Equestrian Stores – A World of Choice
I started riding way back in 1969. I can still remember the first time that I sat on a horse. I immediately felt at home and after my first hour of riding I couldn't wait to return to the stables. It wasn't long before I was nagging my mother to take me to the equestrian store so I could get the proper riding attire. I had seen the other kids in their smart jodhpurs and jackets and I wanted to look the part. I had no concept of the expense involved!
Jacket and Jodhpurs
Once my mother was sure that my love of riding wasn't just a passing phase, she invested in my first pair of jodhpurs. It wasn't until a few years later when I had to start paying for my own gear that I realised just how costly riding apparel could be, at least in those days. By the time I had reached my teenage years I was expected to pay for most of my riding gear myself. There were very few equestrian stores and there was certainly no internet. The lack of competition meant that the prices were high. There wasn't a great deal of choice either.
Mix and Match
I always rode in a standard pair of cream jodhpurs which were acceptable for both leisure riding and competitions. I actually ended up purchasing my hacking jacket from Topshop of all places as there was a trend for woollen checked jackets at the time. Some fashion shops were noticeably cheaper than the equestrian store. The rest of my apparel was generally second hand pieces which had been advertised in the classifieds of the local paper.
On Your Bike
In the 1970’s you would never see red jodhpurs or jeans style breeches. There simply wasn't a fashion aspect to riding apparel like there is now. If you wanted embellishments then you would have to get crafty and add them yourself. You might also have to travel miles to reach the nearest equestrian store which wasn't helpful when you only had a bicycle! Oh well, at least I didn't have to spend my hard earned cash on petrol!
Online Equestrian Store
These days, life is so much easier. I can purchase everything I need online and have an astonishing array of fine riding apparel to choose from. Over the last forty years new collections have appeared offering a great blend of practicality and style. It is possible to personalise my look, use colour and wear clothing fit for the catwalk let alone the stables. The latest technical fabrics mean that equestrian clothing is robust, breathable, flexible and comfortable.
If only Equi Supermarket had been around when I was younger! I would have loved to wear diamanté breeches and stylish jackets. I would have appreciated an insulating gilet and I could have arrived at competitions feeling fabulous. I could have afforded to invest in much more clothing for riding too. I am now so used to shopping online that I sometimes forget what life was like before this amazing convenience. I travel by car these days rather than by bicycle, but I don’t even need to leave home to find everything that I need!