Hunt Coat, Dressage, Shadbelly? The style of show coats is becoming ever closer in style, although there are still some variances that a rider should note when purchasing a new show coat. In general, a hunt coat features 3 self-colored buttons in a conservative color, typically black, navy or dark green. A dressage coat features 4 metallic buttons with a longer cut to the jacket, traditionally they are black or navy, but a variety of conservative hues are allowed. An increasingly popular option is a crossover or jumper-style coat, which offers the cut of a hunt coat with 4 buttons or snap, with many color options. This style of jacket is also popular for hunters, when worn in a conservative color, as well as dressage and eventing. Shadbellys are tail coats worn at the top levels of competition, derbies and classics for hunter riders and FEI levels for dressage riders. Although they look very similar, hunter shadbelly coats feature self-colored buttons and a shorter tail; conversely, dressage shadbelly coats feature metallic buttons and offer longer tails that are weighted to allow them to lay properly. Popular features now available include hidden zippers behind a button front, ventilation, and tech fabrics.
Sustainable and eco-friendly bamboo fibers are quickly becoming a favorite fabric blend in the fashion industry. Bamboo fibers are soft, comfortable, easy to care for and they are naturally anti-microbial and moisture-wicking making it an ideal blend for clothing. Equestrian designers are joining the trend with bamboo blend fabrics now being made in a variety of items including breeches, socks, shirts and more.
Beyond just keeping your saddle clean and looking pretty, saddle pads can also be beneficial to your horse! Whether your horse is an active athlete, or older and needs a little extra support, saddle pads with shock-absorption will help keep your horse’s back healthy. If your horse’s back is changing, or if you ride multiple horses in one saddle, a shim pad can create a custom fit for each horse. In hot weather help keep your horse’s back comfortable with a pad with CoolMax, or with moisture-wicking material. Memory foam pads, available both as shim inserts and as a full pad are also available; this is popular as it not only creates a custom fit for the horse, but also helps to absorb shock and concussion.