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Official Tack and Attire Rules

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  • Can'tFindMyWhip
    started a topic Official Tack and Attire Rules

    Official Tack and Attire Rules

    The only rule book that I have been able to find for the hunter ring is this document:
    https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/kW5W...unter-division

    There is a whopping one and a half pages devoted to tack and attire. I thought the hunter ring had really ridgid rules, but where are they? Am I missing something? Are they all unspoken?

    I come from years and years of competing in dressage where your equipment is legal, or it is not. So I was expecting to find similarly set in stone guidelines for the hunter ring.


  • Can'tFindMyWhip
    replied
    Originally posted by Haylter View Post

    BUT remember the horse is being judged, best round should win...rider should not distract in any way is THE GOLDEN written RULE. So anything unusual could be considered a distraction...so if you feel the traditional hair is ssssoooo not your style or whatever go play in the other sandbox. You are more than welcome in this sand box, just don't be surprised or offended if there are a few wide eyes and loose lips if you bend the unwritten rules. Why do dressage riders show in buns?? Not being snarky but it is the same question...probably just tradition.
    The HORSE is being judged, yeah? So I am going to play in the sandbox that my horse is best suited to, thanks.

    Riding in helmets was initially met with a ton of resistance, because it wasn't traditional. I understand that "crash helmets" aren't elegant, but eventually people accepted that perhaps some traditions should be forsaken to improve safety. I predict that is what will happen with hunter hair.

    My aversion to stuffing all of my hair into my helmet has nothing to do with wanting to be a rebel, or wanting to look like a DQ in the hunter ring. It has to do with the fit of my helmet, and I will politely explain that to anyone who feels the need to tell me how I should be doing my hair.

    Believe me, next time I am horse shopping, I will find something with enough blood for the jumper ring instead. So don't worry, I won't be making a scene for too long


    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
    I think I remember hearing that Pony Club kids can't have any metal pins or clips in their hair for safety reasons? Now dressage riders rarely fall off in competition, but jumpers do all the time so having a bid ole clip on bow and snood right there on the nape of your neck is perhaps not a great idea for hunters or jumpers.
    I don’t know about the current Pony Club requirement, but when I took my helmet to the Charles Owen booth at Capital Challenge a couple of years ago, the nice lady there told me that it was a bad idea to have a barrette or clip of any kind holding your hair up under your hat. Both for safety reasons and because it would affect the fit of the helmet. So basically, she was telling me that I have been doing it wrong my whole life!

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    I think I remember hearing that Pony Club kids can't have any metal pins or clips in their hair for safety reasons? Now dressage riders rarely fall off in competition, but jumpers do all the time so having a bid ole clip on bow and snood right there on the nape of your neck is perhaps not a great idea for hunters or jumpers.

    I can't find this requirement online right now, though, so perhaps I imagined it or it was in some Pony Club manual from 1962 or something.

    Leave a comment:


  • Haylter
    replied
    Originally posted by MHM View Post
    ^ Black stirrups are no longer a cause for elimination in equitation. Just in case anyone is trying to learn the rules from this thread.

    From the USEF rule book:

    EQ 105.6. When showing in the Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation section it is recommended that riders use traditional stainless steel stirrup irons that promote proper position of the foot in the iron as well as a correct leg position. It is further recommended that riders use stirrup irons that allow judges a clear and unobstructed view of the position of the foot in the stirrup. Judges may not eliminate a rider for using a particular style of stirrup iron.
    Right and black on black could legitimately be considered NOT a clear unobstructed view of (black) foot in (black) stirrup even though "black" is not specifically mentioned. There are just traditions/norms/unwritten and rules....sure you should not technically be disqualified for not following them BUT remember the horse is being judged, best round should win...rider should not distract in any way is THE GOLDEN written RULE. So anything unusual could be considered a distraction...so if you feel the traditional hair is ssssoooo not your style or whatever go play in the other sandbox. You are more than welcome in this sand box, just don't be surprised or offended if there are a few wide eyes and loose lips if you bend the unwritten rules. Why do dressage riders show in buns?? Not being snarky but it is the same question...probably just tradition.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mac123
    replied
    Originally posted by bangboombaby View Post

    Can I hang out with you? It sounds like you're having fun. Then there could be two of us with hunter hair and shaped pads.
    YES PLEASE!! It is fun! Low-key miles for my mare and the people are so nice. They're amazed at a warmblood, and she's got a fan group. It's fun to do something different. Plus, total show entries for three classes (trophies + ribbons through 5th place) is.....$32!

