western pleasure styles–tack and clothing

The earlier discussion about four-beating the lope got me thinking about other differences between  Morgan western pleasure and western pleasure in the stock horse breeds.  Can anyone explain some of the differences between the tack and clothing styles in Morgan western pleasure vs. those in the more traditional western show rings (AQHA, APHA, etc.)?  I have a friend who shows on the AQHA and APHA circuits, and when she looks at my copies of THM and THC she goes on and on about how outdated the styles are.   It appears to me that the clothing styles in Morgan WP don’t change as rapidly as they do in the traditional western world (and our range of necessary clothing seems a bit narrower).  Rommel reins don’t seem very evident on the stock horse circuit.  Nor does it seem that their light-colored tack has caught on in Morgan WP.  Are we “behind the times,” or do we create and follow our own trends?

6 Responses to western pleasure styles–tack and clothing

  1. RaeOfLight says:

    I remember back before I got into Morgans watching the stock horses and flipping through tack catalogs right around the time they started transitioning from the dark to the lighter oil tack. That had to have been 10-15 years ago. Even if we’re “behind the times” you’d think it would’ve caught on by now if it was going to.

    I wonder if it has more to do with horse coloring… when I think of a quarter horse, I think chestnut, palomino, buckskin. When I try to conjure up a bay quarter horse, it just doesn’t look right. The lighter saddles would make more sense on stock horse colors. With a bay, the dark oil coordinates better. Either way, I’ve always like the look of the darker western tack better anyway.

  2. rodmanstables says:

    I also like the dark oil stuff better! I just got my mom into morgan western pleasure and she is in the process of trying to find a dark oil show saddle that has all the silver, but a shorter sized skirt for her short backed morgan. It’s harder to find than I thought because many of them are made for saddlebreds/longer backs. Anyway, having stock horse experience myself, I totally see your point, emmy, about the style differences. I’m always saying that it’s so different between us and the stock horses. I really like the stock horse trends when it comes to the show clothing, and I have seen some super old-school stuff on the “rommel” type breeds (morgans/saddlebreds). However, the other area that differs that isn’t so great is the saddle styles. In stock breeds, they change what’s “cool” or “in” every year as to silver and tooling styles on the saddles, and that’s one expensive way to go! I prefer a lovely, broken-in show saddle that you can use again and again. And there’s nothing like a gorgeous black-bay morgan with a dark saddle and silver rommels. Love it! :)

  3. Flmorgan says:

    The light leather looks good on some Morgans light bays, Palaminos, Duns,
    etc. But my dark bay looks hideous in it. I think you have to look at the color of your horse. Morgans and Saddlebreds are much higher headed than the stock breeds so the romel reins look and work better on them. I do think the clothes are catching up.

  4. GraceMorgn says:

    I think a lot of what the stock horse riders wear is pretty gaudy. Morgan and Saddlebred riders tend to be more intentionally classic and understated in their outfit choices, which in the Quarter horse world might be seen as behind the times. The same can be said when you compare Arab and TWH saddle seat outfits with Morgan and SBs. While we tend to have trends in details and colors, we tend to more conservative and classic. Pushing the envelope is fine, but having a coat pattern the same as my grandmother’s couch or looking like a neon disco ball blew up on your chaps is completely different.

  5. emmy says:

    Thanks for the comments. I was inclined to think that the light/dark tack issue was one of color. I don’t like the look of the light oil on a dark horse. As for the clothes . . . I tend to agree with the gaudy vs. classic comment. I like the looks of the Morgan WP, but, of course, that’s what I’m accustomed to seeing. As for the saddle seat clothing–I’m glad to see that we’ve trended back to the more conservative. I remember the iridescent magenta day coats from the late 80s (oh my)! Disco balls, indeed!!! :-)

  6. jns767 says:

    I think Morgan/Saddlebred styles are classic. Sometimes the QH and Arab styles are just too over the top for my liking. I like a little bling, but too much of it just detracts from the horse, imo.

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