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Everybody looks alike - spinoff from horse myths

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  • Everybody looks alike - spinoff from horse myths

    One byproduct of all these unwritten rules for the hunter ring is that everyone looks the same.

    I have a photo of 3 classmates and myself at a horse show back in the 70s. We took most of the ribbons in a big hunter under saddle class: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. We all wore different color hunt coats: green, tan, navy, and black. That was when the colored chokers were in and we each had different colors/patterns to coordinate with our coats. The horses were all different colors, too - gray, dark brown/black, bay, and chestnut. I have no memory of there being a strict set of unwritten rules about appearance like there is today.

    All the manes were braided on the right, though.

    But I don't see that kind of variety much in the show ring today. I guess I can understand the benefit to dressing exactly like everyone else and having your horse turned out exactly like the others. I mean, at that point, the only differences between the horses and riders is performance, and that's what the judging is supposed to be focused on.

    I haven't stepped foot in a show ring in several years and haven't shown a hunter in decades, so I don't really have an opinion. I'm just glad that now days they have very low level jumpers for me and my polo shirt.

    And I can't wait to read Daventry's article.

    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson

  • #2
    Your post brought back so many memories! My first white shirt was for Dressage. All of my H/J shirts were a variety of colors and patterns.

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    • #3
      I expect that as a discipline gets more expensive and more focussed on winning, people will self select to do the things that appear to be most rewarded. Everyone can end up deciding a bay gelding and a navy blue coat is the "safest" choice. It's like wearing a very conservative suit to a job interview. It might not be decisive but why risk it? The clothes are the one thing that you can entirely control.

      Also hunters is highly populated by juniors, and teen girls have a horror of not looking right. The rumors about what's OK sounds exactly like what teen girls say about appearance ( trying to remember what brand of jeans and cigarettes "meant you were a slut" in 1976 but mercifully the fog of time has blurred that detail.

      Now in lower level dressage there seem to be middle age returning riders who are starting to embrace colored pads and jackets and rhinestone studded gear because, darn it, they are paying good money for this horse stuff, they want to express themselves, and you only live once.

      That is the hard earned lesson of experience. Pursue it to its end, though, and you become a Red Hat Lady ( anyone remember that cultural moment?).



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      • #4
        For all the people with a horror of black tack in the hunter or jumper rings-- in the UK, the horror is of brown tack. Well, horror is probably too strong a word to describe the UK reaction, it is more of a "tut" ( it is all understated) but brown tack just *is* *not* *done* and if you have it, you are going to get side eye. If nothing more. Americans with their brown tack are seen as sort of barbaric.
        A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli

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        • #5
          If only hunter fads nd conformity could all be blamed on teenaged girls
          Let me apologize in advance.

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          • #6
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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            • #7
              But my point was in dressage, low level ammies seem to be cautiously embracing bling. When they are by no means the best, and know that, and figure: if not now, then when? for the rhinestones.

              And dressage has been just as traditional as hunters with the whole black and white outfit until very recently.

              I have nothing to do with hunters but I actually really like the traditional style and the high quality brown tack. I like how brown leather ages compared to.black. But fates and second hand shopping gave given me black jump and dressage saddles and therefore black bridles.

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              • #8
                The only fad that ever and still bothers me is the half pad fad. Maybe it's regional. I bought a shimmable thin line to help with saddle fit until I had money to get a new saddle fitted to my mare. One saddle fitter actually fit the saddle to her with the half pad. Umm no. That is not how this works! Yes I own a half pad, no I don't want a saddle fitted so I have to use it.

                Like scribbler, fates handed me black tack. I got a screaming good deal on a Bobby's bridle that is cut back from the ears. At the time I could only find $$$$ brown bridles and then, I didn't like the reins, or I didn't like the noseband. So I lived with mismatched tack (a huge peeve of mine) until I could get a new saddle. So I bought a black saddle because I cannot live with mismatched tack!

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                • #9
                  Curious.. 'bling' is still in fashion in the hunter ring?

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                  • #10
                    I evented for years on a succession of unrelated chestnuts with blazes and chrome. My non horsey BFF commented when I finally got a bay that I must be ready for a change since I'd had the last horse since 9th grade. I guess he'd always thought they were all the same horse.

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                    • #11
                      Some people use half pads for reasons beyond saddle fit, I don't think think that's a fad that's going anywhere.
                      Let me apologize in advance.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                        Some people use half pads for reasons beyond saddle fit, I don't think think that's a fad that's going anywhere.
                        I agree, but it would be nice to be asked WHY I was using the half pad.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                          Some people use half pads for reasons beyond saddle fit, I don't think think that's a fad that's going anywhere.
                          Now I'm curious - what other reasons beside saddle fit are there to use a half pad?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BigMama1 View Post

                            Now I'm curious - what other reasons beside saddle fit are there to use a half pad?
                            Because sometimes you have one or two that are still very white and very nice, and I just don't want to go and shell out hundreds of unnecessary dollars for new pads that aren't needed! Plus....I like them! I have short legs and prefer the look of less sheepskin around my saddle, the half pad fits the bill nicely...personal preference!
                            I have cancer but cancer doesn’t have me!

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                            • #15
                              Improved comfort and performance, Big Mama for horse and/or rider. I use a thinline pads


                              ?https://www.thinlineglobal.com/about...nd-rider-backs

                              ??????
                              Let me apologize in advance.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by eclipse View Post

                                Because sometimes you have one or two that are still very white and very nice, and I just don't want to go and shell out hundreds of unnecessary dollars for new pads that aren't needed! Plus....I like them! I have short legs and prefer the look of less sheepskin around my saddle, the half pad fits the bill nicely...personal preference!
                                I like them, too. Specifically with my brick-house BWP mare- I think I have more "connection" with my leg on her. Could be my imagination.

                                Either way- the article will be interesting. As long as people weren't cherry picked. Off the top of my head- I can generally think of 3-4 horse professionals to support or not the topic of the day.

                                A judge from the East, Mid, West, a younger and an older judge would make for interesting reading. A few close friends - maybe not so much.
                                Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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                                • #17
                                  A thin, shock absorbing half pad can help a horse work better over its back even when the saddle fits well. And frankly, it is key for my bad back, whether I can walk straight or not. I have a pinched nerve and need some help.

                                  I love my invictus half pad.

                                  however, recent trends of everyone in black and navy with white shirts will go away too. I think it started because the cool modern tech fabrics were only available in those colors. As that expands, coat options will too. Things like subtle plaid and herringbone must be hard to do with stretchy fabric.

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                                  • #18
                                    Remember when it was important to know what chinstrap was in style? At one point it needed to be very loose and clear, and then the next year it would be very loose and leather. Usually always extremely loose because safety, who? The chinstraps were connected to the helmet with snaps so it was easy to interchange the in-style strap.

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                                    • #19
                                      I forgot about the clear plastic chin straps! God they were uncomfortable in the heat - mine always gave me hives!

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                                      • #20
                                        I am, and have always been, the one in the amateur hunter ring with a charcoal gray coat and a pink shirt. Love the combo. It's sort of become my trademark. I have always known that if I didn't get a ribbon, it's because I made a bigger error than wearing a pastel shirt.

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