by Jamie Stine
Part Four, Turnout
Cross-country turnout is anything goes. People typically use this phase to take advantage of their “Matchy Matchy Disease,” so the turnout will be color-coordinated, typically in some combination of the rider’s stable colors. This means that boots, saddlepad, ear net (if they use one), rubber reins, helmet cover, body protector, shirt, gloves, and breeches of the rider will all coordinate in some way. TYPICALLY this is well done,
but sometimes it’s quite offensive to the eye, so when you do this on your model, don’t get too carried away. =)
Grooming of the horse is typically pretty simple. Manes are not braided, so that the rider can grab them if need be. Everything else is functional. Legs are clipped close, mane is pulled short (it’s braided for the other two phases, so it would be braiding length), and tail is grown out long.
Some horses have the top clipped down to the “breakover point” which is where the tail widens out, about the middle of the buttock or slightly higher. NOT as far down as you’d see a 3 gaited saddle horse’s tail shaved, and only on the sides.
Some tails are pulled, which is a neater look, but harder to maintain and much more time consuming to do. Tradition dictates that the end of the tail is banged level with the fetlocks, though some horses are much shorter, up near the hocks (this is especially true in Britain).
Natural tails are also allowed.
Basically as long as you’re safe, you can look like pigpen and move like an emu and nobody really cares.
A note from Jennifer--If you've enjoyed this series, please let Jamie know by leaving a comment. Likewise, if you have any questions, now is the time. Jamie is reading the comment section and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about eventing.
I'd also like to remind everyone that I always welcome good guest blogger pieces. If you know a lot about a particular event and would like to pass that information along, please get in touch. No pictures? No problem! I can help you with that just the same way I helped Jamie.
Thanks again to Jamie for all her work on the Notes on Eventing series!