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The dressage world’s bathing suit season

Last night we were picking out paint colors for the barn and talking about how white makes everything looks clean, airy and bright. It got me thinking about this past weekend’s horse show and the show outfits we wore: 1,000 degrees, humid and everyone in head-to-toe white. “How stupid to wear white – no one looks good in the color and it adds 10 pounds to even the slimmest riders,” people always complain. “How can you keep it clean? I look like a marshmallow!” But as the blazing sun was beating down, I was sort of happy to have on my breathable white show shirt and light-colored breeches. As my black boots absorbed the heat, I felt like my toes would catch fire and suddenly the idea of wearing something darker, more flattering, did not seem like the wisest idea. Perhaps there is something to be said for lighter colors – it can give a clean appearance, makes the rider look happy and cool. I am not sure a light grey or blue would be any easier to keep clean and you lose some of that reflective benefit of pure white. As I prepared to enter my last test of the weekend and a breeze picked up, I settled into my white outfit and accepted that it might not be such a bad idea after all. People should wear white more often, I thought. And then the sky opened up and it started to rain, heavily.

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