Kind of a rant, kind of a PSA

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by tlwidener, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    My daughter is getting back into showing after a couple years hiatus. We used to show lower level AQHA, open, and 4-H.

    We're doing an open buckle series (stock horse,) POA, and possibly some low level AQHA.

    I can't believe some of the stuff I see!

    I don't care what color people wear. I don't care if they have sparkles or glitter. I don't care if the outfit cost $10,000.

    BUT...........

    FIT IS PARAMOUNT! I see kids wearing expensive outfits that would look really nice, but they don't fit. Tailoring is cheap. Buying used show clothes is a great way to save money, but you've got to get stuff tailored. Shirts should not gape. Sleeves should not come to your knuckles and hang off your shoulders. Pants should not show your boot tops. Chaps should be form fitting (for WP/ all around stuff.)

    Low waisted jeans aren't flattering on the ground... let alone on a horse, especially with a shirt tucked in. Sparkly butt jeans don't belong in the show pen. Jeans should be dark and starched. They should stack on your boot when mounted. Q Babies are a great jean for showing.

    Sparkly blinged out belts aren't for showing. It is a bad idea to bisect your body. You want to look long and smooth. Belt buckles are great on a plain belt.

    Sparkly blinged out shirts look ridiculous with jeans. A better look is a crisp starched fitted button down. If you're bigger chested, consider a hidden zipper. A scarf is nice touch.

    A well shaped hat is a must (unless you're a helmet wearer.) A flat topped, flat brimmed hat is awful. Your hat should flatter your face. Learn how to care for your hat. Keep it in a hat can. Don't leave it in a vehicle. Put it on correctly. No blingy hat bands. No feathers. If cost is a factor, buy used and reshape or get a high quality straw hat. My favorite hat makers are Greeley Hatworks and Shortys. Hobby Horse hats are made by Greeley Hatworks. Hats are an investment piece, so consider buying a neutral color, like black or buckskin.

    You don't need silver tack. You need well fitting clean tack. Know your bit rules. Know how to correctly hold your split reins. Know what equipment is allowed (this means no roping reins, sport boots, braided tails for WP, HMS, Trail, and Western riding.) If you're going to do showmanship or halter, make sure your halter fits; show halters fit much more snugly than an everyday halter. Know how to hold your lead (big loose coils.) Introduce your horse to a chain before show day.

    Wool show blankets look great over an everyday work pad. I prefer the patterned pads. I choose one that goes with the plain button down shirt.

    Numbers should be on the saddle pad for riding classes or on your lower back for showmanship. Bonus if you have a number on both sides. Most shows don't give you two copies of your number, so keep a sharpie in your show kit to make a copy.

    Show clothing and tack truly doesn't have to be blinged out, sparkly, and expensive. It has to fit!

    I wish more people knew this.
     
  2. bnttyra

    bnttyra Senior Member

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    Honestly, as long as it is well fitted, I don't really care. Everyone is wearing jeans with some bling and the fancy belts, even at the AQHA shows around here. Many youth at the open shows and even the 4H don't have well fitting show clothes, it doesn't mean they can't ride maybe just that they grew suddenly and those jeans that used to be long enough all of a sudden aren't. I don't have money to be buying DD a new pair of jeans for every show that she grows a little.

    AQHA is obviously different, but for the smaller open stuff, it should matter more how the rider rides and shows that horse not about jeans that have a little bling on the butt. IDK, just not something I get worked up over.
     
  3. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    We bought used Q Babies for $20.

    It isn't about the money.
     
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  4. windblown

    windblown Senior Member

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    Each circuit is different, too. You would be looked at extremely oddly if you rode into an Arabian breed show with your number on your saddle blanket instead of your back, for example. The judge in me would also like to say that hand written numbers tend to be the worst. I don't know how many times I've struggled trying to decipher a number, and how many times I've made my ringmaster go ask the number. That's embarrassing for all of us at that point. OH, and don't cut around the numbers. It makes it harder to read. Only time it's acceptable trim a number, to me, is on a child or small adult where the number is literally bigger than them (yep, I've seen that, too).

    I do agree, though, that properly fitting (and CLEAN) attire is important. Beyond that, as long as it's legal and appropriate for the class, I don't care.
     
  5. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Clean and well fitting, suitable for the class. That's about it. Good advice-!!
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Well I'm sure glad that you got THAT outta your system~!!
    :LOL:
     
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  7. Nu5ha

    Nu5ha Senior Member

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    We don't have those kind of shows here. But I have seen people wearing half chaps in a medium test here. Different colors and all sorts of mix and match. I don't show anymore and when I showed it was jumpers so I could get away with a little more than say dressage, but I never wore dirty chaps to any competition, my spurs shined, my tack cleaned my horse spotless. Here very few they that. I see maybe 60% competing the dressage shows in half chaps, some half way down the leg and dirty. Jackets not fitting, dirty spurs and all sorts. Braiding is a half a**ed job not properly done.
     
  8. ChestersMomma

    ChestersMomma Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Well that is a well thought out rant if I've ever seen one!! :ROFLMAO:

    I agree!! I think what happens is parents buy things big for the kid to grow into and then the kid wears it until they absolutely can't. OR they are wearing hand-me-downs. This means they go through too small for the clothes and too big for the clothes phases, and it might mean the clothes even go in and out of style in that time!! While I totally appreciate the idea of saving money and spending wisely, I think a better choice for a growing kid is either buying used that fits them now or buying timeless new that you can easily sell to fund the next size up.
     
  9. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

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    I usually trace my first number if I need to make a second, then fill in the number in sharpie so it doesn't look much different from afar.

    Absolutely agree, fit is extremely important. A lot of judges these days place a lot of emphasis on the first impression. If your clothes are sloppy and you're not prepared, you're out. In this day and age there are SO many good horses and riders they have to get down to small details such as that to make their placings.

    Another thing is to be ready at the cone. Judges hate waiting when they're trying to move along through classes at a big show. If you're not ready, again, bad first impression, you're out.

    Good points!
     
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  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    You could almost make this a stickie-!! ;)
     

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