My Cart

Close View Cart

FAQ



Care and Feeding of Show Chaps

From: Lindsey

What is the best way to care for my show chaps?


If you’ve invested in quality show chaps, a little bit of care will go a long ways towards keeping you and your chaps happy together. Gentle cleaning and careful storage will extend their useful life, and also add to a higher resale value when it’s time to trade your old faithful chaps in for a new pair.

Chaps are made from either leather or synthetic suedes. All chap materials are subject to stretching and distortion with wear, and all chaps will sun fade over time. Stretching can be minimized by investing in quality chaps with reinforcements at points of stress, and proper fit. Fading is inevitable but can be reduced by not sitting around in the sun all day in your chaps- consider just putting them on for your classes—and by keeping them clean. Darker colors show fading more than paler shades, but exposure to sun and air will alter the original color of all chaps, especially along the top of the thighs.

Keep dirt from damaging chaps by gently brushing them clean with a soft bristle grooming brush or horsehair hat brush (don’t use these brushes for anything else) after each show. Letting arena dust stay on the chaps dulls the color and abrades the fibers, be they leather or Ultrasuede, which causes damage. Store leather chaps inside out, folded from thigh to instep, on a fat plastic hanger. Ultrasuede chaps should be folded right side out to avoid wrinkling in the laminated areas of yokes and cuffs. Any garment bag will do, but don’t zip it up completely—chaps benefit from ‘breathing space’ while stored.

All garments sold in the United States are required by law to have care instructions attached, but most chaps don’t. Both leather and synthetic styles can be machine washed, but check with manufacturers for their recommendations. Chaps should be washed only when showing visible dirt on the outside of the legs: expect and accept stains and discoloration on the inside of the legs from saddle oils and horse sweat around the lower legs. The more you wash your chaps, the more you’ll shorten their life, because each washing softens the fibers and invites more staining and fading by stripping tanning and finishing chemicals from the material. An annual tune-up is usually fine for cleaning chaps.

The hints and tips below have been successful for Hobby Horse chaps for more than a decade, but we do not guarantee that your results will be the same as ours. Use common sense and understand that you can refresh your chaps, but you can’t make them new.

READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START!

Washing Ultrasuede Chaps
NOTE! All synthetic suedes are not created equal. Ultrasuede is the trademarked name for one particular synthetic material that makes great chaps. Other synthetic suedes are cheaper, but they do not wash or wear as well as Ultrasuede.

1. Remove all loose silver conchos or buttons so they don’t chip the enamel off your washing machine. Don’t worry about attached buckles. Don’t machine wash covered belts, as they will delaminate. They can be spot cleaned with warm water and mild soap.

2. Fill washer tub with cool water on a low setting, and add a capful of gentle soap, like Ivory. DO NOT add fabric softeners or other treatments!

3. Allow chaps to run through a complete wash cycle. Use a gentle setting if your machine has it. If you have obvious stains on the outside of the legs, use a toothbrush to gently scrub your soap solution into problem areas. Suede washes and other fancy soaps may stain—be sure to spot test in an inconspicuous place first. Don’t scrub the inside of the legs- it will only weaken the material and the chaps will be the same color again the first time you wear them from saddle oils.

4. If your chaps were tight, zip them on over your show pants when they are damp, and stretch them out a bit. Chaps will not shrink in cool water, but they usually draw back up to their original size and length. Tug all zipper tapes to relax them.

5. Remove chaps and allow to air dry, face down, on large towels. Gently straighten fringe with your fingers. Use spray starch (any weight or brand) to saturate the chaps from the back side. This helps restore some of the body that you just washed out of the chaps. Several coats of starch, especially on the fringe, are recommended.

6. When chaps are dry or almost dry, put them in the dryer for about ten minutes on an air or fluff setting. This helps remove any wrinkles and fluffs the nap a little bit. DO NOT use dryer sheets!

