I must have been about five or six the first time I sat on a horse, and I’ve been hooked on them ever since. I was introduced to the sport of horseback riding, otherwise known as equestrian, through my aunt and my cousins who live in New Jersey. My aunt had a riding school and I would spend summers with my cousins riding everyday. Unfortunately, I chose to fall in love with probably the most expensive sport to participate in, so having my own horse wasn’t in the cards for me growing up. When I was researching the different organizations at the University of Alabama before graduation high school, I found that an equestrian team had started the year before. I have now been on the team for three years, and it’s given me the opportunity to ride consistently and be surrounded by other equestrians. The team has grown so much since my freshman year. It’s very exciting to be a part of something exciting happening at the university that also happens to be a hobby I love.
I wouldn’t say I stuck with riding over other sports because of the stylish attire, but it doesn’t hurt, right? Tons of designers like Gucci and Ralph Lauren have been inspired by traditional equestrian clothing and often incorporate equestrian motifs into their collections, like bits and stirrups. The traditional show attire for hunt seat includes a black helmet, a white button-down with a choker collar, a navy or other conservative color show coat, light tan breeches, a leather belt, knee-high black boots and black riding gloves. There isn’t too much room for experimentation within the hunt seat show world, but you can add small touches like patterned riding socks or a colorful lining in your show jacket. During practice, however, the dress code is much more relaxed. Riding breeches are pretty standard throughout, but they are offered in many colors to choose from for schooling. I usually wear more athletic dri-fit tops during the warmer months and collared shirts layered with sweaters when the temperature dips.
The Olympics is possibly the biggest stage for equestrians to compete on where the whole world is watching. It is very exciting to see the best riders and horses around the world go head to head on some of the most creative, challenging and well-designed courses that horse and rider can compete on.
What sport do you play? Why are you excited for the Olympics? Share with us on social media using the hashtag #collegefashionista!