Shine bright like a Reiner

Photo courtesy of Sonja Haiden

There are no doubts about it: fashion in the Reining pen changed in the last years. In the past the “protocol” was a plain fitted shirt matching with the pad. Than, slowly, reiners started to want more and they started to purchased show shirts decorated with stones and sequins. Today, reining jackets are similar to the ones used in the All Around classes. I asked a few questions to Sonja Haiden to understand why that happened and which will be the future trends in the Reining pen. Sonja is the owner and designer of La Bombastic Show Clothes and she created show shirts for World Champions, Futurity Champions and Derby Champions. She kindly accepted to answer all my questions.

  • I think that fashion in the Reining pen changed a lot in the last years. What do you think? Do Reiners pay more attention to their look and to the details?

Yes, it is true. In the last 5 or 6 years Reining riders started to wear outfits similar to the ones used in the Performance classes.

  • Are there some decorations or pattern that are more suitable for Reining than for other classes?

             I create a lot of show shirts with hand painted decorations. Reiners like also        bigger collars and plunging necklines.

  • 2017 show season just started… which trends will we see in the show pen this year?

             Since 2015 and 2016 you can see many vests (also with bigger collars), but the trend of the year are bolero vests. There are no doubts about decorations: symmetry and geometry will rule.

  • You are creating several bolero vests… do Reining riders like them ?

Yes, I love them! Thanks to the first two boleros I created, reiners started to love them too!

  • Does fashion in the US influence the one in Europe?

Yes, it does. It influences a lot the style and the decorations.

  • Did some reiners want coloured chaps? Or do they prefer the “classical” colours like black, chocolate and sand?

                           Compared to the Performance classes, you don’t see a lot of coloured chaps in the Reining pen. But you can see more shades of the classical colours. Thanks to my dear friend Kata Fay, rust, gray and sand are now fashion.

  • Would you like to add something?

                         I would like to wish all my friends and customers a wonderful show season, luck and health for riders and horses! And have fun in the show ring!

I would like to thank Sonja Haiden for her kindness and availability to answer my questions.

So, what will you wear this show season?



Get the perfect look with Devin Territo

Photo courtesy of Devin Territo

Every showgirl wants to look stunning in the show pen. We pay attention to our outfits, to our tack and to our hairstyle… everything is perfect. A great makeup is just going to complete the look. But, sometimes, it could be difficult to create a good one or we don’t know which colours and products to use. I asked the famous makeup artist Devin Territo some questions about horse show makeup. Devin creates divine makeup and she was the makeup artist of Congress and World Champions.


  1. Which are the makeup trends for the 2017 show season?

Honestly I don’t really follow trends so I couldn’t tell you. I think what makes makeup so much fun is that everyone has a different style. When it comes to makeup for shows in 2017 you’re going to be seeing a lot of very dramatic looks from me. Those are by far my favourite for the show pen.

  1. Which is the best makeup for an all-around rider?

Probably something neutral that can go with a lot of different outfits. And of course always a bold lip. I think that’s something that can never be skipped.

  1. Is there a particular makeup for each class? For example, would you use different colours for a Western Pleasure rider than for a Horsemanship rider?

No, I think that’s too complicated. I coordinate the make up more to what the rider is wearing and what look they wanna go for more than what class they’re showing in.

  1. Often riders don’t have a lot of time to create their makeup. Would you suggest them a fast makeup to create in 15/20 minutes?

You can’t go wrong with a bold lip. That will really brighten up the face and make it look like you put in a lot of effort when in reality it only takes two minutes.

  1. Show days can be really long, which is the secret to have makeup lasting all day long?

Primer, a long wearing foundation and setting spray! My favourite setting spray is from Skindinavia and it really makes a big difference.

  1. The makeup industry is producing a lot of “strange” lipstick colours like purple, black, grey, and so on. Are they appropriate for the show pen? Are they too “extreme”?

If you like to wear purple, black and grey then by all means do it. I don’t think they are too extreme if that’s what you feel comfortable wearing. Personally its not something I would go for on my clients nor has anyone requested those colours.

  1. Do you try to use the same colours of the rider’s outfit for her makeup? Or is makeup something separated from the outfit?

It depends. If the rider is wearing a red outfit I wont put red lipstick on her. It could just be too much and clash. I love to coordinate the makeup by using colours that complement the outfit not necessarily match perfectly.

  1. Will you attend any show in Europe in the future?

I am not against that one bit! I didn´t even know I had people who lived in Europe who follow my work, so that’s really exciting.

  1. Would you like to add something else?

Yes, I think makeup for the show pen is not to take too seriously. At the end of the day there are no rules when it comes to makeup so wear what you love and have fun with it!

I would like to thank Devin Territo for her kindness and her availability to answer my questions, her work is such an inspiration for all of us!

So girls… now it’s time to have fun with makeup 😉

The key elements for a good outfit

No matter if you are on the red carpet or in the show arena, fashion is expensive. If you want to stand out you need good quality items… and good quality items cost. But no worries, you can have a good outfit without breaking the bank. You just have to concentrate on some key items and than you can buy the rest later.

For example, a jacket covered by stones is not extremely necessary. If you have a really nice jacket but the other elements of your outfit are poor, you won’t make a good impression on the judge and on the people around you. At the beginning, when you have to “create” your outfit, it would be better to purchase something simple and not too expensive, maybe a nice plain fitted cotton shirt.

So on which items should we concentrate?

First of all, the hat.

A good hat is a must. It is the first thing the judge will look at. It is simply your business card: good shaped hat = professional rider. In order to have a good shape, you need a good hat. Moreover, if your hat is a good quality one, the shape will last longer. If you are about to start your showing career, and you still don’t know which will be your “show colours”, choose a basic hat colour. I would avoid a coloured hat (like red, blue or purple); they are really beautiful, but they are difficult to match and they are not versatile. You can purchase a sand or a white hat. They will match with every outfit and with every horse colour. If you are not really careful, maybe white or sand is not your colour (you will soon have a dirty hat). So you can choose a simple black one: it fits with everything ( a part from chocolate) and it doesn´  t get dirt… perfect 😉 I would avoid stitches, laser decorations or stones. They can be out of fashion in a few years or you may get tired of them. So if you want a hat that will last many years, choose a basic, good quality one.

The chaps.

Chaps are the second key element of a good outfit. They must fit you good. You have to be really careful when you purchase a pair of chaps. They shouldn’t be too large otherwise you will look clumsy and they won’t valorise your figure. They also shouldn’t be too tight. You need to be comfortable in the show pen and a pair of chaps which is too tight won’t allow you to move your legs properly.

If you decide to buy in stock chaps, check the measurement really carefully and be sure that they will fit your legs. If you are not sure about them, write the vendor or ask for a pair of custom chaps. With custom chaps you can’t go wrong. They will fit you like a glove.

Which leather type is the best? That’s up to you. I have a pair of ultra suede chaps and I love them. They are light and I almost don’t feel them when I wear them. They are perfect also for hot summer days. Moreover, you can find ultra suede chaps in the strangest colours. So if you are worried about how to match your colourful jacket, choose ultra suede chaps, for sure you will be able to find a colour which will fit with the rest of your outfit. Pig leather chaps are also really soft but they are thicker. Moreover, it may be difficult to find them in every colour.

If you have to purchase your first pair of chaps, I would suggest you black ones. As I said already a lot of times, black fits with everything and it is eternal. I own a pair of black chaps since six years and they are still perfect.

Once you have a good hat and good chaps, you are ready for showing. You can purchase an expensive pad and a jacket later.

So, which is your opinion about the key elements of a good outfit? Do you agree with me?