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Any new trends spotted at Congress?

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  • Any new trends spotted at Congress?

    So, to those of you who have gone or have been watching via live feed...

    See anything new? More forward/natural movement? Any evidence the ban on bumper bits and other harsh tack is paying off? Did you spot any "plain" show clothing or tack?

    Oh, and link us to pictures or videos if you can so those of us who can't make it can live vicariously! Thanks!

  • #2
    The new equipment in the warm up pens doesn't go into effect until after Congress ends.

    In watching bits and pieces there are more pleasure horses that I think are going better, especially in the 2 & 3 year old classes...not all certainly, but more than in the past.

    There have been quite a few riders with the minimalist look (plain tailored shirt & scarf) in the trail and western riding...and there will probably be a couple in the horsemanships. Will have to wait and see what is the norm in the Youth and Amateur Pleasures, but will probably be dominated by bling.
    The best little horse show series around! www.WinningWeekends.com

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    • #3
      A personal observation from watching the live feed....the saddle blankets appear to be shorter in length and longer on each side in the Western Pleasure classes.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I'm having fun procrastinating by looking through Jeff Kirkbride's website (official Congress photog).

        I have seen:
        2 Kids wearing helmets! (BRAVO parents!!)
        Lots of plain shirts with a scarf...there does seem to be some bling backlash.

        Noticed that a winner in one of the trail classes had dark tack and romel reins. Personally, I think 90% of horses look better in dark tack. The light oil stuff is hard to keep clean and looks garish against many coat colors, whereas the dark sort of blends and doesn't draw attention to itself. I also like the look of romel reins, much better than the posed and awkward alternative of the split reins and the other hand held up next to it. The romels just seem to look more natural when you're reining with one hand. IMHO of course.

        Some of the hats are just goofy. Seriously, what is up with the super high crowns and giant taco wings!? Don't they know how unflattering and silly that looks? All the more reason to wear a helmet instead! I did see some more conservative hats too, much better looking. You can definitely look at some photos and say, "Gee, this is a timeless look that will never go out of style" vs. some where you cringe and say "when the rider looks back at this in 10 years she's gonna wonder what the heck she was thinking!"

        All of this coming from an english trained, wanna-be western rider, FWIW!

        Comment


        • #5
          A local tack supplier/custom clothier ( http://www.equineoasis.com/ ) is making and selling plain shirts in beautiful colors, spiced up by normal sized collars with a bit of applied jewels or glitz trim, and are priced under $100. I would definately go for those if I was still showing western, as a ring full of complicated $$$$ blinged out tops seem to all blend together. Plain stands out now.

          How are hat vendors going to sell you a new hat every few years if the styles do not change radically? (Now my 20 year old high crowned hat stashed in the closet can be "taco-ed" and look current. )
          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
          www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post
            2 Kids wearing helmets! (BRAVO parents!!)
            I assume you mean in western classes?? Knock me over with a feather! At Congress???

            BRAVO, indeed!!
            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

            Spay and neuter. Please.

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            • #7
              Can't compare to years past as I was a Congress Virgin until a week ago.

              But here's what I saw worth noting:

              The "problem" with bling as observed from the stands. Not that so many gosh dang crystals are on top, the silver on the $5+ K does nothing. Sad to say, but if you commit to bling on top, you need to catch up with your saddle.

              It was mainly men and a few heavy women in the Select division who went "back to basics" with matte colors. But the plain shirt is nice. And the Horse Show Diva booth had these lazy/jewelled shells that you could zip on over your plain shirt. Those looked nice on riders and certainly would give you the option of changing up your outfit more often for less money.

              The brims on hats are all "straight edge"-- no curve to the wings The brim come straight out in front and then makes a sharp turn to curve up on the sides. It looks good-- crispy clean-- but very Warner Brothers cartoon, too.

              Not a fan of the "salamander under a rock/albino" light saddles. There's Blue Ribbon untanned/london color and then there's the extreme done by Harris saddles. I don't understand how you take care of an uberlight Harris saddle. I agree that these light saddles don't help most color palettes. The black saddles were cool and those made me jones for some chocolate saddles used by riders who would choose warm tones for their ensemble.

