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Top tips to look smart at shows: rider edition

Top tips to look smart at shows: rider edition

Top tips to look smart at shows: rider edition

There’s always so much focus on making sure your horse looks his very best when it comes to shows. But what about the rider? The reality is, both of you need to look your very best, to feel your best and perform your best in the ring. There’s little point spending hours scrubbing stains off your horse, braiding a beautiful mane, cleaning tack until its glimmering, and using your whole bottle of show-sheen, if you’re going to turn up looking a little worse for wear. We run through the tips and tricks of the trade that will get you looking smart in no time.


We cannot say this enough – polish your boots! We’re not talking about a quick wipe-over with a tack cleaning sponge here. We mean boot polish the night before, buff them the next morning, and finish with a super-shine sponge, or a sheepskin mitt for that mirror-shine. Sticky tack-cleaner only attracts dust and grime, whereas boot polish will leave your boots clean and dry and show-ring ready. Have a helper on the ground give your boots a final wipe-over once you’re on board, to get rid of any dust or shavings.

If you’re wearing spurs, don’t forget to give them a clean too. You can put the spurs themselves in the dishwasher for an extra shine and clean the straps at the same time as your tack.

A well-fitting, classic boot is the key to a sharp look in the saddle. At Espayo, we’re proud to be stockists of Filli Fabbri boots. Our fitters are fully trained to help you choose the perfect boot – whether it’s an off-the-shelf style, or a bespoke order. Made from the finest Italian leather, Filli Fabbri is renowned for excellent quality and craftsmanship.


What colour breeches do you prefer? And what shape? It’s important to get to know the different options available, and what suits you best. It could be a higher-waisted style like the Cavalleria Toscana American breeches – with a wider waistband and stretch material – they are super-flattering on all shapes. The Cavalleria Toscana Supergrip breeches have a lower-rise and a single-button fastening, similar to the Equiline breeches – though both fit slightly differently. Try on a few styles to find out what suits you best, and most importantly- which is most comfortable. Many of our riders prefer white breeches for competing, but beige is becoming more popular on the competition circuit amongst eventers and showjumpers. It can look lovely with a coloured jacket, such as these Plum Micro-Perforated Jackets from Cavalleria Toscana.


A must-have for any rider. A smart belt really finishes off a competition outfit, and it can also be a chance to add a bit of subtle bling to your outfit. We have a range of CT belts in stock, plus these gorgeous diamante-encrusted numbers from Otto Schumacher – now 50% off in the Espayo Summer sale.


There is such a huge variety of show shirts available – we stock over 50 different styles in total at Espayo – and with so many designs and colours to choose from, it can be a minefield trying to choose. Whether you go for short or long-sleeve, a classic style like the Ladies Cavalleria Toscana Long Sleeve Shirt with Bib or a more contemporary choice such as this Short Sleeve Polo with Perforated Insert, make sure your shirt is clean, and buttoned up when you get on board. On the morning of the show, wear a jumper or jacket to keep it clean – such as the Pique Zip Sweatshirt from Cavalleria Toscana.


The most important piece. All our show-jackets are machine-washable at 30 degrees. Hang them up to dry somewhere warm and store in a jacket-bag to keep them looking smart. It’s a good idea to have a lint-roller and a clean, damp cloth in your show bag to wipe over any clothing if you need. You never know when your clean jacket might be accessorised with some horse-slobber!


Wear a hairnet under your hat if you have long hair – or better still, wear two! Have you seen this trick from Jessica Springsteen to keep your hair neat and tidy?

We are proud to stock Kask helmets at Espayo, in a huge range of colours, styles and sizes. One you’ve picked your perfect helmet, and had it professionally fitted by our team, keep the helmet in its lined carry-bag whenever you’re not using it. That way it will be protected from any bumps and scratches- and you can use a damp microfibre cloth to wipe it over between competitions.

Most importantly – make sure you wear a smile. It really does make all the difference!

Shop you next show look in the Espayo Sale this autumn

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