Ranchy and fancy

Ranch Riding requires a working look. No stones, no pearls, no spikes, no sparkling stuff. Forget colored chaps and hats. But it doesn’t mean that a ranchy outfit has to be boring or simple. Ranch Riding is like any another class: a good outfit needs to be prepared. In my opinion the idea that Ranch Riding doesn’t require a lot of stuff is wrong. It has its own rules like English classes, Horsemanship or showmanship. You need a different saddle, a different hair stile, a different pair of chaps and so on. The class is quite new and it is difficult to create a “perfect outfit”. I watched a lot of people showing and I tried to understood what is cool and what is not.

We can start from the top. Most of the hats I saw were black, brown and sand. There are almost no grey hats and absolutely no white hats. Most of them are simple, without laser decorations or stitches. Some hats makers already started to make some special models for Ranch Riding. I wear a sand hat without decorations. It matches everything.

The shirt, like in every other class, is one of the main elements of the outfit. A lot of people wear a one colour cotton shirt. There a lot of red, light blue and brown shirts. The white shirts is maybe too elegant… Not a lot of cowboy would wear it during the everyday work at the ranch. Squares patterns are the most “in” now. You can see them in every colour, from the classical ones (brown, black, blue, red) to the more extravagant ones (fuchsia, pink, lime green). Normally I use two shirts for Ranch Riding. One is a “peach” colour, a mix between pink and orange. The other one is a pink, fuchsia, and light blue squares pattern shirt. I match both with a scarf. As I said in a previous post (https://fancyinthesand.com/scarves-do-or-dont/ ), scarves are a must in Ranch Riding. I wear one which matches my boots (brown, pink and green). My belt is a simple leather one with a basket tooling and some rawhide decorations. Blingy belts with stones are not appropriate as animal prints like leopard and zebra prints. I wear a pair of stretch mid-rise jeans. I don’t like low rise jeans for showing. I think they are uncomfortable and my shirt falls always out from them. I don’t wear chinks because I don’t like them. And I don’t wear “normal” chaps too. A Ranch Riding outfit should simulate the one of a real cowboy or a cowgirl. A cowgirl wouldn’t wear a pair of brown tight ultra suede chaps. So I decided to wear just the jeans inside of my boots. What I like most about my outfit is my pair of boots. They are brown, pink and green and they look really cool!

I ride on a reining saddle with wooden stirrups. Of course there is no silver on it. I use a breast collar and a rear cinch too. My pad is really ranchy. It is beige with some orange and burgundy decorations on the side. I think it is perfect for this class.

Last but least makeup and hair style. A “everybody-look-at-me” makeup is too much. Unfortunately I had to avoid red lipstick and black smoky eyes. I decided for a light smoky eyes makeup in the earth tones: brown and beige. I use a lot of mascara but I don’t wear artificial lashes. I also wear a nude lipstick. To complete the look, I make a pony tail or a braid. Simple but effective.

That’s all. I am still not convinced about my Ranch Riding outfit but I will keep it that way this year 🙂

Scarves: Do or Don´t?

I love scarves. I wear them with almost every outfit: with a vest for Trail and with a plain fitted shirt for Ranch Riding. Normally I wear a scarf coordinated with my outfits. I have some in basic colours like black, white and sand and some with a nice pattern. I think they look better than jewels. If you wear a fully decorated jacket or vest, jewels can be “too much”. A silk scarf is always elegant. It gives a glamour touch also in the “action classes” like Ranch Riding or Reining.

You can renew your look just by changing your scarf. If you wear a total black outfit you can change the scarf and match it with a different pad. You don’t have to run to the tack room between every class to change and you can “refresh” your look with a small accessory. Coordinating the scarf, the pad and the nails would be the best and it would make a pretty nice impression.

Normally I don’t wear a scarf for Showmanship, but during the last show I decided to wear a black one to match my black & white outfit. I think that it was pretty nice but, during the trot, it was creating too much movement in the neck zone. So I think I won’t wear it anymore for Showmanship.

I will continue to wear it for the other classes. I think that it is must have especially in Ranch Riding. “Ranch” doesn’t mean out of fashion or not feminine. Also a “working” look can be classy and elegant with the right accessories.

