Good fashion is about blending a great fit with a flare of personal style. Check out what I have to say about major fashion dos and don’ts in the arena.
1. Clothing that’s either too loose or too tight. Too thin/tight of a fabric shirt that shows too much. Tops should be fitted but not too tight. Too long, you should not sit on the back of your jacket in the saddle. If your jacket bunches up around your waist when you ride it is either too long or too tight.
2. Poor-quality undergarments that allow too much movement. Undergarments should support and shape specific body parts.
3. Going into the show ring with dirty boots and poorly shaped hat. Now even I have been guilty of dirty boots in showmanship or halter. Always have a rag handy to dust off those boots and be sure they are properly shined before the show. Have your hat professionally cleaned and reshaped on a regular schedule.
4. Scuffed, old or poor-quality boots, or crepe soles in showmanship or halter. I know boots can be expensive, so try to have a dedicated pair just for in hand classes.
5. Color, this can be a hard one. First you hat must match or coordinate with your outfit. Second, your color should also coordinate/compliment your horses color. My biggest pet peeve no no is grey with sorrels or bays.
Here is a great source for wool show pads that have a tight weave and wear leathers.
They have in stock or custom order your colors.
Buying something without rying it on can be very stressful, so it is important to know your measurements. Not know your bust size can mean you purchase a garment that does not fit. Remember that what bra size you wear does not correlate to your bust size.
When taking your measurements, always use a cloth measuring tape*. For the most accurate results, have someone else measure you. Also, make sure the tape measure is held snugly and firmly but not tight against your body and is always parallel to the floor for circumference measurements.
Remember to wear proper undergarments. If you wear a special support bra for riding, your measurements should be taken with that bra on.
The morst inportant measurements for showfancy jackets are D-bust, E-waist and G-hip.
Alot of people aske me what what length jacket should be worn for showmanship. If you go to a breed show and watch the showmanship classes, you will see all lengths of jackets worn.. There is not a specific rule as to whant length is right for showmanship. I personaly like to wear a longer jacket, I show in the "Select" age division in AQHA. Now I am not saying if you are old you should wear a longer jacket, no you need to determine what length works best for your height and body type. Generally speaking, a riding jacket back length is 22 inches, all day length is 24 inches and a showmanship length is 26. But this may not be the case if you are taller or shorter. The best advice I can give is to make sure, what ever you wear when you show in showmanship or any other class, is clean, well pressed and fits nice.
I hope everyone is have a fun and successful show season so far. We have added a few new jackets, new border rail shirets and taken further markdowns on sale items. So check it out. Want a discount?? just ask
When I first fell in love with horses, like most people, it was almost impossible for me to be close and not touch them. I wanted to rub, hug and pet them like big teddy bears. I didn’t know that horses naturally bite each other as a means of communicating their dominance. Since they’re all similar in weight (approximately 1,000 pounds) and strength, their bites and kicks usually don’t cause serious injury to each other. With humans, however, it can be dangerous.
For a while, I would let them rub their heads on me, lick me or nibble my shirt just like a big puppy. That was up until one bit down on my thumb and bit my arm so hard he drew blood. As with a lack of knowledge and communication, touching and/or treating a horse like a big pet is a common set-up for injuries—sometimes very serious ones.
Natural horsemanship teaches us what’s natural for the horse. How the horse experiences the world and responds to it. If I can communicate to him in his language, if I can understand how he sees, thinks and feels, then, as the late Tom Dorrance use to say, I can “offer him the best deal possible.” I can help him if he gets frightened, frustrated or willful. I can reassure and allow him to keep his dignity, earning his trust and his respect. I can become his leader because he wants me to be his leader. This is why groundwork is so important. It replicates how horses communicate naturally with each other. It’s how they establish who will be the leader.
Natural horsemanship is about creating a relationship based on communicating with my horse not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. If I expect my horse to let me ride him, I must be in control in order for both of us to stay safe. Then if he’s happy and goes too fast, I can speak to him physically to help him slow down. If he’s afraid, I can communicate with him emotionally to help him relax. If he’s disrespectful, I can communicate with him mentally to help him have a better attitude.
such a unique vest design with fringe, only being done at showfancy. Contact me if you would like one
Aztec Western Show Jacket 3X, pair with this great oversize show pad sold separately in our consignment section
Never before has the AQHA Level 1 (novice) exhibitor had more of a stage to compete than in 2016. With the addition of the new Central Championship that just wrapped up in Oklahoma City, AQHA is also hosting the West Championships in Las Vegas which run April 20-24, and the East Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 4-8.
Level 1 competitor, Leona Parr Ransdell of Blacksburg, Virginia wrote a letter to GoHorseShow and wanted to share her thoughts and strong opinions with our readers. She is a 4-H Youth Extension Equine Associate with Virginia Tech and shows in the novice and rookie events on the AQHA show circuit. Her heartfelt letter is posted below.
Dear Novice Exhibitors,
You probably have no idea who I am.
I consider myself a true novice. I don’t keep my horse with a trainer and I haul myself to shows. I compete at local and national AQHA shows, and yet, I don’t feel intimidated.
Like many, I enjoy reading stories on GoHorseShow about show ring fashion, makeup for the arena and other articles on how to give you a leg up in the judge’s eye. You can agree or disagree, but when I see comments stating, “This is why I don’t show AQHA anymore–it’s too much about who you are and what you’re wearing and not enough about the horse and rider.”—- I get angry. These are the people who I am speaking to.
So, to the “true novice,” this is for you.
I have some of the best friends at these shows and each one is from a different walk of life–I absolutely love them. I love showing, and I have never felt inadequate, out of place, or that I am being judged for showing in a no-name saddle, my $2,500 trailer and my $50 show shirt.
And yet, I am winning.
Would you like to know my secret?
I have dedicated myself to this life, to showing my horse and to winning. I haul to get lessons when I can afford it. I have made sacrifices like not having cable or internet for a year in order to board my horse. I work at the barn a couple of days every week to pay off my board. My Christmas gift to myself was a weekend spent training with an AQHA Professional Horseman.
I am doing everything in my power to succeed and it is paying off. I don’t feel sorry for those who don’t come to shows and sit on the sidelines and whine about the industry being for the rich and that it is only about who you know and what you wear.
Because it’s not.
You are the reason you are not winning; you are the reason the judge does not look at you. You are the reason you cannot go show. Not AQHA, not the judges, not the horses, not the outfits, not the saddles, not the costs–you are.
You are the one that has to get out there and ride the horse. You are the one who balances your checkbook and makes the decisions on where to spend your money. You are the one who makes the decisions about whether you really want this or not.
I don’t have a trainer; I don’t keep my horse in a fancy barn, and I haven’t spent thousands on my tack and attire, yet somehow I am winning.
I spend time with my horse at the barn. I read articles about fashion tips for the exhibitor–how to do your makeup and judges’ pet peeves because whatever is going to give me an edge over someone else can only help me, not hurt me.
I work for it. I dedicate myself to it, and I win. I can do it, so can you.
So please stop complaining that the judges don’t look at you because you don’t have an $2,500 outfit. Neither do I, and I am an AQHA Rookie Champion in my $45 pants and shirt that I made myself.
Please stop complaining that you can’t win because you don’t ride with a big name trainer, because neither do I. I trailer my own horse to my shows; I stall by myself; I warm my horse up by myself, and I seem to be doing just fine and no one looks down on me or my horse.
I love showing and I love the work I have put behind it.
Get out in the ring and work for it.
Just Go Horse Show.
AQHA Rookie and Novice Champion