non-traditional breech colors

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, but what is up with all the dark breeches for hunters.  It is beginning to look like a saddleseat outfit, dark pants, light show coat.  Is it really that difficult to keep beige clean?

22 Responses to non-traditional breech colors

  1. leslie says:

    I used to ride with an instructor who was involved in fox hunting and taught Pony Club. She was adamant that coats must be darker than breeches, so that unwritten rule is pretty well ingrained into my idea of what is correct for the show ring. I really, really dislike the black and blue breeches people are wearing at Morgan shows now. It looks like schooling attire to me.

    I guess it’s like rust breeches, though. At one point those were totally acceptable (I think the cover of George Morris’s book shows a rider in rust breeches) but they’re rarely in the show ring these days. So maybe it’s a passing trend. Personally, I’ll stick to beige and khaki for showing.

  2. IED says:

    Well, it’s annoying to keep beige clean, but that’s kind of beside the point :)

    Different colored breeches are there because… well, they’re different. They’re more interesting, the color combinations can get more interesting (honestly there’s ENOUGH navy coats with beige breeches out there) and it helps a rider stand out from the crowd. Let’s face it – in today’s hunter ring you need everything you can to get looked at.

    From a traditionalist standpoint, it’s not “correct”. But does it look good? With the correct color combinations, sure! Beige is not that flattering on everyone. Given my druthers I’d much rather wear a fawn or chocolate or darker gray, and yes, even black :) I draw the line at blue breeches… it just grosses me out. Personal thing!

    If I were to show on the open H/J circuit I would dutifully pull out my navy coat and puke-green Tailored Sportsmans, but while in Rome…

  3. colwilrin says:

    I think we had this discussion right before show season began…there should be an older thread.

    IMO – non-traditional colors (those other than shades of gray, beige, or rust) are for schooling only.

    The pastel shades are especially gastly. Whoever first accidently wore them to show did nothing more than start a fad…just like irridescent silk daycoats were…and just as nasty.

    Standing out is good…but not because your clothes are improper. It is better to dress appropriately and stand out because of your riding talents and the quality of your mount.

  4. colwilrin says:

    Sorry…ghastly…not gastly. Missed a key!

  5. IED says:

    According to the rules, however, such clothing is not “improper”.

    So really… it all comes down to personal taste.

  6. leslie says:

    Well, the rule book doesn’t take a clear stance on pink sequins or feather boas, either, and those would certainly help you stand out. :)

    I know it’s personal taste, but the hunter/jumper world is so traditional, when you compare the Morgan hunter world with our black breeches and white coats (gag), we look like some cartoonish imitation.

    I do understand the need to stand out, though. I have no idea how the judges deal with those 20+ Morgan hunter classes where 18 of the horses are bay. Finding a way to be seen is more of an issue there than it is in an over fences class where you’re judged one at a time.

  7. StacyGRS says:

    This past week I saw a choker made of (not accesorized with, but entirely consisting of) large fake diamond stones (not sure what they’d be called…the large “bejewled” type ones:) and a bright orange hunt coat. She stood out.

  8. colwilrin says:

    Please tell me you are joking.

    Someone will be looking back at pictures 15 years from now and asking their friends why they let her wear that. In the background will be a large metal drum with the smoldering remains of the orange coat, blinged-out shirt, and likely a pile of colored breeches that Dover forgot to embroider “for schooling only” on.

    Remember…friends don’t let friends ride gaudy.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I do apologize that this is a repeat of a previous discussion.
    I don’t feel that we should all look alike with Navy coats and beige breeches. I do feel that their is enough variation in fabrics that individuality can be achieved without pink sequins, feather boas, or bejeweled chokers.
    I actually had a lightish coat, still darker than the beige breeches, custom made to go with my previous horse’s coloring, Bright shiny copper bay. Now I’m not so fond of it with my new horse’s coloring, regular bay, so I’m rethinking my choices. I have a chocolate brown with copper pinstripe and lining that looks better with the new guy.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Wow!!!! That certainly was orange!!!

  11. IED says:

    Wow… I went searching for the bright orange hunt coat and that sure does stand out. YECH!

    I kind of like the bejeweled chokers though ;o)

  12. Jennifer says:

    Look in the equitation photos. It is quite a lot of bling!

  13. leslie says:

    Wait, someone wore an orange coat and a bejeweled collar in equitation? And there are photos?

  14. Jennifer says:

    The orange coat was in a pleasure championship, no close up to see the collar, and the bejeweled collar was in equitation with a different coat, gawdy yet tasteful. I can almost see the collar catching on.
    I’m not going to single out the poor girl, but if you look in the Medallion photos you will find her. From he pictures, she looks like a competent young woman.

