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View Full Version : Bling backlash, anyone?



meaty ogre
May. 30, 2012, 12:55 PM
Does anyone out there who shows western do it in conservative tack and attire?

I've been kicking around the idea of trying the local western circuit, but unfortunately it is extremely competetive because it is the playground for all the people who do the rated shows. I can't afford all custom bling, and I wouldn't want to put out that kind of money just to try something.

The men can get away with a button-down shirt and one of those neck scarves and chaps. Would a woman in the same attire be frowned upon?

What about tack that isn't dripping in silver? I recently acquired an e-bay gem, circa 1982 simco with very little silver, but it has stainless steel lacing around the edges. I've found a headstall and reins that also has the stainless lacing that I think would look really sharp with the saddle. Could I pull of a "retro cowgirl" look or would I be horribly out of place?

Don't get me wrong, I love to look at that book with all the glamour shots and self-promoting ads, and I drool over those rhinestone encrusted tops and would love to own one. I just can't swing the cost, and even if I could I think it would be hard to justify.

SaddleUp158
May. 30, 2012, 01:27 PM
I can not attest for how it would be received in the ring but I say go for it. I have an older circle y and it doesn't have a ton of silver on it either. I have a couple of jackets that I had made for $100 bucks that I am jeweling myself, with fabric glue and crystals. As long as you are neat and tidy I would give it a shot. Also, keep a look out on eBay for tops/jackets. You can find some good deals on there.

Ozzerati
May. 30, 2012, 01:58 PM
The "minimalist" is actually becoming quite popular. Even at the biggest shows in the country (i.e. the AQHA and APHA World Show, and other majors) it's quite stylish to see women showing in plain, well-fit long-sleeve shirts. I have even seen a move toward minimal or silver-less tack at the majors, though that's a little less common. Several winners and top placers at the World Shows in the last few years have been in minimalist outfits/tack, though a higher percentage probably still are in "bling." But with results on that stage, you can't really argue that the outfits make that much of a difference. I've always maintained that judges have bigger things to look at before they start critiquing your outfit to help place classes.

At local/regional shows, you should have no problem showing without "bling." I see it all the time in my neck of the woods, which is the heart of Texas horse country and home to some of the top Western riders in the nation.

Flagstaff Foxhunter
May. 30, 2012, 02:13 PM
I say go for it, proudly, and about time this gets some traction. It shows wonderful confidence to go into the show pen (I hate that term, btw--what happened to arena?) and shine for your horse's quality and training. One of my friends shows in QH breed and color shows. She has to borrow her trainer's saddle and clothing, because $15,000 for a saddle and over a $1000 for this year's outfit is too much.

Bling is fun, it has it's place, but I want to channel George Morris here and say the beauty of the horse should be the star of the show.

meaty ogre
May. 30, 2012, 03:22 PM
I'm using google images to find some old show win pics. I think if I do this properly, I can put together a "vintage" look that with any luck will conjure up images of the "good ol' days" and hopefully win me some nosalgia votes. :)

I have found some recent win pix from larger shows with women wearing a solid colored button down shirt with a solid black vest and chaps, which I think is far more flattering that a belt that cuts the rider in half.

I also like the look in some of the old photos I've found of a plaid shirt, black chaps and black scarf around the neck. I don't care much for some of the saddle pads I've seen in the older photos....I'm thinking a simple solid color is best there.

This is all very much in the "maybe" stage. Of course the biggest thing is my helmet. After prior concussions I just can't bring myself to show without it. So if I'm going to be a total sore thumb I have to make sure that the horse and my equitation are spot-on. :lol: That could take some time.

katarine
May. 30, 2012, 03:28 PM
If you will go all out with the rest of it, meaning a gorgeous tail, a banded mane, a really good hat and well fitting chaps, paired with a well fitting shirt, you'll be fine. The laced cantle screams 1980 but that's ok- if it's a well made saddle ;)

A few yrs back a youth team at the QH Youth World wore dark jeans, black long sleeve shirts, black hats, and used all black saddle pads, IIRC. They did great, and won/placed just fine in their very conservative attire.

Flagstaff Foxhunter
May. 30, 2012, 03:46 PM
Meaty, you rock! :cool: Anyone who cares more about their own head, than what other people might think, is a hero in my book!

I briefly owned one of the early generation straw hats-with-helmet inside, but it was really comically large. I ended up shipping it to England and the lady was thrilled to get it.

