Hunter Attire Questions/Reccomendations - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-28-2020, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Hunter Attire Questions/Reccomendations

With a change of show horses, I'm starting to put more focus on the hunter under saddle class (AQHA style), and with that I've decided that it's time to hang up the borrowed and imitation show clothes and buy a semi-nice and affordable set with some quality. I'll probably buy used to get quality on a budget. Only one english class is offered where I show so I have a hard time justifying buying an expensive brand for three minutes in the ring compared to the hours western.

Crossing over from the western pen, and entering the HUS pen has lead me to a lot of questions as I don't know my brands. It's a 'I've heard of that' or 'they use that' but not knowing what's a good brand other than knowing the expensive brands by name. With the western I have a better idea of when I'm getting a good deal and know which brands are a no go.

Is it better to stick with the black hunt coat and white shirt? Or is it fine to venture out to a navy/gray hunt coat or a pale colored shirt such as periwinkle?

Is there any part of the hunter attire that you don't reccomend buying used as long as it is in good condition?

What brand would you recommend for a hunt coat? What are your opinions on Grand Prix, Devon-Aire, TuffRider, Platinum, RJ Classics? Also what are some brands to stay away from?

Same with the other pieces, what brands to you recommend and don't reccomend? I'll probably end up buying breeches, boots, gloves, and a show shirt.

For show breeches what do you think of Devon-Aire, Kerrits, Irideon, Ovation, TuffRider, Ariat, On Course, Harry Hall, Eurostar? The same question goes for schooling breeches.

For boots would it be better to buy the dress type show tall boots or stick with field boots? What are your opinions on grand prix, Ariat, Ovation, TuffRider, Amazonas, Devon-Aire, Requisite, Harry Hall, Saxon?

For show shirts what are your opinions on Essex, Ariat, Aubrion, Smartpak, and Goode Ride?

I'm open to recommendations and tips on any of the attire, the brands I questioned are just ones I've found multiple of in my price range.

All of my showing will be in the AQHA type hunter under saddle and maybe schooling some hunter hack but not true hunters and never outside of the stock horse pen. I'm not sure about the attire and tack differences in the two pens other than the difference of saddle pads used.

I know it's best to be able to handle and try the item on in person however I'll probably be shopping online and asking questions due to the lack of english tack for sell in my area.

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-28-2020, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Foreverry View Post
For boots would it be better to buy the dress type show tall boots or stick with field boots? What are your opinions on grand prix, Ariat, Ovation, TuffRider, Amazonas, Devon-Aire, Requisite, Harry Hall, Saxon?
I will leave specific clothing recommendations to others, however, I have pretty strong opinions on boots.

You will need tall boots if competing. Tall boots/field boots are the same thing in my book, absolutely no paddock boots in the show ring.

Will these boots be only for wearing in shows, or will you be wearing them in practice as well? If you are only planning on wearing them at shows, don't worry about getting the best boots, as wear & tear doesn't really have to be factored in. BUT, if you plan on wearing them more often:

Saxon and Devon-Aire are complete junk. They will last less than a year. Soles come off, zippers fail, 'leather' will wear through at the ball of your feet. I would assume TuffRider boots are also in the junk category based on their price point.

Ariat boots have been my god-send. I wear them every time I see my horses, whether or not I am riding. They have been beaten up, worn through mud, heat, snow...Still look brand new two years later. They break in great, and are so comfortable.

Mountain Horse boots are another great daily-wear brand.

My general rule-of-thumb for daily wear tall boots is that you will want to spend a minimum of $300 on a pair. Anything under that will succumb to wear & tear very quickly.

Again, if you are only planning on wearing them while in the show-ring, you do not need the best boot. You could get by with the cheaper boots, but if you want a boot that will last a lifetime in just the show-ring, invest a bit. Ariat and Mountain Horse are both good choices.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-28-2020, 12:08 PM
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I haven't been in the AQHA ring for a couple years but the pants were usually beige or grey (I think more beige) and the jackets were green, brown, black, blue, grey - pin stripes and plaids. they didn't seem as picky on that. Seemed like a lot of people had the olive colored ones. The shirts underneath were colors. I have a purple one, pink, blue, green. They wore reds and blacks and bright colors under the jackets. The helmets were not the big bubble helmets but were the caps that you put on your head unless you were jumping.

field boots....

I would just google shows and see but the brands didn't seem to matter as much in english.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-28-2020, 12:14 PM
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I lied, I will offer more information

For a hunt coat, I would 100% buy used. Get a fabric tape measure, take measurements of yourself, and get a general idea of what size you need. Do not be afraid of buying a coat with too long of sleeves, or maybe a bit too big through the body. No matter if you buy a used or new hunt coat, you will need to get it altered at a tailor so that it fits your body well. When you bring it to a tailor, make sure you get it pinned to fit in your riding position, so pretend that you are holding reins with your shoulders in proper position.

I prefer traditional colors for hunt coats, I would stick with black or dark grey if you are using it for multiple rings.

As for shirts, you can look into 'dickies'. I'm not sure how common they are anymore, but they are almost like bibs for babies and are about $30/dickie. You can get several neutral colors, like white, beige, pastels, etc, and change your color up for different classes/shows. As long as they are neutral and not distracting, it brings a bit of 'fun' to the hunter ring. Plus, if you happen to get one dirty or stained, it is much easier to quick switch than a full shirt. And, they help keep you a bit cooler by wearing less.

However, I would get one, plain full sleeved white show shirt. If there is ever a coat-call due to whether and you don't have to wear your hunt coat, this is what you would wear instead.

For breeches, same thing, get your measurements with a fabric tape measure. You will want light beige show breeches, again, very traditional. If you were showing in one ring, you could probably branch out a bit, but if you are using them in multiple rings, traditional will be best. I used to have a single pair of only-at-shows breeches, but now I use my everyday breeches in the show-ring. It is hard to give breeches recommendations, as certain brands can fit different from person to person.
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