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  1. #1
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    Default Current H/J tack and clothing trend help for someone new to it

    Hi guys! I'm a life-long Saddle Seat girl dropping my older gelding down to the hunter division, and since (except for my bridle) I am starting at square one buying tack and clothing, I want to do things right the first time!

    What are the current do's and don'ts in hunter tack and clothing trends? Bearing in mind that I will be showing at Saddlebred breed shows with maybe a podunk open show or two tossed in for fun, we are probably more open to "wild" trends in clothing (I know one rider who is showing in a lovely tan-and-brown combo that I've been reliably informed would get her laughed out of an open show, but we all think is stunning on her horse), and we do have a pretty wide assortment of bridles permitted (only flat noseband though - thank goodness for that, I hate those figure 8 things)

    Tack:
    breastcollars a yes or no in a flat class?
    are full bridle's permitted at open shows?
    Fleece saddle pads?
    fleece girth covers?
    Is a brass chain inlaid brow band too much for an open show?
    White girths are permitted for us, but what about an open show?

    Clothing:
    Are dark breeches done in competition?
    length of coats?
    field boots vs. normal?

    Anything else you guys can come up with would be truly appreciated, and pictures would be welcome!



  2. #2
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    Default

    There are approximately 1.5 million threads on this already. But to answer your specific questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseShwBrat View Post

    Tack:
    breastcollars a yes or no in a flat class? No
    are full bridle's permitted at open shows? Probably not.
    Fleece saddle pads? Sure
    fleece girth covers? Ok
    Is a brass chain inlaid brow band too much for an open show? Yes
    White girths are permitted for us, but what about an open show? No

    Clothing:
    Are dark breeches done in competition? No
    length of coats? Hip length
    field boots vs. normal? Field boots
    ETA: My perspective was as if this were a USEF-type hunter/jumper show. My apologies if I misunderstood
    Last edited by ybiaw; Dec. 16, 2013 at 05:17 PM.
    Americans are just Canadians that someone fed after midnight.



  3. #3
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    Default

    I googled a quick picture of a model wearing what is considered standard show attire for the hunter/eq world:

    http://img.smartpak.com/product/300x...85_16857_B.jpg

    This Smartpak model has a dark navy/black show coat, a white snap collar show shirt (no tie or pin), tan breeches, and black field boots.


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  4. #4
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    I think you're going to find that what is appropriate for saddlebred hunter classes is wildly different than what is appropriate for USEF/open shows. You might be better off consulting someone you know who goes to the specific shows you go to.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


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  5. #5
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    Unless you are taking your horse to a hunter show you are going to want to show in breed-appropriate tack and apparel, even at open shows. The horses are typically judged together but according to their breed type and the fashions/conventions should follow that. Since you show on the breed circuit I'm sure you already know the basics: a velvet hunt cap with hair in a low bun (no show bow), much more variation in hunt coat colors (traditional navy is still acceptable but the idea is to choose the color that most complements your horse's coat - ie olive green with a chestnut, tan/brown with a bay, grey with a block) and pretty much everyone wears a colored shirt. Tan breeches, whatever field boots, whatever tack. In the arabian hunters, at least, breastplates are used 99% of the time to complete the picture. I've never seen anyone use a girth cover. The most common bit for Arabs and most Saddlebreds I've seen is a kimberwicke.

    If you're actually going to a H/J show see the responses above.

    I showed occasionally showed a couple of Arabs at open shows growing up. Loved the road hack classes.


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  6. #6
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    I'm coming at this from the perspective of showing Morgans in both Morgan shows and open hunter-jumper shows.

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseShwBrat View Post
    Tack:
    breastcollars a yes or no in a flat class? Yes for breed shows; for open shows, no
    are full bridle's permitted at open shows? Technically, yes... but it is very rare and will likely not do you any favors. You would be better off switching to a Pelham.
    Fleece saddle pads? In my day, no for Morgan/ASB, but this seems to be changing and you will see both white and black pad. Yes for open.
    fleece girth covers? Only if needed
    Is a brass chain inlaid brow band too much for an open show? Yes
    White girths are permitted for us, but what about an open show? If it's a string/Mohair girth, sure, but again, not very common. Definitely no patent. In all situations, you're better off sticking with leather.

    Clothing:
    Are dark breeches done in competition? For Morgans/ASB, yes - and it makes me gag. Just don't do it. And NEVER done in open HJ shows.
    length of coats? Hip, give or take a bit
    field boots vs. normal? Field

    Anything else you guys can come up with would be truly appreciated, and pictures would be welcome!
    Anything else:
    - Dress boots would be correct with a shadbelly (this would most likely apply to you for evening classes or championships for rail classes) - breed circuit people will do dress boots with patent or cordovan tops, but this is not correct unless you have earned your colors with a hunt. And cordovan is really not correct for women, period. And if you *do* wear formal attire, PLEASE keep it actually formal and don't sport lavender or lime green vest points and stock ties. And no low-rise breeches with a shad.