Now it looks like the Troxel Western Hat helmet is not available anymore. Apparently, that one was silly looking also. Showing in your helmet is not only really, really smart, you'll be setting such a wonderful example for others. I hope you have a blast and much success!

quarterhorse4me
May. 30, 2012, 04:32 PM
My daughter has a friend who shows on a very limited budget. She does the vintage/classic look and I love it. The bling is just a little too much for me and I honestly think anyone who has the nerve to break from the norm deserves a second look fron the judges.......Go for it!!!

horseshrink
May. 30, 2012, 04:47 PM
I have been dabbling in the western world this past year also. Having fun.....BUT.....

I wore my helmet in a riding class, had a perfect ride and was low in the ribbons. People made comments and I was the only one with a helmet on. Oh well. People will notice and the judges will notice, but who cares (I value my brain).

I have been to quite a few of the BIG breed shows this year and there were NO riders without massive bling, custom shirts and jackets, etc. There was not one single saddle that was not light colored and covered in silver.

I wish it could be more minimalistic, but it seems to be going the other direction. Looked at some of the "used" shirts the vendors had that ran between $1500.00 to $7500.00. :eek:

Have a friend who has one of the best pleasure horses around, but she is minimalist. Only shows in dress shirts, well fitted chaps and a dark oil saddle. She hardly ever places well.

But you should go for fun...that's what I'm doing for now.

SwampYankee
May. 30, 2012, 05:06 PM
When I showed an older reiner locally and occasionally a number of years back, I wore pretty but not garish Western shirts that offset my saddle blanket and black chaps. Think red and black in traditional patterns, saddling a grey. The saddle was very high quality (Dale Chavez) but w/o silver.

Coming to this from the English riding world, where we were taught to dress conservatively, almost to the point of disappearing so THE HORSE would be the one noticed, I'm allergic to the current Western showing fad of "bling."

One old cowboy described overly-decorated saddles as being covered with "hammered tunafish cans," an indeleble image that always makes me smile when I see one.

But what I really dislike, and would refuse to ever wear, are the "slinky" clothes made out of polyester, with paste rhinestones and loud, tarty makeup on riders. That image is Hollywood campy out of the 1950's, and has nothing to do with showing a workmanlike horse in ranching tradition.

saddleup
May. 30, 2012, 05:15 PM
Just was at a very large Paint show and there were several women, and teenage girls, wearing the plain oxford type shirts. The most flattering looks were still monochromatic, not color-blocked...all black, all grey, all blue. It's a look that really works best if you're slim, though. The jackets that you wear outside, not tucked in, are way more flattering for ladies with a little more meat on their bones.

There were several of those that were still pretty plain in terms of bling. The fabrics were bright and busy, with only a little bling on the collars.

From what I observed, anything goes right now. I saw plain saddles, saddles with a touch of silver, and of course the mega-silvered-out show saddles that cost $$$$. Retro scarves tied at an angle with flowing ends as well as scarves tightly tied at the neck with ends tucked. Hats that were super tacos, as well as hats with bling on the edges, and several decked out straw hats with wild patterns.

It was pretty fun to see the individuality expressed by the riders.

KSAQHA
May. 30, 2012, 05:53 PM
What about tack that isn't dripping in silver? I recentlysteel lacing around the edges. I've found a headstall and reins that also has the stainless lacing that I think would look really sharp with the saddle. Could I pull of a "retro cowgirl" look or would I be horribly out of place?Sounds like the used saddle and one-ear (gasp) headstall I bought for local showing 5 years ago, except mine is stamped 1994...maybe retro at the time. ;) Anyhoo, don't be intimidated by the breed-showers-in-their-bling set, there's something to be said for understated style. In my experience with local showing, it's still about the well-shown horse and not so much politics...although, I could be wrong.

As far as retro goes, I've been seeing buck-stitched saddles in my tack catalogues...knew I should have hung onto the Hereford I got rid of 20 years ago...because I felt it was out of style at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if the silver lacing sees a revival. What comes around, goes around...sort of like clothing fashion.

meaty ogre
May. 31, 2012, 08:33 AM
I wore my helmet in a riding class, had a perfect ride and was low in the ribbons. People made comments and I was the only one with a helmet on. Oh well. People will notice and the judges will notice, but who cares (I value my brain).

But you should go for fun...that's what I'm doing for now.

Thanks for that, and good on you for wearing your helmet. I WILL wear a helmet because:
1. I've had multiple concussions and I make a living off my brain, not my looks ;).
2. I'm bringing my niece and daughter up the ranks and I want to be the best example for them that I can.
3. A helmet is a lot cheaper than a quality western hat, and it doesn't require steaming and shaping.

I'm OK with getting the gate. Classes are $7, and I think there may be a $5 office fee or something. I've paid way more than that and been out of the ribbons (and even eliminated! :lol:) so I figure it's a small price to pay to try something new.

