I'm looking for a reflective material similar to what is used in car sun shades. Anyone know where to look?
I don't understand the question, what are lightning rods? a 350 turbo will work behind a 350 engine with no problem.
I'm going through the same transition this year and just did my first 2-phase and am going to do my first event w/ XC. I trained with a very good eventing trainer in my area and this is what I found out about apparel: Dressage: As you said, the whole breeches, show coat, tall boots, gloves, etc. Dressage is really the only phase that has strict dress requirements. Showjumping: Most events have showjumping after the dressage, so most people just ride in their show shirt (and ditch the show coat, just for comfort), breeches and tall boots, so they don't really need to change, just take a jacket off. But my trainer also said you can change into a polo and breeches so you'll be ready for XC afterwards. XC: Polo, breeches, chest protector (optional, but really a good idea for jumping full speed over stationary, hard objects.. better to be safe than sorry). A lot of people match their polos, helmet cover, horse's saddle pad and horse's polos, but it really doesn't matter. Noticed your question about helmet covers and no, it doesn't really matter if the helmet shows bumps. I have a Tipperary and use a helmet cover and at lower levels, no one cares. If you were going for the big league, Grand Prix stuff, then it might matter. I've found eventing is very relaxed, though. I came from the Hunter world as well and was shocked at how little eventers care about some things that hunters do - braiding, matching colors, appearance in general just much more relaxed.