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4. Check sleeve length

If the shoulders line up and the length and width of the jacket seem correct, the sleeve length is your last concern. Let your arms hang naturally at your sides. The hem of the sleeve should reach or almost reach the knuckle where your thumb begins. This length may seem long, but if you bend your arm into riding position you'll see that the sleeve length appears more appropriate. Many coats have a little extra fabric in the sleeves that can be taken out to provide you with another half-inch of fabric. A professional can tell you if this is the case with a particular coat.

Checking sleeve length if shirt cuff will not show

Checking sleeve length if shirt cuff will show.

5. Sit in a saddle

After you've conducted a fitting assessment while standing, sit in a saddle to see how the jacket falls and how it feels. Assume a riding position and make sure that you feel that the coat will not hinder your movements.

Assume a riding position

A traditional dressage coat will hang lower on your thigh and will flow behind the cantle of the saddle (shown in the photo above). For a hunt or competition coat, make sure that the hem length won't get caught under your seat as you ride.

A nice length, the back hem of the hunt coat just barely brushes the saddle.

6. Consider professional tailoring

To create your most elegant outline, consult a skilled tailor or seamstress who can alter the waist, shoulders and even the width of the sleeves from armpit to wrist. The cost of alterations is usually minimal on a stock coat.

Tip: Start assembling your horse show outfit well in advance of show date to allow for special ordering or alterations.

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Related Articles:
Hairstyles for Competition
Correct Attire for the Dressage Ring
Correct Attire for the Hunter Ring
Correct Attire for the Jumper Ring