Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ask the Vet: Fall Hazards

By: Sallie S. Hyman, VMD, DACVIM, CVA 

The Fall season brings cooler weather and beautiful colored foliage. Leaves start to fall and the grass starts to die back. Although we may see this as a time to get off the mower and get on our horses to enjoy the beautiful scenery, it can be a very dangerous time for horses if the wrong things end up in there pasture.

Red maple leaves and acorns from oak trees pose very serious threats to horses. Both are highly toxic and can cause serious harm and death if ingested. Horses often eat red maple leaves or acorns if there is not enough grass left in the pasture and they are not supplied with supplemental forage such as hay or hay cubes. Some horses accidentally taste acorns that have fallen into a field and then develop a taste for them and seek them out.

Red Maple Leaf Toxicity

The native red maple (Acer rubrum), also called swamp or soft maple, is a potent killer of horses and ponies. Red maple is a tree native to the eastern half of North America.


The toxic ingredient in red maple leaves is believed to be gallic acid. Gallic acid causes methemoglobinemia and is found in the leaves of red maple, sugar maple and silver maple trees. Ingestion of wilted or partially dried red maple leaves from fallen or pruned branches causes lysis of the red blood cells with the subsequent development of a hemolytic anemia, which can be deadly. The problem can occur from June to October. Ingestion of dried or wilted, but not fresh, maple leaves is associated with the toxicosis. Although dried leaves may remain toxic for 4 weeks, they are not generally believed to retain toxicity the following spring. Older wilted leaves, e.g., those collected after September 15, cause faster poisoning than wilted leaves of early summer growth. This indicates that the amount of toxin increases in leaves during the summer. Red cell damage has been reproduced in horses ingesting 1.5 to 3 pounds of dried leaves per 1,000 pounds of body weight. Ingestion of fresh leaves does not appear to cause disease.

Clinical Syndrome

Horses often die within 18-24 hr of ingestion of wilted leaves. Horses that remain alive for 18-24 hr after ingestion of wilted leaves will be severely depressed and cyanotic and produce dark red or brown urine. The mucous membranes are blue to brown from poor oxygenation. They suffer intravascular and extravascular hemolysis (red blood cell breakdown). The percentage of red blood cells circulating in the blood (packed cell volume (PCV)) can drop as low as 8%-10% and the hemoglobin (Hb) concentration can be as low as 50 g/L. The normal PCV and Hb concentrations in horse blood are 28%-44% and 112-169 g/L respectively. Death is due to a severe lack of oxygen delivery to vital cells from hemolysis of red blood cells, anemia and the oxidation of hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which is incapable of transporting oxygen. The clinical signs observed in horses that eat red maple leaves include: colic, fever, followed by laminitis and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Blood changes of horses with red maple leaf toxicity include anemia, hemoglobinemia, Heinz body formation, increased AST, SDH, plasma protein, and bilirubin.


Early treatment is aimed at preventing absorption of the toxin if the syndrome is recognized quickly, especially if the owner saw the horse eat leaves. Activated charcoal or mineral oil can be used to slow absorption. Activated charcoal will also bind some of the toxin. Once clinical signs have occurred, treatment is symptomatic and aimed at maintaining a viable PCV and oxygen level. IV fluids are used to help flush the products of red blood cell breakdown out of the kidneys and to prevent dehydration. Blood transfusions may be necessary if the PCV drops below 15%. Nasal oxygen supplementation can also be used to keep oxygen levels within normal limits. The condition also causes colic like symptoms and the pain can be carefully treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or opiates as needed.


Prognosis is guarded to poor for horses who consume large amounts of wilted red maple leaves.

Identifying Red Maples

The leaves of red maples are palmate (like the palm of your hand), 5-15 cm long and about as wide, with 3 to 5 lobes. The two sides of the center lobe are almost parallel to the midvein (5). Between the lobes, the leaf edge or leaf margin is serrated or jagged, while the leaf margin of sugar maple and Norway maple is smooth with no serrations. The underside of the red maple leaf is silver grey and the keys are red. Red maple can hybridize with silver maple, creating crosses of intermediate forms that should also be avoided near horse pastures. Silver maple is a soft maple with heavily indented lobes compared to red maple or sugar maple. In northern parts of Ontario, mountain maple with its small, heavily serrated 3- to 5-lobed palmate leaves could be confused with red maple. However, it only grows to 3-5 m or as a shrub. Red maple trees can grow up to 25 m high.

