Horse Show Attire

  • ASTM/SEI Approved Helmet – All junior riders are required to wear and ASTM approved helmet when mounted at a horse show.  The helmet should be black (no hat covers, please), well fitted, and comfortable.  Girls who show in tall boots will be expected to wear their hair up in their helmets, so it is important that the fit of the show helmet will allow for this.  The Charles Owens brand and the GPA brand are very popular with the show riders.  Troxel and International also make some very attractive show helmets.
  • For Girls – hair net (color to match hair) or wear hair in braids with cute bows, depends on age, ask your instructor. Girls who wear tall boots are expected to put their hair up inside of their helmet with a hair net.  Girls who wear jods and have long enough hair should wear their hair in two braids with bows in ribbon which matches their shirt.
  • Show Coat – dark color (navy blue, greys, browns), pinstripes or subtle patterns okay, no black coats.  A well-fitted navy blue show coat is a staple in every show rider’s wardrobe.  Many other colors (tans, greys, greens) are very popular and acceptable, though some are less formal.  The bottom of the coat should brush the saddle when the rider is sitting.  The sleeve length should allow a tiny bit of the rider’s shirt cuff to show.  The jacket should be well fitted through the body to give a neat profile. (some popular brands – Grand Prix, R.J. Classics, Elite, Devon-Aire, Pytchley)
  • Show ShirtGirls - The show shirt, or rat catcher, should be a color which matches the show coat.  Solid colors or self-colored patterns are very popular. No sleeveless shirts. For girls, the collar of the shirt needs to be monogrammed in a color which is complimentary to the shirt and/or the coat.  Many elaborate monograms are available to those who like decoration!  For your convenience, ask the monogrammer to try to avoid stitching over the button hole of the collar.  Boys should wear a tie and a regular button down dress shirt which matches their coat. (some popular brands – Essex, Cool Max, Tailored Sportsman)
  • Breeches or Jodphurs – Riders who wear tall boots wear breeches which have a Velcro closure at the bottom and fit inside the boot.   Young riders who show in paddock boots wear jodhpurs which are worn over the top of the paddock boot with a black elastic band which fits under the bottom of the boot to hold them down.  The greenish beige color in a two-way stretch material and a looser fit is the popular look. Jodphurs are better too long than too short. (some popular brands – Tailored Sportsman, Pytchley, Miller’s, Ariat)
  • Boots – Riders who show in tall boots should wear black leather field boots (the ones with the laces).  Fit is very important as it has a huge impact on the appearance of the rider on the horse, so please do not finalize a purchase of boots until you have shown them to your instructor.  They should be tall enough that there is some break down in the ankle and they reach or bend over at the back of the knee when the knee is bent.  There should be very little or no gapping at the top beside the knee.  They should be fitted through the calf.  Young riders (12 and under) who are still showing ponies should show in paddock boots and jodhpurs.  The paddock boots should be brown leather, and they can either lace up or zip up.  The metal zippers last longer and stay zipped better.
  • Garters – dark brown leather, with jods and paddock boots only
  • Belt
  • Gloves – black leather
  • Short Black Bat
  • If rider wears spurs – spur straps should be the same color as the riders boot, get advice on size – child’s, ladies, or men’s


Everyone out-grows their show clothes, so many high quality used items can be purchased for great prices either from other families in the barn, or from consignment shops such as The Middleburg Tack Exchange.  Post a sign in the barn if you are buying or selling!

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