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USEF Rule: Spurs DR120.9:
"Spurs must be made of metal. The shank must be either curved or straight pointing directly back from the center of the spur when on the rider's boot. If the shank is curved, the spurs must be worn only with the shank directed downwards. However, swan necked spurs are allowed. The inside arm of the spur must be smooth and one or both arms may have rubber covers. If rowels are used, they must be blunt/smooth and free to rotate. Only blunt/smooth rowels are permitted in USEF High Performance Championships, USEF High Performance qualifying and selection trials, and observation classes. Metal spurs with round hard plastic knobs on the shank are allowed ("Impuls" spur). "Dummy" spurs with no shank are also allowed...."

Dover Tip
Here is a selection of spurs that would be appropriate for use in dressage competition:

A Note about Schooling Shows
For dressage schooling shows, you'll always be dressed appropriately if you follow USEF dressage dress code rules. But depending on the organization that is running the event, more relaxed dressage show attire may be acceptable. Check with the organization holding a schooling show to determine an appropriate level of dress and headwear.

Tips and Trends

  • While assembling your dressage show attire, pay particular attention to the fit of your dressage coat, and put most of your clothing budget into this item. Your coat can help hide flaws and enhance your figure.

  • Current trends in dressage coats can lend a bit of fashionable flair with subtle style elements. For example, consider the Fits Zephyr Show Coat with its vented hidden-mesh technology, silver edged collar, silver buttons and zippered front pockets.

  • Several dressage coats are available with classic styling- but in new washable fabrics for the ultimate in easy care. Consider the Cavallo Washable Dressage Coat for an easy care show coat.

  • Stock ties are available in an array of styles and fabrics. Remember that you'll want to purchase an appropriately-sized stock pin for your stock tie.

  • If you plan on wearing earrings with your dressage outfit, they should be conservative and tasteful in style. You'll never go wrong with gold, silver or pearl studs.

Stock Tie Tips

  • Having trouble sliding your stock pin through the fabric of your tie? Rub the side of the pin shaft against your scalp a few times, and try again!

  • Secure the loose ends of your stock tie to your competition shirt with safety pins so they don't flap out of your coat lapel while riding.

  • If you opt for the traditional stock tie rather than a pre-tied one, practice tying the knot several times the day before the show.

The Little Extras
Remember to pack these easy-to-forget items when preparing for your show:

Few people enjoy learning to tie the long tails of a stock tie into the traditional knot. But do you know practical reason for wearing stock ties? In the 19th century, hunters in the fields wore the stock ties as a safety measure. If a horse or rider was injured, the long strip of fabric could be used as a bandage, sling or tourniquet. The long stock tie pin was used to secure the bandage.

For more assistance or to request a catalog, call 1-800-989-1500 to speak with a Dover Saddlery product advisor, or stop by any of our retail stores. Visit for a complete store listing and the full product offering.

Related Topics:
Hairstyles for the Show Ring
How to Fit Your Show Ring Attire
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