Red Maple Leaf
Red Maple Leaf

Researchers have identified the presence of gallic acid in silver and sugar maple as well as red maple. Although no reports citing either of them as a cause in poisoning have been published, there have been anecdotal reports of possible poisonings.


Remove any limbs or leaves from red maple trees that have fallen into a pasture, looking after each rain or wind storm in particular. Trim trees near pastures so that horses are not able to reach the branches to eat leaves.


Oak Leaf and Acorn Toxicity

Poisoning can occur in Spring when young oak leaves are eaten, but it mostly occurs due to ingestion of the acorns in the Autumn. This is due to the tannic and gallic acids in the acorn, which can cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal system, liver, and kidneys

Clinical Signs

If horses are eating acorns, the husks can often be seen in their droppings. Many horses are unaffected but clinical signs to look out for include depression, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, abdominal pain (colic), consipation followed by diarrhea which may contain blood, blood in the urine, leg edema, weakness and incoordination.


There is no specific antidote for acorn toxicity and treatment of these cases involves intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and correct electrolyte abnormalities.  If horses develop kidney failure, intravenous fluids can help to increase blood flow to the kidney and furosemide can be used to increase urination.  Mineral oil or activated charcoal can be given orally to help remove the toxin from the gastrointestinal tract as soon as possible.  The prognosis for horses with acorn poisoning is guarded, so it is much better to prevent the problem than treat it. 


The only way to prevent acorn poisoning is to prevent your horses from having any access to the oak trees and the acorns that fall from them. This will undoubtedly involve fencing off the trees and the area of ground where the acorns fall or alternatively picking up fallen acorns daily and remove low branches.

Individual animals have different levels of tolerance. Therefore it is not possible to say how many can be eaten in a given period of time without causing symptoms, however small amounts do not usually cause problems. Acorns can become addictive, some horses will actively search for them once they have acquired the taste.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Night at the Horse Show:

The Washington International Horse Show Coverage

by: Nicki Harrison

The Washington International Horse Show on Oct. 26, 2013 was an exciting night with entertainment for everyone. Two of our Customer Service Representatives made the trek out to Washington DC by way of Metrorail.  After stepping off of the escalator leaving the Gallery Place/ Chinatown Metro Station, we were greeted by the makeshift horse stables in the middle of the street, fenced off by a single chain link fence. We admired the ponies on the other side of the fence as we walked to the doors of the mighty Verizon Center. As we stepped in, we were instantly immersed into a flurry of activity. There were vendors outlining the hallway around the arena. The smell of fried food and leather permeated the air, and there were enough shiny, expensive, and new equestrian themed items to distract any shopaholic from the activity going on in the arena.

The night started off with the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals. The top 10 Equitation riders competed for a huge silver trophy and a brand new Hermès Cavale saddle. We could sense the competitiveness in the air once the riders entered the ring on their horses, adorned with bright red WIHS coolers. They were each called in reverse order to be presented with their ribbons. The tension in the ring was almost unbearable as soon as the top two riders were left. Only Victoria Colven of Loxahatchee, FL on Monsieiur du Revery and Meredith Darst of Lebanon, OH on Gabler’s Soldier were left. Once Colven was announced as being in second place, you could just see the delight on Darst’s face. Once she was announced as being in first, you could tell that Darst was still in shock. The announcer asked her to speak and she could only speak a few words. I’m sure her trainer, Stacia Madden, as well as the other riders at Beacon Hill Show Stables were proud!

Once the award ceremony was over, the ring crew brought out red, white, and blue barrels for a barrel racing exhibition. There were 5 professional barrel racers that were brought out first to show everyone how it’s done. Once they were timed, it was revealed to the audience that some of the show jumpers would be racing around the barrels. Despite having no experience in barrel racing, one of the show jumpers, Darragh Kenny, stood above the rest. He managed to make it through the clover-leaf pattern without knocking down a single barrel with the quickest time. Kenny, along with his barrel racing counterpart, Paige Reynolds, each took home a shiny new WIHS belt buckle and a delicious cupcake from the famous Georgetown Cupcakes.

Following the barrel racing were the terrier races. The whole audience had a good time watching the terriers chase a fake fox tail over jumps. Even a ring crew member had a good time racing over the jumps solo after resetting the fox tail!