I know there are plenty of close-minded judges out there, but there just as likely may be a judge who is also over the blinged-out high $ look that would love to pin a good workman-like pair. With any luck I'll run into that one. Maybe the silver laced saddle will remind him/her of a horse they had back in the 80s. If I can pull all this together in time for the June 24th show I'll be sure to post pictures.

I noticed one manufacturer is giving a nod to the minimalist trend, but at $139 for a plain shirt I think they're missing the point!
http://www.showdivadesigns.com/Shirts/

49'er
May. 31, 2012, 09:03 AM
Wow! Love it. Finally back to classy after years of flash and trash. :)

horseshrink
May. 31, 2012, 09:16 AM
Thanks for that, and good on you for wearing your helmet. I WILL wear a helmet because:
1. I've had multiple concussions and I make a living off my brain, not my looks ;).
2. I'm bringing my niece and daughter up the ranks and I want to be the best example for them that I can.
3. A helmet is a lot cheaper than a quality western hat, and it doesn't require steaming and shaping.

I say those are some EXCELLENT reasons to wear a helmet. :D

Yes, there are MANY closed-minded judges and I seem to run into them most weekends. I sure wish some of the western could change and go back to how it used to be.

Yes, when you mentioned silver-laced cantle, it did remind me of my super cute little QH I had in the 80's.

GO and HAVE FUN and take lots of pictures to post. Can't wait to see. Good Luck.

HeyItsCharnae
May. 31, 2012, 09:49 AM
The "minimalist" is actually becoming quite popular. Even at the biggest shows in the country (i.e. the AQHA and APHA World Show, and other majors) it's quite stylish to see women showing in plain, well-fit long-sleeve shirts. I have even seen a move toward minimal or silver-less tack at the majors, though that's a little less common. Several winners and top placers at the World Shows in the last few years have been in minimalist outfits/tack, though a higher percentage probably still are in "bling." But with results on that stage, you can't really argue that the outfits make that much of a difference. I've always maintained that judges have bigger things to look at before they start critiquing your outfit to help place classes.

At local/regional shows, you should have no problem showing without "bling." I see it all the time in my neck of the woods, which is the heart of Texas horse country and home to some of the top Western riders in the nation.


I don't see the minimalist trend becoming popular in the 4+ APHA/AQHA shows. I know tons of people still buying the $1500 used blindingly bright jackets/vests/shirts, nevermind the new custom made one they get every year finishing over $4000. It's a terrible stigma about the tack needing silver and the shirts needing rhinestones, but that's what's fashionable atm. Most of the 'trends' factor around scalloped vs. fringe chaps and whether or not to get their boots colored to match their outfit :rolleyes:. This is why I stuck to english lol.

But if you're just showing local, there is absolutely no problem with a clean, non-sparky look. Lots of people don't have a fortune to spend on clothes, and it's about the fun anyway. No judge in their right mind should ever penalize you for wearing a helmet.

Sail Away
May. 31, 2012, 10:14 AM
At our locals I see everything. The gamers enter the pleasure classes with minimal dressing up. Some of them have actually placed. :) I don't think it is the lack of silver but the some of the gaming horses haven't mastered the art of a lope. They are trying to find the first barrel, I think. ;) The pleasure people definitely have show shirts on but they aren't that blingy.

My get up has minimal silver and I, when I get enough guts to actually show, will wear a show shirt (bought for $17) that is reversable, solid black on one side and black and white on the other - no bling. I also have a set of plane jane (no silver) romels.

I see a lot of kids in both pleasure and games now wearing helmets. Helmets aren't required but a good portion of them were wearing them rather than the cowboy hats.

Brutus614
May. 31, 2012, 10:19 AM
In 2010, Carey Nowacek won the AQHA Youth World title in Horsemanship wearing a simple black button-up shirt. No bling at all.

Personally, I think it's a very classy look!

horseshrink
May. 31, 2012, 10:24 AM
I don't see the minimalist trend becoming popular in the 4+ APHA/AQHA shows. I know tons of people still buying the $1500 used blindingly bright jackets/vests/shirts, nevermind the new custom made one they get every year finishing over $4000. It's a terrible stigma about the tack needing silver and the shirts needing rhinestones, but that's what's fashionable atm. Most of the 'trends' factor around scalloped vs. fringe chaps and whether or not to get their boots colored to match their outfit :rolleyes:. This is why I stuck to english lol.

But if you're just showing local, there is absolutely no problem with a clean, non-sparky look. Lots of people don't have a fortune to spend on clothes, and it's about the fun anyway. No judge in their right mind should ever penalize you for wearing a helmet.