    Leave a comment:


  • Dewey
    replied
    Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post

    I must have totally missed that thread :P
    I think it was last year...? I'm not good at using the forum search feature. I seem to remember that CoTH put out an article on concussions and helmet safety, and a famous rider or trainer or someone stated in response that the helmets were safer with the hair outside...or something like that. I don't remember. But some posters here got upset and vehemently said that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that helmet safety was affected by hair inside.

    If anyone can find the thread or remember how the discussion went down, that would be great. Otherwise, you'll have to accept my probably-very-imperfect memory!

    Leave a comment:


  • bangboombaby
    replied
    Originally posted by Mac123 View Post

    When I show up at the open shows to do English Pleasure, my hunter hair and shaped pad stick out against a sea of show bows and pads with the number pockets. It's never prevented me from winning, but I also know I stick out. I'm okay with that because I'm just going to have fun, but if I were trying to win in a more competitive atmosphere? I'd buy a show bow () and a hunter pad with a number window.
    Can I hang out with you? It sounds like you're having fun. Then there could be two of us with hunter hair and shaped pads.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mac123
    replied
    There's norms and conventions in every discipline. Why is it always the hunters that are bashed for having them?

    As you've pointed out, there's a very small list of things that will break the rules. Whether you then conform to traditions and style so you don't stick out is up to you.

    If I showed up in a shaped fuzzy hunter-type pad with my hair up in my helmet hunter-style and in brown hunter tack, I'd stick out in the dressage ring.

    When I show up at the open shows to do English Pleasure, my hunter hair and shaped pad stick out against a sea of show bows and pads with the number pockets. It's never prevented me from winning, but I also know I stick out. I'm okay with that because I'm just going to have fun, but if I were trying to win in a more competitive atmosphere? I'd buy a show bow () and a hunter pad with a number window.

    If I showed in the western classes at those open shows in my helmet, I'd stick out.

    It's no different than entering an appaloosa in a dressage show. *Should* it matter? No, but we all know judges have preferences and have an idea of a "look" that they want to see.

    Could I do karate just as well in yoga clothes? I'm sure I could. But that sport has a tradition of wearing their...karate outfits...and I'm sure I would be judged differently if I chose to wear my yoga pants.

    Your first impression as you walk in the ring is what sticks. Subconsciously or not, maliciously or not, a judge notices when someone enters the ring and looks different. They will be more likely to pay attention and notice things (and if you give them 8 perfect jumps and changes out of a quiet cadence and perfect rhythm, they'll use you). When you enter the ring looking the part and the style, you inherently show "I know what I'm doing here," and the judge may not look as hard. The whole concept of hunters is to blend in and showcase your horse. Though not intentional, breaking stylistic norms will draw attention to you.

    Mohawk the mane (an inch long isn't a roach) and wear your hair however you want it. You won't be disqualified. But it is human nature to notice that, and as in every other discipline, it's unrealistic to say it doesn't play some part - if for no other reason it indicates you may be newer to the sport or cause the judge to pay attention because it looks different.

    If that is too offensive, play in the jumper ring, where you can wear a variety of things and not be penalized in any way since it's an objective sport.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post

    I wear a bun with a cover in conjunction with an approved helmet for dressage every time I compete and I see other people wearing a similar get up all of the time. In fact, the only people I know who don't wear a bun cover and a helmet are people with too little hair to make a bun. I don't see how it would be an issue in the hunter ring.

    Granted, finding pictures is a challenge because most people take pictures of their faces, and not the backs of their heads. But I assure you that buns with a helmet are common. I can't imagine that something like this (sans rhinestones and satin) would be a problem: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv3vElAn..._web_copy_link
    that is messy, I must say. I don't know if the judge could see it, but it is still messy.

    I think the bling bun cover plus the fly away bits is a bit off putting. The Messy Updo with bespangled formal wear hasn't really entered the riding world yet.

    That said, I've often wondered why there is such emphasis on Super Tidy Tucked In for all riding sports, but especially the English disciplines. I've decided that it must be because in reality, you never feel clean cool well pressed when you are around horses. You always feel a bit grubby and sweaty after about 2 minutes at the barn.

    So equestrian style is trying to counter that feeling by overdoing the tucked in and tidy look! The look you are presenting is very different from how you feel.