7. First Aid for Faded Ultrasuede: follow directions for dying below. You can also use suede spray (NOT leather spray!) from the shoe repair shop to lightly mist damaged areas.

Washing and Re-dyeing Leather Chaps

Cleaning leather chaps in your home washer is similar to washing Ultrasuede chaps, but you’ll add a second trip through the washer with some liquid dye to help restore the color that always fades out of leather chaps.

Smoothie leather chaps are best left alone, and simply dusted after each use. A light misting of Armor-All applied with a clean towel can refresh Smoothies, but washing and dyeing is not recommended.

NOTE! Leather chaps can do weird things when you wash them. There may be invisible stains and residue from chemicals, like fly spray, that can cause strange spotting and streaks on the chaps. Re-dying will usually take care of most of this, but dyeing chaps is an art, not a science, and we cannot guarantee your results with our methods. If you’re nervous, pay a dry cleaner a fortune and blame them if something goes wrong…but washing and re-dyeing almost always produces a better result for less money.

Do not wash leather chaps with tooled saddle leather yokes or trims. Dry clean or spot clean the legs.

1. Remove all loose silver conchos or buttons so they don’t chip the enamel off your washing machine Don’t worry about attached buckles. Don’t machine wash covered belts, as they will delaminate. They can be spot cleaned with warm water and mild soap.

2. Fill washer tub with cool water on a low setting, and add a capful of gentle soap, like Ivory. DO NOT add fabric softeners or other treatments!

3. Allow chaps to run through a complete wash cycle. Use a gentle setting if your machine has it. If you have obvious stains on the outside of the legs, use a toothbrush to gently scrub your soap solution into problem areas. Suede washes and other fancy soaps may stain—be sure to spot test in an inconspicuous place first. Don’t scrub the inside of the legs—it will only weaken the material and the chaps will be the same color again the first time you wear them from saddle oils.

4. Set the wet chaps aside and fill the washer again to a low setting, this time with warm (not hot) water. Add liquid dye (see below) and put the wet chaps back in the washer. Let the wash cycle complete for moderately faded chaps, or let the chaps soak for an hour if they are very faded. Be sure that you put WET chaps into the dye bath, and that they are completely submerged for soaking.

About Dye

Liquid Rit is readily available at drug and grocery stores, and is recommended. Powdered Rit is cheaper, but not worth the hassle if you can find the colors you need in liquid. If not completely dissolved in boiling water first, then strained through an old nylon, powdered dye will leave stain marks on chaps that look a little like you tried to tie-dye your chaps. Not good unless you are having a flashback to the 60’s.

Lighter colors are harder to restore than black, navy, and brown. If you have to experiment, cut the very top or bottom fringe off and use it for a test strip. The wet color is much darker than the finished shade. Better to use too little dye and have to do it again than too much and end up with the wrong color. If you really have a wreck use Rit color stripper. You may only find it in powder so dissolve it well, wash the chaps in stripper, have a glass of good wine, and try again.

Black—use two bottles of black Rit. Add a half bottle or so of navy to kill green, and a quarter bottle of green to kill navy.

Sand—use sand dye sparingly if you can find it, or a spoonful of cocoa brown.

Rust—mix a little brown into orange.

Most other colors—get the closest Rit liquid you can find and experiment gently.

Changing Colors

You can usually darken leather chaps a shade or two, but be realistic. Dying sand chaps black is likely to make for dark gray chaps, but dying chocolate to black will work well. Changing shades, say sand to tan, is also usually satisfactory. Vibrant colors like red and royal are almost impossible to create without commercial equipment and dyes. If you do go light to dark, you may need to buy shoe spray (suede for suede, leather for slick leather) from the shoe repair store to color the back of the fringe. Sand-backed fringe on black chaps is a dead giveaway for your remodel!

