Join the conversation! Login or register to ask your question or help a fellow rider.
Call us 24/7 - 1-800-461-8898

Feeling weird in show clothes?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Merlin 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    I am not sure why this has just come up, I have been showing almost 4 years. I have noticed it before but it is becoming more obvious to me as I am showing in higher divisions and need to ride harder. All my show clothes fit correctly and they aren’t cheap but I feel very uncomfortable. I ride in my show boots almost every ride so it’s not like I am not used to them. I just feel very slippery and not as effective of as a rider. When jumping I feel very stiff like I can’t move as much as I’d like to. It is not show nerves making me stiff because I am not nervous. I probably sound crazy but does anyone know what I am talking about or think of a way to fix it.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    English show clothes are designed to look elegant, not to be comfortable. You might want to try one size larger than what you have now, so that the coat does not bind. Part of the problem may simply be that English show clothes just don’t have the same freedom that you have when riding in comfortable schooling clothes & no jacket. You might also want to try full seat breeches. I prefer the synthetic suede ones to the real leather ones, as I can run the synthetic suede ones through the washer, and in an emergency, the dryer to real leather full seats. The synthetic suede ones are also less expensive. Either real leather or synthetic suede breeches will help to prevent you sliding in the saddle. Just a word of warning – – you may like them so well that you find yourself buying them for schooling as well and selling all the knee patch breeches.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    In addition to what G&S said, try schooling in your show clothes, so they are as familiar and comfortable as whatever you normally wear. Except when it is stinking hot (when I ride in shorts and sneakers), I always ride in breeches and boots. That way, they become second nature. As for your show coat – could it be the wrong size for what you do? I sometimes get a size larger than ordinary civilian jackets, because I want more freedom of movement. Or, possibly, could your saddle be too clean? I never soap or oil mine too close in time to a show for that very reason. I also don’t use Show Sheen just before a show, because it can make the horse slippery.

    It is never the horse's fault

    lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    I will try schooling in my jacket, which I am sure is the correct size. And yes my tack is quite clean before shows, I will use this as an excuse to be lazy.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Let’s hope it is just something so simple and will be an easy fix.

    It is never the horse's fault

    lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    JJ- How does riding in shorts not rub? It sounds like a great idea, it gets so hot riding in breeches in the summer!

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I usually just cross my irons, unless I need them for some odd reason. Or, you could use half-chaps. Most of the time, we really only need one stirrup, in order to get on the horse. After that, no so much.

    It is never the horse's fault

    carrie_dobrin
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 19

    Show clothes are definitely different than schooling clothes. I school in full seat breeches and boots, so that part didn’t need much adaption, but the show shirt, stock tie and jacket took a bit of getting use to. I am a dressage rider, but when I got my show jacket, I went with one made of the newer technical fabrics, as it has more give to it, and is a bit more comfortable. I tried a pair of knee patch breeches, but my saddles are smooth leather with no grip at all (all older saddles) with the exception of the synthetic I bought for my 3 year-old, and that has no grip either. Full seat breeches are a must for me! Kind of like riding in a car with leather seats . . . slide all over the place . . .

    It could also be a bit of nerves. I have only shown once so far (second show coming up this weekend) and I did feel “different” and a bit stiffer, even though the only thing different was the show shirt and jacket. Nerves combined with the fact that you are not on your home turf and just schooling . . . all eyes are on you . . . makes us respond a bit differently.

    RedWillow
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    If you are feeling slippery in the saddle then you either need to clean your saddle more frequently or breaks it in more . Or you need full seat breeches . And as for you not being able to move so much in your show coat , that’s normal I used to have that problem in the hunter ring but I grew out of that jacket and had to purchase a jumper show coat because I’ve switched over to that . And I got a size up from what I fit in at the time and I tell you it fits perfect and I have a lot of room ! Also try a breathable show shirt like Ariat makes really good ones ! And for really good full serf breeches with the knee patches try tailored sportsman !!

    carolyn_salas
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Have you tried sticky spray on show days? It can make a big difference for a little extra grip on your boots and saddle.

