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Style Report: Fashion in the Reining Pen

We ask Hobby Horse CEO, confirmed fashionista, and NRHA Top 20 Non-Pro Kristin Titov to share her fashion tips and observations for reining riders.

We ask Hobby Horse CEO, confirmed fashionista, and NRHA Top 20 Non-Pro Kristin Titov to share her fashion tips and observations for reining riders.
1. Are there many colored hats? What about brim styles and trims?
Colored hats are really on-trend right now. From earth tones to jewel tones, charcoal to lavender, you can see it all in the reining pen. Custom level detailing is really important too. Buckstitching, double-welting, crystals and patterned brims are super popular.
Finely-finished, high quality hats in fashion-forward colors, and details like double-welt stitching, are trending in all the Western show arenas.
2. How prevalent is bling for the lady riders, or is it mostly button-downs? Does it seem to matter which level they're competing whether it's bling vs. no bling?
It used to be that open level lady reiners would stick to solid button-downs with their saddle blankets, adding colorful flair. Now, bling can be seen on all levels of competitors at all levels of horse shows. The key is having a head-to-toe, put-together, look.
What are your favorite jeans or pants under your chaps, and why?
I pretty much only wear Kimes Ranch Jeans these days. At the ranch I wear Betty or Bonnie, mostly. Kimes just fit so well and last forever. They are a great value for the price. Since I have black chaps, in the show pen I wear Black Betty.
4. Most pleasure and equitation riders want a "quiet" look in the belt department. What looks are popular now for reiners?
Since reining is judged on the horses performance (not the rider, like horsemanship or equitation), adding a bit of fun around the waist can be a great way to show your own personal style. I personally love anything iridescent, so I have an iridescent silver stingray belt by Handmade Exotics, but that kind of bling isn't for everyone. Hobby Horse works with Handmade Exotics to create lizard belts in fashion colors with special stitching and edging that can add fun flair without being over the top. If the belt matches your chap color it will give a slimming effect. Feel free to add a little flair with a Handmade Exotics Lizard Belt in fashion colors to coordinate with your pants and chaps. They're also a trendy fashion accessory outside the show ring.
6. Chaps-wise, what are you seeing in the show pen these days? Colors, leather vs. synthetic suede, fringe, nailheads, stitching, etc..
All of the above, really. I'd say the most common chap is leather with fringe. Black is definitely the primary option, but earth tones, and even fashion colors like indigo and gray, are starting to make an appearance.
7. How important are show saddle blankets now? Do you see a lot more color coordination than before?
Color coordination of your saddle blanket is critical to having a put-together look. It must not only match the outfit, but also your horse! I've seen gorgeous outfits and matching saddle blankets that clash with the horse, that really take away from the overall look (e.g. tan on a gray horse or sterling on a golden palomino). Don't forget your horse when it comes to coordinating a head-to-toe look in the show pen. Quality saddle blankets offer multiple colors, and even metallic threads, to accent your outfit and flatter your horse.
8. Do you notice competitors switching up their looks over long shows, or do they have one outfit and wear it the duration of qualifying rounds through finals?
Definitely, switch it up! If nothing else, I think it's helpful mentally going into the finals with a fresh look.
9. Do you see a lot of silver, higher-level tack, or is it pretty much a mashup of working-style and some nicer pieces?
At the major events like the NRBC, NRHA Derby, and NRHA Futurity, people definitely bring out their best polished silver. At weekend shows it seems to be more mixed.
10. Technical fabrics are huge in the English show world. Are you seeing stretch and technical fabrics becoming more popular with reiners?
That isn't something I'm seeing a lot at this point, but I think it's going to start trending soon, particularly at weekend shows and during warm weather. Hobby Horse released a new technical fabric blouse this year and the first edition, named Kayteequa, sold out already. There are 3 new prints in the upcoming 2018 Summer Collection, and several coming in Spring 2019. Technical fabrics will become more prevalent going forward. Shown: Colorful, bright 2018 Summer Collection Sonora Show Blouse is stretchy, comfortable, cool and colorfast in the wash.
11. It's a casual show. Give me your weekend wardrobe, from blanket to hat!
Kayteequa Show Blouse. Hobby Horse Premium Saddle Blanket in Teal. Greeley Premium Hat for Hobby Horse in Petrol (unless it's summer and super hot then I'll switch to a straw hat). Handmade Exotics Lizard Belt in Teal with Latte painted edge and stitching. Kimes Ranch Black Betty Jeans. Anna Jewelry set in Teal.
12. It's a BIG show. Give me your wardrobe, from blanket to hat.
What I'm planning to wear at the Wild Card Reining Challenge in May or the NRHA Derby in June from the [upcoming] Hobby Horse Summer Collection: Fancy Show Jacket in Indigo with matching Fanciful Saddle Blanket. Indigo Ultrasuede chaps. Kimes Ranch Indigo Betty Jeans. Hoopla jewelry set in gold, and a Greeley Premium Hat in Fawn to top it off.
"You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." — Edith Head
Kristin and her horse "Pickles" radiated Western show ring couture from head-to-toe at the 2017 NRHA Futurity - one of the BIG shows! - and became an iconic image for the first Hobby Horse catalog of 2018. Not to mention, they were Level 3 Non-Pro Reserve Champions!
13. If you were doing makeovers, what wardrobe element do you find needs help most often in the reining pen?
I'd probably have to say having mismatched outfit elements, like a pad that doesn't match the rest of the outfit. Another is ill-fitting clothing like chaps that sit inches below the belt or are too short, showing the heel of the boot. Chaps that fit properly and a blanket that complements both you and the horse are easy fixes, but make a huge statement in any show arena.


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