Buyers guide to competition jackets

jacket comp.jpg

Looking great and feeling comfortable can give your confidence a real boost – just what you need when you’re competing.

Your competition jacket should feel like you’re slipping into your favourite item of clothing and you should look forward to wearing it.

Your jacket also completes your look and goes a long way to making a good impression on the judges.

The choice is huge and it can be easy to get drawn into what other riders are wearing before considering whether a particular style will suit your body shape.

It’s important to find one that flatters your body when you’re in the saddle.

The perfect fit

Fit is everything and jackets from different manufacturers will all have a slightly different cut, so try on as many styles as possible to see which suits you best.

It’s a good idea to wear your show shirt so you can check the jacket fits comfortably over the top and the two look good together.

As you try on each jacket, run through our fitting checklist:

  1. Make sure the jacket doesn’t restrict your movement, particularly in the arms and shoulders.

  2. Cuffs should be on your wrists. Bend your arms to mimic your position in the saddle – the sleeves should end at the top of the wrist.

  3. Sit on a stool in a riding position to check the length of the jacket. It should stop a few inches below your hip bone. It it’s too long, it can make your legs look short – not ideal if you have short legs already!

  4. A jacket that feels snug when you try it on may be too tight when you ride, leading to straining buttons and gaps. A stretched, too-tight jacket is never attractive.

TOP TIP

What colour jacket you have to wear is dictated by the discipline you compete in. It’s always best to consult the relevant rule book to check what you can and can’t wear so you don’t get caught out on the day.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here