Ultrasuede is harder to change in color, because the synthetic material simply does not absorb much dye. You should expect to change or dull a shade, say mint green to sage green, and forget vibrant colors like red or royal from pale shades. Also, re-dyed Ultrasuede is not as colorfast as the original color. Expect to wash and re-dye often.

1. If your chaps were tight, zip them on over your show pants when they are damp, and stretch them out a bit. Chaps will not shrink in cool water, but they usually draw back up to their original size. Chaps dyed in warm water will likely draw up to their original size and length, so check them when damp and stretch to fit. Tug all zipper tapes to relax them.

2. Remove chaps and put them in the dryer for about ten minutes on an air or fluff setting. This helps remove any wrinkles and fluffs the nap a little bit. DO NOT use dryer sheets!

3. Allow to air dry, face up, on large towels. Gently straighten fringe with your fingers. Do not starch leather chaps. When chaps are completely dry, you may want to fluff them in the dryer again for a few minutes. They can also be gently groomed with a suede brush when dry.

4. Be sure to wash a load of cleaning towels or dark work jeans before you put anything else through your washer. You can also run a cycle of hot water through with a cup of bleach to avoid gray undies.

5. Remember that freshly-dyed chaps will probably transfer some color to your saddle. This is normal and happens with new chaps, too, but you may want to have a helper rub the inner legs of your chaps with clean white towels before you hop on that new show saddle with a the sand-colored suede seat!

Good Luck, thanks for asking, and have fun!

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Hats N' Boots

From: Caitlin

I was wondering about the different styles of creases in western hats. What style is more flattering for a heart-shaped face? What about a more rounded or oval face? I recently read an article in a magazine that said crepe-sole boots are a neccessity for the show ring, but I have a good pair of Justin ropers that I've shown in for a while, are these acceptable or outdated?


Hi Caitlin,

Thanks for your nice note. Hat creases aren't as important to the overal hat/face combo as the brim- in fact, almost the only crown crease you see these days is what is called a cattlemen's style. Brims can make a bunch of difference, though- taking about a 1/4" off a brim can do wonders for a woman's small face, and shaping a brim up on the sides a bit, with a hair more drop in the front and back, can be much more flattering than standard 'made for Garth Brooks fans' brim shapes. The key is to get a hat from someone who cares what it looks like on you! Go to a store that sells nicer hats and ask them to help you.

As for the boots- crepe soles are very popular for two reasons:
1. they're trendy and new and
2. they're very comfy on the old bones when you stand around in them on concrete or asphalt all day.

They are not my favorite for riding, though, for a couple equally good reasons:
1. most crepe soles are double welted and make for a very big 'footprint'of the boot, so big it can be a safety hazard in a snug stirrup and
2. when I look down on my feet, I start to quack- they are very funny looking! Plus, most crepe soles are light colored and show up like water skis with dark tops or dark chaps when you ride. Unless you really love crepe soles or have to ride/stand/ride/stand all day, I'd stick with good old ropers. They work fine for showing, are safe in a standard stirrup, and leave you more money for the really important stuff- like silver!!!

Thanks for asking, and good luck showing...

Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Clothes for Men

From: Stacy

I am needing help with finding this same type of quality show clothing for my son. I own several pieces of Hobby Horse Clothing, but can never find the same for him. We are constantly trying to find something to "stand-out" for a boy who is currently showing in Halter and leadline. We have purchased more than 10 "outfits" for each of us, just this season, but still the search goes on for something "different". Does "Hobby Horse" offer anything that fits near this NEED, or do you possibly have ANY suggestions????? Please HELP!


Hi Stacy,

Thanks for your letter. Unfortunately, we do not make show apparel for boys or men. (UPDATE: Yes, we do!) Why? Two reasons: first, men and boys account for perhaps 10% of the potential western show apparel market, so we focus on supplying the nine times larger market of women and girls.

Secondly, men and boys tend to be able to dress appropriately off the rack in nice starched cotton shirts and perhaps a western flavored sport coat for halter classes.

