When you’re looking at the selection of show jackets and accessories available, it can be really difficult to decide what features you need… particularly if you’re not entirely sure what they all mean!

In this jargon busting blog, we’ll be explaining common and less common terms – and what they really mean – to help you shop with even greater confidence… let’s go!

Rider wearing a competition jacket as she rides on a horse

Breathable – some materials are breathable. This means that they are designed to allow air to move through the jacket to help keep you cooler and prevent excessive sweating.

Contour – jackets that are contoured or have contouring are designed to be more flattering due to the way they’re cut or the design they have that creates the illusion of a particular shape.

Hidden zips/fastenings– traditionally, show jackets have button fastenings, but these aren’t always the most flattering, so some companies use hidden zips or additional hidden buttons to create a smooth finish without gapping.

Lined/unlined – some jackets are lined, some are unlined, and often the season the show jacket is designed for has a bearing on this. You’re more likely to find heavier weight jackets worn in winter and on cooler days with lining, and those designed for hotter summer competitions to be unlined or have a mesh lining.

Machine washable – this one is pretty self-explanatory, but the reason it’s been included here is that not all show jackets are machine washable. Depending on what they’re made from, some could be dry clean only. Make sure you check the label before throwing your jacket in the machine… and even if it is machine washable, double check temperature and other washing instructions.

Mesh – this can be placed at key points on a jacket – usually where the rider is more likely to get hot and sweat – with the objective of helping them stay cool and comfortable.

Piping – piping can be the same colour as the jacket or in a contrasting shade, to finish the piece and add a little extra touch.

Ready-tied – stocks and ties come in untied and ready-tied options, with the ready-tied ones having a simple fastening. This means that your tie or stock always looks smart and is really fast to put on and take off.

ready tied stocks from RB Equestrian

Shadbelly – an American word for tailcoat.

Showerproof – depending on the outer fabric used, some jackets benefit from showerproof properties.

Slim fit – for those who prefer a closer fit, some jackets are available in a slim fit cut.

Stretch from Lycra/Spandex/elastane – a stretchy material that is often included in fabric mixes to allow the jacket to move with the rider, prevent restriction, and encourage longevity. These fabrics will also help the jacket maintain its shape too.

Sweat wicking – some fabrics move sweat and moisture through the material so it then evaporates away. This helps to keep the wearer dry and more comfortable.

Tails/tailcoat – these jackets are not normal show jackets – they’re more commonly seen in higher level dressage competition with the tail element extending down below the saddle and on the horse’s sides.

Vented – some jackets have a single vent, some have a double, and this is down to personal preference. In both cases, the vent improves comfort in the saddle and around the hips as it gives extra space when needed.

Weighted tails – some tailcoats have additional weighs at the bottom to prevent the tails from flapping excessively during ridden work.

Wrinkle resistant – some jackets are made using wrinkle resistant fabric to help you look smart whatever the jacket has been through!

Hopefully the jargon buster above has helped you to work out the features you do and don’t need when it comes to your next show jacket. If you need any more information, reach out to the team, or why not come in store and try on all the ones you like the look of? Our team will help you get the perfect jacket for you.

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