Thanks HIC. Thought I was maybe attending the wrong shows. I'm not seeing much minimalistic clothes/tack either. In fact, some of the shirts/jackets may be getting more over-the-top, as well as some of the tack. My trainer hates that my shirt "only" cost less than $500. She states I "have" to have one that costs at least $1800 if I really want to win. :eek:

I agree on the local show/open show. I sometimes use them for training or tune-up purposes. And, I do see what you see there and I'm glad for that.

When I go to one of these shows, I use plain leather tack and wear a nice shirt with nice jeans.

Burbank
May. 31, 2012, 10:36 AM
ebay is your friend, clean and well fitting is the name of the game at small local shows

I personally don't care for the lacing on the reins and headstalls and would look for a set of matching color

but I love the dark oil older big silver conchos headstalls with bit clips

a good ride out places a bad ride, go and have fun

Burbank
May. 31, 2012, 11:47 AM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Silver-Royal-Western-Headstall-with-Silver-/170850486874?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c77b8a5a

love this as an example

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-silver-show-single-ear-headstall-/230799819168?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bcbdc1a0

no as flashy but pretty

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MAGNIFICENT-STUNNING-SILVER-BUCKLES-JEWELS-WESTERN-SHOW-BRIDLE-HEADSTALL-NR-/370617954126?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564a8d2f4e

Love This

EquineImagined
May. 31, 2012, 12:23 PM
When it comes down to it between two riders who are VERY close, I think judge's will go for the one with better 'presentation', but this was me a few years ago pretending I was a WP rider at a local show...we even pinned, and not dead last!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/17054_293289527373_6949853_n.jpg

Clean and modest with a good ride is always better than having a horrible ride with all that eye catching bling drawing attention to you, IMHO

Trakehner
May. 31, 2012, 01:10 PM
I hate bling of any sort with riding. Western has become a clown outfit with way too many multi-coloured and ghastly pimped out horses and riders. Some people would have english riding go the same way...ghastly.

Class always fits and is always in good taste. Quality riding and horses don't need bling to hide what's there. Make the competition look like pimps and riding slatterns.

Ozzerati
May. 31, 2012, 01:31 PM
I don't see the minimalist trend becoming popular in the 4+ APHA/AQHA shows. I know tons of people still buying the $1500 used blindingly bright jackets/vests/shirts, nevermind the new custom made one they get every year finishing over $4000. It's a terrible stigma about the tack needing silver and the shirts needing rhinestones, but that's what's fashionable atm. Most of the 'trends' factor around scalloped vs. fringe chaps and whether or not to get their boots colored to match their outfit :rolleyes:. This is why I stuck to english lol.

But if you're just showing local, there is absolutely no problem with a clean, non-sparky look. Lots of people don't have a fortune to spend on clothes, and it's about the fun anyway. No judge in their right mind should ever penalize you for wearing a helmet.

I work the APHA World Championship Shows and part of my job as a journalist/photographer is to watch the events and interview winners. While you will see a lot of bling, there is also a movement toward the minimalist look—I've seen it with my own eyes and interviewed the world champions who were wearing/using minimal bling. :-)

meaty ogre
May. 31, 2012, 02:01 PM
Hey Ozzerati, do you have any photos you could share? I don't suppose you've seen any winners wearing helmets have you? :) Thanks!

Fancyslastasset
May. 31, 2012, 02:52 PM
I have shown locally at open shows with my helmet for several years now and don't feel it has affected my pinnings. I bargain shop for my clothes. I by many very nice current shirts on Ebay and rarely spend more then $50.00. I have also gotten great deals at the EA on the sales racks.

The saddle I have been using the past two seasons (including AQHA) just had a touch of silver with a few small corner plates. I have a lovely show saddle that is loaded with silver, but it doesn't fit my current horse. So, the less fancy one it is. I don't feel this has affected me in the show ring on the local level. If I have good rides, I pin well.

On that note, I don't use a helmet at the rated shows. I keep it on my head until I am walking in then swap to my western hat. The helmet goes back on immediately when I am out of the ring.

Fancyslastasset
May. 31, 2012, 02:55 PM
I hit post reply before I was finished...

I wanted to say, I think if you dress neatly, your horse is well turned out with good fitting tack and well groomed, you will be just fine with less "bling". It's those that show up looking like 70's throw backs and ill fitting tack with dirty, hardly groomed horses that might not get a second look...or they might get lots of looks, but for the wrong reasons. LOL!

Ozzerati
May. 31, 2012, 04:12 PM
Hey Ozzerati, do you have any photos you could share? I don't suppose you've seen any winners wearing helmets have you? :) Thanks!

