Helpful Tips for Dressage Riders

Tips to be Show Ring Ready!

by Michele Hundt/Mary Cameron Rollins



  • Prior to the show check condition of your show helmet.
  • Follow manufactures instructions as how to clean your helmet.
  • Check your helmet liner. Clean or replace as needed.
  • Check chin clips.

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  • Wash by hand and air dry. Check clips.
  • Have a spare!
  • Unless you are very blonde the hairbun holder should match your jacket and show coat.
  • Keep extra bobby pins, hair spray, and hair elastics in your show bag for emergencies.

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  • Prior to the show, try on your show coat and check the fit. A proper fitting show coat should be comfortable and make an impression on the judges.
  • Check all buttons, match and replace as needed.
  • Give your show coat a face lift just by replacing all the buttons and adding a new matching stock tie.
  • Don’t forget your pocket square.
  • If you have USDF Medals or other buttons, they are placed on the right lapel.
  • Check with your local tack store for the replacement buttons. OR for a custom look, visit your local fabric store. Remember to purchase enough to replace all buttons.
  • When putting on the replacement buttons make sure to sew the buttons on tight. This helps keep them from pointing downward.
  • Pack an extra complete set of buttons for the show.
  • Pack and use a microfiber dusting cloth on your jacket between classes to remove show ring dust. It can also be used to dust off your helmet.
  • Spray Scotch Guard on your show coat to help keep it clean during the show.

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  • Prior to show check the condition of your show shirts.
  • Make certain show shirts have all the buttons or still zip. Replace as needed.
  • Pack enough show shirts for 2 a day. If you are riding in several classes a day, keep your look fresh by changing your show shirt.
  • If you are showing in the hot summer months, make sure to pack a light solid colored show shirt for if jackets are waved.
  • Check for stains. Spot wash with your handy Tide To Go stick.

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  • Pack a minimum of 2. You may only need 1, but it is always good idea to have at least 1 spare.
  • Check to make certain Velcro still works or buttons are still in place.
  • Check to make certain it fits the show shirt you are planning to wear.
  • Check for stains. Spot wash with your handy Tide To Go stick.

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  • It’s a nice touch to match your stock tie pin to the color stones in your horse’s browband.
  • Stock tie pins can be easily lost or forgotten, pack extras.
  • Check condition of pin. After every show, wash with mild soap and towel dry to keep the luster.

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  • Check condition of your white show breeches.
  • Check the zipper and waist closure. Try on to ensure proper fit. Replace as needed.
  • Pack belts and socks. Remember socks are not just worn under your boots.
  • Washing Tips - Spot wash with Tidy Pantz or Simple Green.
  • Turn your breech inside out and launder in gentle detergent with like colors.
  • Remove promptly and roll up in a towel to remove excess water. Hang to dry.
  • Prior to show spray your breeches with Scotch Guard to help them stay clean and white. Do not spray your seat
  • At the show, spot wash with your handy Tide To Go stick.
  • Pack 1 pair per show day along with an additional pair for a spare.
  • If you are wearing a tail coat, make sure to pack high waisted breeches, or for a lower waist breech, a very nice belt.

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  • Beautiful earrings can be another piece of jewelry that can match your stock tie pin or brow band.
  • A little lip gloss before entering the ring not only polishes your look, but keeps your lips from getting dry during your ride.
  • Make sure that your gloves are still sticky and in good condition.
  • Spur straps should match the color of your boots and be clean.

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