Tips for Dressage Turnout for horse & rider
Gone are the days of turning up for your test in your old competition jacket having just rolled out of bed, dressage is one of our top sports one which we really train hard at & us Brits do it well.
So here are my top tips on how to up your game in the turnout stakes for a Dressage competition.
You may not necessarily win the test but it can help to make you feel a million dollars.
Always try to make sure your horse is clean. Turning up with a stable stained horse is not the best way to make any entrance.
Plait if you’ve got time, it’s not a requirement & won’t lose you any marks, but it will help to improve the finished picture. Plaits when done right can also make a weak neck bigger & a short Neck longer & vice versa.
Make the most of your horse’s features, a good well done quarter mark can work wonders for weak quarters.
Why not try a little highlighter, my favourite is a little baby oil around the muzzle and eye area, being especially careful though and taking care that you do not get any in the horse’s eyes. You could use a specially made highlighter for horses.
Get yourself a good Saddle Pad and if you can invest in something a little special, but also take care not to buy anything that won’t fit your saddle length. Also check that the saddle pad is not too thin or thick making your saddle not fit correctly. It is advisable that you check that when the horse moves the Saddle pad does not become tight over the withers.
My favourite pads are made by Eskadron & all have waffle backing making them wickable & they don’t slip. My favourite cheaper pad is Winten Pad made by PFIFF, it also has a waffle backing.
Get the right competition clothes
Jackets if you’re short Bodied & want to look longer go for a longer length of Show jacket. If you are long bodied & short legged go for a shorter cut jacket.
Same for size don’t think that if you’re a larger rider that a jacket that’s like a sack will do you any favours, you may want to cover up BUT don’t. Go for a well fitted tailored Jacket of moderate length, it will look nicer than a cover all sagging jacket.
Same for the slim, make sure your Jacket fits.
Competition Jackets now come in all shapes, sizes, & material, finding the right one can be an arduous task, which is why we always recommend seeking help.
My favourite jacket is a well-fitting Pikeur Jacket ,there are so many to choose from, but I can also highly recommend Montar Competition Jackets.
Breeches, well these are a minefield, but the be all for me is comfort & durability.
The choice of breeches is endless but choose wisely. For riders with shorter bodies a low rise waist Breech works well, in a larger taller rider are Mid to High waist is normally the most comfortable .
I really like to make the most of the breeches available today. For me a white breech with a contrasting grey seat is the most flattering, I also like a mid or high waist. My personal favourite for this are Pikeur Candela Contrast, but I’m also very partial to the Pikeur Candela Grip & Montar Bamboo Breech.
Visit Divine Equestrian to see what’s available
Don’t forget to then make the most of the rest of your outfit with a well-fitting competition shirt, these can range in price & even the cheaper ones on the market are very nice these days. Our favourites are Pikeur & Horka totally different price ranges but lovely material. You can choose between blingy collars, blingy logo’s, Zip shirts, button shirts or just a plain shirt. Again though make sure you’re comfortable & it fits.
The biggest rule of thumb with competition clothing though is to make sure you’re comfortable.
If you don’t feel at your best how can you ever perform to your best?
trainee judge & Dressage rider/trainer
Owner of Divine Equestrian
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