Sure. I don't think I can embed images, but here are a couple links to check out.

2011 AjPHA Youth World Championship Show
http://ywcs.apha.com/news/jwoc

In the above link, check out Youth Aged Geldings, Youth Reining 13 & U, YOuth Western Pleasure 14-18 and Youth Western Riding 14-18. I can think of a young man in the horsemanship who used a plain saddle/bridle—nicely tooled, but NO silver—in the (very competitive) Youth Horsemanship 14-18 class, and he placed in the Top 10.

2011 APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show:
http://oawcs.apha.com/news/jwoc

In this link, check out Amateur 2-Year-Old Mares, Amateur Weanling Stallions, Junior Reining, Junior Trail, Limited Working Cow Horse, SPB Trail (black saddle/bridle). These aren't all-inclusive. I didn't include many events where plainer clothes are the norm (speed, roping, halter), and there were others wearing basic outfits, but I can't go through our 10,000+ photos per show right now to find them. ;-)

The Pleasure Horse Journal forum has recently (in the last 6 months or so) had several queries about plain horsemanship-style shirts for women from folks who show the major APHA/AQHA/ApHC shows.

As far as helmets, we see them in the fence classes, of course, and speed classes quite often. You don't tend to see them in all-around type western classes, but they're not prohibited. We host an international team event called Youth World Games, and in 2010 the YWG Trail Class winner, a young lady from Sweden, wore a helmet.

Do you see "bling" at the big shows? Absolutely. But do you need it? Not really. The judges truly have enough to look at, and most have repeatedly told me that they don't judge riders by their clothes, so long as their outfits/equipment is clean and well-fitting. "Have" vs. "Have Not" in terms of tack/equipment/clothes is a very easy way to justify not placing well, and I'd venture to say it's very rarely the real reason.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone here; just want to make the point that not having fancy clothes/tack/equipment won't necessarily keep you out of the winner's circle.

meaty ogre
Jun. 1, 2012, 08:47 AM
Thanks ozzerati!

So, it sounds like most of you guys would vote for minimalist/basic look vs. the retro/vintage? Bummer, I was actually going to try for a throwback look but simple probably is best.

I have seen a lot of the all-black look in researching photos, but I don't want to look like a bad cross between a ninja movie and an old western.

I think I'll go with a solid button down shirt, black vest, black chaps, pants and boots and my black ovation schooling helmet, and a saddle blanket with black and my shirt color to tie it together. I may do a scarf pin and small earrings but that will be my only bling.

Burbank
Jun. 1, 2012, 09:27 AM
do you have a blue or green button down shirt?

blue and green look great on all colors and easy to match to a saddle pad and I would skip the vest, just wear the button down shirt

bugsynskeeter
Jun. 1, 2012, 09:35 AM
I think I'll go with a solid button down shirt, black vest, black chaps, pants and boots and my black ovation schooling helmet, and a saddle blanket with black and my shirt color to tie it together. I may do a scarf pin and small earrings but that will be my only bling.

Don't wear a vest or a scarf pin. Scarfs are ok, but be sure you tie it correctly.

meaty ogre
Jun. 1, 2012, 10:30 AM
Oh, I really like the look of a vest. I'm not talking about a jazzed up vest. I think that black chaps with a different colored top cuts the rider in half. That may be OK on a tall slender rider but it isn't going to flatter me at all.

I'm talking about this kind of look (except my vest isn't sparkly..just plain black). I think it is so much more flattering to a rider.

http://www.hobbyhorseinc.com/shopping/vests/2246_silhouette_vest.shtml

Does that make a difference?

I was thinking of this saddle blanket:
http://www.tackwholesale.com/zealand-arrow-saddle-blanket-purple-cobalt-p-3532.html
or possibly this one:
http://www.tackwholesale.com/zealand-wool-saddle-blanket-cathedral-p-3559.html
because I already have dress shirts in my closet that would coordinate with them.

nccatnip
Jun. 1, 2012, 11:04 PM
IMHO I would forget trying to go retro- too easy for it to look to "costume -ish". Go with something classic and stylish in your own right. Don't get me wrong, I love well done sequins and silver saddles, but a nice long sleeved twill shirt with nice matching colors done right is just as eye catching to me.

But that being said- my mare is black and I use a black saddle pad, dark oil saddle and headstall and dress in mostly black. As she goes around the ring, it is striking, and all you see is the silver on the tack and the silver plate on the pad.

