Proposed Dress rule changes!

I solemnly swear I’ll keep the bling to a minimum :rofl::rofl::rofl:


The rules actually do specify a “riding coat” though I don’t see that the term has a definition anywhere in the DR rules and haven’t taken the time to investigate further to see if it’s somewhere else.

If your suit jackets don’t have buttons, you could safety pin the fronts and add dummy buttons!

I don’t find that suit jackets have the same stretch as modern riding coats. But if you have narrower shoulders it might not be an issue for you.

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Frankly, I think this is a bunch of hooey that people have made up, not judges. Anyone here ever have their coach or instructor tell then not to wear dark breeches because it makes it hard to see your leg? If they can see your lower leg with black boots, what’s the issue? That they can’t see your thigh?


Many men ride in suit jackets. If you’re not wearing one of your old jackets any more, you could have it tailored a bit to be more fitted like a riding coat.

Why would you want to go go into the ring with your jacket unbuttoned?


three of my most gorgeous, ridiculously expensive biz suits have vests. Trim-line jacket…not boxy. I’d have to look for sure, guessing they are 3-button jacket and sleeve. Vests are also buttoned. the vest/jacket looks pretty spiff… and i didn’t know vests were ‘allowed’ til seeing this post and i became hopeful.

I don’t think you can wear a vest with a coat. A vest is permitted when coats are waived but that would be like wearing two coats, they are the same garment for the purposes of the rules. Shirt, neckwear, coat or vest.


I suspect the officials are tired of being the “color police” and having to determine which colors abide by the current rules.

I have mixed feelings about this. A little variation might be nice, but more may also create “fashion trends” that cause people to worry that their burgundy jacket is "so last year! " I guess the clothes manufacturers and sellers would like it to sell more stuff!

I haven’t worn the new tech jackets, but remember roasting in my old coat. I had always thought that a vest instead of a jacket would have been a nice compromise (and easier to fit!) but the new fabrics may make that less likely unless coats are waived.

The white breeches were always a head-scratcher for me (But of course now I have a pair that actually fit and I havent worn yet because I havent shown yet!) Being a low-level AA, when I showed many years ago I sometimes used my light tan breeches and left over navy hunt jacket and nobody laughed in my face or eliminated me…

Maybe I was scarred from reading the old Horse & Rider magazine articles on preparing for Western Pleasure. You must ** have the right silver on your saddle that fits the tooling and last year’s headstall style is out and would show that you “are not serious”. There were lots of fashion tips that changed from year to year. People must have gone broke when leather went from dark oil to light oil!

So part of me liked the more uniform look, but maybe not such light breeches. It will be interesting to see how far people take things if this all passes.


So, if it’s true that judges are looking at the horse, i don’t see the harm colored breeches/jackets as long as folks don’t dress like jockeys. I want to dress in a way that i find looks good on me and my horse…and black and white is not it! i’m wanting to go navy and gray (as long as it’s just the right gray, which is hard to find). I have a couple of very nice navy suits… wool of course.

My luck is that i’m working outside from dawn to dusk in turtle necks, with a Tshirt over during deer fly season, always long pants and boots. I’m not prone to heat/humidity problems because i get acclimated. (On deployment it’s even worse…nomex is NOT breathable)

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In my high school marching band days 30 odd years ago putting your band in white shoes was considered throwing down the gauntlet at the other band directors in your district. The theory being everyone’s feet were easily visible to the judges squinting down from the booth at the top of the stadium bleachers. Also worth noting that my university’s marching band is considered one of the best in the country. And to my best recollection, never wore white shoes. :joy: So… who knows!

I don’t ride at the level to require a tail jacket. However, if I ever make it that far you bet your booty I am throwing down $$$$ for one! There’s something about the symbolism & formality that appeals to me. I like a bit of subtle, judicious bling. Though, as a dressage rider in hunt country, I keep it pretty conservative/traditional. Example: My legs bruise easily due to AI issues, even in half chaps. I have to have tall boots & (naturally!) take a weird size not normally found in ready made boots. Fortunately, along came De Niro with their Tri Colore line. But only in brown. Even that made me feel a little self-consious in a sea of black boots.

Ironically, my teenaged daughter who rides hunters is far more conservative than I am. And has been since she was 8. I thought she was going to have a stroke when I bought a delicately blinged browband for my first dressage show!


But with this they would need to decide what is “bright” which seems very subjective.

I’m actually scratching my head on what dark breeches would look good with most riding coats. I just got a navy coat with some lighter blue accents, so I could see wearing my medium blue breeches with those for a more casual show. Black/dark breeches show dust and smudges, so really not much better for show ring presentation, but at least they will wash up better and it might not even be necessary to keep a special pair of show breeches.

Personally I’d like to be able to dispense with the jacket and just wear a tucked in, collared shirt and medium-colored breeches for most show season weather, maybe a vest for the colder days.


Why wouldn’t you be able to? Those fancy colored points on tailcoats are meant to imitate what were originally vest points. I’ve shown dressage sidesaddle properly wearing a vest under my jacket.

I’m not sure what the point would be under a regular coat, though, as those aren’t cut to show any of the vest/points the way a cutaway or tailcoat is.


I’d say a suit coat or blazer that looks fine from a distance is just fine to get started in schooling shows. Especially if it’s got back vents.

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the point is when you have your jacket open. And, when buttoned vest is showing atop, not below anyway

Right, but that’s a shadbelly which is a different, more formal dress.

Vests themselves are only allowed when coats are waived. I doubt anyone would truly care but in fact it’s only one or the other, if someone wished to interpret the rules literally.

Except that when you are trotting or cantering and your suit jacket is open it will be flapping and distracting. It is one thing to be walking around an office with the suit jacket unbuttoned another to have it that way when riding.
Why are you so determined to not fit in at all in discipline that is new to you? You don’t seem to want to try to figure out if there are reasons for why people dress the way they do, keep their horses the way they do, outfit their horses the way they do. You seem to only want to see things from your point of view and be unique. But your way is very idealized and you seem to have very limited to no experience with other areas of the country, being in a professional barn in any discipline or showing at any recognized level. You discount everyone else’s input and experience. Why do you want to show in dressage when you seem to have so much disdain for the tack, the cost of shows, the judges, the other competitors, the attire, how the horses are kept?


i like the concept of dressage. i dislike the club of it


That’s unfortunate. I’ve found it to be an exrtremely welcoming discipline. Sorry your experience has not been the same.


I mean, people do this anyway even under more strict rules. If the only choices were black or navy, some people would fret over whether one or the other would be more popular this year. This is a people problem, not an attire rule problem.

I, for one, have none cares how “last year” my burgundy jacket is. If I’m still obsessed with the color, I’m still wearing it.


I remember that article. It was by Juli Thorson I think (whom always came across as nice on paper).
I showed/show a lot, although not at the top, for over 30 years, and not once has a judge commented on my tack color, amount or type of silver, browband, 1 ear, 2 ear, etc. I’ve watched a lot of top shows, and I can’t remember anyone’s attire or tack, imagine the judges can’t either, so we wear numbers.
I did know someone who bought a new hunt saddle and was sad that she ‘had’ to sell her bridle since it wasn’t the same brand as the new saddle. I laughed and said if that was the case I should have been eliminated at every show!
Makes me wonder where those ‘rules’ originate. Well, I do know a trainer that has to approve of all her client’s outfits. Sucking the fun right out of it…

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