Riding a dressage test successfully involves countless hours of practice with your horse as well as a lot of other prep work to get ready for your big moment. Once you are done packing all your riding essentials, you might want to consider a few finishing touches to personalize your look to your taste. You can also improve your riding experience by bringing the right accessories with you to the competition.
The next time you head out to compete, remember to pack these easy-to-forget items:
- Copies of your dressage tests: It’s easy to get nervous just before you go into the ring and feel like you are forgetting your test. If you remember to bring copies of your dressage tests, you can look over the tests at the last minute, or have someone read the test aloud during your performance. Try out the Whinny Widgets Pocket Test Books for convenient pocket-sized, bound and laminated copies of your tests.
- Hairnets: Your hair must be neat on the day of a show, and except for young riders who can wear braids or ponytails, this usually means you need a hairnet. Hairnets come in an assortment of colors to blend in naturally with your hair color.
- Stock tie pin: Available in a wide array of styles and fabrics, stock ties are part of the typical dressage attire, worn around the neck of a rider during an event. But don’t forget to purchase a stock pin for your stock tie, too. Also, if you opt for the traditional stock tie instead of a pre-tied one, practice tying the knot several times before the day of your show.
- Safety pins: Safety pins can serve many purposes on the day of a show. You can use them, for example, to secure the loose ends of your stock tie to your competition shirt so they don’t flap out while you’re riding. Keep a few in your pack to be prepared for anything.
- Conservative stud earrings: It’s fine to wear earrings with in the dressage arena, as long as they are conservative and tasteful rather than flashy or gaudy. In general, this means to stick with gold, silver or pearl studs.
- Belt: If you’ll be wearing breeches with belt loops, pair them with a belt. A belt adds to the polished appearance of your dressage outfit and can really complete your look.
- Rain gear: You never know what the weather will be like the day of a show, so a clear raincoat and a waterproof helmet cover are essential accessories to bring. If the weather is wet and rainy, you’ll have excellent, budget-friendly protection on hand.