Could I have bought a light saddle? Yes. But I like the dark, it looks better on my horse than the light, just takes a little work to pull it together correctly. (and tons of patience when people hear you have dark oil tack- until they see it)

Beverley
Jun. 2, 2012, 12:30 AM
Oh, hail, I have just shown up with clean, workmanlike stuff, from 60s thru aughts, and it has never for me made a difference in the results. Any judge worth his/ her salt is going to look at many, many other things to break a performance tie before how much silver is on the saddle or the clothing. Wait, I have pics somewhere.

Moldy oldy, 1965: http://s222.photobucket.com/albums/dd89/BevHeff/?action=view&current=BevCrumpet.jpg

Roughly 2000 or 2001, I think (on the western shot):

https://picasaweb.google.com/100310658467918237790/EnglishWestern#5746991427267738066

Saddle in both pictures which is to say 1965 and later shot, is the same. Chaps didn't come along til 1968 or so.

Ironically, first time I showed up to show in Utah, 1995 state fair, probably same outfit, we did reasonably well, nobody had a clue who I was, and I got asked, 'are you from California?' As I was near my trailer at the time I pointed to the license plate I hadn't changed yet and said no, actually, Virginia. But I asked someone about the curious question and was told that should be taken as a compliment, apparently Utahns think the 'good' riders come from California...

sparkette
Jun. 2, 2012, 03:07 PM
When I showed WP and did rail classes, I wore a plaid long sleeve with blue jeans. Of course it was a schooling show.

When I showed two red head horses, I had a brown show shirt with bling that wasn't over kill. It's preference!

7HL
Jun. 2, 2012, 05:29 PM
Foundation QH shows... NO BLING anywhere.

BarbB
Jun. 2, 2012, 07:16 PM
I showed western back in the 70s and we were not grubby. Most men wore blue jeans and white shirts and women wore polyester riding pants with flared legs that looked nice on the horse but were like wearing your own portable sauna.

Before QHs got so specialized they were expected to do more than one job.
I did WP, Western Riding and amateur Reining. The horses in WP and Western Riding displayed their ability to do the more intense competitions by the length of their manes and tails, always trimmed (or not) to reflect the more difficult and competitive classes.

NO bling to be found. Lots of giggling about 'how much silver can an Arabian carry before it tips over?' QHs then went waaaaay past that in carrying silver.
I am glad to hear that the bling and silver is diminishing. Now if they could just get back to horses that are versatile again.

propspony
Jun. 2, 2012, 08:58 PM
Well, since BarbB requested it:

This guy is about as versatile as it comes... The Krymsun Kruzer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ5CB9mdtJk

I even saw a video last year of him in a reining class. Looked pretty darn respectable too!

Movin Artfully
Jun. 2, 2012, 10:46 PM
Propspony- I have a 2012 filly by TKK... and she is phenomenal and will be aimed at the all-around!

propspony
Jun. 2, 2012, 11:37 PM
I LOVE him. I'm already looking at my little Huntin for Chocolate filly and thinking: "Girl, someday you're going to meet a tall dark stranger and his name is going to be The Krymsun Kruzer..." Actually come to think of it, I guess she'll just have to satisfied with watching the video huh? ;-p

Liberty
Jun. 3, 2012, 10:25 AM
Thanks ozzerati!
...I think I'll go with a solid button down shirt, black vest, black chaps, pants and boots and my black ovation schooling helmet, and a saddle blanket with black and my shirt color to tie it together. I may do a scarf pin and small earrings but that will be my only bling.

Troxel makes a nice western design helmet (no, not those ridiculous pumpkin/bucket-headed western helmets) for around $100-120 or so (cheaper some places on sale). Trimmed in leather w/western "flair", it comes in all-black:
http://www.amazon.com/Troxel-Cheyenne/dp/B004BOU6IC

Just a thought, and kudos to you for going w/a helmet. I showed western back in the early 70's, and even back then, trends were going towards silver bling. My saddle was a plain (no tooling whatsoever) Tex Tan dark-oil saddle that looked fabulous on my roan spotted appy mare. My bridle was a one-ear dark oil w/white buck stitching w/buck stitched reins (that was really my only "stylish" touch since buck stitching was all the rage back then).

I wore a simple plaid western shirt w/jeans, chocolate-colored suede chaps (fringed, of course) and the proverbial felt western hat. I didn't show pro, but at the local shows, I did pretty well (even started beating out the local guy who did show pro on his "fancy" QH's...LOL).

Good luck, and above all, have fun!

CR Gorge Girl
Jun. 3, 2012, 12:15 PM
Ebay, Ebay, Ebay!!

There are several girls on my equestrian team that have found really tasteful shirts for pretty cheap. I think that vest you posted looks like a tank top over a long sleeve shirt. A more plain shirt is fine too, but I would definitely go for one that is fitted, vs. loose like a guy's shirt.

