The Brits call them bum-freezers, but the trend toward shorter dressage short-coats is red hot. Pikeur's best selling coat in Europe is now the Skarlett, a sleek, modern little number that measures a good 3 inches shorter than Pikeur's traditional standard, the Diana coat.
Sightings of white breeches-clad bums are surprisingly prominent at the top dressage shows here in the US this winter. Feeling brave? Venture beyond the standard dressage options. Crossover coats are becoming the norm as the lines between equestrian disciplines blur.
Animo embodies this European trend playfully with short-short coats like Animo Lilly (pictured above). We picked up this one in Germany, but USAnimo has similar styles in the colors you'll crave.
Up for the challenge? Be prepared to raise a few eyebrows, particularly if you are showing outside the major dressage markets. DQ traditionalists will cry:
"Oh, no, please no!"
"Better not have a big butt!"
At SHADBELLY, we say turn the other cheek (sorry, couldn't resist). We embrace the crisp, modern silhouette and the functional freedom of these new designs. After all, we are athletes, both horse and rider. We should strive for the same level of fitness in ourselves that we demand in our horses. What better incentive than a smart new competition jacket!
So we send a loud wake up call to the big US retailers: Guys, it's time to update those dressage apparel fit guidelines! According to Dover's "How to Properly Fit Your Show Ring Attire" guide...
"(Dressage short coats) are supposed to fall to the thigh when you're sitting in the saddle. To check the length of a dressage coat, let your arms and hands hang at your sides, allowing your fingers to curve naturally. The hem of the dressage coat will sit just inside this natural curve of your fingers."
So what do you say? Bottoms-Up or Banish the Bum-Freezers?