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For all of you more, ah, "dated" riders.. care to reminisce?

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  • For all of you more, ah, "dated" riders.. care to reminisce?

    I was thinking today, as I looked over a horse book from the 1970's, how things have changed. For example, how the kids used to wear just plain old hunt caps with elastic thingies. And of course the rust breeches. And flat bridles, and none of the saddles had padded flaps. Since I wasn't born until 1985, and didn't start riding until lonnnngggg after that, I was wondering what it was like back then. What kind of saddles were "the fad"? Did Warmbloods exist in the hunters? Were the divisions/classes the same? Etc etc etc? Do tell, I'd love to know what it was like! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    Erin B #1
  • Original Poster

    I was thinking today, as I looked over a horse book from the 1970's, how things have changed. For example, how the kids used to wear just plain old hunt caps with elastic thingies. And of course the rust breeches. And flat bridles, and none of the saddles had padded flaps. Since I wasn't born until 1985, and didn't start riding until lonnnngggg after that, I was wondering what it was like back then. What kind of saddles were "the fad"? Did Warmbloods exist in the hunters? Were the divisions/classes the same? Etc etc etc? Do tell, I'd love to know what it was like! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    Erin B #1


    • #3
      Let's see-
      RUXTON, RUXTON, RUXTON- my fave hunter of all times!!!Breeding anyone?
      Prix de Saute seemed to be the saddle of choice-my first saddle was Jeffery Welles' outgrown 14"one
      hmm-yep- rust breeches
      same light glenplaid jackets, but trimmed in coordinating velvet, which OF COURSE, matched your hunt cap with the elastic thingy- if you had the brown hat & collar- brown field boots were de rigeur
      There were some rather outgoing "ladies" who rode AU NATURAL- sans bra-that is
      Underalls were all the rage then ,too- of course those rust(or gray) breeches had to be Harry Hall waffle weave- skin tight- only natural, since our jeans were ,too. Yes, men wore those same tight breeches.

      There were tack room parties- every good barn had a blender-or 2- . The Ziffs used to leave the keys in the golf carts at Culpeper- made for great fun, until you borrowed the one that was stuck turning to the right- those stalls have never been the same!!
      Same orvis
      Same hoof oil
      Same glycerin
      Same bigeloil
      better hairnets-
      OOOOH ---!!
      Guys had to wear hairnets when certain judges judged!! No flyaway locks!!
      hmmm- that is about all this old brain can remember-
      It\'s a pity life ain\'t got no warranty for times like now...


      • #4
        On the west coast we cut the elastic thingie off of the hard hat.
        Had to have a velvet collar on the hunt coat. Does any one remember the Olympic style hunt coats , circa 1974or 75? With the waist line and four brass buttons with the 2 buttons on the back sewn above the single vent? I had a flash back a couple of years ago when I saw a mauve one in a consignment tack store, that I think belonged to a friend of mine. There couldn't have been two of them. (I mean mauve hunt coats not friends). I don't let kids shopping for their first show out fit shop there with out supervision.
        Early 70's it was, yes, white harry halls. Thank goodness that didn't last long. I always had difficulty staying clean. Then we went to rust or beige, and grey in the late 70's and early 80's.
        Boots were brown field boots.
        Shirts were more colorful. I had a nice plaid one and a floral one that didn't look to bad. My trainer didn't kill me for wearing it, so it could n't have been to bad for that time.
        Sorry to ramble but I was just reminissing. I never thought at the time that the 70's would be so well out of fashion. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]


        • #5
          From this fossil, Stubben Siegfried or Stubben Lohngren saddles. Flat 1" leather bridles. Rust and brown were acceptable. Madras plaid was here or there.

          Divisions were 2'6" Warm up Hunter, 3' Novice Hunter (not rated of course), 3'3" A/A's, 3'6' A/O's, 3'6 1st Yr Gr , 3'9" 2nd Yr Gr, 4" Regular Working.