  15. StacyGRS says:

    the coat and choker were definately different outfits.
    I have no idea if she is competent or not…I can’t tell from pics, but, she did find a way to stand out in the hunter classes and if you’re going to go that way, I like that she did it with one thing at a time, not multiple. Personally, my hunter roots make me lean towards tradition:)

  16. IED says:

    Hoooookay.. I just found the choker! It’s like a treasure hunt :)

    I thought you were talking about a blinged-out stock pin type thing (and was worried because I just bought one that I thought was tasteful!) – but the ENTIRE COLLAR – I take back everything I said about liking that. It looks kind of okay from far away, but it’s still a bit much.

  17. StacyGRS says:

    sorry…didn’t realize you all would go to the pics and look for it…didn’t mean to have somoene singled out, just saying that while it is legal, the hunt style is typically traditional. Actually, I liked the jacket more than the choker…it was loud, but put with everything else very bland. The choker was too, just not traditional enough for my taste.

  18. colwilrin says:

    I saw the choker. I understand the look that the rider probably wanted, something a bit more edgy and pretty, but it was a miss for me too. Though I adore bling around the neck in Western, it didn’t have the same affect in Hunt. Perhaps it is the shape of the ratcatcher itself. With jewels on it, it vaguely reminded me of one of those rhinestone poodle collars. I’d rather see just a nice jeweled pin on the ratcatcher for some added sparkle. However, for Hunt, I do lean towards the traditional, and wear your typical snaffle bit collar pin.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Not to worry. I would have found it eventually as I like to look at the pictures. There was a rider at Mass. All Morgan that had on orchid colored breeches, which got me to thinking about this issue. There is nothing wrong with being a trend setter. I was interested in what goes into the decision to wear non-traditional vs. traditional clothes. For instance, is more traditional to have a pin on the collar or have it monogrammed.
    There are many ways one can stand out or tell which barn the pair comes from, etc.

  20. leslie says:

    Well, I hunted down the photos (because I clearly have way too much time on my hands.) The bejeweled collar is…interesting. I wouldn’t think it would fly on a lot of circuits. I remember hearing several years ago that the Arab rules had prohibited glitter because some of the young riders were getting a bit too flamboyant with the glittery makeup. I wonder if we’ll ever get to that point. It really does seem like exhibitors are just going to keep pushing the rules in an effort to stand out until someone changes the wording in the rule book to rein them back in. That’s what happened with saddle seat eq., right?

    The orange coat is pretty awful. But I have seen one before. Tim Lips wore a traffic-cone orange coat in the stadium jumping phase at Rolex this year, but he has the excuse of being Dutch and wearing his nation’s color in international competition. And stadium jumping is completely subjective, so you can wear whatever color you want as long as you’ve got a fast jumper.

    I wouldn’t worry about singling either of these girls out. One has to assume they don’t mind attention, or they wouldn’t be wearing those clothes in the show ring.

  21. IED says:

    I do believe it was the same person who did the orange coat and jeweled ratcatcher. I don’t know her, or what her name is. I’m like Jennifer – would probably have stumbled across it at some point anyway as I really like to look at pictures from all the shows.

    As a side note, I recently saw a red (pink?) coat on someone showing in hunter pleasure. I have long been schooled that ONLY the Master of the Hunt or a jumper rider on the USET (Grand Prix on the intl level.. I think that defines USET but I’m not 100%) can wear that and get away with it. To me that is the ultimate faux pas. What do you think?

  22. leslie says:

    I thought so, too IED, but in the hunter rules, scarlet is acceptable formal attire. Allow me to be a rule book nerd for a moment.

    “Formal Attire. Riders are required to wear scarlet or dark coats; white shirts with white stock; white, buff or canary breeches and protective headgear.”

    “In Classics offering $1,000 or more in prize money, or if required in the prize list, riders are required to wear scarlet or dark coats; white shirts with white stock, choker or tie; white, buff or canary breeches and protective headgear in accordance with General Rules”

    I have never seen a hunter rider in a red coat, though, so maybe it’s one of those unwritten rules.

    The Morgan hunter rules don’t specify.

    “Exhibitors and judges should bear in mind that at all times entries are
    being judged on ability rather than on personal attire. Riders must wear coats of any tweed or melton appropriate for hunting (conservative wash jackets in season), breeches (or jodhpurs), and boots.”

    At the risk of going completely off-topic, this is the next sentence in the rule book:

    “Conservative colored protective headgear with harness in accordance with GR801.3 is mandatory.”

    GR 801.3 is the one that says all jr. exhibitors in hunter, jumper, or hunt seat eq. must wear ASTM/SEI helmets when mounted. That’s certainly not happening at the Morgan shows. Are the stewards just not doing their jobs, or am I missing something?

Leave a Reply