Horsemanship-what to wear? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Horsemanship-what to wear?

Hello! I am going to do my college's western team next semester and I was wondering what I should wear? It would be horsemanship (I think) since it is based on the rider's equitation and position.... this will be my first time riding western and showing so I will only be buying used clothing items as I am also doing to English team and I am on a budget. It is not an NCAA team...but it is intercollegiate. What should I wear that would look appropriate? I will def be in the w/t/c (walk, jog,lope?) division. I like conservative with a little bit of classly bling if that helps ;)

I like black and pink.

Any tips and pointers would be appreciated too :))
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 05:39 PM
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The NCAA teams wear plain button ups with a school logo embroidered on the chest. I would go that route if the school will allow you to put the logo on a shirt.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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it's not an NCAA team and I think there is a lot of talk of discontinuing that because it has the potential to influence some judges if they know what school you are from. I might do my school colors though. they are maroon and gold...

maybe I could do mostly black with a maroon button up and gold accents?

What color chaps do I wear?
What color boots/hats?
Should I wear jeans under my chaps?
Hair down and pretty with makeup seems to be a big thing to do...
Can I wear a big, sparkly belt or is that tacky?
also...are there any little things I should make sure I wear/do? thanks!
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 07:19 PM
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The most basic and common color for chaps is black. I would go with that. And your boots need to be the same color as your chaps. And you can wear jeans under chaps, but it does not look as professional as wearing pants the same color as your chaps. Black jeans would be ok. I use an old pair of black dress pants under mine.

No sparkly belts, as they break up your lower and upper body too much. A belt buckle on the other hand is fine, and recomended if you tuck your shirt it, which most people do for a more fitted look.

Hats are usually black, white, or shades of brown. Black is the most common, and least expensive. And you want to have it at least somewhat shaped to your face, aka no flat brims!

Your hair needs to be in a neat bun, perferred with a hair net. It is distracting if it is down and flopping all over the place. Yes to the makeup.

As for shirts, a fitted plain button up is more than acceptable. If you go that way, a neck scarf can provide a great color pop. Mostly, you don't want something that breaks your body up. So a shirt that the bottom is the same color as your chaps and fades into another color is best.

If you need I can put some examples up of what I am talking about.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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yes please that would be VERY helpful!

what are the differences in attire between horsemanship and other western disciplines? I am hoping to start up some western after college so I figured a college team would be a good place to start.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-07-2012, 08:35 PM
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First off, here is a video of last years World Champion in the AQHA Amateur Horsemanship.

The attire for the HMS (horsemanship) is usually more darker colors (not to say that there aren't hot pink HMS outfits, lol). HMS is all about the rider, and the individual pattern work is first (and a lot of the time all you do) so you don't NEED bright colors, lots of sparkle or things like fringe to get the judges eye. Showmanship generally follows these trends too since it is also judged on the person. But in showmanship you would wear jackets or tunics instead of a fitted shirt that you tuck in.

Western Pleasure on the other hand, your in the arena with up to 25 or so people all trying to get the judge to look and remember them. So the Pleasure is where you will find all kinds of fun things! For the most part, anything goes in the western pleasure. The same is for the Western Riding and Trail even though they are pattern classes, they are judged on the horse not the rider.

Here are some examples of a few types of HMS outfits:
Me and my friend in our HMS attire. I'm on the sorrel! lol

But the biggest thing when finding a HMS outfit is to think smooth lines. You don't want to break your body up.
This I do not like at all. See how the white hat with the black chaps with no large spots of white in the shirt just looks odd? Also how the blue shirt kinds chops her body in half as opposed to the previous shirts which either fade into the design or are higher up?

Hope that helps. If you need more, just ask, lol. I love doing this!
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-08-2012, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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ohhhh perfect! this is exactly what I needed! so I can wear big belts but make sure they are not distracting? like the one the girl in the video is wearing
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-08-2012, 09:32 AM
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Here's a pic of my IHSA show outfit from senior year:

I'm decided to go with brown so I could stand out a little since nearly everyone goes with black. But I will caution you that finding things to match a brown outfit is also substantially more challenging than black or even tan. I would agree to stay away from the super blingy belts. We had one judge flat out tell a girl she didn't place her because of her belt, so sticking with something more conservative is definitely smart.

Little Fish has given you some excellent information. IHSA is a bit different than your average breed show horsemanship class however. Until you get to the Regional or Zone level it is very unlikely that you'll have to perform an individual pattern. In 4 years of showing Intercollegiate I think we had two regular shows that we had to do a pattern. It just takes too long to get through everyone. So if your region is anything like mine, you'll be doing mostly rail work. As a result you kind of have to find the balance between flashy enough to stand out, but not too flashy to distract from your ride.

Check out ebay for great deals on tops you can find some nice ones used and even new for quite a bit less than you would pay at places like Hobby Horse. Used Show Clothes also has some good stuff but the price vary quite a bit.
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