It’s great to see British Dressage relaxing their rules slightly on Dress Code for 2015 (summary of all rule changes can be found here).
I point particularly to the ruling on saddle colours, which now permits small panels of colour on the saddle design, such as on the cantle. Traditionally, dressage has always been very conservative in regards to tack and turnout, and whilst I still think there has to be an element of this which is maintained, it is definitely great to see the board taking note of fashion and style trends across other sports and incorporating some flexibility into their most recent rule alterations.
One of our clients, Childéric Saddles, who make beautiful, bespoke saddles, are forever creating new and wonderful finishes for their customers (and indeed for many of their top event riders and show-jumpers!) who are keen to personalise their look. Now, with this rule change, their dressage customers can also enjoy a touch of colour and subtly co-ordinate their horses with their outfits through flashes of colour.
Another client, retailer Dressage Deluxe, specifically services the dressage industry. Their MD Alison Nye-Warden and personal stylist have both been talking about the trend for ‘personalisation’ in horse and rider wear for over a year now – as always, predicting those trends correctly!
Equetech, who offer beautiful, bespoke competition jackets which are currently selling very well, have always been champions of individualisation in riding – and just as their clients gleefully accepted the last BD rule change, which accommodated the vogue for riders wanting to compete in crystal plaiting bands and add some sparkle to their horse’s manes, I am sure this new rule will be popular too.
So whilst the show-jumping discipline is well known for its bold approach to design/colour and the rules are far more relaxed, it’s wonderful to see that riders can maintain the elegance which is so important in dressage, but are now being given the chance to further add their own individual touch too!
Baby blue colour pop anyone?!
Photo of Childéric DSC Saddle from Childéric Saddles