Whether inside the competition ring or out on the town, every rider wants to feel good in the clothes she wears. A powerhouse in the hunter ring, professional rider Tara Metzner invited us into her home in Wellington, Florida, to chat about her timeless style, the importance of a custom fit, and the favorite accessories that help elevate her game.
My style revolves around my lifestyle, riding, and horses! I would say I lean more toward classic, traditional, and timeless — equestrian style. I tend to dress in mostly neutrals, with a pop of color now and then to keep things interesting.
My favorite boots to ride in are the DerDau Dream boot. I always order custom because my legs are very long, and I prefer a dress boot. I feel the lines look clean and simple.
Helmet and Gloves
I am sponsored by Samshield so I wear their gloves and helmets. My head is a little narrow and I feel super secure in their helmet while maintaining a traditional look which I believe is very important in the hunter ring. The Miss Shield helmet with the wider brim is great for extra sun protection as well!
Show Shirts and Jackets
My favorite show jackets and shirts are a custom design from Valencia Saddlery in Los Angeles, California, called HABiT. The jackets are classic fitting but light and comfortable. The shirts are made with a higher neck so it looks as if you're wearing a traditional choker, but with a modern cut. They make a day-to-day button-down shirt as well called HABiT Play. I live in them at the horse show on days I’m not competing. They are the softest cotton and totally custom. The orange button on the right sleeve is their trademark.
Jewelry and Accessories
I always wear a bracelet that was made out of pieces of my favorites horses’ tails! Some deceased, some retired, and some still showing! I think it's so special that I have them with me all the time. My watch was a prize for winning the International Derby at The Menlo Charity horse show a few years back.
My Oughton Limited bag is another prize from being Champion at Menlo (they give the best loot!). I believe it was from a horse named Rumba in the performance division. It is the BEST weekend bag. So durable, yet chic.
I always show in Pikeur breeches, and ride at home in Callidae. I love Callidae because you can go from the barn straight to dinner in them. I get asked all the time by strangers where I got my cool pants! Pikeur and Callidae are the best because of their high-rise fit.
I have a favorite Ralph Lauren belt that I always ride in. I'm not sure what I will do once it dies.
Out of the Saddle Go-To’s
My personal beauty routine is very basic — a lot of sunscreen. I like Skinceuticals because they have a nice tinted sunscreen that’s light and not greasy. I love Jo Malone Cologne in blackberry and bay. My all-time favorite chapstick is from Katherine Cosmetics. One of my great friends, Annie Finch, started the company and she told her best girlfriends to pick their favorite shade of lipstick and she would make it and name it after them. I rarely wear lipstick, but live in chapstick so that’s how Tara lipstick came to be!
Splurge vs. Save
I always opt for custom show clothes instead of off the rack. I'm very tall and a bit busty so it’s very important to me that my clothes fit well when I’m competing. As a professional in the industry, I believe one should look put together. I think it speaks to the outside world as to how you run your business and the amount of respect you have for the sport.
What’s always in your purse?
Currently focusing on...
I'm actually really enjoying this time at home with my horses. I'm getting to spend some much needed time on gymnastics instead of always jumping courses at the shows. And of course, lots of trail rides!
Read this next: A Rider’s Closet: At Home with Amelia Diamond
Photos by Kate Metzner for NoelleFloyd.com.
Written by Lizzy Youngling
Lizzy Youngling is a former professional rower turned runner with her roots firmly planted in the horse world. When she's not roaming the halls at the Brearly School, you can find her hitting the pavement in Central Park or roaming the trails of North Salem.