Choosing the Right Horse Riding Show Jacket
One of the most important items in the showing world is your show jacket. A riding jacket can shape your overall presentation, ensuring that your style is sophisticated and elegant, rather than ill-prepared and untidy. Here are some tips to help you choose the right horse-riding show jacket.
Consider the Colour
The colour of your show jacket is crucial for achieving a classic and traditional look. For show pony and hack classes, a navy jacket is perfect, but for hunter and mountain and moorland classes, a tweed jacket will be required. Choose the colour of your tweed carefully, as it should suit the colour of your horse or pony in order to really catch the eyes of the judges. I recently purchased the Caldene Southwold tweed jacket in brown check and I absolutely love it. It has side vents, self-collar, flap pockets and is made from 100% wool, ensuring that it's really comfortable.
Measure your Horse Riding Show Jacket for Size
It's essential that your horse-riding show jacket fits your body type correctly. Start by measuring yourself around the chest in inches. This can be used as your starting point when shopping for a new jacket as sizes are always stated in inches. Jackets for women tend to come in girls, maids and ladies’ sizes. This ensures that the jacket has more chance of fitting the different body types correctly. For men, jacket sizes are based on chest size.
Ensure a Perfect Fit
There's nothing worse than seeing a badly fitting jacket on a rider. If it doesn't flatter your figure, it will make you look untidy whilst on your horse, which isn't what you want when competing. If your jacket is too small, it will look strained and very unprofessional. It may also restrict your movements and hamper your performance.
It's important to check that a jacket fits correctly before splashing the cash. Firstly, check the arm length. You can do this by bending your elbows into the position they will be in when you're riding your horse. The sleeve should end at the top of the wrist, rather than some way up the arm. Next, check your jumping position by moving your arms from a bent riding position to a jumping position. The jacket shouldn't pull tight across your back. If it does, it's too small. Now you can check the jacket length by squatting in a riding position. A jacket that's too long will make your legs appear short. The right jacket should stop a few inches below your hip bone.
Finding the right show jacket for you is vitally important if you want to perform well. Take your time to consider your options and you'll thank yourself later on. The perfect show jacket should feel much like an old friend – you'll complement each other perfectly and will make it through the good times and the bad. You will always look at your best in the right show jacket.