Though we don't off things for horse-men (UPDATE: We do now!), I'd suggest you contact Rod's Western Palace in Columbus, Ohio, and also Sergeant's Western World in Arlington, Tx. Both of these companies have beautiful mail order catalogs, retail stores, and internet sites, and carry lots of apparel for men and boys.

Thanks for your note- glad we're able to help you out with your show girls, and do try the two stores above for boy's and men's show clothing. (UPDATE: Visit casual show apparel for Men & Women.)

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Smoothie Chaps in Colors?

From: Cari
I would also like to know when you will start making the colored "smoothie" chaps in green, navy, chocolate, sand, and etc. They have really made a statement this year and I am having trouble finding someone to make them for me.

Hi Cari,

Thanks for your note. We do not plan to make smoothies in all those colors, as the vast majority of our chap business is in black. We may add cream but that would be it. More than 80% of our chap sales are black and sand, and only about 10% total is smoothie chaps, so the numbers just aren't there. If you do want a pair of colored smoothies (which would be wonderful!)I suggest you call Bonnie Caylor, the world's greatest chap maker and former Hobby Horse chap lady, at 626.961.8827. She can make anything and does stupendously wonderful work!

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Having a Hat Attack

From: Ivy

I have heard that you are not supposed to wear felt hats in the summer and straw hats in the winter. Is this true? If so what would be an acceptable time to switch over?


Hi Ivy,

Thanks for your note- good question! It used to be traditional to wear felt hats in the winter (they keep your head a little warmer by holding in body heat) and straws in the summer (cooler, what with the vent holes in the crown.) But, this was back in the good old days when women wore white gloves with their dresses only between Memorial Day and Labor Day- in other words, a long time ago!

There is still some of this tradition left, but it's not very rigid. A straw hat is always considered more casual than a felt, so if you are trying to look very dressy or have an outfit that has shiny fabric, rhinestones, and so on: opt for a felt all year.

However, if you are showing at local shows with say, a crisply starched cotton blouse, then the straw might be just fine anytime the weather is threatening to be even a little bit warm. I also see more straws in events like reining, cutting, and trail where there is more emphasis on the horse than the rider.

Use your own judgement, but think of this: if it's really hot and you need to let your poor head have some air, go for the straw. If it's nippy or you are trying to look fancy-schmantzy, go for a felt. The most formal look of all is a black felt, so use a buckskin or mist felt for a compromise. Those winter/summer rules kind of went out when Jackie O left the White House, so you'll be OK if you just use your noggin.

Have a great, cool summer riding!

Suzi V.
Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Where the Boys Are

From: Cindy

It would be nice if you had boys show clothing and matching adult clothes for leadline.


Hi Cindy,

Thanks for your note- at this point, there isn't enough demand for men's and boy's show apparel for us to pursue it, compared to our big involvement in women's. Sergeant's and Rod's both have a great selection of shirts for men and boys- give them a look...

UPDATE: Hobby Horse now features Men's clothing in our Casual Apparel section!

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Custom Chap Sizes

From: Becky

Do you make custom chaps for customers?


Hi Becky,

Thanks for your note. We don't do custom chaps any more, just the colors/styles listed on the web page at hobbyhorseinc.com.

If we don't have the size or color that you need, I suggest that you contact Bonnie Caylor at 626.961.8827. Bonnie is the El Supremo of all chap makers: in fact, she's the one who taught me her trade and that's kind of how Hobby Horse began! Bonnie worked here with me for almost 10 years doing all the custom chaps, but as our company grew, I realized that we were doing lots of the the same chaps over and over again, about 80% of the time: black or sand in a surprisingly narrow range of sizes. With Bonnie's help and blessing we started our Ready-To-Win chaps about five years ago, and they have been a great success.

