Proposed Dress rule changes!

Dark breeches! and more! USDF wants your feedback!!

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Help! I’m not sure what the proposed changes are, in the long excerpt of dress code rules. Is it the part about allowing short coats at any level?

Oh oops I do see you mentioned dark breeches. I will have to read it more slowly.


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Any color, “tasteful” decoration, and light or dark breeches. No bright colors on the bottom half.

Or that was my reading of it.

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Can access the link because I’m not a USDF member but what’s outlined above sounds good to me? Is it just for certain levels or certain types of shoes?


everything in the top section is replacing everything struck out in the bottom section. and it is ALL struck out.

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recognized USDF/USEF shows NOT FEI CDIs etc. There are some differences in rules for TL-4 and FEI tests.

DR 120 Dress

  1. Dress. The Dress Code provisions of this section apply to all classes and levels, including
    Championships, at USEF Licensed-USDF recognized dressage competitions. FEI Dress rules
    apply only to FEI recognized dressage events (CDIs).
    1.1 Protective Headgear. Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or
    exceeds current ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment
    Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. From the time horses are
    officially admitted to the competition grounds by competition management, anyone mounted
    on a horse at any time on the competition grounds, including non-competing riders, riders on
    non-competing horses, mounted participants in exhibition classes and those competing in all
    classes and tests, including Para-Equestrian tests, must wear protective headgear as defined
    by this rule and otherwise in compliance with GR801. The harness must be secured and
    properly fitted. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from
    further riding until such headgear is properly in place. Protective headgear may be the same
    as or a coordinating color with the coat, and may include contrast coloring, accent, and
    crystal decoration. See DR136 for dress code rules for exhibitions.
    1.2 Coat and Jackets. A short riding jacket or cutaway coat (modified tailcoat) with short tails is
    permitted at any level of competition. A tailcoat is permitted in all classes above Fourth level.
    Any single color jacket or tailcoat is permitted but may have subtle pin striping, checks or
    tweeds. Striped or multi-colored jackets or coats are not permitted. Tasteful and discreet
    accents, such as a collar of a different hue or modest piping or crystal decorations, are
    acceptable. Riders competing in Level 1 dressage competitions or in Opportunity classes are
    not required to wear a riding jacket or coat.
    1.3 Vests. Vests of any type are permitted but not required. Vests, including cooling vests, may be
    worn underneath a riding jacket or when jackets are waived.
    1.3.1. Per GR801, a body protecting or inflatable vest, specifically designed for use in
    equestrian sport, may be worn in any division or class without penalty from the judge.
    1.3.2. When the only warm-up available is open to all horses and riders, riders with safety
    concerns are encouraged to wear an orange vest.
    1.4 Breeches and Jodhpurs. White, light or dark colored breeches or jodhpurs are permitted in
    competition. Bright colors or patterns are not permitted. Contrast piping is allowed.
    1.5 Shirts and Neckwear. Shirts with tie, choker, stock tie or integrated stand-up collar are
    required. If jackets or coats are not worn per DR1.2 and DR2.1, shirts must be without bold
    pattern. Ties, chokers or stock ties may be any color.
    1.6 Boots & Half Chaps. For tests or classes at Fourth level or below, riders may wear tall boots or
    paddock/jodhpur boots with half-chaps or garters, matching the color of their boots, and
    made of smooth leather or leather-like material. Tall English-style riding boots, including
    dress or field boots or variations thereof, are required above Fourth Level. Boots of
    coordinating color(s), with or without accents, are permitted. Boots/shoes worn while riding
    anywhere on the competition grounds must have a distinguishable heel. (GR801.9)
    1.7 Gloves. White or light colored gloves are recommended but any solid color is permitted at
    Fourth Level and below. Black, brown or white gloves are required in FEI tests or levels.
    1.8 Military. Current and retired members of the Armed Services and police units may ride in the
    uniform of their service. All riders who choose to wear Armed Services or police uniform must
    wear protective headgear as defined in DR120.1.1 and in compliance with GR801. Members of
    the Armed Services or police units may wear summer uniforms if jackets are waived.
    1.9 Pas de Deux and Quadrille Attire. Riders in Pas de Deux and Quadrille classes are exempt
    from the dress code requirements of DR120.1.2, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.7. However, headgear and boots
    as required in DR120.1.1 and 1.6 must be worn. Riders must follow the dress requirements
    outlined in the USDF Rules and Guidelines for Quadrille Competitions and for Pas de Deux.
  2. Weather Conditions. In locations with high average heat and humidity on the date of a
    competition, management can publish in their prize list that jackets shall be waived for the
    duration of the competition. Alternatively, management can announce prior to or during a forecasted. This waiver applies to national classes at a USEF licensed-USDF recognized
    dressage competition.
    2.1 Competitors must wear protective headgear and a shirt with sleeves and collar, without
    neckwear. T-shirts are not permitted.
    2.2 Competitors are permitted to wear a hat cover and a rain coat, with or without a riding jacket,
    in inclement weather.
  3. Sponsor logo and Non-Sponsor Logo or Brand Marks. When sponsorship is permitted in
    accordance with GR1306, the name and/or logo of the individual’s sponsor(s) may appear on
    each of the two sides of jackets and top garments at the height of breast pockets not
    exceeded 80 cm2 in size. Logos described under DR121 are also permitted. No other sponsor
    logos are permitted on any garments (including jackets or coats, vests, shirts or stock ties).
    3.1 Dress may include non-sponsor logos or brand marks of any size. Refer to GR1306.
    3.2 The name and/or logo of an individual’s sponsor may also appear on the rider’s protective
    headgear if permitted in accordance with GR1306 and DR121.2.
  4. Spurs. Spurs must be made of metal. Only English-style spurs are permitted, as described
    4.1 The shank must be either curved or straight pointing directly back from the center of the spur
    when on the rider’s boot. If the shank is curved, the spurs must be worn only with the shank
    directed downwards. However, swan necked spurs are permitted. [insert spur photo]. The
    inside arm of the spur must be smooth and one or both arms may have rubber covers. If
    rowels are used, they must be blunt/smooth and free to rotate. Metal spurs with round hard
    plastic knobs on the shank are permitted (“Impuls” spur). “Dummy” spurs (without shank) are
    permitted. Armless spurs are permitted.
    4.2 Spurs are mandatory during competition in FEI Tests. However, spurs are optional for all of
    the FEI Children tests, FEI Pony Tests, and the FEI and USEF test for 4-year old horses.
    4.3 The maximum length for spurs in all classes except the FEI Children test and the FEI Pony
    tests is 5.08 cm (2 inches) including rowels. Only blunt metal spurs (i.e., with no rowels), no
    longer than 3.5 cm are permitted for FEI Pony Rider tests and FEI Tests for Children. Except
    for FEI Pony Rider tests and FEI Tests for Children, the length of the spur is measured from
    the base to the end of the shank. For FEI Pony Rider tests and FEI Tests for Children, spur
    length is measured from the boot to the tip of the spur.
    4.4 Offset spurs without rowels are permitted for riders having an appropriate Dispensation/
    Classification Certificate.
  5. Electronic Communication Devices. Earphones and/or other electronic communication
    devices are strictly prohibited while competing and such usage is penalized by elimination.
    Electronic devices that transmit and/or receive information may be used in the stabling area
    and in warm up areas. The unsafe use of electronic devices, as determined by the competition
    Technical Delegate in their sole discretion, including cell phones, with or without
    earphones/buds while mounted is prohibited in all areas designated for schooling and
    exercise, and while lungeing horses on competition grounds. Exceptions: medical devices,
    such as hearing aids are allowed to be used for the medical condition for which they are
    5.1 Electronic devices are allowed for Para riders if stated on their Dispensation/Classification
  6. Federation Dispensation/Classification Certificates. Individuals holding Federation
    Dispensation/Classification Certificates may be allowed exceptions. See DR307. All
    exceptions to required dress must be listed on the rider’s Dispensation certificate

