Choosing a competition jacket
By Allison Lowther
Tack and equipment advice
28 June 2012 11:10
There are lots of discipline-specific jackets on the market these days and, if you’re going to look the part, it pays to buy one designed for the job you need it to do. For instance, a jacket for dressage should provide a bit of elegance and help to create an effortless picture. A show jumper will want a jacket which allows for movement – you don’t want it to split under pressure. If you dabble in a bit of everything, then buy a good all-rounder.
For dressage, black and navy are still the choice for most riders, although for those who have reached the dizzy heights of wearing top hat and tails, other colours are becoming more fashionable. For eventing, tweed or plain jackets are both popular – choose which you like best.
Showing also gives you a choice, depending on the class you’re entering. If you’re going for tweed, pick a colour that complements the colour of your horse.
Show jumpers are the daring ones. Bright red, green, brown, light blues, blousen-styles – most things go.
An all-round jacket should be navy or black as these colours are acceptable in most disciplines. Always check the rule book for your discipline.
The fit of your jacket can do wonders for your overall presentation.
To work out if yours fits properly, try this:
1. Bend your elbows into the position they’ll be in when riding to see if the arm length is correct – the sleeve should end at the top of your wrist
2. If you love jumping then straighten out your arms a little as you would when tackling a fence. You can then check if the jacket feels tight across your back – it shouldn’t
3. Squat in a riding position to test the length. The jacket should stop a few inches below your hip bone
4. Make sure the jacket isn’t too tight or baggy. A tailored jacket will flatter most figures while some jackets are specifically designed with the larger frame in mind