              Oh, and individual competitors buying ad space for themselves in the Equine Chronicle. What? Has this always gone on? It seems a bizarre use of money.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mvp View Post

                Not a fan of the "salamander under a rock/albino" light saddles. There's Blue Ribbon untanned/london color and then there's the extreme done by Harris saddles. I don't understand how you take care of an uberlight Harris saddle.

                Aside from Carnauba Wax products, you don't 'take care' of them, you just creak and squeak for a few years, and buy new when the style changes. Those of us who like the light mahogany color of well cared for leather are not the target market prospects for those saddles.


                Oh, and individual competitors buying ad space for themselves in the Equine Chronicle. What? Has this always gone on? It seems a bizarre use of money.
                It has always gone on. It is show bizzzz.

                Tel us on the original thread how you liked Congress. Always fun to hear reactions from first year folks.
                Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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                • #9
                  About the uberlight saddles - I think it is just a way to tell people that you have too much money. Can buy a new one when the old one starts to darken! I personally like the rich color of well cared for leather. But then, I'm not rich enough to replace what I have!
                  Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by potteryshop View Post
                    About the uberlight saddles - I think it is just a way to tell people that you have too much money. Can buy a new one when the old one starts to darken! I personally like the rich color of well cared for leather. But then, I'm not rich enough to replace what I have!
                    You can spend $10K a pop on a Harris saddle.

                    With regard to westerners not caring for tack. I saw people going into their English classes with girths having dried sweat/scurf by the elbow. Yes, the tack had been cleaned/oiled at some point, just not before show day. I was surprised since they paid attention to other aspects of their turnout.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not a clothing or tack trend, but...

                      my BO went earlier this week and watched some warm-ups. She noted that there were people riding their horses while the horses were still wearing their standing wraps?! Also, she saw several folks riding with only three of the horse's legs wrapped. In addition to the wraps, she also saw horses being ridden with poultice up over their gaskins. Now to give you a bit of info about my BO, she used to show AQHA nationally up until a few years ago. She now is really into harness racing and has never seen anyone apply poultice on the track the way that she saw it on these horses! Any ideas on why these horses were wrapped and poulticed the way that they were? We literally were talking about this a few hours ago...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My guess would be that a big name was running late, warmed up in wraps and won his class. Monkey see monkey do. Be interested to see what the reasoning is as well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is saw several people riding in standing wraps at a local AQHA show this summer. I thought maybe it was a western thing?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They ride in standing wraps because the motion of such slow gaits puts a lot of strain on the tendons - ie: during the super slow lope. Thats how it was explained to me.

                            As far as the poultice, I have no idea. Figured it was just something I was never taught or exposed to in the past. I didnt see alot of it until the WP horses came out for show prep.

                            I showed at The Congress for the over fences and hunter hack classes this year. It was my first Congress and I had a great time. Ive showed hunters my whole life, and I find it interesting how people from different disiplines do things so differently to basically accomplish the same thing, whether its training or horse care.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ahh. I was afraid that was the real reason. Explains the poultices too. So the lope that is supposed to be the gait a ranch horse can maintain to cover distance has now been so destroyed that it destroys the horse instead of aiding it. Thanks for the explanation. It fits right in with a talk on bio-mechanics I attended a couple of weeks ago. A good lope should be one of the most efficient movements in nature, totally engineered to protect the horse. Then humans think they know a better way.

                              Poultices increase circulation to the lower leg, speeding healing of small lesions caused by work. I remember there was also a concern that done on a regular basis the system becomes dependent on the artificial stimulation, compromising the horse's ability to rebound without poulticing.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I don't keep up with western much, but I noticed in the hunter classes, one thing that stuck out to me was people wearing black coats with black shirts. Never seen that before, and HUS classes were the last classes I thought I'd see a change in what is considered traditional.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ex-racer owner View Post
                                  Now to give you a bit of info about my BO, she used to show AQHA nationally up until a few years ago. She now is really into harness racing and has never seen anyone apply poultice on the track the way that she saw it on these horses! Any ideas on why these horses were wrapped and poulticed the way that they were? We literally were talking about this a few hours ago...
                                  Can't say as to the AQHA peeps, but I know that it's not really done in harness racing. At least *I* don't remember ever seeing it, and I was certainly never asked to do it by any trainer that I worked for. So.. she's not crazy! LOL!
                                  The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

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