Showing in a helmet is fine at schooling shows, just make sure to do a bun (if you have long hair) rather than doing hunter hair. Though, we have one IHSA western show that requires helmets due to the rules of the facility, and I did hunter hair just for the ease of it, and it really didn't matter. The bun looks better though--more western-y.

UrbanHennery
Jun. 4, 2012, 01:05 AM
What type of showing are you doing? I'm doing reining at a combo of local and NRHA recognized shows and doing the Rookie / Beginner classes in just a shirt, jeans, belt, hat, and boots. My saddle has no silver, and there's just a bit of rawhide/flash on my bridle. Haven't had anyone comment beyond telling me that we look nice.

Here we are at a schooling show last Monday:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/7299812374_67d1f0e93f_c.jpg
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7239/7299818906_e8f3ab4928_z.jpg

HydroPHILE
Jun. 4, 2012, 02:23 PM
I love telling this story :)

A few years ago I went with my mom to a local charity horse show. Folks from around the surrounding states tend to enter for experience and to raise money for the charity.

I will never forget a Western Pleasure class they held. There were female and male riders all sorts of blinged out: heavily-tooled saddles with silver and black gems, sparkly shirts, suede chaps with fringe and conchos, blingy hats, sparkling bridles, etc. Horse with tail extensions, banded manes, vaseline and hoof polish, etc.

Then in rode a guy: clean-dressed with a white long-sleeved dress shirt, clean blue jeans, simple and plain brown leather smooth chaps, a tan/straw Resistol, a conditioned sorrel QH gelding with just a plain brown leather saddle and plain headstall.

The other riders in the class looked at him and brushed him off with an eye roll or scoff, but you know what? He was the best dang rider in the class. He and his horse had such a relationship that it looked like the horse could hear the judges and did what they said. The rider looked like he was riding effortlessly...you know....a "pleasure" ride.

The horse turned sharply, had smooth gaits, calm headset (not a peanut pusher,) and it looked like the two were the best of friends. The rider would smile at children near the ring, and it looked like a walk in the park.



He and his horse came in first with the others following. Then after the class, he was more than happy to talk to everyone, let kids pet his horse, pose for pictures, etc.

meaty ogre
Jun. 8, 2012, 09:07 AM
Well, mini MO and I noticed a QH show going on at the local fairgrounds so we stopped in to see what the attire trends were. There were just as many riders in plain shirts as there were in the fancy, head-to-toe bling outfits.

All of the tack was still dripping in silver - no plain saddles in sight. I don't know if plain tack will become a trend because obviously if you've already invested thousands in the blinged out saddle, you're going to stick with that.

No helmets of course but they were western classes, (horsemanship I think? They were riding patterns). I have a feeling the western pleasure classes will still be more blingy--we're going to go back Sat. and check out some more.

Attire did not affect the placings as far as I could tell, and I sat very close to the judges who appeared to be looking at the horses with only brief glances at the riders. It was funny to see 4 of them lined up with clipboards. Every time there was a blown lead change or a bobble, all 4 heads went down as their hands quickly scribbled, all in unison. I don't know if all 4 were judges or if western judges have "scribes" but they were all dressed well and all had clip boards.

I'm glad my daughter is always game to stop and watch a horse show. :) Good kid!

molly8it
Jun. 8, 2012, 03:50 PM
I'm a hunter princess at heart, but show a friend's Morgan in Western Pleasure. It has been PAINFUL to have to invest in the blingy WP stuff, but it doesn't seem to be going out of fashion in the Morgan world any time soon. :(

I had a "wardrobe malfunction" last summer and couldn't get my chaps zipped. Ended up going into my class at the state fair in jeans. We won.

meaty ogre
Jun. 8, 2012, 04:04 PM
I am trying to remember the site where I recently saw a photo of a rider showing without chaps. She had dark jeans that were very long with a decent flare at the bottom, so the same outline as chaps but no fringe. I had to look twice at the photo to realize she didn't have chaps on. It looked sharp. Of course the rider appeared to be of the same build as a victoria's secret model, which helps! :lol:

but who wants to wear full chaps when it's 90 degrees outside?

I don't think the morgan or arab people will ever give op their bling. I think those people bedazzle their underwear.

