Monthly Archives: February 2010

Show Pants

While, I take my time shopping around for just the right fabric, I thought I’d take a minute to discuss show pants. It’s great having a lovely jacket but if you don’t have pants, well, you’re going to run into some serious issues! I hate shopping for pants in general. I can never find any that fit just right. I have never, not once, been able to fit properly into hobby horse show pants. They’re always too tight on the waist and too big everywhere else. I also don’t appreciate the side zipper. The pants are just awkward for me. Other show pants like those made by the 1849 brand are made out of strange material as well as not fitting me properly. I have even had pants made custom. They were awesome, cost about $100.00, and made me cry when I gained just enough weight not to be able to zip them.

Despite all this, there is one brand of show pants that have never let me down. I’ve been wearing Mesquite show pants since I was a lead-liner. Sure I’ve strayed a few times in attempt to see what else is out there, but I always come back to them. They come in three different colors, black, chocolate, and sand. They also come un-hemmed so you can find the perfect length no matter what size you are. I’m very tempted to see if the sand pants are light enough to be dyed a different color…you may see a post concerning this some time this summer.  Below the picture is the description the pants come with on sites that sell them. I forgot to mention the best part! These showpants only run between $35.00-$45.oo and last forever!

MESQUITE SHOW PANTS

  • Straight Belt Loops to accommodate Fancy Belts
  • Sewn Down front pockets for a flattering fit
  • Saddle Back with no pockets for a clean look
  • Colors: Black & Sand
  • Girls Sizes: 2 – 20
  • Ladies Sizes: 21 – 44
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    Pattern Luck and Fabric Frustration

    Last night, I rummaged through a mess of things in the spare room. Next to my seldom used sewing a machine, a birthday gift from my dad, is a giant box of stuff. Stuff, as in pieces of patterns, remnants of fabrics, and failed sewing attempts but in this box of stuff there was a fabulous find. You see, making my own show clothes is not a new idea for me, I’ve always wanted to give it a shot but have always feared my lack of sewing knowledge. I did make my own ultra suede chaps one year. They turned out relatively wearable. Anyway, my fabulous find was my unused show shirt pattern from Suitability. This is going to save me the approximate $20.00 it would have cost to buy the pattern. I was to say the least ecstatic that I found the pattern.

    Unfortunately, my joy was short-lived. This morning when I logged into eBay prepared to buy the fabric I had finally settled on, it had sold. Now, I am having to start over in my search for finding a fabric which I really like and can get the right yardage for. I’ve planned to get a little extra, knowing at some point I’m going to screw something up.

    While waiting for the perfect fabric, I’ve had some brilliant ideas (at least I think so) about other things to help cut costs for this show season. I will soon be sharing some of those ideas! They will be along the lines of house-hold products to use in the barn, and ways to spruce up a work saddle when you can’t afford a show saddle!

    Finding Fabric

    Well, my weekend excursion to the fabric store was disappointing. They had a only four or five fabrics that could be used, none of which interested me. Also they cost around $15.00/yd. In reading what most jackets are made of on eBay, I’ve learned I should be looking for a lycra stretch or poly lycra fabric. So, I have turned to eBay to find a fabric I like. I’m actually overwhelmed with the selection although you have to be careful because some listings are for limited amounts but overall it’s proving to be almost half the cost of buying it in a store. According to the pattern I will be using from Suitability, I will need around 2-2.5 yds of fabric. As soon as I purchase a fabric, pictures will be posted, along with the amount of time and money I’ve spent on the project. This should help you gage whether or not you want to attempt a project like this.

    Project 1: Showmanship Jacket

         O.K. I one of my favorite aspects of showing horses is getting to wear some colorful, sparkly clothes. I don’t like things too over-the-top but I do love looking at all the amazingly designed outfits that are found in the realms of  showmanship and Western Pleasure. I am throughly enjoying the trend of all day jackets. They are fairly simple in construct but unlimited in detail. I regularly spend hours looking  googly-eyed at show jackets made by Berry Fit, probably the leading designer and maker of custom show outfits. The outfits they make are truly spectacular and insanely expensive. Other show apparel designers like Lisa Nelle, and Carmel Designs design beautiful clothes as well and list many of their creations on eBay. They are fairly reasonably priced but to be honest, still more than I can afford.

           So, I’m left with a couple of options, I can save between $400-$1200 and get a really awesome jacket from one of these designers or one similar or I can spend hours searching eBay. eBay really is a good option. I have purchased almost every piece of show clothing I own that way and gotten many good deals. But eBay is frustrating, if you are outbid on your dream jacket in the last few seconds, can’t find your size, or if you’re just super picky and can’t quite find the colors or style your want.

               This leads me to the next option, a frightening but potentially awesome option…making your own show jacket. I’ve heard of a lot of people doing this and many of the leading makers of show clothes got their start as people who just needed to make they own clothes or clothes for their family. Well, I have a sewing machine. I’ve used it a few times. How hard can it be? I am about to find out.

             I have plenty of show shirts and have read many descriptions of what fabric show jackets are made of so my first task will be to find some fabric I’d like to make my jacket out of and an inspiration piece as well (most likely from the designers listed above). So, I have my mission for the weekend! Wish me luck!

    About the Blog

    I am a college student doing my best to pay for my own horses and my own showing. Heck, if I want to show, I don’t have a choice but to pay for it on my own. If you show horses, you know how expensive it can get. Some horse show exhibitors are lucky to be supported by enough wealth to keep them dripping in silver and Swarovski, atop the finest horses and in fulltime training with the top echelon of trainers. Others, like me, have spent a lifetime on decent horses, with decent clothes, and some lucky but sporadic help from a trainer. I’ve decided it would be fun to share my adventures in attempting to be a thrifty horseman. So, I will be attempting a number of DIY projects and deal scouting for both inside the show arena and around the barn and sharing whether or not the average amateur/college/poor horseman should attempt the challenge and save the cash or save up spend the cash.

    Hello All!

    Well, I am doing my best to get things set up and going. I will be posting my first real blog within the next few days. There are just a few things left to prepare for it! I am so excited to start this I have a lot of ideas that will be either awesome or terrible, but either way they should be interesting.