We are less than 12 weeks away from holidays and as an active rider and eventer, you don’t want the same old lotion and mittens from your family and friends. Believe me. I have 18 bottles of lotions, bath soaps and miscellaneous personal hygiene items from well-meaning gift givers. I know I smell. I just came from the barn. I smile every year, and stuff it in the drawer with the rest of the collection. What I really want? Equestrian stuff. Welcome to the Friday Fashion Forecast.
Each week we’ll feature the latest in equestrian fashion and accessories for you and your horse. What’s more? Many will include great discounts! We will put each item through the test to see if it holds up in quality and value. I ride 5-7 horses a day. I run a small farm so I clean all 15 stalls myself, water my own arena, turn out all the horses, and work seven days a week. I wash all my laundry in ONE giant load. Can these items take a beating and still look great? We shall see.
We will kick things off with a show shirt from Voler Apparel. As an eventer on a budget I am always looking for a shirt that has multiple uses. One I can use for cross country that stands up to all weather, but at the same time looks great. And I do love fun colors to coordinate with my horse. After all, half the joy of eventing is going all matchy matchy on cross country!
For years I have shopped in the cycling section of my local sporting goods store for this very purpose. Cycling shirts come in flattering cuts, have “anti-stink” wicking material, and are longer in the back so they stay tucked in when you’re in your two-point. Most have a hidden zipper for easy changes between rounds, and a collar which is necessary in the show ring. For many years I was also a cyclist, and noticed that a racing position is the same as a jumping position. Plus, why should cyclists have all the fun? Those shirts come in great colors and fun prints!
Voler seems to understand that riding, like cycling, happens in the heat of the summer as well as cool rainy days of the fall. They have great all weather gear, and even the best raincoat I have found for eventing! It is clear so your number shows through on cross country, but keeps your vest and clothing completely dry.
Keep in mind many of the cycling tops do have pockets on the back, which are not visible when you ride with a vest. But they are also snug against the back of the top, so even if you tuck it in, they are not distracting to the overall look. Plus they come in handy for maps, water when walking your course, and possibly a cell phone (except at the sitting trot or higher jumps, you risk losing your phone!). The pocket does not have a zipper.
They carry men’s and women’s tops in a wide variety of sizes and cuts to fit many body types. They even have a “design studio” where your farm can design their own show shirt or team jersey with the help of experts. And all of their products are made right here in the USA. The prices are pretty close to what you’d pay for a quality show shirt, and some items on clearance are a bit less. They hold up in the washer very well, but I wouldn’t recommend throwing them in the dryer. Hanging to dry is best. Stains come out very well, and they even handle a bit of bleach. The zipper seems dainty for my abuse of clothing, but so far I have never had an issue and I break zippers on a weekly basis!
Recently Voler allowed me the opportunity to design a line of show shirts specifically for equestrians. I went with an elegant damask pattern, and comes in the three colors that are popular with riders. These shirts have a collar, so you can wear them in a clinic, for a schooling show, under your vest on cross country, or even cover it with a stock tie for dressage or stadium. This shirt does not contain back pockets.
Here is the best part: order ANYTHING from Voler.com and use the code “HORSE” at checkout for 15% off your entire order!
Cost: $$ – $$$
Excitement: **** 4 Stars
Durability: **** 4 Stars
Variety: **** 4 Stars