Bonnie knows how to make chaps that fit, and fit beautifully, so we adapted the custom Hobby Horse styling to the most common sizing that we extracted from a couple thousand sets of custom chaps. I was a bit sceptical that off-the-rack chaps could work, but they were a big, big hit and we now sell a couple thousand pairs each year. The fun part is, Bonnie and I are still great friends and her sister, Gretchen, still makes the Hobby Horse Ready-to-Win chaps!

So, we're one big extended Hobby Family, but if you need something incredibly wonderful and special, Bonnie's the one to call. She has a studio here in southern California but sends chaps all over the world after talking people through the measurements over the phone. Please tell her the Hobby Girls say Hi!

Thanks for asking, and of course, Hobby Trails!

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Horse Show Mother Hubbard

From: Helen

I have 3 Children 12, 14, and 16 that are only starting to ride and show. Where can I find clothes at a reasonable cost?


Hi Helen,

Thanks for your note. Sounds like you're getting ready to be a horse show mom times three! Show clothing is an investment in the success of your children, but still can be a formidable expense. I feel our prices are very reasonable for the quality and style we offer (especially compared the the cost of custom clothes) but here are additional suggestions:

1. Shop e-bay or other internet auction sites for quality secondhand show apparel. Chaps and more expensive jackets are the best bet here, just look before you leap: understand how on-line auctions work, and know what you are bidding on.

2. Check tack shops in your area for both their own resale departments and ads on thier bulletin boards.

3. Make your own ad for tack shops, club newsletters, and show entry booths telling the world what you're looking for. Who knows what is languishing in closets that could be ready cash to someone who is no longer showing or has outgrown their clothes?

4. Consider having someone make your clothes as a last resort. If they are skilled in making show apparel, you will not be paying bargain prices, and if they have never sewn show apparel, chances are you are waisting your money.

Even for someone who knows what they are doing, the cost of fabric, notions, patterns (if you can find something that will work) and the time and hassle factor make the do-it-yourself approach, especially for chaps and complicated jackets or vests, a risky idea. Try second hand, catalogs, or even ponying up the big bucks for custom before you try it yourself unless you are (or have at your disposal) a very experienced seamstress.

Good luck and have fun with your show kids!

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

The Dreams of Little Girls

From: Ashton

Dear Hobby Horse,
My name is Ashton, and I love your clothes. However, I am only 13 years old, so cannot get a job to afford your clothes. I live in Canada, and the exchange rate is too high for my parents to get me any sort of item out of your catalogue. So, what I am wondering, is if you guys sell any of your patterns, or have any place that I could go to get patterns for your clothes. If there is any place to go, or if you sell any of your patterns, it would be greatly appreciated to know of it. Thank you kindly for your time.

P.S. If you guys do not sell patterns, I would suggest that you start, as it would bring in more money, and help some kids get their dreams.


Hi Ashton,

Thanks for your nice e-mail. We don't sell fabric or patterns at this time, but it's something we might consider in the future. (UPDATE: Visit our Elements section for Sew-it-Yourself fabrics, trims, and notions.)

Did you know that I was a little horse girl like you when I started my company? Though I came from a non-horsey family, I was always crazy about horses. In fact, when I was a very little girl I wanted to be a horse when I grew up! Santa Claus brought me a Shetland pony when I was three years old, and because my Mom was a sewing teacher, I started to learn to sew for the pony, instead of a Barbie doll. Brian had all kinds of embarrassing clothes and costumes, but he was a good sport about it.

As I got older, I started to ride in shows and wanted all kinds of fancy clothes like the other kids wore. My Mom (a single parent, and very creative) just said "If you want something, let's make it! And so we did- and that's how Hobby Horse started, in Mom's attic. Here it is, years later, and I'm still sewing stuff for horse lovers like we are....and my mom still works here!

I understand that it's hard to collect the money for all the fun horse stuff you may need and want, and doing it yourself is a good alternative- you never know what it will turn into!

Thanks again for writing, and Good Luck with your projects and your riding.

