I believe I’ve mentioned before, but I ride at a pretty no thrills kind of barn. Meaning, we see a lot of white plastic schooling helmets, nylon halters decorated with glitter puff paint, and my personal favorite – a fitted zebra fleece english pad. Fitted zebra people… fitted!
Really I’m fine with all this, because the ugly white helmets are safe and the tye dye polka dot polo wraps are done correctly… so who cares? I don’t care but I guess my gasps at shocking outfits and tack choices have earned me a barn reputation of being a bit of a hunter tack snob. A nice hunter tack snob, but a snob all the same.
But friends – it didn’t used to be that way.
There was a very distinct turning point in my path to hunter princess land, and it had to do with when I showed up to try out for the NCSU Huntseat IHSA team… in rubber boots.
See, I grew up fox hunting – not showing. For fox hunting, I had a conservative but clean turnout and no one cared how ugly my braids were.
When I did start showing (after the whole County 4H incident…) I only showed at a local open schooling show series, AKA anything goes turnout wise.
My short sleeve shirt and too-short (rubber) boots were a-okay.
Stand up braids? Crazy hair that’s not even in a ponytail or a bun and definitely not in a hair net? Come on down!
You don’t even have to neaten up your chin strap in order to snag a ribbon! Riding tights also preferred… breeches are too expensive anyway.
After joining the equestrian team, there was a brief transitional period where I did manage to get proper fitting boots, but still couldn’t braid worth a damn and apparently couldn’t tuck my shirt in either.
But eventually, I did get my act together.
And I realized that no matter what level of showing you do…
You should always put your best foot forward regarding turnout with whatever your budget allows!