What to wear for… Showmanship

As Showmanship is my favourite class, I must write about it. When you show in Showmanship, you really have to pay attention to your makeup and to your outfit. During the set up you stand near the judge: she/he can see your face and your hands. It is really important to have a nice make up. If you can’t create a perfect “smoky eyes look”, use nude eyeshadows, you can’t be wrong with them and you will avoid the “panda look”. If you really like dark eyeshadows but you are not able to use them, you can check videos of makeup artists in internet and simply try to recreate your favourite look in front of the mirror. Makeup is like Horsemanship, the more you practice, the more you will improve (hopefully 😛 ).

A red lipstick is a must. I don’t use a fire red lipstick because it doesn’t fit my skin tone. Normally I use a ruby red lipstick with a matte finish (it last longer during a show day).

The nails are fundamental too. If the nail polish is ruined the judge won’t have a good impression. She/he may think: “Didn’t she have time to readjust her nail polish?”. Before a show I go to a beautician and I ask her to apply a gel nail polish on my nails. I always match the nail polish and the nail decorations with my outfit. The gel nail polish is really comfortable: it last all the show long and I don’t have to adjust it in the evening when I am tired.

There is no discussion about the hairstyle: for Showmanship you have to wear a bun. If you want, and if you like it, you can add a ribbon in the same colour of your jacket.

Now we can start to talk about the clothes.

  • The jacket

Everybody will agree that the jacket, together with the hat, is the most important element of a great Showmanship outfit. It doesn’t matter if it is loaded with blings or not, it must fit you good. A Showmanship jacket should be longer than a rail one. If you don’t want to purchase two jackets, you can ask your designer to add a removable “Showmanship skirt” in order to use one piece for two (or more) disciplines. In my opinion black is the most elegant colour for a Showmanship outfit. As I wrote in a previous post (https://fancyinthesand.com/the-little-black-jacket/ ) black is a timeless colour and it fits every horse colour. It doesn’t matter how old you are, black is going to fit you. If you think that black is too sad, you can ask your designer to add some colour accents. For example, my Showmanship jacket for the 2017 show season has a black base and purple, lilac and silver decorations.

Some riders decide to wear a suit. I don’t like it, but it is a timeless outfit which will never be out of fashion.

  • The hat

The hat is your business card. The judge looks at it and knows if you are professional or not. Make sure that your hat is clean and in shape (normally you can put it in shape directly at the shows). You don’t need a really expensive hat to look good. But a good quality hat is a good investment. First of all, the shape will last longer and you won’t have to put it in shape (and spend money) at every horseshow. Second, if you buy a basic colour hat (like black, white or beige) you can pair it with a lot of colours and outfits and you will be able to use if for many years. If you buy a cheap hat, you will use it for a show season, maybe two, and than you will have to change it. The result is that you will spend the same amount of money of a good quality hat, but you will have bad ones.

  • Trousers and boots

Trousers must be in the same colour of your jacket. Some riders wear black trousers with coloured jacket, but I don’t like it. It is not harmonic. Trousers must be long enough to cover all the bootleg. Again, trousers which are too short don’t make a good impression on the judge.

Boots must be in the same colour of the trousers and they better have a slim sole.

And last…

  • The halter

Your horse’s halter is as important as your outfit. Make sure that the halter you are using is in the correct size and that it fits your horse good. You can find many videos on internet about how to choose and fit a halter properly. When I purchased the halter for my mare, I took measurements of her head and than I checked several models together with the vendor. It may take a little bit of time but it will worth it.

You can have the best outfit and makeup in the world, but if your horse’s halter won’t fit, you just lost time making yourself ready.

Do you agree? What is your opinion about the perfect Showmanship outfit?



What to wear for… Trail

From the fashion side Trail is the coolest class: you can wear what you want. Everything is appropriate: jackets, vests, boleros, plain fitted shirts, Horsemanship tops. You can also choose the hairstyle: pony tail, bun or a braid. Everything works. You can express who you are and you don’t need to “follow the rules”.

However, this year there have been couple of trends which can’t be ignored: the bolero vest and the plain fitted shirt.

Bolero vests are the novelty in the horse show system and they have been pretty much successful. They are fun to wear and they are not so heavy. The can be worn with a classic shirt or a Horsemanship top under them. Moreover they are really small, so they are less expensive than a jacket or a vest. I purchased a bolero vest last year and I felt really comfortable in the Trail pen.

There is no doubt about it: boleros are the trend of the moment… but how long will that trend last?

Plain fitted shirts are not something new. In the last years they disappeared, every rider wanted to be covered with sparkling stones. But something changed. Competitors want to stand out for who they are, not for what they wear. Or maybe they just want to set the sparkle apart and be simple. A plain fitted shirt is a passepartout. Everybody can afford one and it gives a clean and elegant look to every rider. There are tons of designers who purposed many design for plain fitted shirts. If you think that a white shirt is not “enough”, you can choose one with a nice print or one with decorated collar and cuffs. A shirt will never be out of fashion, there will always be a rider who decide to wear it.

Personally I like to wear a vest with fringes or a bolero. But you can see also many jackets in the Trail pen.

And you? What do you like to wear for Trail?