Western Shopping List
I've done english riding all my life and currently I work for a Therapeutic Riding program so my experience with western disceplines is decidedly lacking. (It wasnt until a little more than a year ago that I'd ever tacked a horse up in a western saddle!) I'd like to get into western disceplines in the future though. I was researching tack and clothing recently and found theres all sorts of western tops- shirts, slinkies, blazers, vests- and they're all for different things! So now I need your help. If I wanted to compete in reining, barrel racing, western pleasure/equitation, trail classes, and halter/showmanship what are the absolute necessary clothing items that I need for each thing? I'm not asking you to suggest sites where I can buy these things, I'm trying to figure out what I need for each event. And if I can use the same shirt for halter, western pleasure, etc, all the better! I'm trying to purchase the best combination of clothes which I can use interchangably for all of the events above while buying the least amounts of items possible (because this stuff is just as expensive as english show clothes!)
Keep in mind- I'm totally green when it comes to western clothes! Are slinkies always worn with vests? Do I NEED a blazer for halter? Are hats worn in barrel racing/reining? Do I wear chaps for barrel racing? For things like western pleasure do I wear jeans underneath my chaps or those spandexy pant things that are similar to breeches? When do I wear a big belt buckle? Do I NEED a big belt buckle? These are the sort of questions that plague an english rider tossed into the world of western. :lol:
Any help is greatly appreciated!
P.S. What sort of jewelry do you guys wear? I'm used to dressage with wee little diamond studs in my ear, but I see western riders with all sorts of things. What jewelry is appropriate for what event?
OK so western pleasure, horsemanship (basically the equivalent of equitation), trail and reining you can probably get by on the same outfit for. You'll need:
Chaps (probably a neutral color to start out with i.e. black tan or brown)
Pants that match the color of your chaps preferably without back pockets.
Boots that match chaps and pants
Belt (most of the blingy type belts come with buckles that are large enough to work, but you can also buy a round silver buckle)
Hat (preferably same color as chaps but not totally necessary depending on your shirt).
If you get a tunic top you can get by with wearing it un-tucked with just your pants and hat and belt for halter and showmanship.
There are a variety of different style tops to choose from. Just like with regular fashion things go in and out of style. My advice you be to check out hobby horse. They have some outfits put together that should give you an idea of what to start looking for. Or just do a google search of imags from World or Congress of the disciplines that you're looking to get into. She what the top competitors are wearing and go from there.
Blah, tried to keep it brief. I hope that helps.
I'm sort of new to showing in Western pleasure. But one of the things I've learned in the shows I go to is: some judges like it when your shirt matches your saddle pad.
It doesn't have to match perfectly.
Some of the people I see, have a colorful shirt and a black saddle pads.
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