I agree. This is an example of why I love our country! I am glad to see we still have not lost that pioneer spirit that our forefathers' had! I would not expect anything less from the WDAA Rules Committee. Thank-you for sharing this Stephanie. Ride on!
Right now, I haven't seen 'offical' wear personally. I've seen cowboys come out as they are, nice jeans, nice hat, and reining gear-but in a dressage arena. However the big competitors are opting for serious clothing, that closely related to dressage shadbellies and so forth. Cowboy hat is always on, typically a nice button up shirt, dark jeans or show pants and still- a shadbelly. Since the sport is still growing, but isn't actually well known or well publicized yet it seems as though people are going about it in a relaxed manner-whatever fits. There aren't a lot of competitions yet, so most western dressage is done as a performance, or act in a show or event, but not actually scored, therefore people are also going with flashy, bright, and colorful show or parade types of outfits with lots of fringe.
I'm going to stick with my jeans, shirt, and hat. Troxel discontinued their western cowboy hat helmet, because each year the standards are stricter and tougher on what is allowed in riding helmets for them to be approved. It takes more and more work, kind of like cars in crash test ratings. Cars from 1980s wouldn't pass today's test and then be allowed to go out on the market. The helmet didn't last for long, and was also bulky and fake looking, and had to be discontinued due to it not being approved and lack of sales. They have said maybe in the years to come,as material gets better and technology grows, they might try to bring another back. I've looked all over and haven't seen another company that sells anything like it.