January 8, 2019

"Coats Waived" Attire

Okay stylish Dressage people, coming at you with a question today: what is your 'coats waived' show outfit?  Specifically, what color is your shirt?

Mine is white, and there's a story behind that.  I wear it almost superstitiously after getting kicked out of the warmup at my first Dressage show ever in 2012 for wearing a solid navy show shirt I borrowed from Austen.  And yes, it was a non-rated schooling show put on by the local GMO.

Early 2017 look

As if I looked like I knew what I was doing anyway, out there in a 15 year old brown jump saddle and field boots on a green pony, nervous as hell trying a new sport for the first time.  Then to be sent back to the barns to change shirts and have my warm-up halved on top of it all - it was a terrible way to encourage newcomers to try Dressage.  I wouldn't try another straight Dressage show for years after that, not until I basically had to.

Luckily Austen happened to be traveling with a brand new white show shirt, so I raced back to the barn and changed in record time.

I don't think "white shirts only" is true, at least not anymore, because I see people a lot more fashionably dressed than me at shows when coats are waived.  But the rule book is pretty ambiguous about it, so I'm asking you guys: What do YOU wear?


  1. Oh damn! I'd forgotten that whole event. So ridiculous! The rules then stated basically what they do now "solid colored shirt". The only thing you can actually be eliminated over is the collar being closed. 🙄 Overzealous rules people make me crazy.

    To answer, I show in the same thing no matter the heat. I just throw my jacket on a minute before I go in the ring. I'd love a Kastel show shirt to help hide me from the sun, but haven't saved up for that yet!

    1. Massive bummer that it has to be solid, because colour block shirts look awesome.

      Noble Outfitters has some good show shirts -- light and breathable and stretchy and pretty reasonably priced I think. And the collar can be converted so you can wear them with a stock or without easily (if you need to change your mind on the day of). In a variety of colours. I like the colour block ones best, but I guess they are out for you. I guess if I had to pick solid I'd go for blue or purple version.

  2. Yeah. I know a pretty well known trainer around here that was almost eliminated at a Dressage show for not zipping her sunshirt up all the way.... so I guess that's the rule. Solid shirt, zipped up...

    Honestly, my favorite shirt to show in is my pale yellow Kastel shirt that I got on super sale. The pale yellow looks pretty with my palomino hahaha.

  3. Oh my god, what???? I'd whip the rule book out and slap them in the face with it.

    I've worn a lot of polos. I had a sleeveless polo that I wore once at an in house schooling show. My trainer yelled at me but the judge didn't give a shit - it was one of those days where it was so hot my horse was completely drenched just standing in a stall.

  4. I have a black polo, because a) I use a black saddle pad, so matchy-matchy, and b) yards and yards of white on me do not look so fantastic. If you go with no coat, you MUST have sleeves and a collar. I do have a couple of sun shirts that are tempting to wear, but honestly all of our show venues are covered so it's nbd. If I had to wear a coat, I'd get a sleeveless shirt with a built-in stock and then throw a MotionLite coat over that about 2 seconds before going in the arena.

  5. If its a rated show with coats waived I usually wear a white short sleeved show shirt with a stand up collar. For a schooling show I might wear a polo shirt that is black or gray.

  6. I have a hot pink short sleeved sun shirt type thing that I unashamedly love for schooling shows and no one has ever made a comment on it. I also have a white short sleeve shirt that I wear under my coat that I'll occasionally wear instead of the pink one when I'm feeling a bit more grown up. I've never caved to the coats waived rule at a recognized show. I paid a lot of money to be there, I'm going to use that money to look nice while I die of heat stroke, thanks.

  7. This is why I bought the Motionlite coat... and now own two of them.

  8. As a person who reads the rules on dressage attire (DR120) and tack (DR121) at least once week, I can tell you that there are no rules on shirt color. It does not have to be white or light colored or even solid colored. DR120.8, which addresses what to wear when coats are waived, states: "However, competitors must wear protective headgear and a shirt with sleeves and collar, without neckwear, and without decoration except as described under .15 below." (DR120.15 discusses logos.)

    You can absolutely wear a colored shirt or a sunshirt, and the sunshirt does not have to be zipped all the way. At Region 9 Championships in Texas, I frequently see people wearing bright-colored sunshirts for their tests!

  9. I've never gone without my coat (I throw it on right before I go in the ring), but did you meet Goosebumps, the little appy pony at Pony Cup? His owner has a classy looking vest that she puts on over her show shirt when coats are waived. I'd love to have one of those!

  10. I have a dark grey shirt I love to show in, and also have a really light green one. Both legal. I DID try to wear a purple shirt with KASTEL on the back once though but thankfully I thought to ask the TD first and it was a big fat NO. So, no writing on the back! haha!