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How to Become a Horse Show Fashion Trendsetter

Fashion trends are constantly evolving in the equine industry. Show outfits convey to the judges and rest of the world about who the exhibitor is. Fashion is an expression of individuality, especially in the show pen. It is crucial to never be scared to stand out and express your style.

Everything from striped shirts to bolero vests to custom hunt coats, new trends are constantly emerging. Exhibitors want to make a powerful statement in the pen, whether it be a weekend show or a world show.

Horse show fashion plays an important role in creating a lasting impression about an individual. This is why the industry has seen a spark in new trends and styles.

Have you ever wondered how these trends start? Or how to start a new style yourself?

1) Allow yourself to be creative

Originality is vital when setting trends. If you do not allow yourself to be creative, a unique style can never come to fruition. Creativity comes from inspiration. This does not even necessarily need to be horse based. Your motivation may hit when you see a particular dress online or the outfit of a halftime performer on TV. Setting trends are about starting something unique. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs. Inspiration is everywhere; you have to be aware of it.

2) Know the current trends

To create a new style, you need to be familiar with the current fashion trends. What do people at the major shows wear? What new designs or fabrics do you see becoming popular? The next question to ask yourself is why. Why do these trends begin and how long have they lasted? These questions will help you form a layout of the progression of individual styles, thus helping you develop your own.

An example of this would be the simple look of a fitted button-up shirt. Over the past couple years, many exhibitors at the major shows have sported the no bling look with class and confidence. This trend has grown significantly and people have learned how to make their button-up shirts individualized with custom collars, patterns, and cuffs. Knowing the formation and foundation of current horse show fashion helps trendsetters create new styles.

3) Know the line of “too much.”

There is such a thing as “too much” when talking about horse show fashion. It is essential that you know the line between classy and trashy. For example, as an Amateur Select exhibitor, you do not want to wear an all hot pink outfit with yellow flowers all over your jacket. Keep in mind that your style reflects who you are as an exhibitor. An excessive amount of bling can also be distracting in the pen. Make sure your jacket or shirt stays elegant (pictured right) rather than flashy as far as the number of crystal embellishments.

4) Be a leader, not a follower

Leaders, not followers, start setting trends. It is perfectly fine to partake in a style that you like, but when starting trends, you must be original. Do not copy other ideas and pass them off as your own. Being a leader through confidence is what sets and maintains trends.

5) Have a positive attitude

Positivity is essential. Being a trendsetter is not just about fancy clothes or edgy designs; it is about setting an example for others. Remember that no matter who you are, someone is always looking up to you for guidance. Have a positive attitude; even in the face of adversity. You must lead by example both in and out of the show pen. Having good sportsmanship and showing kindness to other exhibitors is always on trend.

6) Remember the basics

Keep in mind that the basic elements of show clothing are essential to any complete outfit. The foundation is simple – clean, well-fitted, and professional looking clothes. To be a trendsetter, you have to acknowledge and value the basics. Make sure everything from your chaps to your hat is well-fitted before you leave for a show. Also be certain that your clothes do not have stains, rips, or wrinkles. You want to present a professional look no matter the trend. First impressions are everything and the foundation of a well put together outfit is crucial.

7) Confidence is key

No matter the outfit, if you lack confidence, then you lack the “wow-factor.” Wear your show clothing with pride. Do not worry about people gossiping or the strange looks you may receive. Trends are started by a confident individual who believes in themselves, no matter the circumstances.

About the Author: Cat Guenther is a devout equestrian and a senior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has been riding horses for almost nine years and has loved every minute of it. Cat started and runs her successful show clothing business, Behind the Bit Show Clothing. Her favorite classes are horsemanship, showm anship, and trail. She plans to attend Michigan State University in the future to study veterinary medicine and possibly also business. Cat is excited to show the all-around classes in 2019 with Zippos Kat Man Do aka Teddy.