Equitation can seem like a tricky class. At Horse Show Leases, we’ve gotten it down to a science. A big part of it is just achieving the “Equitation Look.” The equitation look is about showcasing tradition, exuding polish and class, and carrying yourself with confidence. In order to achieve it, you need to pay attention to three things overall: fit, polish, and confidence.
For your Equitation look, it’s imperative that your clothes fit properly. If your clothes don’t fit precisely, it takes away from the entire look. It also can inhibit your ability to move and perform. First, you need all the right pieces:
Jacket/ Hunt Coat
A jacket, no matter the brand or cost, is only as good as the way it fits. The catch is that the more expensive jackets are often cut better- which means they fit better. Everyone’s body is different though, and sometimes the best thing to do is just buy a bigger jacket and get it taken in.
We’ve found that one of the best brands to start with is RJ Classics. There is a great starter jacket for people just beginning. Then, when you are ready to step up to something a little higher-end, they have one of the best traditional-looking jackets with great high-tech stretch.
PantsYou need to have high quality (tan) breeches, that don’t showcase any insignia or brand. They shouldn’t be hanging off you, but they should allow you to move comfortably. Ideally, they will fit like your favorite yoga pants.
Make sure your boots are as tall as they can be, while still allowing you to bend your knee, and as tight as they can be. This makes your leg look longer and stronger.
Get your helmet professionally fit at a reputable tack shop, with your hair up as well as your hair down. Then, get your trainer to check it before you ride in it. Remember, it should sit just above your eyebrows!
Get a proper hairnet and take the time to do your hair properly. If your hair is not neat and correct it’s very hard for the judge to see past it. Watch this demonstration videoabout 100 times and practice!
“Polish” is in the details. It’s in tall boots shined to a mirror finish, first. Some judges will knock you down several places if your boots don’t look properly cared for. If you need help learning how, here is a demonstration video.
It’s also in making sure you have proper leather gloves, a crisp, clean white shirt, and meticulously cleaned tack.
It’s in taking extra time to make sure every element of your presentation demonstrates for respect for the sport. It demonstrates your knowledge of tradition. Finally, it should demonstrate your commitment to proper horsemanship.
Finally, confidence is key in the Equitation Look. You have to acquire enough experience that you walk into the ring with an attitude that commands attention. You must carry yourself in a way that shows not only are you confident, but your horse is too.
That’s not to say that you need to be snooty or unpleasant. You should be gracious and appreciative of what you get to do. Plus, you really can’t fake the confidence. It comes from practice. It also helps to feel like you look like a million bucks. Honing your technique, perfecting your skills over time, and learning from your mistakes all bring about this feeling.
So put the work in to make sure you can walk in the ring feeling like an Equitation Rock Star. Eyes up, hair perfect, clothes all class. You’ve got this!
For more comprehensive help in the Equitation Ring, contact Alicia at Horse Show Leases!