Let's face it, it's pretty much impossible to be an elegant rider when you stop every 90 seconds to scream "What's my ride time???" across the crowded warm-up. Like the general population, we dressage riders have grown all too accustomed to relying on our smartphones for timekeeping. And that works ... most of the time. But on a show day, when time REALLY matters, doesn't it make sense to take as much of the guesswork out of the day as possible? Why not consider going retro with an actual wristwatch that tells everything you need to know, and tucks beautifully behind cuff and glove when not needed?
Oh yes. You can spend BIG. Hermes has a Dressage series of watches that beautifully reflect the uber-luxury brand's origin as a saddlemaker, priced from $10,600 for the basic stainless steel, to $30,000 for the limited edition rose gold model.
Alternative 1: The Hermes Dressage collection wristwatch prices start at $10,600.
OR, you can do what I did...swing by Target and get a wonderfully functional Timex for around $35. Mine is the "Women's Timex Basic with Black Dial Watch", not quite as fancy a name as the "Hermes Dressage", but pretty gosh darned similar in look, don't you think?
Alternative 2: The $35 Timex "Women's Basic Watch with Black Dial".
So you've got your watch, now let's make it really work for you on show day:
1. Find some Post-Its;
2. In fine print, make note of your tests and ride times in small print (I even add arrows to remind you to "Track Left" or "Track Right");
3. Cut and paste your "cheat sheet" to the watch face.
Ok, it's 1:07, now go have a great ride!