STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—A new equestrian research poll conducted by the Chillax Institute just released some surprising results.

The Stockholm-based organization reports that the much-buzzed about orange mankini sported by Australian rider Shane Rose at a recent event near Sydney failed to make even the most basic list of impractical equestrian getups.

In fact, after tallying the results from the thousands of international equestrian community members that either wrote-in or voted in an online poll, the barely-there mankini barely made a blip at all.

“When we take into account real-life factors such as temperature, comfort, technical design for sport, and other factors, the mankini is far and away a more practical choice than the top-five silly riding costumes and accessories on our list, especially in warm-weather climates,” said Professor Harry Scheele, who led the study.

“A mankini actually has a lot of redeeming qualities. It’s streamlined and very aerodynamic, especially while jumping. In judged classes, such as equitation, there’s certainly no way to camouflage the rider’s leg position, or lack thereof, when you’re wearing an adult-man-sized G-string,” Scheele continued.

“And especially when you’re talking about temperature—it’s the height of summer right now in New South Wales, where Shane Rose was competing. With temperatures well into the 80s on most days, you’re going to tell me that a stiff, wool-blend coat makes more practical sense than beach apparel?”

So what did make Scheele’s top-five list for silly equestrian get-ups? Here’s a look at the prime offenders:

Shadbelly Coats

© Carterse/

What’s one way to make stodgy hunt coats even more impractical? Attach a pair of long tails to the back of them.

“They’re up, they’re down, they’re all around—they’re spooking horses, they’re caught in the wind (or the door), they’re under your crotch when you land in the saddle,” wrote-in one study participant. “When you think about it, not one thing about long, flappy coat tails signals ‘formal attire for an important occasion’—or even, ‘I was born in the 21st century.’” Tally-ho!

Hard Dressage Boots

Photo 179510704 | Dressage Boot © Valeriya Vatel |

Is it possible to make tall, stiff, and unforgiving cow-hide boots less comfortable? Of course!

Enter hard dressage boots, with a special reinforced panel that may improve your leg position, but are, according to one actual sales ad, “not for the faint-hearted” when it comes to breaking them in. Or, as one voter said, “Hard dressage boots cost an arm and a leg (maybe your actual leg), and that’s nothing compared to the years of therapy you’ll need to pay for to overcome wearing them.”


©Andrey Kurguzov |

Are you entering a riding competition or dolling out box-mix mashed potatoes in the lunchroom cafeteria? For long-maned horse show mavens in many disciplines, hairnets are a mainstay from the top-levels down to the local Youth Fair. But according to the voters, that doesn’t make it right.  

Sparkles, Sparkles Everywhere

Photo 220041542 © Pltphotography |

From Western Pleasure and showmanship to show jumping night classes—and every possible piece of riding equipment you can shellack a Swarovski crystal to in dressage—a little bling has become the riding equivalent of living dangerously.

“But maybe, just, don’t,” said one voter, “this is horses, not a Wayne Newton show on the Vegas Strip.”

Shirt & Tie

© Selena N/

Blame it on the work-from-home phenomenon, but there are fewer and fewer acceptable occasions for sporting a tie these days—and according to the voters, horse shows aren’t one of them.

From the ladies and men of saddle seat to every dude on the hunter/jumper circuit (and beyond), a collared shirt and tie doesn’t scream “take me seriously, I’m an athlete” so much as, “boardroom meeting today at 4 p.m.—bring those TPS reports!”

More satire from Nina Fedrizzi:

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• Future Horse Show Stage Parents Vow to Start Newborn in the Saddle “ASAP”
• Hunter Under Saddle Rider Removed from Flat Class for Trash Talking Fellow Competitors 
• Aging Parents Can’t Understand Why Daughter Spends So Much Money on a Passion That Brings Her Joy

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