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Down Under Dilemma

From: Samantha

I have a question for Suzi... I have just started up in western on (at the moment) my 16.2 large boned black mare. I thought if I got black black chaps I would dissappear into the horse..so I did the brave thing (for an english person anyway!) and ordered some lovely suede burgandy chaps. I have a tapestry top with a burgandy base colour that will match, my question is what on earth should i wear underneath it! My hat is a cream colour, and my hair is red, but short enough to not be seen under the hat. Please help me as I have racked my brain for weeks and I still cant decide on what colour I should wear on top! If you have nay other suggestions for suitable vest colours I would certainly appreciate that as well.

Thank you so much for your time.


Hi Samantha,

Thanks for your nice note. I applaud your general bravery in avoiding 'the black thing.' I would imagine that the burgundy is probably a really good choice: dark but interesting, flattering for your debut on the World's Biggest Pleasure Machine... For now, just get going with a cream slinky top to coordinate with your cream hat- figure out some complicated ensemble later, but get showing, girl!

Your tapestry vest will demand the most attention, and all you need is a simply slinky to preserve your modesty (or restore it, if you have lost your modesty along the way....)

Give it a try, go show some and look at photos or videos you get from the shows, and plan your revisions after that....

Thanks for asking- and good luck!

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Big Dreams & Small Budgets

From: Whitney
Hello,
I am a 14 year old girl and this will be my 1st year showing, mostly in 4-H shows and at our county fair. I am going to be paying for most of my show clothes and horse needs. I love your clothing line, but I just don't have the money for $100 shirts. Do you have a ideas for ways to save some money on show clothes? I will be showing in western pleasure & Equitation, trail, halter and showmanship classes.
Thanks!


Hi Whitney,

Thanks for your note. I know it's hard when you're a kid on a budget to get all your horse show stuff together... That's how Hobby Horse was born, with my mom helping me sew up clothes for me and my horses...

I would suggest that you first figure out what color and style of outfit you like the best, then see if you can get some of it second hand- chaps and hats are the most expensive parts of your show outfit, but good ones last a long time. You might check the bulletin boards at feed stores and the classified ads of your local horse papers for ideas, and don't forget to check out club tack swap meets- a great place to find no-longer-needed or outgrown bargains. Also, the internet is a good place to look for the treasures you're seeking: e-bay is probably the best place to start.

Choose a base color and one accent for your outfit and then always buy the best within your budget, whether it's new or second-hand. If you know a great seamstress, see if she can help you make up some tops or vests that fit smooth and snug and go with the other parts of your outfit. Be careful, though: if you have to go hire a seamstress who is not familiar with show apparel, the chances of getting what you want, on time, for a reasonable price, are kind of slim.

Thanks for asking, hope you are inspired by our catalog, and remember that it wasn't all that long ago that I was sewing in my attic, learning to make what I needed because my mom, single mother and school teacher, always told me "You can do anything, be anything, you just have to try."

Have fun, enjoy the 'try' part, and good luck going into the shows!

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

FAQ Model Customers

From: Heather

Hi,
I was wondering if you only work with models from agencies or if you work with freelance models also? I am very interested!


Hi Heather,

Thanks for your e-mail. We don't use models from agencies- we use friends of ours out here because we do all the shooting locally and we need the models with their own horses. I figure our clothes had better look good on 'real people' because some of our customers might not be built like a hanger! In fact, we get some calls and e-mail from people who appreciate that we don't necessarily use big-name show riders to model for us- I think everyone's a Hobby Girl at heart.

I appreciate you asking, but at this point we just use local folks. Do send us a photo, though, for our Hobby Horse Gallery on Facebook.

Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Leadline Hints

From: Michelle

I need to know more about leadline. What to wear in it for little girls and mother. Also in men's western pleasure.
Thank you!

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your note. Look on our website (hobbyhorseinc.com) at the "What Should I Wear?" page for western pleasure ideas that also work for leadline. In general, leadline turnout should mimic the adult version of style for a western pleasure class. I suggest that the emphasis be on the child with the leader having some tie-in (color theme, similar shirt, etc..) that makes them look like a team with the child, but not like twins.

