Growing up as a horseback rider I have always felt ‘uncanny’ when wearing my riding clothes outside of the barn. When I was younger I wouldn’t go to the grocery store, out to eat, or in general anywhere in public that I may come across classmates. My mom used to pick on me for being so self-conscious about my riding clothes yet I also felt like people were staring at me because I was wearing riding pants with tall leather boots. I always felt like people thought it was “gross” to be wearing clothes that were worn in the barn to a public place yet it wasn’t like I was rolling around in manure, I had instead been practicing for my sport just like a soccer player would be wearing cleats from their practice. When I entered college I joined the equestrian team at school and noticed how comfortable my teammates were wearing their riding clothes around campus, out to eat, and hanging out with friends. I started to see that it is “ok” because now I was part of this group who had established this idea of “normal”. For awhile I would only wear my riding clothes as a group because we are looked at as a group, not an individual. I also noticed the people on college campus’s are interested by the idea of horseback riding and even ask about it if they see you dressed in your riding attire. Now that I am a senior I have no problem wearing my riding clothes in public because I now identify myself as a URI equestrian rider, a member of a team recognized by the school. Even my mom has noticed how my comfort level has changed towards wearing riding clothes in public because I will get dressed to ride and wear it as my attire for the whole day instead of changing into a more “normal” outfit.


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