Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Another tough question

When I was at the show this last weekend there was a lady there who was loaning her horse to a friends daughter.  The horse was a sweet girl, but not show quality compared to the other horses.  The lady came into the stands and asked some others if the look really mattered.  She said back in her 4h days everyone wore a white shirt and black jeans.  This way they were being judge on how they rode and not how they looked.  The ladies she asked replied by stating the look doesn't matter.  The lady then asked why then are the girls with the total package always at the top and the girls like hers at the bottom.  They didn't have an answer for her.  So it got me thinking how are they being judged?  Does the total package matter?  Will you be noticed if your just in a basic outfit and non matching saddle pad?  I know we all have our own opinions on this topic but I think its good for new show parents to see what is realistic in the show world. 

I have my own ideas on this question but I'm wanting to know what you think.


  1. A wonderful answer from one of my facebook friends:

    It does and it doesn't. The horse needs to look clean, well groomed and in shape. The outfit should somehow compliment the horse/tack/attire. If you are staring at a line up and say everyone excelled and rode beautifully, then it's going to come down to who 'looks' like a complete package. You don't want to outshine your horse and you don't want your horse to outshine you as a rider. A lot of the kids/riders who DO have the look, also show a lot more (typically) and likely have more ring savvy than others and probably have a slightly higher success in their presentation. Hope that makes sense??

  2. Another answer from a facebooker:

    There are a lot of people out there who claim "that judge is only looking at how much silver is on the saddle, etc." However, what I have found is that people who are serious about showing often have fancy equipment because they use it enough to make it worth the investment. Additionally, these people are usually also the ones who are investing a lot of time into practicing with their horse and it shows. They might also have more experience, and know how to present themselves and their horse well in the show arena. There is actually a trend for simpler attire... I think a youth won an AQHA world championship in a plain black shirt. So, I think as long as you present a nice picture, clean and neat, the rest doesn't really matter especially at the lower levels of showing. At the higher levels I do think you need to look the part.

  3. Here's another answer from a very trusted source.

    yes it does but not the way you all think... a rider that enters the pen all dressed up.. may just have the confidence in the fact they have the look... As a judge, we must have the power to look past bling. I CAN .. many judges cannot... the human eye/brain will be drawn to the halo around a confident rider with the winning attitiude, more than the rider that lacks the confidence to stand out "I AM THE WINNER LOOK AT ME"... think about yourself... if you look bad in yellow with your everydays clothes dont wear a yellow shirt... if you have very busy hands.. dont wear big cuffs.. if you have a large bust line and slopped shoulders dont wear shirts that draw attention to this..,,,,. Clean well fitted pressed clothes on a confident poised exhibitor with neat and tiddy presentation is the winner in this judges eye

  4. I think this is a yes and no answer. To preface I will say that I coached youth/nonpro and judged for a period of time in my life. With that being said.....Total package is not going to win you points if you as a rider or your horse is totally lacking the skills for the class you are in. Neat and clean is #1 priority. If you come into the ring looking slopy, I am going to assume you don't want to be there. It takes 2 seconds to tuck in a shirt, make sure you pad is even, and take is well fitting. So, yes I have pinned girls in rather plain clothes over the total package. Now when you start playing with the big boys, I think it does come into play, in the sense of the "finished" look. Your outfit does not have to be the most expensive, but I think it should be more than a clean button down shirt when you are showing at large breed shows.

  5. It depends. I would not show up to a breed show wearing what I did at the show. Jeans and a sweatshirt.. though you saw, it did not matter, as I won every class I entered. My clothes were clean, my horse was extremely clean, as was my tack.
    The trend for "over done" show apparel is on the decline. You will see more simple oxfords with a scarf or necklace. Even at the larger breed shows.
    As for million dollar tack, I still will show in my work saddle if I feel I will have a better ride. It's a nice Jim Taylor, with only 2 silver concho's. I've won my fair share of classes & Futurities in it.