          No wussy Short/Long Stirrup, Baby Green, Hopeful anythings. You stayed home until you were ready to show at the given heights.
          \"The older I get, the better I used to be, but who the heck cares!\"


          • #6
            We didn't have A/A and no Novice, Long Stirrup, Short Stirrup, Baby or Pre Green.
            There were the Juniour Divisions, A/O, 1st and 2nd Year Green, and Regular Hunters with of course the Conformation divisions.
            Hermes, Prix de Nations, Stubbens, Passiers, Kieffers. Flat was coming in and knee rolled saddles were going out.
            The Velvet collars were coming in and round or rolled bridles were very hot.
            My mare was very small so I use to buy thin double bridles from the Saddlebred people and use part of it as a thin stitched snaffle bridle. Complete with fancy stitched cavesson. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
            Oh and I had been showing with a leather harness in my velvet hardhat since 1965.
            My mother bought me one and insisted I wear it when they first came on the market.
            I don't recall anyone showing A or knowing anything showing with the elastic under their chins. They would have been laughed at.
            Starman Babies


            • #7
              I go back to the boots that looked like Pirates boots with wide tops. Those flared britches like the motorcycle cops wear and tweed jackets, I mean real wool tweed not today's imitation tweed. Saddle was a Stubben Siegfried. Brown was in...and no helmets. More like the 40's for a time line.

              Jackie O wore the same old style britches but in yellow the last time she showed in Bedminster. And that was in the 70's.

              OH! YES!in the 70's Maiden, Novice,Limit all the hunters for horses were at 3'6" and the difference for the Maiden was really that they had never won a blue ribbon. Ponies went at 2'6" and 3'0". No Childrens, No AA, no pre-green, just Maiden, Novice and Limit for hunters and all equitation until you go to Open. One blue ribbon qualified you to ride at the Garden in the Maclay even from New Jersey. At 3'0" the ASPCA had the Henry Bergh but it was only offered at unrecognized shows.

              Classes were $5.00 each, and the show made sure that there was plenty of time between classes, Usually had one in the morning one around lunch and the last late in the afternoon. Lot's of time for fancy tail-gate parties, cocktails and making friendly conversation. We all set up lovely tables under our canopy with flowers and chairs. Imagine we even used dishes and silverware for the food we brought.

              [This message was edited by Snowbird on Dec. 20, 2000 at 02:12 AM.]
              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


              • #8
                Oh I still have my brown tweed custom made jacket.
                It is lovely. I especially adore the collar that has the piece and button to turn it up and fasten in bad weather.
                I don't have any of the olde breeches though, haha, pre velcro some of those were. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]
                Starman Babies


                • #9
                  Yep the britches were gabardine and had no stretch that's why you needed those flared hips to make room when you sat in the saddle.
                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                  • #10
                    ... 1971, when I won my jr. eq. class at Indio (back when it was held during the Riverside County Fair and the National Date Festival). The same styles popular then held for about a decade: brown Dehner field boots, longer-styled huntcoats, contrasting chokers, and my fave--- REAL sheepskin saddle pads. The pads were cut so they just outlined your saddle, and were a plain and simple sheepskin with billet straps. If you were really daring, you'd get one that was really floofy! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Warmbloods were virtually unheard of. The few that were imported were jumpers, and very old style, heavy-boned types. In fact, those were the good ol' days when a fancy-schmancy horse would beat you in the hunters and the hacks, but a kind, consistent horse that jumped in good style would earn a decent paycheck. I think there were a lot more Quarter horses and non-TB's competing and winning. I think we did a lot of riding off our eye, and getting in the exaggerated two-point out here. Trainers would line the rail and just yell to their students, "Gallop! Get your butt out of the saddle and gallop!"

                    By the early to mid-80's yes, we had the velvet collars and the rust breeches. As for riding styles, that's about when the GM two-point/crest release thing took off, at least out here.

                    Finally, in agreement with some earlier posts, there weren't any "low" classes like we have today. Hence, in general there were fewer people showing. I mean, the shows were big, but we didn't have the HUGE county level shows we have now, because there weren't any entry-level classes. You and your horse jumped 3'6" or you didn't show. Period. But no one thought much about it. I remember when the 3' Am Adult division started up, my friends and I thought, "What the heck is this? Some wussy division?" And now, of course, here I am showing in it! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]


                    • #11
                      And I still have my beloved Siegfried Stubben saddle...
                      Clean mind. Clean body. Take your pick.


                      • #12
                        Ditto the Stubben Siegfried - I loved that comfy thing! I always felt that I could ride ANYTHING in it.
                        Once you were out of ponies you went 3'6. Period!
                        OUTSIDE COURSES!!! None of that sissy counting strides stuff - you galloped down and waited.
                        Black patent tops on your boots.
                        When the weather was cooler (I grew up in Fla) you wore a tweed riding coat and a sweater. No vests, ski jackets, etc.
                        Newmarket boots in summer.
                        Headgear optional.
                        Little bow things on shirts.