A scarf can be used as a detail to complete your outfit or you could use it as the main colour accent in a basic outfit (black brown or sand). It is cheap and you can find it in a variety of material: cotton, satin, silk and so on. Combine it with your make up, your hair colour and your pad for obtaining a winning outfit 😉

The little black jacket

A classy black jacket is an investment through the years. I purchased my jacket five years ago and I used it for a lot of disciplines: Reining, Trail, Showmanship, Western Pleasure. I could have wore it also for Western Riding. Buying a new jacket every year  is cool. But it is expensive. Buying a garment which can last many years permits you to be stylish on a budget. Purchasing a fuchsia, green , purple or orange jacket can be exciting. While you are going to stand out in the pen it has some disadvantages. First of all you are going to get tired soon about a “full” and bright color scheme. Moreover it doesn’t match every horse color. If you purchase a new horse you have to change also your outfit. If you plan to wear your jacket for many years, you may feel not comfortable with a bright color when you are getting “older”. A black jacket is also really simple to match. If you show in Showmanship it is really easy to find a black pair of trousers. Every show clothing website has black trousers in stock and you can find them in “normal” clothes shop for 20 or 30 Euros. You can purchase black chaps which match with thousand of other colors (you are not in trouble if you have to wear other tops for other classes). If you ride a dark horse, you can use a white pad and a black one on a palomino, sorrel and roan horse.

Choose a garment that you can use for many disciplines. You have to keep in mind that fringes and chains are really cool, but they won’t fit in a Showmanship class. You can purchase a jacket with removable fringes and chains or simply avoid them. I would suggest you a middle length jacket. It has to be long enough to cover your butt and short enough to ride in it.

I chose a black and white jacket with some blue accents. I wore it in many occasions and I always felt classy and elegant. That jacket will last other ten years and it will never be “out of fashion”.

Many of you may say that black is boring and that everybody wears black. I think it is a smart color. As I said before, black matches with everything. If you think it is boring and you want to be unique, just purchase a design with some bright colors accents.

A black jacket is a great start for creating a complete set trough the years. You will never be tired of it and it fits good on every body type. No matter how old you are, black will always fit you.

Bye bye bling bling

The plain fitted cotton shirt trend

The idea to say bye (at least for one show) to my blingy vest came to my mind in a May early afternoon. I was watching Trail at the Bavarian Championship and I expected to see jackets and vest. But… no. Almost every girl was wearing a plain fitted cotton shirt. Some chose the classical total black look while others chose some vibrant colors like fuchsia and turquoise. I started to think about it. I continued to read articles about the importance of “keeping the judge’s eyes”. What’s going on now???

I took a look at some famous show clothing websites and they were offering a huge selections of plain fitted shirts.

So I decided, just for one show, to leave my fringed vest at home and to wear a plain fitted shirt for the Trail class. I normally match my chocolate chaps with a chocolate, fuchsia, gold and white pad. So I had three color options for my shirt: fuchsia, white and brown. I am not a fan of the white shirt. I think it looks wonderful on a man but to me it seems a bit banal on a woman. I didn’t want to wear my brown shirt too. I think that the “one-color block” is great for Horsemanship. So I decided for a satin fuchsia shirt with some pink and brown details on the collar and cuffs. It was “shining” enough and the bright color was perfect for summer. I was a bit sad cause I was not sparkling. I have to admit that wearing a simple shirt has some advantages. First of all it is really light. You can move your arms perfectly at the gate and it is really comfortable for the spins in the square. Moreover it feels good on the skin during a hot day.

I completed my outfit with a gold, brown and fuchsia scarf and a sand hat.

I thought that it would have been a boring outfit but… it was not at all! I had a look at the show photos and video and it looked pretty fancy.

In the past years we saw everything in the arena: spikes, chains, fringes, leather decorations, stones, crystals and so on. But sometimes less is more (sigh 🙁 ). A plain fitted shirt is a great (and cheap) opportunity to stand out in the pen. However, I wouldn’t wear it at a big show. I love my vest and I am going to wear it again during the fall shows.

Let’s now see how will that “cotton shirt trend” develop 🙂

Welcome to Fancy In The Sand – The horse show fashion blog

If you are reading this post you are crazy for horses and for the horse show fashion. That’s good news! I am not alone!

A good outfit can’t replace hard work, but it can help you feel confident, beautiful, amazing (and so on…) in the show pen. This is not a “you-are-not-cool-if-you-don’t-wear-that” blog. It is just a space to discuss the last fashion trends and to exchange opinions. Everything I write in this blog is reflects my opinion and my stile as a rider and competitor.

You should wear what makes you happy. It is your time, your passion and your hobby. You worked so hard everyday for years, you deserve to shine when you are in the pen!

Do you like fringes? Wear them! Don’t you like blings? No problem, choose a plain fitted shirt. There are sooooo many possibilities. You don’t need to be rich to look fancy in the arena… you create the “WOW factor”, not the top you wear.

I chose some basic colours for my outfits. Chocolate, white, fuchsia and gold for my “riding” outfit. Black, white and some electric blue accents for the Showmanship jacket . These colours fit with every horse colour (I ride a sorrel one) and they are always “cool”. I LOVE fringes. No matter if they are trendy or not. I think they are wonderful in trail and western riding. My trail vest is full (really full!) of fringes. And obviously, I love stones and blings.

My Ranch Riding outfit is still not complete. I changed it already couple of times, but I am still not satisfied.

Stay tuned for more updates 😉