    Leave a comment:


  • EVneo
    replied
    Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post
    I understand that bling is not allowed, and I'm not about to wear a big ole scrunchie either. In dressage people like to do big, poofy buns that often involve rolling the hair up in a sock to increase the size. I get it, you all don't want that. I think the bun in general doesn't work well with Charles Owen's helmet design (as pictured). But luckily I don't own one of those. And I didn't try too hard to find a picture that would be appropriate of a 'do in the hunter ting.

    The correct way to put a helmet on is to make contact with your forehead and the scoop it back. Hunters seem to always bend over, catch all their hair with the helmet and then do this super dramatic shoving motion to get it in place as they stand back up. I'm not doing it. If the judge thinks that I am doing my hair differently for any other reason than being able to wear my helmet the way it is meant to be worn, than I don't really care. I'm just glad that they won't eliminate me for that.
    I event and do dressage, but dabble in schooling jumpers since our area is chock full of H/Js. I personally can't stand the blingy snoods and either roll my hair into a tight bun, put the hairnet on over all of it then wrap a small navy scrunchie (helmet is navy) around it. When my hair is shorter, I do pigtail braids, wrap them across the nape of my neck and pin, then put my hairnet on. The latter gives the look of having your hair tucked up. albeit when I do jumpers, it's def schooling and not hunters, but I've never had anyone comment on my bun and lil scrunchie.

    Leave a comment:


  • RainWeasley
    replied
    Originally posted by Dewey View Post

    There was a long, contentious thread on this topic fairly recently. Yes--general consensus seems to be that helmets fit better and are safer without hair stuffed inside. However, many in H/J are resistant to other alternatives of wearing hair. Some folks insist that their helmets' safety isn't compromised with hair inside because of X or Y.

    My coach (who has been training hunter and equitation riders for many years) and I have talked about this. I have short hair, so I'm not personally affected, but lots of her riders still stuff wads of hair inside helmets. She is familiar with the arguments against that practice and feels that they are valid. I've noticed that she no longer (as she once did) orders anyone to put hair inside a helmet. But she confesses that she prefers that traditional look and doesn't tell riders not to do it, either. I think that's where a lot of people in the H/J world are on this topic.
    I must have totally missed that thread :P

    And I could understand that, liking the traditional look. I have a ton of friends that ride Western and don't like wearing helmets period. I don't necessarily agree but they are adults and can make their own decisions. I guess same would go for this, if people want to then that's their business! Who knows, one day it might start becoming more fashionable to wear a bun.

    Personally, I feel like it would drive me crazy to have my hair in my helmet, I feel like it would make it super hot and sweaty. But I have ridiculously thick hair.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dewey
    replied
    Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post
    I don't do hunters, so sorry for my ignorance, but isn't it frowned upon now in general to wear your hair up in the helmet? It makes the helmet not as effective if you fall and hit your head. If you really didn't want to wear your hair in the helmet for that reason, I feel like that would be a good reason to just do a bun or the braid hidden down your jacket (wonder how that would look though, I picture a bit of a lump going down your back if you have long hair!).
    There was a long, contentious thread on this topic fairly recently. Yes--general consensus seems to be that helmets fit better and are safer without hair stuffed inside. However, many in H/J are resistant to other alternatives of wearing hair. Some folks insist that their helmets' safety isn't compromised with hair inside because of X or Y.

    My coach (who has been training hunter and equitation riders for many years) and I have talked about this. I have short hair, so I'm not personally affected, but lots of her riders still stuff wads of hair inside helmets. She is familiar with the arguments against that practice and feels that they are valid. I've noticed that she no longer (as she once did) orders anyone to put hair inside a helmet. But she confesses that she prefers that traditional look and doesn't tell riders not to do it, either. I think that's where a lot of people in the H/J world are on this topic.

    Leave a comment:


  • ecileh
    replied
    I think it's a matter of what level you're going to be doing in the hunters. If you're starting off in the local, unrated stuff, you will be fine in conservative attire and tack. If you're jumping right to the A circuit, you're going to have more chances at success if you conform.

    Leave a comment:


  • RainWeasley
    replied
    I don't do hunters, so sorry for my ignorance, but isn't it frowned upon now in general to wear your hair up in the helmet? It makes the helmet not as effective if you fall and hit your head. If you really didn't want to wear your hair in the helmet for that reason, I feel like that would be a good reason to just do a bun or the braid hidden down your jacket (wonder how that would look though, I picture a bit of a lump going down your back if you have long hair!).