    - If you tie on your number HJ-style at a breed show, it will confuse people and they will tell you your number is falling off.

    Same horse/rider, three different class-appropriate turnouts -

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	53182_524523330269_3829063_o.jpg 
Views:	797 
Size:	20.3 KB 
ID:	39157Morgan Hunter Pleasure: Horse in double bridle, breastplate, and sans saddle pad; rider in hunt cap.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	28503_520865350889_257211_n.jpg 
Views:	416 
Size:	14.1 KB 
ID:	39155Morgan Hunter Pleasure Championship (class held in the evening): Horse is in a double bridle, breastplate, and sans saddle pad; rider in shadbelly and top hat.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	55031_524523594739_6115135_o.jpg 
Views:	657 
Size:	15.5 KB 
ID:	39156Hunter under saddle: Horse is going in a Pelham and no breastplate and is wearing a shaped white fleece pad; rider is wearing helmet.

    AAAANNDD for comparison -
    ASB Hunter Country Pleasure: http://www.caseymcbridephotography.c...4-023-13DC.JPG
    Last edited by pattnic; Dec. 17, 2013 at 09:27 AM.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  7. #7
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    I am a Saddlebred trainer and here are the trends I see and some of my opionions:

    Only use a breastcollar if it actually fits your horse and matches your tack. If it doesn't fit you horse well or doesn't match, skip it.

    Fleece saddle pad, yes. Shaped pad, definitely not square! And get the right size and shape for your particular pad, they come in many sizes and shapes.

    Fleece girth cover NO, unless you absolutely need to use one on your horse to prevent a girth gall. Also do not use a white saddle seat girth. Get a brown leather girth that matches your saddle.

    Brass clincher browbands look too "dressagey" to me, plain ones are more huntery.

    You will see a few peeps showing hunt with dark breeches (darker than their coats even). I think it's a horrible look.

    A regular off the rack coat will be the right length. Yes, much short than the coats you are used to. Invest in good, side zip Tailored Sportman or Ariat show breeches (not low rise please!) because yes, people will see your butt and thighs and they will look better in high quality breeches. But stick with some shade of tan, beige, or khaki for the breeches, IMO other colored breeches stand out in a bad way.

    Any color hunt coat is fine, but just like with saddle suits navy is the overwhelmingly most popular color. Contrasting collars, velvet collars, piping also all fine if that floats your boat. Any color shirt is fine, and monogram or stock pin, whatever.

    Field boots are more popular. If you wear dress boots no one will care.

    If you are doing the Saddle & Bridle class that can include a jump (although that class may be changing) you need to wear a certified helmet, not a hunt cap. Helmets vs. hunt caps in other classes are about 50-50.

    You definitely see buns, not "hunter hair".


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  8. #8
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    pattnic at Saddlebred show you can not wear a shadbelly in hunter pleasure classes, that is a Morgan thing.



  9. #9
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    Also if you choose to do hunter pleasure in a full bridle at a Saddlebred show use a dressage style curb bit, a saddle seat curb bit is technically illegal and should get you disqualified (although judges' enforcement of that rules seems spotty). Make sure you read the tack and attire rules for the class in the current rulebook.

    Also on bits full bridles are most common at Saddlebred shows on hunters, followed by Pelhams. Kimberwickes and Snaffles are equally seen after that. If you use a Pelham you must use two reins (using a single rein or a converter is illegal). A full bridle might get you an odd look or cost you a ribbon at a podunk open show.

    This photographer has the proofs for St. Louis (where the National Championships for Saddlebred Hunter Pleasure are held) http://www.howardschatzberg.com/
    Last edited by Renae; Dec. 16, 2013 at 06:41 PM.



  10. #10
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    One last note- practice braiding! I see a lot of horribly braided hunters at local/regional level Saddlebred shows.

    Manes:
    You can not do a running braid much in advance and have it look good until the end of the class. I prefer to do a running braid as the last thing before I bridle, and I try not to let the horse put its head all the way ground once the mane is braided (doing so pulls it loose). Do the braid as tight to the horse's crest as possible.

    There are a few horses showing with pulled manes and hunter braids, the rules do allow you to do that.

    Tails:
    I have never seen more horribly braided tails than at some Saddlebred shows! The offenses are too fat of a braid and not braiding far enough down the tail. A good tail braid is rather small and very tight. You also want to go well past the point of the buttocks, look up pictures to see what looks nice.

    Professional braiders are generally not available at Saddlebred shows, one of those things you need to learn to do yourself or make sure you know someone who does know how! I have taught several fellow trainers and grooms how to braid.