Proceeding the terrier races was the most anticipated event of the night: The $125,000 Presidents Cup Grand Prix. This was one difficult jumping course. Several top riders attempted the massive jumps, with only two riders making it to the jump off. Not even Olympic Medalist and FEI Rolex World Cup Champion, Beezie Madden, was able to achieve a clear round on her mare Coral Reef Via Volo. After an exciting jump off between Brianne Goutal on Nice de Prissey from New York, NY and Kent Farrington on Blue Angel from Wellington, FL, Farrington took home the Presidents Cup along with $125,000. Both riders accomplished a clear round in the jump off, but Farrington managed to maneuver Blue Angel around the course at a slightly quicker pace.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ask the Vet: Stable Behavior

 By: Sallie S. Hyman, VMD, DACVIM, CVA
Inside or out? That is the million dollar question for many horse owners when it comes to choosing somewhere for their horse to live. We like to live in a nice house, so why shouldn’t our horses? Although most horses have learned to adapt to life in a stall, it is really not in their nature to live that way. The majority of horses will find the comforts of a stall pleasing and stress free, but for some, being confined can be the source of much stress and anxiety. Sometimes we have no choice when an injured horse requires stall rest or when adequate turn-out space is not available. By understanding equine behavior, we can help to reduce this stress and relieve some of the bad habits that can result from it.
All horses, whether at pasture or in a stall will exhibit similar maintenance behaviors. There behaviors include eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, resting, and grooming. A study presented by Dr. Sue McDonnell based on 24 hour surveillance video of mares in stalls showed the following behaviors and how much time was spent at each one:

Behavior Norms for Mature Horse Mares in Box or Tie-Stalls Per 24-hour sample
Major activity shifts
30- 110 activity shifts; average of 20-60 min per activity
Standing rest
10-30 episodes; 5-120 min per episode; 8-12 hours total
Recumbent rest
0-6 episodes; 10-80 min per episode; 0-6 hours total
10-30 episodes; 5-120 min per episode; 4-12 hours total
Standing alert
10-30 episodes; 5-30 min per episode; 2-6 hours total
2-8 bouts; 10-60 sec per bout; 1-3 min total duration
4-15 urinations
4-15 defecations
*hay fed 2-3 times daily or with hay available continuously
Dr. McDonnell reports that these behaviors are also similar to what is observed in mares at pasture or even in wild horses. Geldings show similar patterns to the mares, with stallions and young horses showing slightly increased activity. Older horses show less activity, with more time spent at rest and eating
A very interesting observation that Dr. McDonnell has made in her years of behavior research is that horses in a stall will walk as many steps and make as many movements per day as a horse out at pasture. This applies even to horses in tie stalls.
Horses prefer to make all of these movements in the vicinity of other horses due to their social nature. They take cues form one other and develop social hierarchies. This applies even to stabled horses who may not share a paddock or a common stall wall. It seems as though horses just know who the boss is and they all respect that horse. 
So that is what normal behavior in a typical horse is. Abnormal behavior, or what we commonly refer to as “stable vices” is the subject of many studies concerning equine welfare. What we once thought of as “bad” behavior may have its origins in improper dietary management or in the lack of appropriate equine social interactions. Most stable vices fall into the category of stereotypies. Stereotypies are defined by behaviorists as behaviors that are “repetitive and invariant with no obvious goal or function and can be indicative of a situation in which the animal lacks a certain degree of control over its environment.” (Mason, 1991) (Winskill et al, 1995). Estimates put the number of affected horses at somewhere between 15-25% of the population. 
The most common stereotypies relate to either locomotion or oral fixations. The locomotor stereotypies include weaving and stall walking. Weaving is a repetitive side-to-side motion of the head, neck, and front limbs. Rarely, the horse will weave with its hind end. Stall walking is the circling or pattern tracing constant walking around the stall. The oral fixations include cribbing and wind-sucking. Cribbing involves the horse biting onto an object such as a fence, door, or bucket before engulfing air and making an audible grunt. In wind-sucking, no object is grasped.
These behaviors may be coping mechanisms used to decrease stress and not merely a means of getting attention or because a horse is bored. Several laboratories have shown that opiates are released during these behaviors and even when the stress is gone, many horses will seek the behavior for the reward of the opiate release. So why don’t all horses exhibit stereotypies when they are stressed. Just like in humans, different individuals have different means of coping. It has been found that there is likely a genetic component to the predisposition to developing a stereotypy, as the behaviors run in certain families of horses.
There are many devices and techniques used to try to prevent these behaviors in order to prevent damage to the premises (fences, doors), to prevent horses from tiring or injuring themselves, and as many horseman think, from teaching other horses the behaviors. At least in the last case, teaching other horses these behaviors, research has shown that horses do not learn these behaviors from other horses. With the recent discovery that stereotypies are coping mechanisms for stressors in a horse’s life, it is now questioned as to how humane it is to try to stop the behavior without first identifying and removing the stressors. 