    eponasluv eponasluv
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Everyone here has made very good suggestions, especially about full seat breeches and schooling in your show clothes so they feel more natural to you. I’ve noticed that just because something fits “correctly” or “properly” when you’re standing or sitting (even on a horse) doesn’t mean it’s going to fit when you’re jumping big fences. For example, every time I was professionally fitted for a hunt coat, I was told I wear a size 10. Every time I went out to jump the big fences at shows in that size 10, I felt like I couldn’t move my arms and shoulders forward to release properly. I eventually bought a size 12 and what a world of difference! I felt like I could move and was no longer wearing a straitjacket when I’d get into two-point. So… just because someone tells you your show clothes fit correctly when you’re standing at the deli counter or on a leisurely trail ride doesn’t mean they’ll fit correctly when you’re engaged in an athletic activity such as jumping.

    smiths595 smiths595
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    There are a lot of breeches and hunt coats available now in light weight and stretchy fabrics. I compete in Hunters and over the past year I replaced my older hunt coat for a new RJ Classics soft shell hunt coat and an Essex Classics Talent yarn show shirt – totally love them both. I could ride in them all day and still be comfortable. There are a lot of Facebook groups where you could find some good, used (a little cheaper) show clothes or even Ebay. If you find new/used show clothes you could then sell your old ones to help with the cost. It looks like you ride/show hunters so you wouldn’t be able to show in full-seat breeches.
    If your boots are slippery you can use a little sticky spray on them like Sporty Sit-Tite Spray. When you clean your boots make sure you aren’t cleaning the inside of your boots (the part that touches the horse). You want that part to get a little roughed up and a little ‘dirty’ so it gets grippy.
    Good luck with showing and I hope you find something that works!

    biggreymare
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Important distinction: Just because a garment is the right size for you does not mean that it actually FITS you.

    It will help to take your jacket to a tailor and have it adjusted to your particular shape. Tell them how you need to move in it. A good tailor should be able to raise the armpits and rotate the sleeves to accommodate the forward arm movement that you need, as well as make the jacket more flattering than you ever expected.
    Jackets are not made for the movement we need when riding. They are made to look tidy and wrinkle-free when stand at the mirror with our arms hanging straight down at our sides. This is why the sleeves bind and the sides lift up when we use our arms. If a jacket is cut to give the proper arm mobility for riding, we tend to think it looks sloppy when we stand and look in the mirror, because there is a little extra fabric across the back shoulders and small wrinkles in the armpits. But when you are in the saddle, where it matters, the jacket will look tidy and proper, rather than tugging across the upper arms and bunching at the shoulder and chest.

    lc_norfleet
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Make sure your saddle is well-oiled/conditioned, too. A lot of the tack soaps on the market contain glycerin, which will create a slippery layer on top of the leather. Try cleaning it with Ivory soap (yes, the bath stuff) to get rid of that layer and then oil it with pure Neat’s Foot. I just bought a new (used) saddle for hunting and found it was very slippery until I gave it a good scrub and oiling.

    Merlin
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Show season is upon us again. “Grippy” is essential for me as an eventer, both for my saddle and my boots. Two proven products made in Germany and available in most every tack shop in U.S. are named “effax Leder-Combi” and “effax Leder-Balsam”. The first is a combination cleaner and deep conditioner that cleanses but leaves a grippy surface without residue unlike most oil based cleaners which seam to leave a very smooth, slippery surface kind of like facial moisturizers. The slippery shine may look lovely but I would rather be in the saddle than looking at the shine from on the ground! The second is the leather balm which can be used after cleaning if desired. It smells great and also leaves a grippier surface on boots and saddles. I apply it with my hands as the warmth from hands heats it and allows the best penetration. I absolutely agree with sizing for your arm movement while riding, not what looks correct while standing and looking in the mirror. The new lightweight, four-way stretch jacket and shirt fabrics are a huge improvement for comfort, leaving you to focus on communicating with your horse, not worrying about having to restrict your movements to avoid ripping out a seam. Have a great show season this year.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Healthy Horses  ❤  Happy Riders