                        • #13
                          Reading fancy Chronicle picture ads for made show horses that went for $2,500.

                          For you midwesterners: the Marshall Field's Custom saddle.

                          Showing a horse in hunters on Saturday that you actually took foxhunting on Wednesday.

                          Riding your showhunter at a gallop over a 3'6" course that included stone walls made of actual stone, brush that was actually growing, and rolltops that looked big enough to bank!

                          Having our "trainer" (the term wasn't really invented yet) drop a bunch of us kids off at a horseshow whereupon we tied our horses to a tree, entered our own classes, did our own braiding, jumped a couple of practice fences if we felt the need, and generally had a great time.

                          I am sure that consistency of performance is greater today, but the fun quotient is no where near what it was!

                          [This message was edited by baymare on Dec. 20, 2000 at 08:39 AM.]


                          • #14
                            What a hoot, this brings back "good old times"! Isn't it interesting how much fashion does change in a sport that is based on "tradition".


                            • #15
                              Even in the late 80s things were different than they are now- everyone wore gray breeches, solid white shirts (no stripes), and braided their horse's mane with the yarn color coordinating to their jacket. (ie, navy yarn, navy jacket) And of course that was when the ASTM approved helmets were just starting to be popular and they were VERY Large. Mushroom-like.

                              Also, in pleasure and U/S classes a LOOPY rein won, now it seems like judges like light to moderate contact in flat classes.


                              • #16
                                and the Crosby Prix de Nations. I bought my little sister a child's Prix used at Gayers in Fairfax for $90.00. Last week I saw one just like it on a consignment rack in Middleburg for $550. (They are over $1,000 new now) Hang on to those Stubbens, Crosby's, Passier's and take good care of them. They are worth more now used after 20 years of riding in them than they were to begin with.
                                "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."


                                • #17
                                  Now, Jumpsalot, you know the Welles didn't let you wear that elastic thingie anymore than George let us. You stuck it up inside your hat because if you cut it off the cut ends showed.

                                  There was a period when the cool look was to have the hunt caps match your coat and coordinate with your boots: green or brown coat with brown boots and cap; blue coat, blue hat and black boots. The coats had to be Pychtley.

                                  What was really great were the outside courses. Then you really had to gallop.
                                  'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                                  - Pablo Picasso


                                  • #18
                                    I recall going to lots of shows where the classes from each division were scattered throughout the day, not back to back like they are now. And you usually had an outside course.
                                    Man plans. God laughs.


                                    • #19
                                      Am I really the oldest person on this board? You'all remembering back when there were no A/A's? I remember when there were NO A/O's. And the first time I rode at MSG, there were no juniors! I rode small pony, my middle sister rode large pony and my oldest sister rode working hunter (4') against the adults. Those were the only hunter divisions offered in 1959! The junior divison was added in the early '60's (I rode junior there in 62 and 63 I think) I still have the programs (somewhere).

                                      And the COTH stallion issue: was a bunch of pages of rows of pictures of horses that the owners snapped themselves.... We used to have "conformation classes": first judging a horizontal row, then a vertical row and the "row" winners got into a "page winner" semi-final. Then the "page winners" went against each other for a grand winner of each stallion issue. I remember that Sea o' Erin was one of my faves.

                                      And as for favorite hunters, does anyone remember the Duke of Paenon (sp??? <---I was just a kid back then and have never learned ot spell well [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img])

                                      In the early 60's I rode my junior hunter at MSG (with Victor as my trainer) wearing an emerald green hunt coat and matching emerald green hat (See attached photo -- and think BRIGHT GREEN for the coat. And , YES, that is elastic under my chin.... My mother sewed it in to every hat we had a kids.......)

                                      Does anyone else have these same memories? (I also remember the 70's and velvet collars and velvet patches on pocket flaps. We thought we were quite good looking then..... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] )
                                      "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                      Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                                      • #20
                                        This brings back such fantastic memories. Ring side parking at shows. Great food from the volunteer "ladies". Every show had a different personality. Money in every class, seems like the prize money is unchanged since the mid-70's. No COLA's there. Beautiful trophys. I miss all that.
                                        The clothes were great. Little kids in jods. Flashy linings in our jackets. I remember the colored helmets. I had a navy hat for my navy coat & a brown one for my brown coat. And all field boots were brown. Only mounted police wore black ones.
                                        The shows were so much more low key. I guess it was just a much more simple time.