drool over?
IVC is usually there.

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Honestly, you can make an apron! FB reminded me that today is the 3-year anniversary of my first CDE. That would be the CDE that was up in the mountains of North Carolina far from any serious stores, with no vendors… And guess who forgot her jacket apron and hat? Yeah that would be me. I had my rain hat in the trailer so I used that, bought a men’s jacket from belks (mainstay of all small southern towns) because there were absolutely no long sleeve ladies jackets to be found. Then my navigator and I went to Walmart bought some fabric, fabric glue, velcro and safety pins and made an apron that night in the hotel!

And as I recall, we got a solid score on presentation, even with the marathon vehicle!


I would second making your making your own lap robe. A plain color with blending or contrast edging is pretty simple to sew up. The velcro closure is only a few more stitches! I made our first laprobe this same way. No fancy stitches needed! Hope you can sew, makes life lots easier.

Choices of fabric weight might be chosen for the season, cold or warm. No way I would want a heavy laprobe in 80F temps! Neutral colors, no pattern, will work wth most choices of blouse,
slacks and jacket. Length no longer than ankles, you don’t want to trip on it while wearing it. Even a bit shorter is still fine, it can end up longer when seated. Not real tightly wrapped when seated in the carriage, in case you need to exit quickly. The laprobe usually is tucked under your seat but not tight around your legs.

Elastic under your hair secures your hat against wind, slippery hair, unless you can do up a bun to anchor hat with a long hatpin! Helmets are ALWAYS legal in ADS shows, good in timed classes.

No-slip soles on your shoes in the carriage. Fancy ladies shoes, leather soles, raised heels can slip when foot needs to stay in place.

Gloves are traditionally ALWAYS brown, never black Old Victorian custom of wearing black gloves shows you in mourning dress, someone died. In practicality, brown leather gloves don’t usually bleed stain color if wet (rain or sweat). Black leather gloves will bleed black when wet to stain hands and clothing. There may be black leather gloves that don’t bleed these days, I just have not seen them yet.

Pack your smile, always a good item at a show!


Thank you for all the attire great advice! Coming from a Pony-Club background, I’ve been a been completely flummoxed by the turnout - fairly vague - rules on the ADS website.
And can’t imagine myself around a horse without a helmet and riding boots!

Ahem - my education wasn’t the most “practical”, shall we say. If you need someone to translate from the Ancient Greek or to discuss obscure Russian literature, I am your girl. But sewing, nope.
Thankfully (?) I’ve been whining about this enough this week to my friends that one of them convinced his Mom to sew me a driving apron. So we should be “set” (at least for this!).


Sounds good, and if that falls through, I promise you, if a driver and a navigator can make an apron with fabric glue in a hotel room, then I am sure anyone can make one!