Youth Horse Show Clothes – How to Compliment Your Horse by Lynn Espinoza

Youth Horse Show Clothes – How to Compliment Your Horse
If you are shopping for youth horse show clothes for the upcoming show season, you may realize there are so many options available. You may also wonder how to make sense of it all and how to find the right ensemble that compliments both horse and exhibitor. There are many factors that go into selecting the right look that compliments both the exhibitor and the horse.
Youth exhibitors are also allowed to play by a slightly different set of rules than amateur or open exhibitors. This article discusses a few things every parent should keep in mind when shopping for show clothes.


With putting together youth horse show clothes for competition, fit plays a huge role in the overall picture. Show clothes should fit an exhibitor in a flattering manner.
Improper fit will likely cause potential discomfort to the exhibitor and affect the overall picture in the show ring. Clothing that is too big in places will cause excess movement on the exhibitor and can be distracting during the class. Clothes that are too small may also draw unwanted attention from the judge’s eye.
Finding the right fit can be more difficult when purchasing something pre-made or off the rack. If you know your youth has trouble fitting horse show clothes, having certain pieces custom made or altered may be a great solution when shopping.



As I stated above, youth horse show clothes have a slightly different look to them than clothing worn in the ring by the amateur crowd. It is more typical for those in the youth crowd to sport brighter and bolder colors and designs.
When it comes to color in the youth classes you may see brighter pinks combined with blues, greens, and yellows. It is important to keep in mind when picking out colors, which colors compliment the horse.
Solid coat horses may be a little easier to match than say an appaloosa or paint horse, depending on the amount of white they have to their coats.
You may also want to factor in how much color you have total. There is such a thing as too much color with youth horse show clothes. Even if you love that particular shade of blue in the outfit and next to the horse, too much color going down the rail can be very distracting.
If you have a color scheme that is very present in the clothing (such as blue in the shirt with matching chaps) you may want to reconsider placing a solid blue saddle pad on the horse.
When trying to match horse coat color to certain youth horse show clothes, keep in mind the basic coat colors. The most common base horse coat colors come in a shade of sorrel/chestnut or bay. Sorrel or chestnut coats have a warm or reddish base color and may not be complimented by a fire-engine-red outfit.
Your typical bays and blacks have a darker or “brunette” base coat color and therefore can be complimented by some warmer colors. This coat base color can be easier to match clothing to.
Also, the colors chosen should flatter the exhibitor. Darker colors can be chosen to minimize faults, such as leg movement when riding. Lighter colors will likely emphasize excessive movement in the ring.



Again, youth horse show clothes may have slightly bolder designs and patterns, compared to the slightly toned-down designs of the amateur group. Designs can include the pattern of colors or the particular cut of the piece of clothing.
Designs change from year to year as fashion dictates. What was popular 10 years ago may not be as widely accepted today. Dramatic changes in youth horse show clothes don’t occur overnight. They tend to take a few years to catch on, though you will likely see the select group of trend-setters each year.
Designs and patterns selected in clothing can also be used to the advantage of the exhibitor. Certain patterns and lines used can also minimize faults or excess movement in the ring.
To get a feel for what is popular for the current horse show season, it may be helpful to study breed journals or magazines. You want to choose something you will ultimately be happy with.


Purchase Options

You may also be wondering the best places to go for youth clothing. There are a few options available for you to choose from depending on the piece of clothing you are looking for and your budget.
Finding the right fit can be a challenge for some class show clothing such as showmanship and horsemanship. If you have a tougher time finding clothing that fits well off the rack; you may want to consider the options of altering or custom made clothing.
Other areas to consider shopping are online for used clothing, or your local area tack shop.


About The Author

Lynn Espinoza invites you to visit .html for more information on western show clothing and a breakdown of what exhibitors need for each western class.
Lynn has been active in riding and showing horses since 2000. She is a lifelong equine addict with no hopes of recovery and admits since buying her first horse as a young adult that she is an expert on not being an expert when it comes to owning and showing horses. She is also one of the creators of Stock Horse Show Source, developed as a resource for novice equine enthusiasts with information on the basics of horse keeping and showing.
So lope on over, park your horse, and sign up for “The All-Arounder” newsletter, the official FREE publication from Stock Horse Show Source and you’ll never miss a hoofbeat!
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About Deanna Castro

Deanna Castro has been training horses and riders professionally for over 18 years. She trains riders in Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Showmanship and Trail Riding. Deanna is married to Native American Horse Trainer Fredi Castro and she is the author of "Six Weeks to a Better Horse".
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