Equipment for Eventing
The eventing rider needs to be well prepared as the sport covers three very different disciplines. This means a whole raft of equipment is needed for each of the three phases. It is important in eventing as in most types of riding, to have good and suitable clothing. Lots of tack is also necessary, and, as the horse will be required to be very well-groomed for competitions, a lot of grooming equipment is needed too. The amount of equipment needed for the sport is there for two reasons primarily – safety and appearances.
Horse riding is a smart sport and thus the right clothing is usually required in contests and safety is non-negotiable in all competitions.
ClothingEach of the three disciplines requires different clothing. In dressage, the emphasis is on appearances. Although falls can and do happen in dressage, it is not as likely nor as dangerous as when jumping or riding fast. But appearances are of the utmost importance in this sport, as it is regarded as a smart and elegant discipline.
The rider will usually need a dark coat, stock and tie. They will also need breeches – usually cream, dark boots and spurs. Each competition will have its own rules for what colours are allowed, but sombre colours are usually the order of the day for dressage riders.
The rider will always be required to wear protective headgear, usually a velvet riding hat for dressage.
The clothing requirement for showjumping is not vastly different, but there are a few more safety precautions needed to be taken. Most competitions will ask that riders wear a medical armband with their medical details and history in it so if they have a fall and are knocked unconscious, doctors on the scene will still be able to track their history. Other than this, the major difference is that usually a hunt coat is required for showjumping.
Cross country is a lot less formal than the other two, largely due to the fact it is held outside and riders are at the mercy of nature. In the cross country section, riders often wear colours. A protective body protector is usually needed too. Riders also wear polo shirts but not usually coats and a watch is often needed to track the time on the course.
TackWith regards to tack, again, the rider needs to think about three different disciplines. Most riders will have two saddles - a jumping saddle and a dressage saddle. Each one allows the rider to sit in the best position for that particular element. Some higher level competitors use three saddles – a different one for each of the jumping phases. The rest of the tack is fairly similar for the two jumping rounds and there are not many restrictions on bits and bridles. But dressage is more stringent and snaffle bits usually have to be used. In addition, boots and wraps for the horse and other items of their ilk are not usually allowed for the dressage phase, while encouraged for jumping.
At the lower levels, it is not as important to have all of the exact right equipment, as long as all of the safety elements are met. But over time, the amount of kit a rider competing in eventing has will increase anyway, so when they begin to take part in higher level contests, they will find they have accumulated most of the equipment anyway.