The perfect hairstyle

Many riders think that hairstyling is not important at horseshows. It’s wrong. If your hair is not in order, you won’t make a good impression. If you organize your time properly, it won’t take long to create an appropriate look. If you can’t style your hair alone, you can ask to a “horse-show-friend” or to your mother to help you.

Let’s see which hairstyle is appropriate for every class.

Showmanship at Halter.

The keyword of Showmanship is elegance. In order to be elegant you need to wear a bun. You don’t want to have your hair outside of your hat, so you must fix it with a lot of hairspray and hairpins. You can also fix your bun with a hairnet. You can find it in different colours depending from your hair color. A ribbon in the same colour of our outfit would be really nice. For an extra touch you can wear decorated hairpins coordinated with your outfit.

Horsemanship.

In Horsemanship nothing has to move. You must wear a bun. A ponytail is NOT appropriate because it creates too much movement. A ribbon in the same colour of your top or shirt is a must have. Hairpins coordinated with your outfit are a fancy detail.

English classes.

English classes require a classical look. You should wear your hair inside of your helmet. You can create a ponytail and fix it over your head with hairpins and a hairnet. Than just wear your helmet over it. Some riders wear a bun but I wouldn’t do it. Don’t wear decorated hairpins. If you make a bun, don’t wear a ribbon. Again, a ponytail is not appropriate.

Western Pleasure, Trail and Western Riding.

In these three classes you can choose which hair style you want to wear. Most of the riders wear a ponytail with a coordinated ribbon. You can straight your hair with a hair straightener and than you can make a pony tail. Fix it with hairspray. If you are lucky and you have long curly hair, leave it the way it is and just style it in a ponytail. If your hair is too short or it doesn’t have enough volume, you can apply an artificial ponytail. Choose a good quality one, you don’t want your hair to look like plastic.

If you want to have a more sophisticate look and be unique, create a bun.

Ranch Riding.

Just keep it simple. No buns, no hairpins, no ribbons, no tail extensions. Style you hair in a ponytail.

The braid is the last trend. You can wear it straight on your back or on the side over your shoulder.

The details.

Details are fundamental. I pay a lot of attention on ribbons and hairpins. They have to match perfectly your outfit. I have a pretty big selection of hairpins. I want them to match the colours and the decorations of my shirts. For example, if I wear a shirt with pearls and crystals, I choose hairpins with pearls and crystals.

If you decide to wear a tail extension, you have to choose a good quality one. You have to be sure that it matches perfectly the color of your hair. You can ask someone to fix it over your hair in order to don’t see the difference between your real hair and the artificial one.

That’s all 😉 Do you also wear these hairstyles at the shows? Do you have any other tip?

If you love them, take care of them

Image by La Bombastic - Sonja Haiden

Image by La Bombastic - Sonja Haiden

We spend a small (in reality not so small… 😛 ) fortune in show clothes and we want them to last many years. It won’t happen if we don’t take care of them. After every show, I establish a “beauty ritual” for my show clothes. I wash the armpits area of my showmanship jacket and Horsemanship top with cold water and gentle soap. I DON´ T throw them in the washing machine! If you wash your show clothes in the washing machine you will ruin them! After I have washed them, I hang them outside in the shadow for around 12 hours. I don’t hang them under the sunlight in order to maintain the colours bright. When they will be clean and dry, I’ll store them inside of a closet .

I bring my English jacket, the English shirt, the Showmanship trousers and the plain fitted cotton shirts in a laundry shop, while I wash breeches and jeans in the washing machine at home.

I brush the ultra suede chaps with a really soft brush and I hang them outside in the fresh air.

Finally the hat. I brush it with a hat brush and I store it in a hat can. I don’t expose it to the sun light and I never leave it in the car during a hot day (it is better to keep it in the tack room during a horse show).

Before showing I apply absorbent paddies on every shirt and jacket in order to protect the fabric from the sweat. For the same reason, I wear a tank top or a v-neck short sleeve t-shirt.

I keep all my clothes in a “horse-show-clothes-closet” in a room where the temperature is never too high. The hat can is also stored in the same room.

How do you store your show clothes? Do you have other care tips?

