The best lightweight summer stock shirts for horse riders need to combine style with performance. They should be breathable and allow the rider full movement in the saddle, while also looking stylish on their own and combined with the competition jacket. The stand-up collar that denotes a stock shirt should work equally well both with and without a stock over the top. These features will allow the shirt to be used in multiple disciplines, making it a very versatile garment for any rider’s wardrobe. In our group test we have both sleeveless and short sleeved shirts. The bonus with a short sleeved shirt is that it is more likely to be allowed when the temperatures rise high enough for jackets to be removed in competition. It is very unusual for riders to be allowed to compete wearing a sleeveless shirt without a jacket.
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Horse & Hound has been working with a number of professional riders, trainers and yards to put a range of products to the test in a busy yard environment. And here are the results…
Meet the product tester
The lightweight summer stock shirts in this group test were trialled by event rider and BHSII Lisa Spence. A regular on the eventing circuit, Lisa has been working in the equine industry for more than 25 years. A BHSII and former pony club examiner, she has spend many years backing, competing and working with all types of horses from fun ponies to top level competition horses.
Horse & Hound’s pick of the best lightweight summer stock shirts
* BEST IN TEST & BEST VALUE*
“This shirt was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I really could not fault it, as it was lightweight, breathable and comfortable. I also appreciated the short sleeves as it meant that I could wear it without a jacket in competition. When I did wear it without jacket I felt very stylish. I really like how cool it is to wear and that I didn’t get sweaty even on the very hot summer days. I am also a huge fan of its design and love how well it washes. I’d recommend this shirt for any discipline. It’s equally suitable to wear under a jacket or on its own.”
“This shirt proved lightweight, comfortable to wear and it kept me cool in hot weather. I liked that it had capped sleeves so can be worn without a jacket. It is smart enough to wear at shows, while keeping me really cool. I’d recommend it to those looking for a shirt that performs well, but has a simple design.”
“I liked the lace on the back of the shirt as it added to the style and looked like it would help keep me cool. It has worn well, and kept me cool in the areas that sweat the most. I liked the ruffle around the chest as it meant it looked great without a stock. The shirt washed really well and looked as good as new after multiple washes. I really like the fit and how comfortable it was to wear, but because it was sleeveless it couldn’t be worn without a jacket in competition.”
“This shirt looked really good and had nice, unusual detailing. The shirt fitted really well and I felt very stylish wearing it. It worked well with a stock, but also looked really great without one. But it doesn’t cover the shoulders and therefore can’t be worn without a jacket at competitions. If it had capped sleeves I would have liked it even more.”
“I thought this shirt looked really smart and stylish. It has a very feminine fit with the ruffles around the chest, which I thought was really flattering. This shirt fitted well as I felt very comfortable, without being restricted, and it really flattered my shape. The bottoms of the sleeves were quite tight though, and did ride up a bit. The shirt worked really well without a jacket, and also works best without a stock. I really loved the added sparkle to the buttons and collar.”
“I liked the colour of the shirt: the grey was nice and light, and made a change from white. I also liked the design with the air vents at the back. The shirt was lightweight and kept me cool when it was really hot. I liked how it was not too overly designed, but definitely still stylish. Unfortunately, it hasn’t got the sleeves required to wear without a jacket in competition, but it did perform well when worn under a jacket. I liked the colour, the overall style of the shirt, how cool it kept me and the fit.”
“I found this shirt really comfortable and very cool in hot weather. I was however disappointed that the colour ran into the white collar on its first wash at 30 degrees. Plus the collar puckered up after washing — a real shame as otherwise this shirt performed really well. Overall I thought it was slightly too pretty for myself as an event rider, but would suit a stylish dressage diva that doesn’t mind hand washing!”
Horse & Hound is in the process of testing a wide range of equestrian kit, clothing and equipment, the results of which will be published on HorseandHound.co.uk
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