So what can you do to reduce the stress and help to decrease stereotypies in your horse?

If you horse is a cribber or wind-sucker, look to change your horse’s diet. Recent research has found that cribbing may help to increase alkaline salivation thereby decreasing the acidity in the stomach. By decreasing the concentrate in your horse’s diet, feeding more hay, and administering an antacid, you may decrease of eliminate the cribbing/wind-sucking behavior. 
Stall weaving seems to result from the lack of social interaction with other horses. Research has found that placing a 3 ft x 3 ft safety mirror on the wall in a horse’s stall will dramatically reduce (as much as 97%) the amount of weaving that a horse does. The mirror provides a “friend” to your horse and calms his stress. The mirror also helped to decrease stall walking.
If you horse has to spend time in a stall, you can make some management changes to help reduce his stress, make his “in” time more enjoyable, and help to decrease the chance that he will develop any bad habits.
          1. Give you horse a buddy. See if you can keep another horse in an adjacent stall to keep your horse company. If you cannot, consider getting a stall  mirror. Make sure it is a safely mirror. Many equine stall mirrors are now       available commercially.
          2. Reduce the concentrate in your horses diet and increase the amount of      hay he gets. Consider treating with an antacid as well.
          3. Give you horse some means of entertainment, such as jolly balls, hanging toys, and hanging salt licks.
          4. Allow you horse as much turnout with other horses around as possible (if medically permissible). Your horse doesn’t need to be in the same paddock as the other horses, just in adjacent ones if you are worried about injuries.
We are learning so much about equine behaviors every day. What used to label a horse as a “bad egg” has been shown to be a way to deal with stress. As we deal with these welfare issues and try to decrease the amount of stress our horses face, we will be able to decrease what we find to be undesirable behaviors.
Information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for evaluation by an equine professional. In particular, all horse owners should seek advice from a veterinarian for their horses medical needs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winter is Coming:

Keep the Cold Away with a Comfy Turnout Blanket

Fall is on its way and with it comes cold, wet weather and the need for winter turnout blankets for your horse. Whether you're purchasing blankets for a new horse, or replacing old blankets, find the best fit for your horse and barn. In this article we will be looking at turnout blankets, which, as the name implies, are designed to be waterproof and withstand the rigors of turnout. 
How to Measure Your Horse
The first thing you'll need to know when shopping for a turnout blanket is the size of your horse. In the US, most blankets are sized in 3" increments. Measuring your horse for a blanket is easy. You'll want him to stand relatively square and take a tape measure from the center of the chest to his rump.

A blanket that is too small or too large can cause rubs and if the straps are too loose it can become a safety hazard for your horse.


Turnout blankets come in three different weights: lightweight or sheets, medium weight and heavyweight. You'll want to choose the weight based on the temperature range of the area that you live in as well as the thickness of your horse's winter coat. A horse with a thick coat will need just a light sheet for most climates, while a horse with a thin coat, or a clipped horse will need a much heavier blanket. Consider investing in multiple weights so that your horse can be comfortable no matter the weather.

Other considerations include the fabric denier. In general the higher the denier the stronger the material. Turnout blankets range from a low end of 600 denier, which is a good, economical choice for horses that are easy on their blankets to a high of 2000 denier, which is a great option for horses that are tough on their blankets. The strongest blankets will be made out of a ballistic denier, which is the same fabric standard that is used in ballistic vests. A good standard denier for most horses is the 1000 to 1200 denier range, allowing for minimal damage with a more economical price tag.  