The vest, a multitasking piece

Change the shirt, change the look

If you are a competitor a vest is a must have. First of all, it is an extremely versatile piece. And it is fashion too (almost every girl has one). Choosing a vest has several advantages. It has a light weight. You can wear it during the summer shows and you won’t “melt” inside of it. As it is quite light, you can move your arms well (you can easily open the gate during a trail class). It is appropriate for every discipline (except from Horsemanship) as it can have a great amount of sparkles. A simple leather model without stones and blings can be used in Ranch Riding too. A vest permits you to have a new look at every show: you just have to change the shirt you wear under it and you get a new look… it is easy! Last but not least it is cheaper than a jacket. It is a great idea to reduce the costs of the show wardrobe and it looks good too.

A vest is an essential piece in the closet of an all-around rider. You can choose a plain fitted shirt in the same colour of you chaps for Horsemanship and than simply wear your vest for the next class (Trail, Pleasure, Western Riding). You can also combine an Horsemanship top and a vest (in my opinion it is a little bit too heavy to wear). You don’t have to hurry up to change and you can enjoy a little break between one class and the other.

Wearing a vest is a nice way to express your personality. The decorations are limitless: fringes (as I said, I love fringes), chains, spikes, stones and so on. If you want to shine on a budget you can buy a lace vest: cheap, light and sparkly! You can choose if you want to wear a solid shirt or a patterned one… it is up to you. If you think that a plain fitted shirt is too simple, choose one decorated in the collar and cuffs.

I chose a white, brown, gold and fuchsia vest. It has brown ultra suede fringes covered with gold stones around the waist line and on the shoulders. I love the way the fringes move when my horse jogs. I combine the vest with a fuchsia satin shirt and a brown cotton shirt. The brown zip up one is decorated with gold and fuchsia stones on the collar and cuffs. I complete the outfit with chocolate chaps, a gold, fuchsia and brown scarf and a sand hat. When I wear this outfit I use a chocolate, white, gold and fuchsia pad (which looks pretty fancy on my sorrel mare.)

My vest is one of my favourite piece in my show clothes wardrobe. I appreciate the fact that it is not too heavy and I like the idea to change my look just by changing my shirt. I can always give a new image of myself.

What do you think about vests? Do you like them? Do you prefer jackets?

The All-Around makeup

If you are an all around rider you know that there is one thing you have to do at the shows: hurry up! You have to saddle your horse, revise the patterns, dress up, control the time table, warming up. And you are required to be perfect. You have to ride good and to look good. For Showmanship, Horsemanship and Western Pleasure you need a “wow” makeup which draws the attention to you and to your face. For the English classes you need a traditional makeup while for Ranch Riding a soft and natural one is appropriate. You can’t change your makeup after every class. So there is one solution: create a “compromise makeup” which fits every class. I create my makeup in the early morning because I want to have time to feed and prepare my horse. I use a primer, a moisturizing foundation and two concealer: one beige and one light orange. Over that “base” I use a matte powder. During the summer shows I just use a bronzer and one concealer (normally the orange one). I don’t want my face to melt while I am in arena 😛 I “draw” my eyebrows with a light brown pencil. All that is easy. For my eyes I need something classy, soft and sensational at the same time. I create a smoky look with brown and beige. I use a little bit of black in the outside part of my eye to add a bit of drama. In the inside part of my eye I use some gold. I don’t wear artificial lashes but I wear a lot of mascara. I use a peach colour blush on my cheeks.

Finally the lipstick. I use three different long lasting lipsticks. I wear a dark red one for Showmanship and Hunt Seat equitation. Classic and elegant. I wear a dark fuchsia lipstick in Trail and Horsemanship. The lipstick’s colour is exactly the same shade of fuchsia of the swirls on my vest and of the decoration on my hsm top. Before Ranch riding I wear a nude lipstick. I don’t like shiny lip-glosses for Ranch Riding because they are too “sparkly” for that class. So basically I keep the same base and the same eyeshadows all day long, I just change the lipstick (and it is quite fast).

I am going to change my colour scheme for the fall shows. I will wear some purple and black eyeshadows just for Showmanship and Trail. I will keep the same look for the other classes.

I am not a “I-always-wear-make-up-girl” and at the beginning it was hard for me to create a nice makeup (it is still hard sometimes 😛 ). During the winter break I watched a lot of makeup tutorials on internet and I practiced a lot. I chose which products I like and which not. I created a selection of products to bring to the shows in order to don’t have too many with me. I became better and faster and now it is not so tragic to make my makeup at the shows 😉

Which kind of makeup do you wear for the shows? Will you change your colour scheme for the fall shows?