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  11. #11
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    Wait when did pins go out of style? I always have a pin on my collar. I know for a while it was monograms and not pins but I didn't have a monogramed show shirt so I just went with the stock pin. But is nothing the trend now? I show at local open shows and everyone is very casual so I don't usually have time to braid, and it's okay so I'm sure I'm overthinking a stock pin haha. But I had no idea that changed again!



  12. #12
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    Oh and I loved the pics of the different attire for different classes - that was really great to see.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renae View Post
    pattnic at Saddlebred show you can not wear a shadbelly in hunter pleasure classes, that is a Morgan thing.
    Fascinating. Why is that? It's also an Arab thing, for some divisions.

    OP, Ranae hit the nail on the head for just about everything - no surprise there! She's *absolutely* right about the braiding!!! Practice! (I've seen some pretty frightful braids at Morgan shows, too).
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.


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  14. #14
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    At Arab shows you can only wear a shadbelly in Show Hack (where dressage tack and apparel are used).



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renae View Post
    At Arab shows you can only wear a shadbelly in Show Hack (where dressage tack and apparel are used).
    I still maintain that one should not wear low rise breeches or lime green vest points with a shadbelly.

    (I'm assuming, however, that people showing in dressage tack and apparel would have better taste than that. I am just still so traumatized over seeing such things that I feel I *have* to post warnings against it! )
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.


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  16. #16
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    Thank you everyone! And my apologies, didn't realize there were so many other threads like this.

    As Renae said, Shadbelly is absolutely not permitted for our hunt class, although if I were going that route I'd do it right and have one made and wear it with a real vest - so many shadbelly's with the points incorporated look so tacky to me because they shift and show the shirt underneath. If you spent 50K+ for a horse, go spend the extra $100 or so for a proper vest!

    Renae - I'm on the Ohio circuit, so I'm already pretty familiar with what's legal or not tack-wise, looking more for style advice here. I'm a big girl (6 ft, size 20), and I'm scared witless at moving away from the security blanket of my black suit for light pants! Thinking about doing an all-grey color scheme - charcoal jacket, lighter pants, and black boots to go with my white-gray horse.

    Also, I've got a professional braider friend who is going to come to the first few shows and teach me to braid properly, so no worries there (not to mention good ole' YouTube giving me ideas to try out over the winter to see what I like.



  17. #17
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    Dress boots are always correct. Field boots with a shadbelly are wrong in so many ways (but popular with the current generation of bigwigs in hunterland)...
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  18. #18
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    Like I said above I'm not real fond of breeches not in the tan/khaki/beige family, I think it's a hard look to pull off. I don't think it looks so swell when people try to "match" their breeches to their hunt coat. Think of your hunt coat like a day coat and pick breeches that provide a nice contrast or are in the same color family but not so close that it looks like you tried to match the colors but didn't quite do it lol

    But this may look nice (or maybe isn't your taste at all!)
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/welling...at/p/X1-40472/ in the black w/ silver lining
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/comfort...es/p/X1-35258/ in dark grey
    http://www.smartpakequine.com/rj-cla...martpak-10313p in blue
    I would maybe try a grey helmet with the look (you know how us in the saddle seat world usually match out derby to our jods when wearing a day coat )

    Or if you decide to go all out on your hunt outfit and go the custom route there is always http://www.showseason.com/hunt/ (caution "real" hunter folks there are things pictured there that may make you light headed and needing your smelling salts!)



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ82Sky View Post
    Wait when did pins go out of style? I always have a pin on my collar. I know for a while it was monograms and not pins but I didn't have a monogramed show shirt so I just went with the stock pin. But is nothing the trend now? I show at local open shows and everyone is very casual so I don't usually have time to braid, and it's okay so I'm sure I'm overthinking a stock pin haha. But I had no idea that changed again!
    As far as I know pins went out pretty permanently over 15 years ago when I was still a junior*. The reason give to us was "they could be dangerous" versus a style reason. As far as I remember they went out a couple years before all juniors were required to wear certified helmets**. We weren't allowed to wear them at all but I don't know if that was trainer or show or judge or USEF or what. Definitely wore them on a plain white shirt as a kid in the 90s.

    *Of course clear plastic belts tinted a variety of colors with a blingy rhinestone buckle, green TS and monogrammed pastel show shirts (matching your belt!) were in, closely followed by GPAs with stripes so...

    **Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth over that one! The biggest complaint was BUBBLE Head! Ugh! (I already had a certifed one because my parents weren't horse people and saw it was an option and "We only buy certified ones for bikes and surely jumping horses is more dangerous so you will wear one young lady!")


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  20. #20
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    I haven't shown really in a long long time and I am also learning about the new "trends" going on...

    Is it just me... or does anyone else think the new "Snap" collar shirts look like the old style shirts where the collar wasn't put on right and the back slipped to the front on accident because of it?? They just don't look "right" to me...



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