    Leave a comment:


  • Can'tFindMyWhip
    replied
    I understand that bling is not allowed, and I'm not about to wear a big ole scrunchie either. In dressage people like to do big, poofy buns that often involve rolling the hair up in a sock to increase the size. I get it, you all don't want that. I think the bun in general doesn't work well with Charles Owen's helmet design (as pictured). But luckily I don't own one of those. And I didn't try too hard to find a picture that would be appropriate of a 'do in the hunter ting.

    The correct way to put a helmet on is to make contact with your forehead and the scoop it back. Hunters seem to always bend over, catch all their hair with the helmet and then do this super dramatic shoving motion to get it in place as they stand back up. I'm not doing it. If the judge thinks that I am doing my hair differently for any other reason than being able to wear my helmet the way it is meant to be worn, than I don't really care. I'm just glad that they won't eliminate me for that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daventry
    replied
    Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post

    I wear a bun with a cover in conjunction with an approved helmet for dressage every time I compete and I see other people wearing a similar get up all of the time. In fact, the only people I know who don't wear a bun cover and a helmet are people with too little hair to make a bun. I don't see how it would be an issue in the hunter ring.

    Granted, finding pictures is a challenge because most people take pictures of their faces, and not the backs of their heads. But I assure you that buns with a helmet are common. I can't imagine that something like this (sans rhinestones and satin) would be a problem: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv3vElAn..._web_copy_link
    This would be a problem in the hunter ring. It is perfectly acceptable and common attire in dressage...but not in the hunter show ring. Dressage is not hunters, just like western pleasure is not dressage. I don't know that a judge would actually deduct points for wearing a show bun in the hunter ring, but it would work as a beacon and suggest to the judge that the rider might not be educated in regards to the traditions and way of going in the hunter ring.

    Leave a comment:


  • McGurk
    replied
    I would not wear my hair as pictured, and I doubt you'll see anyone at a hunter show with a similar arrangement, but all of this depends on your tolerance or lack of tolerance for bucking the norm.

    If the concern is helmet fit, I think a braid concealed under your jacket would be a better route to go than the blingy bun.

    ETA: In looking at the Instagram photo, the placement of the bun looks like it interferes with the helmet harness. I'm not sure that's an improvement over the fit change of wearing your hair up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Can'tFindMyWhip
    replied
    Originally posted by 541hunter View Post
    I've worked at the back gate at a number of shows, from WCHR to local shows that state they follow USEF/USHJA rules, and occasionally get calls from the judge (via the announcer) to let a competitor know their tack/attire/something is the reason they're eliminated or out of the ribbons. Those reasons are almost always:

    -Forgot to pull polos/boots before entering the ring
    -Sun visor still on helmet
    -Visibly wearing radio/cell phone on their belt
    -Black stirrups in the equitation
    -Not following formal attire guidelines for night classes as is laid out in the show's prize list
    -OCCASIONALLY rider wearing boots/half chaps at a rated show**
    -Illegal bit (gag, bit guards, etc) or noseband (flash left on from schooling)

    Never has a judge commented to me about how a rider wears their hair, the color of their breeches (as long as it's allowed in the rules), the shape of their bit (eggbutt vs D-ring vs full cheek vs loose ring) or the brand of their saddle.

    That being said, it's easy to watch riders walk up to the schooling ring and see who knows the unwritten rules and who doesn't, which often (but not always) correlates with who is better prepared. A good judge (particularly at the local level or in a lower level class at a rated show) can look past less conventional turnout in the case of a good trip, and top-notch turnout will never mask a crappy round. My personal opinion is if i'm going to spend the money to show, I'd rather not risk giving a poor first impression, particularly if it's a cheap fix like a $20 fleece shaped pad or a $2 hairnet.

    **Edit: it looks like this is no longer a rule, so nevermind!
    Thank you, this is exactly the kind of feedback that I was looking for!

    Leave a comment:


  • Can'tFindMyWhip
    replied
    Originally posted by bangboombaby View Post
    Judges will find those fly-aways by her ears very distracting. The bun might send them over the edge. A hairnet is cheap and keeps your hair neat. Personally I'd say do whatever you want. People will look at you and perhaps laugh but who cares? I rode a paint in A hunters as a child in the 90's and I was made fun of by everyone including my awful trainer. I didn't care. It was fun to show.
    Not to worry, I am from New Jersey and I know how to beat fly aways into submission.

    Leave a comment:

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