Dressage: What’s in and what’s out

  • What’s in

    • New season pastel-coloured matching bandages, numnah, rider’s lipstick and lorry
    • Sparkly browbands, glittery hoof oil, silvery trim on numnahs (for dressage to music — particularly pas de deux)
    • Athens 2004 polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets etc
    • Coloured long leather boots — navy blue, maroon, etc
    • Having more than one trainer — ideally one at home and one in Germany
    • Ice-making machines in lorries for owners’ cocktails
    • Gundogs and Greyhounds (pictured)
    • Fur gilets
    • Poll relief bridles
    • Two-way radio headsets for the warm-up arena
    • Appreciating the value of your back up team

    What’s out

    • Wrap around sunglasses — so event rider
    • Baseball caps — so show jumper
    • Sydney 2000 polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets etc
    • Bleached short hair — so Sydney
    • Jack Russells or any type of terrier
    • No knickers (VPL is back)
    • Friends shouting “helpfully” on the sidelines
    • Walking round wrapped in your horse’s monogrammed rug

    Timeless classics

    • Union Jack flags on jackets
    • Girls with pearl earrings
    • Diamond studs
    • Whiter than white jods
    • Really shiny, really long, black leather boots

    Don’t miss the current issue of Horse & Hound (29 April) for more advice on what’s in and what’s out plus interesting tips on how to get on in dressage competitions and the real meaning behind the phrases commonly used to describe dressage horses.

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