Dark breeches would be amazing! A lovely dove gray would look great and be so much easier to keep clean.


Permitting half chaps all the way up through fourth, breeches of any (not bright or patterned) color, and not requiring a tail coat in FEI classes would certainly make showing less expensive, as well.


Logos! Is this new? Can we have logos like Captain Amazing?


Lavender coats? Black breeches? How fun! Hope it passes


I think the intention of that is to not penalize manufacturer logos that already exist on clothing eg like a lot of breeches now have logos on the thigh.

Tail coats in FEI classes at USEF shows are not required now, this is not a change. Several years ago, my trainer catch-rode my horse in a PSG class when I got sick, and she rode in a short coat because it was all she brought. Another trainer in the class rode in a short coat as well, because it was her horse’s first PSG, and her horse kept spooking at the tails!


Ok. This has me cracking up for some reason :rofl: Such a horse thing to do: “Moooooommm! You failed to warn me about this!”


Maybe I’m just curmudgeonly, but I always strongly supported that - while it was quirky and looked more like a butler than an olympic athlete - we had a UNIFORM. It was very similar between riders. There was not even a suggestion of ‘style points’, no desire to impress the judge with looks alone. Even with the range of conservative colored jackets we have now, most people will admit they are doing them for themselves or the spectators and not the judges, and the colors are muted and don’t take away from the look. I would hate dressage to go the way of other subjective horse sports where riders spend so much time thinking about style and impressing and what color and bling accentuates what part of their horse and riding. It’s supposed to be about showing off the horse and the training, not setting yourself apart based on looks. (I’m well aware that dressage has been going down this path for 10+ years at this point!) It also, for people like me who are totally not confident in any fashion decisions, adds a layer of anxiety about choosing the ‘right’ outfit.

I do support a range of conservative colors (e.g. grey, beige) breeches and other steps that make all riders feel comfortable with how they look and ready to ride their best! Don’t judges say that dark (i.e. black, brown) breeches make it harder to see the riders leg?

But I will clutch my pearls and bemoan the good old days if I see black breeches and a bright purple jacket with bling all over :rofl:


Happy to see the relaxation of the dress rules. White breeches look nice, but keeping them clean means that I can only wear them at shows. And a tailcoat… well, I’d love to have a shadbelly, but I have a hard time justifying the cost of an article of clothing that I’d wear 3 times a year. Being able to show in dark breeches and a short coat at all levels would make things a little more affordable.

As a tangent - why hasn’t anyone started a rent-the-runway type deal for show clothes yet? It makes no sense to spend $100s on these things that we wear 3 or 4 times a year, just like it makes no sense to spend $100s on a formal gown for one event, hence the appeal of rent-the-runway. However… would I spend $10/day to rent an Animo tailcoat and pikeur breeches for a show? Yes.


@Mersidoats I like your tangent idea. I wonder if part of the reason is that no one will want to rent the Pikeur breeches once they have any spots or discoloration from the saddle and that stuff just does not come out.


Definitely shows the wisdom in practicing at home in your show clothes!


so…my old business suit jackets, sounds like they’d do! Does it say anywhere whether they must be buttoned? …like if i wear a vest and jacket, could the jacket be unbuttoned?

I guess, theoretically. But then your jacket would be flapping all over the place. I’d assume “with buttons” is implied, personally.