What Not to Wear . . . At the Barn!
(Information provided by Steve Brown and Jake Bowman, western equestrian instructors.)
One of the most frequent questions we get asked by new students is, “What am I expected to wear to the barn?” At the risk of sounding negative, the best way to answer this is probably from the standpoint of what NOT to wear to the barn!
At The UF Western Farm, we do have a dress code. It’s been designed for safety and “industry standards”. You’ve probably learned that there’s usually a good reason to do what we do around horses. . . and that includes what we wear.
What the Well-Dressed UF Western Equestrian Does Not Wear:
(1) No facial piercings. Piercings get caught on equipment and can get pulled out by a swishing tail. What’s meant to swish a fly can result in ripped skin. OUCH!
(2) No un-tucked shirts or blouses. First, it doesn’t look neat and you always want to look neat on a horse. Flapping shirttails detract from your overall appearance. Also, we’ve seen shirts get caught on saddle horns. Not something you want to happen on a fast dismount! A long-sleeved, button shirt with a collar is required for riding tests and finals.
(3) Minimal jewelry. Save the “bling” for Saturday nights, not for Saturday mornings at the barn. Again, jewelry can get caught on any number of things. Earrings are O.K., but should be small and unobtrusive.
(4) No shorts or super-tight jeans. Riding jeans with some “give” to them are best and make it easier to mount and dismount. A reminder to our gentlemen students, carry your wallet in a side pocket. If carried in a back pocket, it will eventually wear a hole in your nice riding pants!
(5) At the UF western facility, sophomores, juniors and seniors are required to wear an ATSM/SEI certified helmet when working with or riding an unbroken horse in a round pen.
(6) Flip-flops are for the beach, and tennis shoes are for tennis. You definitely don’t want to get stepped on wearing either of them! We recommend leather boots with a heel for riding. Sturdy, waterproof boots are good for working around the barn.
(7) Ladies. . . no tank tops, halter tops, or tops that expose your abs. T-shirts and button shirts are recommended.
(8) Don’t guess you can call a cell phone an article of clothing, but some students do try to wear them! (There is even a boot with a pocket to hold a phone.) At UF, our rule is simple. No cell phones while riding.
(9) Although we don’t usually wear gloves while riding, a pair of work gloves is a good idea for barn work. Also gives you a better grip on a lead rope or lunge line.
(10) Don't buy a big ticket clothing item unless you do some checking first. There are some good sales and sometmes a less expensive way to get somethig of good quality. Ask us!