Saxon Turnout Sheet

Turnout Sheets

Light weight sheets have no fill and are a great choice for when the weather is still relatively warm, but it may be wet or damp outside. They are also good for a horse with a thick coat who might need a little extra protection during inclement weather.
The Saxon 1200 Denier Turnout Sheet is a great, stylish option for a horse who is occasionally blanketed. It features a fun plaid patterned rip-stop shell with a smooth nylon lining with  buckle front closures, crossed surcingles and leg straps.
Hug Prize Turnout Sheet
Have trouble finding a sheet that fits your horse correctly due to a larger shoulder? The Hug Prize 1200 Denier Turnout Sheet features an innovative neck designed with overlapping chest panels that allow your horse to move his neck and shoulders without binding, eliminating rub marks and pressure on the withers.
Rambo Original Turnout Sheet with Leg Arches
If you have a horse that loves to romp and roll out in the field, or who's favorite pastime is the destruction of his blankets, the Rambo Original Turnout Sheet with Leg Arches is a great choice. Offered in 1000 denier ballistic nylon, this sheet is designed to withstand rough play. The antibacterial lining combined with the ergonomic leg arches, three surcingle design and PVC coated tail cord ensures that your horse will be comfortable and the blanket will stay in place as well.

Mid-weight/ Medium Turnout Blankets

Amigo Bravo 12 Medium Weight Wug
A medium weight turnout blanket is a great all around winter blanket. Having around 200 grams of fill or equivalent, this weight is great for most horses in moderate cold, or for clipped horses in cool temperatures.
 The Amigo Bravo 12 Medium Weight Wug offers the same blanket cut you've come to love from the Rambo Wug, now at a budget friendly price. The Amigo Wug features a 1200 denier polyester shell with 250 grams of fill, a v front closure and front leg arches for outstanding fit and comfort. The mid-neck design provides less binding at the neck and withers, making it a great option for horses with a prominent wither, or for those with long manes. This feature also helps to keep your horse warmer during wet weather from preventing the entrance of water at the neck.

Weatherbeeta Original 1680 Detach-A-Neck Turnout

The Weatherbeeta Original 1680 Detach-A-Neck Turnout Blanket features a durable Teflon coated material with 220 grams of poly fill with a no rub Oxford lining and taped seams for a truly waterproof design. As an added benefit this blanket comes with a detachable neck cover, which is a great option for fully clipped or thin skinned horses, or for cold, wet weather. The quick clip front makes it easy to change blankets.

 Heavy Weight Turnout Blankets

If you live in a very cold climate or if you have a horse who is sensitive to cold temperatures, a heavy weight blanket is a great choice. Heavy weight blankets contain 300 to 400 grams of fill or equivalent.
Shires Stormcheeta Heavyweight Turnout Blanket
If your horse is a terror to his blankets, try the Shires Stormcheeta Heavyweight Turnout Blanket. Crafted of ultra-tough 2000 ballistic denier, this blanket is designed to withstand your horse's toughest play, or his ultra destructive friends. With 400 grams of fill this blanket is great for the coldest temperatures and features d-rings for the attachment of a neck cover (sold separately), shoulder gussets for increased freedom of movement and unique crossed surcingles.
Bucas Power Turnout Blanket
Tired of needing a complicated blanketing chart for your horse who's boarded, or just dislike constant changes of blankets? Consider the Bucas Power Turnout Heavyweight Blanket. Featuring a ballistic nylon shell with a heat-reflective coating and stay-dry antibacterial lining, which allows it to also be used as a cooler. The temperature rating on this blanket is -21° to 62°. Offers an overlapping comfort front with a click and go closure system for ease of use.

Horze Avalanche Combo Heavyweight Turnout Rug

A great option for older horses who need extra warmth, the budget-friendly Horze Avalanche Combo Heavyweight Turnout Rug features an attached neck cover for extra warmth and ease of and is constructed out of 600 denier rip stop material with 350 grams of poly fill. The unique attached neck cover eliminates the open gap that occurs with traditional covers and is also great for those horses who occasionally liken themselves to Houdini.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

All About Breeches

Confused about breeches? Even if you're a seasoned horseman, finding the 
right breeches can be a difficult task. Not only are there a variety of different styles and fabrics, there are also different patches that can all change the fit and feel of the pants when you're in the saddle. And then, to make it even more confusing, there's the sizing. Unlike street clothes that typically use standard numbered sizing from 00 to 18 in the US, breeches are generally sized via waist measurement in inches.

