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Show Impressions

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140 – May/June, 2024

By Laura Boynton Jobson

Is your equitation just okay? Show clothes out-of-date and ill-fitting? Your patterns and maneuvers rushed and sloppy? Are your horse’s gaits inconsistent? If so…chances are you’re not making an impressive impression in the show ring.

Don’t let boring performances and dull appearances take away the spotlight on you and your horse. Learn how some small tweaks can improve your overall look to shine in front of the judges.

These easy tips from a fashion expert, judges, and exhibitors known for looking classy in the show pen will help you stand out without going over the top and look as polished as the silver on your tack should be.

It’s the Fit

Judge and all-around trainer Christa Baldwin says that a poor fit is one of the biggest distractions she sees in the show pen. “Your outfit doesn’t need to be expensive or have a ton of bling all over it, but it does need to fit–especially the pant and sleeve length. Nothing spells out ‘beginner’ like an unshaped and dirty hat and nothing says ‘professional’ like a classic, clean, well-shaped hat.”

Judge and trainer Jimmy Daurio, owner of Daurio Performance Horses, says that appearance and fit doesn’t just apply to female exhibitors–it goes for men, too. “A well-shaped hat is the most important thing. I prefer a solid-colored shirt, and chaps should be clean and the proper length for the rider. Short hair looks more professional, too.”

Tammy Schuster Bogart owns All That Show Clothing, which offers custom designs on plain fitted shirts, English shirts and various custom vests, boleros and suits. Tammy states, “Most off-the-rack shirts and suits don’t fit exhibitors well enough without sewing alterations. At All That Show Clothing, we pride ourselves on the fit and hand cut patterns for each of our clients. We have 1000s of different fabrics to choose from, keeping in mind that finding a beautiful color that fits your complexion is as important as overall proper fit.”

Keep It Clean

Click here to read the complete article
140 – May/June, 2024

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