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Hunters and Hunt Seat Equitation

*If you’re unsure what specific discipline you or your child is entering please ask your trainer. There are a wide variety of horse competitions.


A classic appearance is essential for hunter competition. Hunters may be judged on the horse or the rider (equitation) and the scoring always considers proper turnout. In hunter competition, bling and glitz are considered inappropriate.

Helmet: A black ASTM/SEI certified equestrian helmet is best, but you can check with your trainer if navy or brown is an option. USEF Rule EQ 109: “Conservative colored protective headgear with no additional adornments in accordance with GR801.3 is mandatory.” Here are a few we recommend. 

Show Coat: Riders will need a show coat in a traditional, subdued color like black or navy with a 3 or 4 button front, a double vented back flap, and front slash pockets. 3 buttons is more traditional for equitation riders, so this should be considered. Accent buttons on the sleeve cuffs are optional. Other colors are used but black and navy are the most popular and never go out of style. For formal occasions, a Shadbelly is also appropriate.

Show Shirt: Women should match a traditional show coat with a white show shirt that has either a white standup collar or wrap neck. Men should also wear a white shirt and white tie or a stock tie, though stock ties are traditionally worn with a Shadbelly which is a more formal coat with tails which is appropriate in any hunter class designated at formal, like a Classic or a Derby.

Breeches or jodhpurs: should be beige, green beige or tan in either a front or side zip style. If they have belt loops, always wear a belt. The belt should also be a subtle color, but you can enjoy a bit more flash and style in your belt if you want.


Adults should wear tall black boots. Field boots are the most popular. Most retailers offer sizing and measurement instructions if you are buying online. Examples.

Children can wear a tall boot or a short paddock boot with a jodhpur and matching knee straps or garters. Paddock boots can be found at a lower cost than tall boots for kids experiencing rapid growth spurts. 

Gloves: A comfortable pair of black gloves finishes the look. Select something in leather or synthetic that suits your personal style. Here are some options.