The other day, I sorted through a pile of show clothes deciding what I needed for this year and which outfits I want to wear. I know I will need to buy a few new pieces and I am really looking forward to it! But knowing buying show clothes can be daunting, I came up with a game plan. I recommend taking the time to go through what you have, and what you need the most before attempting the huge task of finding the right clothes. Here are some tips to get you started filling in your wardrobe or if you are just starting out and on a budget!
- Consider what level you will be showing at (there’s no need to spend the money on world class outfits to show at the local level)
- Do some research on how to measure for important things like, hats, jackets, chaps, show pants, and field boots. with the help of a friend measure yourself and record the measurements on a piece of paper you can carry with you to horse fairs, tack shops, and to set beside you while using the internet!
- Instead of purchasing a number of basic necessities in various colors, choose just one color such as black, chocolate, or tan for a hat, chaps, and show pants. This will allow you to invest a little extra money into quality rather than quantity. A quality hat and chaps are important because they are items that you will be able to use for years.
- Stick to a solid color saddle blanket. It’s cheaper and can be used with many shirts.
- Picking your tops will be easy! eBay has a number of very reasonable show shirts that can be used for western classes.
- If you want to spend a bit of extra money on something nice and/or sparkly, I recommend looking for an all-day jacket. It’s a piece that is suitable for both halter classes as well as riding classes!
- When looking for English attire stick to what is basic and classic. A black or navy hunt coat (well tailored!), a white hunt shirt, and tan breeches. Most of these items can be found at a number of price levels.
- Field boots and hunt caps can be tricky but can be found used for a better price. If you’re looking for field boots remember boot black and a good leather conditioning can go a long way to help sprucing a boot up. Just be careful not to show in rubber boots or boots where the calf is way, way too big (it looks sloppy). The hunt cap should fit well and the velvet should not be discolored or saggy (as they get that way when they’re old).
- Remember that most things like shirts and jackets can be tailored inexpensively for a more custom look and crystals can be added to show shirts!
One last tip, don’t feel pressured to have to buy something at a horse fair or tack shop. Sometimes the ‘sales’ really aren’t that great. Do try a lot of things on and check out quality so if you purchase things online, you have a better idea of fit and what to expect. Also, don’t be afraid to check out some non-horsey stores for jackets and shirts. I have a shomanship jacket I bought at Marshall’s for $15.00…added a few crystals and ta-da showmanship jacket! Good Luck!
I am quite excited. I passed my first math test. A couple of beers and some wings before I think helped calm my nerves! I then returned to the bar for another, celebratory, beer. It was great. Since I’ve gotten the math test out of the way and want nothing to do with studying or homework for a day or two, I think I’ll be spending some time with horse stuff…like riding and writing a blog entry about getting your show wardrobe set for the 2011 show season!
I have updated my For Sale page with a few more pictures and another pair of boots! Please feel free to make offers! Also, if you have something to sell, let me know and I will add it to my site!
This week I am starting a secondary blog, My Life in Photos, dedicated to the photos of my everyday life with horses, school, and work. It will also feature photos from events I’ve went to and items or people I get inspiration from, for this blog! I hope you enjoy!
It’s currently 8 degrees out and flurry-ing. I am excited about this because about 20 minutes ago it was 7 degrees out. You see, I go ride every Saturday morning rain, snow, sunshine, and heat…but I hate cold. If it’s above freezing, I don’t wear thermals; the 2o’s, one pair of thermals; the teens two pairs. I do not have protocol for 8 degrees. I’m considering taking a thermos full of hot coffee. Or maybe I just won’t go at all. The horses can wait to be worked for one more day. But, my friends, the question is, can I wait one more day, after 2 already, to go ride? My fingers, toes, cheeks, and that part of my legs that gets cold no matter what, all say, yes!
These are the days that make me wonder if non-horse-people are right. Horse-people are crazy.
I just read this great article at Equine Chronicle, Once You Go Black…AQHA Amateur Exhibitor Gives Show Saddle a New Lease on Life. What a great way to get a new look and save some money! This is definitely a story down the College Horseman’s alley! I’d love to attempt to do the same! ( I guess I ought to get some kind of a show saddle soon, huh?) I also love seeing darker oil saddles coming back because I really have a love for them.
Photo by Kari Grefsrud from original article at Equine Chronicle
Well, Spring is still a ways away but that doesn’t mean I can’t start planning for spring shows and horse fairs! Many states have their own fairs through March and April and Indiana is no exception. The Hoosier Horse Fair is April 1-3 in Indianapolis. Last year it fell on the same weekend as Equine Affaire Ohio, which I decided to go to instead. This year Equine Affaire Ohio is April 7-10! I am not sure if I will attend HHF but I will definitely be at Equine Affaire! Last year I had a great time and came up with a lot of great ideas!
Horse Fairs are great place…
- to bargain hunt, try things on, or just check out quality. Sometimes there are good deals other times not so much! I always go with a list of what I want or need and average prices!
- are also a great place to check out schools with Equine concentrations if you are looking for one or maybe want to change your academic focus.
- to meet members of local and state horse clubs! Some offer membership discounts at fairs as well. If you’re looking to start showing in some different places or try breed show for the first time. This is a great way to make connections!