Dressage is a very traditional sport. I mean when non-dressagey people see my drawings of dressage riders they think I am drawing 18th century people.
And really they aren't far off.
I appreciate the tradition and there is a beauty and elegance in the outfit. However the shadbelly is very masculine, in a sport dominated by women. My mother has always maintained that it is hard to tell the girls from the boys.
Tophats give 0 protection should a rider fall off. I love the new rule that all riders not in FEI competition, must wear a helmet at all times while mounted. It smarter and safer, but the traditional look is already thrown off when a rider wears a helmet so why continue on with shadbelly?
Dressage competitions are usually held when it's very hot. This is a sport, it takes a lot of effort to sit the trot etc. No one wears suit jackets to run track, or play basketball, why do we wear so many layers to ride in?
This year at the NAJYRC riders were required to wear polo shirts, due to the heat.
I think it looks lovely! It is still a very tidy clean look, but it is not as hot and allows for more individuality! Maybe it's time to put function before form, and retire the 1800's look.
What are your opinions?
All King Edwards Horses Canter Many Big Fences