In this post we'll explore some of the standard types of breeches that are used for schooling. (Many of these breeches can also be used for shows, if they're purchased in plain colors). Remember, most breeches are designed for use with either tall riding boots, or short paddock boots and half chaps for optimum comfort. 

Knee Patch, Full Seat and Euroseat
Irideon Synergy Knee Patch Tights
When you're choosing breeches, one of the first decisions that you'll need to make is what type of patches you want on your riding pants.

A knee patch breech is considered the standard style of breech, and is popular with most disciplines, including hunter/jumpers and pleasure riders. Knee patch breeches, as their name implies, have a self or suede patch of fabric on the inside of the knee to provide extra wear protection against the saddle. 

Full seat breeches are popular among dressage riders, eventers and anyone who prefers a little extra security in the saddle. These breeches feature a patch of suede or synthetic fabric along the inside of the leg and buttocks to provide extra grip in the saddle for the dramatic movement of the horse. 

Euroseat breeches are a hybrid of the two types and feature a knee patch, but have a fabric seam across the buttocks that mimics the lines of a full seat. These are quickly becoming a popular side staple to the traditional knee patch breech for their comfort and flattering style.

Everyday Schooling Breeches in Fun Styles

Ariat Denim Knee Patch Breeches

Unlike show breeches, which must be conservative in color, usually tan or white, schooling breeches allow you to show off your sense of style. Available in a variety of colors and fabrics, simply choose you're favorite and you'll be ready to ride in style.

Denim Breeches

Love your jeans for everyday wear, but don't want to damage your saddle or deal with painful seam rubs? Now you can have the best of both worlds with denim breeches. 

Goode Rider Cargo Denim Full Seat Breeches
The Ariat Denim Breech features Ariat's signature style in a tasteful jean breech with a medium wash stretch denim and synthetic suede knee patch and decorative back patch pockets.

From Goode Rider comes the
Full Seat Denim Cargo Breeches, which features a trendy olive brown stretch denim with contrasting ultra-suede full seat and unique cargo pockets, which are even large enough to fit your smart phone.

Fun Styles and Colors

Tired of plain old colors and traditional styling? Why not try breeches in fun patterns and the latest fall colors?
TuffRider Piaffe Plaid Full Seat Breeches

Plaid is back in a big way for dressage riders and the
TuffRider Piaffe Plaid Full Seat Breeches offer style and function. Featured in a lovely light grey plaid micro-fiber fabric with contrasting dark grey full seat and contoured sock bottom for comfort under tall boots or half chaps. 

Ariat Heritage Euroseat Breeches in Wine

One of the most fashionable colors this fall is now available in your favorite breeches. The Ariat Heritage Front Zip Breech is featured in a delightful wine color with dark grey knee patches this season only. Subtle styling adds a touch of class with contrasting grey stitched quilt patterning on the yoke of the breeches as well as a touch of silver buttons on the faux back pockets.

Riding Tights

Riding tights are the yoga pants of the horse world. Tights are one of the most comfortable and easy to wear styles of riding pants and are offered in knee patch and full seat styles.

FITS Treads Lite Breeches
If you love your FITS Full Seat Breeches, then you'll love their new riding tights. The FITS Treads Lite Breeches offer a rubberized ink dot version of their unique full seat patches  in a comfortable pull on style at a great price. 

The Irideon Synergy Tights (shown in section above) feature a unique combination of technical fabrics for a sporty look and excellent support. Available in a variety of colors with the option of a bright contrast of color on the Camisoft waist band. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Guy's Guide to English Riding Show Gear

As a guy, finding riding gear that fits and is correct for your discipline can be a challenge to say the least. While there are tons of products and styles for women, the selection of attire and boots for men tends to be rather limited. In this post you'll find a basic set of show apparel designed for the English show ring, in both budget friendly styles and the latest, fashionable styles for men.

TuffRider Men's Performance Patrol Breeches

Riding Breeches

In riding breeches, the knee patch breech is the standard breech for most disciplines, including hunter/jumpers, some eventers, and a variety of pleasure riders. Men's breeches typically feature a pleating in the front with false flap back pockets to set them apart from ladies' styles, although the false pockets are also coming into style for women's casual breeches. 
TuffRider Men's Performance Patrol Riding Breeches offer a variety of sizes and colors, including navy, charcoal and black in addition to the standard show colors of white, beige and light tan in a comfortable cotton/Lycra blend. These breeches are at a great price point for the budget-minded show rider, or as an every day breech for schooling.

