Bling: How much is too much?

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Bling: How much is too much?

This is a discussion on Bling: How much is too much? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    06-22-2012, 01:27 PM
Bling: How much is too much?

APHA posted this photo on their facebook page with the news that the youth world will be kicking off today.

A couple people pointed out that things were going a little over the top. One of them recalling "in the old days you rode your horse to the show, showed in jeans, working tack and the best horse won!" Which begs the question: are show-ring fashions starting to outshine the horses? That's not to say that having an outfit and tack that cost roughly the equivalent of a new sports car will guarantee you win or even place, but if nothing else, it will certainly get you noticed. I for one would love to see someone cover themselves in rhinestones from head to toe and ride into the ring looking like the disco ball from Boogie Nights! Ahem... but seriously:

What do you guys think? Time to go back to basics, or take it up a notch? Do you think you can still be competitive at the big shows without all the bling?

Keep it friendly guys, everyone's entitled to an opinion.
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    06-22-2012, 01:39 PM
IMO her outfit is nice. Saddle is WAYYYY to much for me.
    06-22-2012, 01:46 PM
I agree with Nicole.

I wonder if that poor rider knows sea being used as that kind of example by the APHA. I bet see be mortified. Personally I don't like the flashy blingy stuff. I think its tacky. It comes off like the person is saying DON'T LOOK AT THE HORSE LOOK AT MEEEE! And it takes away from the horses demonstration. If the show is about the horse then why does a person have to bedazzle themselves to have a shot at winning? Or is it that the horses demonstrations are all so similar that the outfit and bling are the only things that set them apart?
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boots likes this.
    06-22-2012, 01:53 PM
I think it's too much. A saddle like that is nice and no doubt expensive, but it draws attention AWAY from the horse, not to it. You don't notice a horse and say 'Oh, look at that trot!' with a saddle like that. You think 'Oh my gosh, look at that saddle!' and look at the appearance, instead of the performance.

I know judges say that the bling doesnt make the win, but it most certainly helps whether or not the judge makes a conscience decision. Humans are easily pleased aestheticly. So having the fancy saddle and fancy outfit draw attention to the appearance of the horse and rider but not the performance and skill of each.

If it were me, and Lord knows I'll be the one to change something, the tack would be high quality but plain and the outfit of the rider would be professional and without jeweling.
A class or show should be about what the pair can do, not how fancy and pretty they can look.
They showcase their talents and abilities. If I wanted to see the pageantry and fanciful costumes, I'd go to the local theater house, not a horse show.
FaydesMom likes this.
    06-22-2012, 01:54 PM
It doesn't really get you noticed. Plain tack would be far more noticeable. Can you win with it? Sure.

People put entirely too much time into worrying about what others have or are wearing.
    06-22-2012, 01:55 PM
Not enough for me
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    06-22-2012, 02:01 PM
Green Broke
At the Scottsdale Arabian show they had riders in the English classes wearing rhinestones!
    06-22-2012, 02:16 PM
Way to much bling for me. As a person who would like to get back into showing, I just can't afford this fashion style. Not to mention, that you really need to upgrade your outfit every year. I find it ironic that the guys' fashion is still the same. About the only thing they need to keep up with is the changing hat creases.

I have a show saddle, but I tried to find one that the least amount of silver on it. Eventually I would like to replace it with a nice tooled show saddle with no silver. I recently bought a show halter that is a nice tooled leather with only small silver buckles. The all silver show tack is just not my taste.

So when I do get back in the ring, I'll be the one in a nice off the rack shirt and my hat will have the old fashioned crease. Keeping it simple will help me afford the ever increasing entry fees.
    06-22-2012, 02:18 PM
Green Broke
I saw that picture too. I think the saddle is a little excessive especially for a youth. The outfit is quite nice however.

Honestly, your child doesn't need a $15,000 dollar saddle. I find it really sad when parents give their child these crazy expensive saddles and horses. Your teaching your child absolutely nothing by this. Sure, that's what it takes to be competitive these days, but is it really worth it? They don't understand the concept of how much money it takes to buy this stuff and the concept of working hard for what you get. They turn into little pageant girls...
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Kato, BarrelBunny and FaydesMom like this.
    06-22-2012, 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by gigem88    
At the Scottsdale Arabian show they had riders in the English classes wearing rhinestones!
Your joking! English is supposed to be traditional, honest, and overall just about the horse and rider. (always depending on the judge, but still.) It is hard to be destracted, because you simply can't have the 'sparkliest saddle,' or most 'bedazzled bridle.' And most everybody's clothing is the same, varying by color only. The only real flash you can bring is the color of the horse.

But even still, the beautiful frame overo can't beat the basic bay if the pinto is a trashy mover, in Hunters. The roman nosed chestnut can defeat the slender headed Arabian, givem the Chestnut jumped cleaner and faster than the Arab.

English is so much less predjudice, IMHO.

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