Turnout Tips: First Time at a New Barn
The first time at a new barn can be very exciting, but also very nerve-wracking!
Oftentimes, the first visit brings meeting your new trainer, seeing the new facilities, petting all those new fuzzy noses and perhaps your first lesson!
It is always important to show your true style but also to look professional, especially on the maiden voyage. I love colors just as much as any equestrian, but whenever I go to a new barn I tend to stick to a more neutral palette with pops of color. I always wear tan breeches, as they are very classic and clean. In winter I wear a black or navy sweater with a colored polo underneath. This outfit shows a little color on the collar but still looks very traditional and neat. If you wear a jacket, you could wear a fun colored scarf to keep your neck warm while showing some personality!
In summertime I wear a polo or sun shirt in a more neutral color, usually navy or white. To add a subtle touch of style, I also wear my favorite blue and green belt. It may seem odd, but for my first time at a new barn I keep my boots “show-clean”. Using an old toothbrush can help get the dust and dirt out of those pesky crevices! Personally, I like my boots to be so shiny that they could blind you if you look at them from a certain angle. This always looks great in pictures and very professional.
For the first time at a new barn, I also wear my hair as if I’m about to walk into the show ring. Neat, tidy hair tucked into a hair net looks very appealing and it won’t tickle you when you’re riding! Some helmets like my suede covered Charles Owen can be tricky to clean, so I have tried steaming. However steaming can be tedious and frustrating, so I usually end up dusting it off as best as I can or wiping it down with a barely damp rag. If you bring your own horse, groom them as well as you can. (If you own a grey, I’m sorry, they’re just dirt magnets).
One of my favorite things when it comes to horse and rider turnout is color coordination. It looks appealing, and if one of you gets lost at your new facility, everyone will know your other half! Color coordination doesn’t have to look tacky or over the top. One of my favorite saddle pads is a white saddle pad with light blue trim. If I’m wearing a white polo with my blue and green belt, I would use this saddle pad. This is a subtle way to look like you have it all together, even if you are nervous! This always looks fabulous in pictures, and all of my trainers have commented on how they love the way it looks!
For your first time at a new barn, it is imperative to have clean tack. I spend a lot of time making my tack glisten like the night sky, because it is probably the easiest way to look professional. As far as leg-wear goes, I always stick to black, white, or navy polo wraps or protective boots. These colors match everything and are universally accepted in the horse world. The first time at a new barn can be difficult, but it is very important to focus on your ride and have fun!