March 23, 2011


College Graduation
Hello to all of the many people visiting me for the first time!  I want to send out a huge thank you to Stacey Kimmel-Smith of Behind the Bit and TuffRider for her contest and their generous donation of the Zoe Coolmax Show Shirt and Kashmere Full Seat Breeches.  With being a newlywed, buying our first house this week, and beginning Dressage lessons all at once, I was wondering how I was going to tell my husband my old hunt seat horse show clothes had finally bit it and I needed to replace them before my first Dressage show next month.  Now I don't have to!

The site of my Dressage education.

My entry into the contest follows. Feel free to introduce yourselves, I'd love to meet you!

The most important trait of a good show outfit is that it makes you feel confident, relaxed and in charge of the ring. You shouldn’t have to worry about too-long sleeves, a baggy jacket, non-breathable material in the hot sun, or itchy breeches. You’re there to ride and look damn good doing it, and the outfit needs to help that cause, not hinder it.

Now for my reasons.
1. As of three months ago, I was a lifelong hunt seat rider. My plaid coat, pinstriped show shirts, and olive green Ariat Pro Circuit breeches are going to identify my former life so quickly, the judge won’t even have to watch my ride to know what to write down: “Rider seems tense and forward,” “Relax through the ankles,” and “Rider: there are no fences anywhere in this arena.” I can see it now.

2. All of my breeches and tights currently have at least one hole in them. Including my “show breeches”. Every. Single. Pair. (Except this one pair that I bought when I was 20lbs heavier. When I wear them people laugh and ask if “saggin’ baggin’” is the new look for 2011.) It’s probably because I haven’t purchased a new pair since high school, but who’s counting?

3. Full seat breeches: What am I missing out on? Would they make me stop sliding around so much in the saddle? Is this the holy grail of riding attire that I am missing out on? I wouldn’t know, because they’ve never graced my rear before.

4. Street cred: I have destroyed what little I may have had at my new Dressage barn. First I show up in half chaps and jeans, then I get on the horse with my hip angle so closed that all the teenage Dressage Queens at the barn wondered if I had a stomach ache. I’m hoping that maybe with discipline-appropriate show clothes I would gain a few shreds of my pride back.

5. My horse is embarrassed. Yes, the 23 year old gentleman that I ride each week has threatened to end our relationship if I show up in the show ring wearing “that.” He knows Dressage way better than I do (Thank God he remembers that we have to halt and salute at X, because sometimes I don't) and he’s afraid of what his buddies will say about his choice in people when we go to our first show in April.

I rest my case.


  1. What a great story - you definitely deserved to win Stacey's contest! I am new to your blog but as a "H/J princess" myself, I will be interested to follow along as you cross over to the dark side.... Congrats on the prize!

  2. haha I love your entry, congratulations! I am a pony clubber, turned dressage rider, turned hunter/jumper- so the opposite direction from you! But dressage is part of every training program; more important than going OVER the jumps!

    love the hip-angle-stomach-ache joke, I can see it now :)

    make sure you post some photos of you showing in your brand spankin' new attire!

    nice to find your blog! corinna