Burbank
Jun. 8, 2012, 09:49 PM
I do not bedazzle my underwear :P

laskiblue
Jun. 10, 2012, 11:50 PM
I noticed one manufacturer is giving a nod to the minimalist trend, but at $139 for a plain shirt I think they're missing the point!
http://www.showdivadesigns.com/Shirts/

I bought a fuschia shirt a couple of years ago at Target that looked just like those on clearance for $7. :lol:

Thunderkiss
Aug. 13, 2013, 12:45 AM
I LOVE the bling! Love the whole look. I love makeup and wear hair extensions frequently. Don't mind a fake tail. Love the beautiful outfits. I can't wait to order my own customs once I get into showing down the road. Just learning western pleasure now after years of english. I'm super small with implants so buying a used ready to show outfit probably won't work for me. I may fit into a youth but women's no way. There are tons of sites selling slightly used show clothes in regular sizes. Check them out. Gorgeous designs. Bling bling bling! Sewn well. If you look you will find what you need unless you are a 34D-25-32 like me ugh!

SaddleUp158
Aug. 13, 2013, 08:57 AM
I am trying to remember the site where I recently saw a photo of a rider showing without chaps. She had dark jeans that were very long with a decent flare at the bottom, so the same outline as chaps but no fringe. I had to look twice at the photo to realize she didn't have chaps on. It looked sharp. Of course the rider appeared to be of the same build as a victoria's secret model, which helps! :lol:

but who wants to wear full chaps when it's 90 degrees outside?

I don't think the morgan or arab people will ever give op their bling. I think those people bedazzle their underwear.

Haha! Yes, we Morgan people do love our bling for the western horses! I agree though, I would love to lose the chaps in the extreme heat. I have to say though, I don't know anyone who bedazzle's their underwear! :lol:

quietann
Aug. 13, 2013, 10:18 AM
Crossing over from dressage land here... I do go to Morgan shows as a spectator from time to time, and the bling gets me a bit... even though my palomino Morgan mare would look fabulous in silver.

My number one issue with the Western riders -- and riders in every other discipline for that matter -- is please, please wear a bra that supports "the girls" enough that you don't bounce at the jog/trot/whatever. And if your show shirt is a bit tight, might be time to get one slightly bigger, and/or wear supportive undergarments... I know, torture on a hot humid day, but a gapping shirt is really not attractive.

trubandloki
Aug. 13, 2013, 10:44 AM
Meaty, this is an old thread. Did you ever do this show and how did it turn out?

Willesdon
Aug. 13, 2013, 12:11 PM
Watching motorbike racing where all the riders were wearing the brightest colored leathers, there was one rider in plain black. Every time he went past on the circuit he caught my eye because he was so different. Being plain can really make you stand out!

mvp
Aug. 13, 2013, 12:52 PM
I noticed one manufacturer is giving a nod to the minimalist trend, but at $139 for a plain shirt I think they're missing the point!
http://www.showdivadesigns.com/Shirts/

FWIW, the fabric on those is thin (read: sausage casing). They are meant to be worn under something else. Same place makes a gauzy + sequin/crystals tank top or shell that you wear over this shirt to add the required bling. I think the plan was to make it cheaper to update your whole outfit each year. But it wasn't to just wear that shirt.

OTOH, girdle it up and go if you want to wear those pretty sausage shirts!

KSquared
Aug. 13, 2013, 01:59 PM
I have not read all the posts, but I wanted to add in my encouragement. I for one recall showing in a nice pair of jeans, chaps, boots and a plaid or long sleeves button down shirt and a western hat. If I ever went western again that is what I would do again. I don't think I can pull off all the bling.

I Winglish AQHA
Aug. 15, 2013, 02:47 PM
Yes OP - you can 100% show in a plain fitted shirt and black jeans and black chaps. Its actually quite the fad now :)

I have shown AQHA for 15 years and this is a very welcome change.

The ShowDiva shirts are nice being that they zip. The button down shirts tend to bunch and gap at the bust. That being said there are plenty of people making the zip front shirts for around $60 versus the $139 of Show Diva. You can try the various Facebook tack groups for them. Like Western Pleasure and Western Tack Trader. A lot of women are also using button up shirts from Victoria Secret that have a leotard type bottom. These help to elimiate the bunching and always stay tucked in.

I will say the silver ribbon tack is out. You would be better to show in plain work tack. Or a saddle with basket weave or plain floral tooling (like many of the reining saddles). The style of skirt is very different on the modern saddles versus the vintage ones. Certainly as long as your saddle fits and you are in the correct position - then I would use it and if you like the classes upgrade in the future.

Good Luck and enjoy!

Ghazzu
Aug. 15, 2013, 06:25 PM
Check this (http://americashorsedaily.com/category/horse-showing/) out
Scroll down to the August 7th entry.

reubenT
Aug. 15, 2013, 07:19 PM
I like quality in a plain package, if a judge gives any points for decoration I don't want their opinion, and I shouldn't be there.