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Just Jackets

 At Trillium Championships 2017, I purchased a lovely new RJ Classics show jacket in a blueish grey. It is great lightweight fabric and fit me without any alterations having to be made. This will make my jacket count five. Since it had been a while since I bought a jacket (nearing two years), I wanted to review myself on what a "nice jacket" would look like.  My coach is a bit of a traditionalist but always has us turned out impeccably for the show.  She has helped me decide on many of my apparel purchases and along the way taught me about what to wear and when.  With her tidbits of information and the help of Google, I bring to you this post.

In my years of showing, I have never strayed from Hunterland.  Naturally, I am a traditionalist and respect the fact that Hunters originated from the hunt field. When it comes to jackets, if you are aiming for a traditional fit, the length of the jacket should just pass your bottom (this leaves  ¼” of fabric when sitting in the saddle).  For all you sassy hunters looking for a more modern fit, you may have your jacket cut as high as above your bottom.  No matter the fit, a conservative colour is suitable year-round. This includes Black, Navy and Hunter Green.

In the summer, lighter shades are seen more often such as blue, brown and grey. A lady at my barn shows her chestnut in a lovely light blue show coat, which perfectly compliments her horse. We have to remember that this is Hunterland and we do not want to detract from the horse's performance.  If you do want to go with a bold jacket, please make sure it compliments your horse. 

In the equitation ring, attire is similar to the Hunter ring.  However, dark coloured jackets as a must.  You will never see me wear anything lighter than navy in my equitation class.  Similar to the hunters, lengths vary a bit, but more often lean towards a longer fit. The common rule is that the jacket is long enough to cover your bottom but short enough not to be sat on.  Note that this is the class where a jacket can make it or break it.  You want to show off your posture, or you may want to cover up a small flaw.  Find a jacket that creates a silhouette that will win.

From across the show-grounds, I often stare at the Jumper ring with their fancy European-influenced jackets.  Every jacket is in a unique colour, cut, and style suited to the rider's preference. Jumpers have found a way to combine traditional with trendy.  The cut of the jackets are similar to Hunters and Equitation, however, piping and colours are more fashion forward.  The likelihood of seeing a black jacket in the jumper rings has decreased quite a bit over the past few years.  Of all the jumper jackets that I have seen, I admire Reed Kessler's famous blue show jacket and Jessica Springsteen's burgundy coat. 

The main thing, no matter the ring, is that a jacket should make you feel polished whenever you wear it.  You always want it to be well fitting, comfortable and suited for your ring!

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