We all have to find a way to express our individual styles. As an equestrian, the ways we can do this are numerous. Check out these stylish riders and determine where you fit in on the style spectrum.
What you wear in the show ring and around the barn says a lot about both you and your horse. But what do you do when you are changing disciplines? Or choosing a new outfit? Or what if you’re like me and you’re not sure what your personal style is?
As a rider who came from a dressage background at a time when bling was verboten and everyone dressed like a penguin, I tend to be a bit boring in my fashion-sense. I was talking to my good friend Amanda Cousins recently about how I don’t ride English much anymore because I gave away my normal coat and now only have my shadbelly left. And it’s a little awkward if you show up to ride training level in a shadbelly. So, she sent me a bunch of coats and I was drawn in by a grey one.
But can I, a penguin, really don an edgy grey coat? So I have decided to put my penguin days behind me and try to be another sort of bird. In my soul, I really long to be a peacock. But I don’t think I have it in me, so I am going to put myself out there to try to be a peacock… But maybe not a flashy male peacock. Maybe just a bland little peahen.
My own decided lack of style, and deep-seated desire to have style, has sent me combing through pictures of riders I know who have immaculate personal style. And I have compiled a list of different types of styles that you see in the show ring and around the barn. These styles run in a spectrum from people who prefer neutral tones to people who mix and match wild patterns and colors. Obviously discipline plays a role in how you are able to express your style. But these women manage to make an impression in the show ring and around the barn, while staying within the confines of their disciplines.
This article contains images of both Western and English riders from a wide spectrum of disciplines from Eventing to Barrel Racing.
So, take a look at these stylish women and their beautiful horses, and think about where you fall on the spectrum! Are you a Lover of Neutrals? A Bling Queen? Do you like to be matchy-matchy? Or are you fond of animal prints? If you’ve got a style you love, see if you can find your own personal style on the list below! Or if, like me, you’re a bit lost, then let this list inspire you for next show season!
Lover of Neutrals: Browns, creams, whites and blacks are your comfort zone. You love the smell of leather and the feel of rawhide and mohair. Your tack collection includes chinks or chaps, and tack that is serviceable but not fancy. You play around with texture to make up for the lack of color in your wardrobe. But when this look is done well, you look effortlessly classy.
Muted Tones Done with Impact: You like neutral tones and leather, but you also enjoy color. You combine your simple tack with hazy colors that give the effect that you are being seen through a filter. This style is simple and classic. It can be seen in the dark green coats in the hunter arena, or the wine and dark teals popular in ranch classes. The wildest you get is adding a wild rag or a hair conco to your look. But when done well this style is endlessly romantic.
TRADITION, Tradition, Tradition: You are most comfortable in traditional riding clothes. You thrive with structure. You are not comfortable pushing the boundaries of what your discipline allows. But you always strive to be immaculately turned out. Your horses glow and your clothes are beautifully tailored. When you’re going for a sleek traditional style, there is less to distract from your turn out and your riding, so you always try to look on point!
One Bright Pop of Color: You love the clothes that are traditional to your discipline, but you like to play with expectations just a little bit. So you add one bright pop of color to your look! This could be a red lip, or a bright mohair breast collar, or a jacket of an unexpected hue. But the end result is that everyone remembers your look and how much of an impact that one pop of color had.
Rocking that Signature Color: You have a signature color for both yourself and your horse. You are known for wearing that particular color. You and your horse rock that color so completely, that when people think of that color, they think of you! You have no reason to stray from that color, because it’s a part of your identity.
Match Game on Point: You have at least forty-five saddle pads in various colors, and every single saddle pad has matching polo wraps and fly veils. And you, of course, have outfits that match each of your horses’ outfits. Your horses have more clothes than most adult women and you’re here for it. You don’t let any one color define you, but can match any color you want. You’re just that good.
Bling Queens: You love rhinestones. Like if you could actually physically bedazzle your horse, you would. Your browbands glow. Your helmet has glitter on it. Your pockets reflect the sunlight. Your tack and clothing glimmer as brightly as your sunny personality. You are unabashedly girly but people shouldn’t underestimate you, because you can haul more than most men without breaking a single perfectly manicured nail.
The Rockstar: Bright colors and wild patterns are your jam! You can mix and match animal prints and stripes and not bat an eye! Your style is unexpected and you are known for being able to pull off a look that few others can manage. But, as you know, the secret to it is attitude. You are fierce and bold and your style matches your spirit!
Where do you fall on this spectrum? As you can see some of these women dip their toes into various styles. And rock each of them. But other women double-down with one particular style. And rock that so completely that they are known for it. If you have a look that you particularly love, drop it in the Facebook comments!