Goode Rider Pro Breeches
If you're looking for traditional style with modern comfort and fit, then look no further than The Goode Rider Men's Pro Breeches. Offered in show ready khaki or charcoal for schooling, these breeches feature a nylon/spandex microfiber twill fabric for 4-way stretch and comfortable style. Added details include ultra-suede knee patches, slash front pockets and flap back pockets. These are a great choice for the up and coming show rider,or the rider who won't compromise on style.

Show Shirts & Neck-Wear
While a standard, white or light blue button down dress shirt can certainly work as a show shirt for men, most riding show shirts offer a selection of technical features that make them ideal for riding including extra room in the shoulders, and moisture-wicking material with stretch. 
Romfh Men's Show Shirt
Romfh Competitor Show Shirt

The Romfh Competitor Show Shirt, is made from a cool touch, light fabric with stretch that features discrete micro-mesh sleeves and back for extra cooling (Don't you wish your dress shirt had that feature for the office in Summer!). This shirt also has a removable tie stay. Available in a variety of sizes in long sleeves and short sleeves.

Of course your riding shirt isn't complete without a tie. In the English show hunter and jumper world a white tie is traditional. You can find a basic satin tie for around $17, or choose a stylish silk tie for around $54.

Ovation Sport Riding Coat

Show Coat

The traditional show coat for the English show hunter ring is very reminiscent of the sports coat that you would wear into the office. However, a riding show coat also features more room in the shoulders, and special back or side vents that allow it to lay nicely over your saddle.

The Ovation Sport Riding Coat is a great option for the show rider on a budget. Featuring a traditional style with updated function with wrinkle resistant fabric that is machine-washable. Available in a traditional navy herringbone. 
RJ Classics Xtreme Soft Shell Show Coat

The RJ Classics Xtreme Soft Shell Show Coat offers all the features that a show rider expects. This premium soft shell fabric is wrinkle and stain resistant and machine washable. Traditional styling with added stretch for comfort means you'll look and feel great in the show ring. Featured in a solid navy.

Riding Boots

Field boots are the traditional tall boot of choice for showing in any of the English jumping disciplines. Field boots feature a laced ankle that allows for greater fit in the ankle and allows for increased flexion that is necessary for riding with a shorter stirrup.

Tredstep Donatello Field Boots
Although relatively new to the American market, Tredstep Ireland is quickly taking the show world by storm, due in part to their introduction of the Donatello Field Boot. Featured in full grain nappa leather, these boots offer a rear stretch panel and top gusset for a custom-like fit. What really sets these boots apart, however, is the innovative flexion design at the ankle. This design allows for full flexion at the ankle from the very first ride (No more painful rides while breaking in your tall boots!). These boots are a little more expensive than the most basic pair you can find, but the features and comfort that they offer make them well worth the price. 
Ariat Men's Monaco Field Boot

Designed for the discerning hunter/jumper rider, the Ariat Monaco Field Boot, is now also available in men's sizes. Featuring a premium French baby calf leather, with oiled inner calf panel and full stretch back panel for a custom fit, these boots offer custom style and comfort. Featuring a true Spanish top with swagger tap and fashionable silver logo, these boots offer everything a rider could want in a competition boot. 

Show Gloves

Show gloves for most English disciplines are a plain black leather glove. Although these may look similar to dress gloves, they do offer a few features that set them apart. All leather riding gloves, and most synthetic gloves will have extra wear patches along the inside of the thumb and fore finger as well as between the ring and pinkie finger for extra strength and protection. Many riding gloves will also feature gathering at the wrist or hook and loop closure to ensure a comfortable and secure grip.

SSG Pro Show Gloves
An economical show glove, The SSG Pro Show Leather Gloves feature a soft kid leather for increased comfort and feel with spandex inserts along the fingers for increased flexibility. Gathered and stitched back for increased fit. Available in a variety of sizes in black and brown.

Tredstep Show Hunter Gloves
For the premier show hunter, the Tredstep Show Hunter Gloves features the perfect combination of technical features and traditional styling. Offered in luxurious lambskin leather on the outside, these gloves feature DigiTak and AirFibre technologies on the palm that increases grip while maintaining the classic look you want in the show ring. The addition of a flexible palm design and anatomic cuff ensures that these gloves will remain your favorite for their features as well as their looks. Available in brown and black.