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How To Care For Your Riding Habit
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Shirts:

Dry cleaning can yellow shirts over time so it is better to clean them at home.  If you must take them to the cleaners I recommend washing to remove stains first since the cleaners do not remove all the stains.  Wash promptly after wear so stains do not set. 

Solid Colored Shirt:

First look for any loose buttons on the shirt because if there are any now would be a good time to fix a loose button if needed.  There will always be ring around the collar on a show shirt.  Lay flat and apply either stain remover such as Shout or regular laundry detergent and rub in with finger.  Then on the cuffs of the sleeves there usually is a black ring from gloves.  Unbutton sleeve and lay flat applying stain remover or laundry detergent on both sides of cuff and rub in.  Look on body of shirt for any other stains and again apply stain remover.  Let set for a few minutes so the stain remover can do its job.  Set the washing machine on cold wash/cold rinse, delicate, a short cycle with a small amount of detergent (about half way from bottom of cap to 1st line in detergent cap).  Place the shirt in the washing machine by itself.  After washing cycle is done, check to see if stains are gone, if not repeat process.  When washing is done hang on a plastic hanger to dry.  Now you can either take it to the cleaners to be laundered with heavy starch or iron it at home with heavy starch at least on collar and cuffs.

Crisp White Shirts:

If the stains do not come out with stain remover apply a little bleach to the stain, not the whole shirt, and then wash again.  Bleach can only be used on actual white shirts so if you have an off white or cream shirt stain remover or laundry detergent is your only option.

Suits (Coat, Pants, and Vest):

Make sure all number pins, safety pins, lapel pins, pocket patterns, tie downs and anything else that is not part of the suit are no longer in or on the suit and vest.  Then look at suit, vest, and pants (waistband and tie down area) buttons to see if any are loose or broken, if so note it and let the cleaners know, they can either redo sewing or replace broken buttons for you.  Ask the dry cleaners to put a crease down the center of the pants not the seam (they have been going down the seam lately at some dry cleaners for some reason).

Ties:

Ties do not need to be dry cleaned unless they have a stain (dry cleaning makes them dull and fall apart).  If the tie has many wrinkles then it can be ironed at home and hung on a hanger or placed in a tie case (available same places as hanging cosmetic bags).

How To Iron A Tie

Boots:

Clean and shiny boots are just as important as a clean shirt when showing.  It needs to be done in advance of a horse show because there is no time to shine boots when getting ready.  Below is a link to a detailed description of what one needs to clean boots and how to shine them.  (Patent leather boots need the edges and bottoms cleaned but the “leather” part can be cleaned with Windex or Armor All).  All items here can be found at grocery or drug stores.

Gloves and Hat:

Both can be cleaned at the horse show.  Hats can be steamed where ever offered and then wrapped and covered (how to in Show Rider Check List).  When done with gloves after showing take off and let dry for a few minutes before packing them away.

How To Clean Boots and Gloves