This month marks my four-year anniversary writing for Middleburg Eccentric.  To celebrate, I am throwing it back with a reprint of one of my favorites and yours.  Enjoy and thank you for reading.

 Riders up!!  Spring in Virginia’s horse country is full of many equestrian events including the Virginia steeplechase circuit.  Starting in March and going into May, there are meets every weekend full of riders, spectators, tailgaters and most of them are dressed to be seen. It can be challenging to find the perfect outfit for the terrain, weather, and occasion.

 First, I know this has been said before, but please ladies, do not wear heels that can sink into the ground.  Doing so causes a mobile hiccup effect where every other step creates a jerking motion to release your heels from the clutches of the soft, spring earth.  Even if it is a wedge, ones that are too high to walk in over rough ground are reserved for professionals to accomplish with grace. And perhaps most importantly, your shoes must be comfortable enough for all day on your feet.  No one likes to see the girl, sling back in hand, stumbling toward the porta-john where she generally enters barefoot. Your foot fashion can make or break the day.  Trust me.

 Next, hats are often staples at the races. If you are not confident enough to rock out a hat with pride, leave it at home as you will look like a little girl playing dress up instead of a Kentucky Derby diva.  They are meant to accent your eyes and are not to be worn on the back of your head like Madonna or Boy George in the 80’s.  And along the same lines, just to be proper, I should mention that the brim should never be wider than your shoulders. That is an old rule, but still, one to remember in order to get the most flattering style for you.  On the day, I sincerely advise you to make sure they are secure somehow, either by hat-pin or proper fit.  And no, elastic bands under your chins do not count and one should be publically flogged for even thinking of it if you are over the age of 8.   You don’t want your lovely headpieces blowing like tumbleweed from tailgate to tailgate.

 Anyone that has been to Glenwood Park, Woodley or Member’s Hill at Great Meadow knows there can certainly be a breeze pass through the day, no matter what the temperature. Mother Nature can be a prankster in the spring, and you will get Punk’d if you don’t dress accordingly.  Skirts that are too short and flowy nearly always lead to an obscene moment. Also, in any kind of skirt, please remember to bend at the knees when picking things up. Full moons should be reserved for werewolves and downward facing dog. I guarantee, even if you think no one sees your blunders, one of the hundreds of guests did and have already put your wardrobe malfunction on YouTube.

 So have fun, be safe and dress appropriately this month wherever you are going.