So I told you I was working towards doing a dressage test in a little show at our stables in May or June… and I told you that 99% of the riders in the last show were all dressed up … so I had to go shopping.
I had some horsey catalogues at home that include rider wear so I flicked through to see how much it was going to cost. Too much. Much too much! So it was time to see if I could do it on a budget. I went onto eBay and saw some jackets. I put some small bids on but they all finished at over £30 which I thought was too much for a second-hand jacket that might not even fit me when it arrived. I did win a cheap shirt with a stock collar, although I’ve not yet acquired a stock to wear with it. Or a stock pin.
I had to make a trip to my local tack shop for spare hoof picks, anti-fly ear-covers (for the horse’s ears, not mine – I’ll post a picture when I remember to take one) and some other little bits and pieces, so while I was there I asked the owner if there was any show wear in the sale. She managed to find me a nice jacket in my size for £30 – cheaper than the 2nd hand ones I’d looked at. She also pulled out some generously sized kids show jodhpurs which did the same job for £15 less than the adult ones even though they’re about the same size. She showed me lots of reduced long boots, but unfortunately none of them fitted, so I got a new pair of half-price half-chaps to wear with my short boots (which will need a MEGA cleaning.)
When my husband saw the jacket and jodhpurs he offered me an old white shirt he doesn’t wear and a variety of ties he doesn’t wear, so I might wear those rather than buying a stock and stock-pin to go with my e-bay shirt. Although the shirt from my husband is not intended for riding it has plenty of space for movement. The eBay shirt hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ll see what it’s like before I make a decision.
I also got a hairnet and some plaiting bands. I’m not worried about putting his hair up – I’ve plaited to lay a mane before and although I’ve not put the plaits up into knots I’m sure I’ll be OK as long as I have a practice session first. I’ve been pulling it a bit to keep it thin and not too long, so while it could use a tidy up it won’t be a massive job. I’ve been playing with plaiting his tail for a while (must post a picture of that too one day…) and while the results are not that neat I have to accept that’s the deal if you have a hairy horse and don’t want to pull his tail.
But putting my hair up is a different story. After much, much, oh so much trial and error, youtube-ing and asking long-haired girls on the yard, I think I’ve figured a way to get my hair into a hair-nettable bun that can be worn under a helmet and will stay up despite being subject to physical activity.
Aside from the pending shirt decisions and, if needed, getting a stock and stock pin, the only thing left to worry about regarding our appearance will be giving him a bath. I’m hoping the weather will get warm enough for a hose bath. Otherwise I’ll have to find out how much it costs to hire the wash box… further undermining my attempts to do this on a budget. Or could I bucket wash him in warm water thus avoiding paying and avoiding the cold? Not sure. All advice on horse washing will gratefully accepted…
So then all we’ll have to do is get it all together on the same day and learn and ride the test!