It's important that the child's clothes fit and be appropriate for the class, but chaps aren't necessary until you get to the really big shows. Try to find a hat that is actually a kid size so that the leadee won't look like a mushroom, and don't forget the two rules for leadline: 1 Keep it fun: kids don't understand the difference between ribbon colors, and don't need to. 2 Take lots of photos. Your little ones will be in walk-trot, then college, before you know it.

Thanks, have fun, and Good Luck.

Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Competing with The Big Guys 

From: Mary

I love the horse world and all the shows, but it seems that everything is so expensive and with a minimum wage job, I can't do much. I would love to be like the ladies you see in the major shows, but I just can't get there. I have a horse that I know could get me there, I just need a grant, scholarship, etc. to go all the way. Any suggestions?


Thanks for your question- it's a good one! How do you compete with deep pockets when your own pockets are rather shallow? You have to use what you do have... not wish for what you don't have. I suggest that you consider working for a professional in your area as an assistant or part time assistant to learn the ins and outs of show biz or at the very least, do a home-study course to learn what you need to know to be competitive.

The truth of the matter is, when you are competing in something that is as completely subjective as horse shows, you really need to understand that you have to conform to the standard, more or less. You can buy high quality second hand tack and apparel and still look rather good- but again, you have to look like a winner, and first off, you have to figure out what a winner looks like! Read breed journals and watch as many shows as you can to get an idea of the style both you and your horse need to conform to.

Thanks for writing. We'll get you a catalog and have fun shopping and learning!

Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Color Swatches

From: Nancy

In this catalog, the colors appear much different than in reality. I ordered a French tan tie that I thought was much darker, but was barely different from sand. The green also appears much darker than it really is.


Hi Nancy,

Thanks for your e-mail. We make every effort to have accurate color in our catalogs, but between photography and printing, things happen! We use our chap colors as the base for all other color work- if you ever need a swatch for an exact color match, we can certainly do that- just ask. Even black has shades- if you don't believe that, try printing a catalog- it might just drive you nuts!

Seriously- thanks for your comments- you are welcome to write or call for a swatch, and also your Hobby Horse dealers all have physical swatches of the chap colors too.

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Twins in the Show Ring

From: Bonnie

Dear Hobby Horse,
I am sometimes concerned that I will see someone with the same Hobby Horse outfit on when I go show. How can I avoid seeing my twin in the show ring?


Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for your nice note. I appreciate what you're talking about with people concerned that they will look like twins in the show ring. This has always been an issue of concern for me, but I have found two things over time:

1. I have never seen the same Hobby Horse fashion item (say a vest or a jacket) on two people in the ring at the same time. We have done ten annual catalogs now, and each one has had about 50 different garments. We usually make a garment for one season only, so this means that there are more than 500 different Hobby Horse fashion pieces floating around out there. We sure don't want to wear the same dress to the prom, but I still have never seen it happen with Hobby Horse clothes.

2. On the other hand, people sure seem to want to look like twins in the show ring! Why else would they all wear black chaps and a black hat, so that they are as black and boring as at least half of the class? The show ring is a place where tradition can become dull: you will look like everyone else if you cover half of your body in black and don't take pains to do something very exciting between your neck and your navel. Try something a little different- at least a light colored hat- and plan a wardrobe instead of buying an outfit so that you have interesting pieces to mix and match that create many different looks for you. And next time you think it's bad to look like anyone else in the ring, glance at a hunt seat class- it looks like twin city!

I make lots of different clothes and suggest many different combinations in our catalogs, but if you're too afraid to show off, I cannot force you to look wonderful by making you try something interesting! Yep, I get frustrated about this myself, but when I show, I wear all Hobby Horse clothes, and I don't ever look like anyone else in the ring because I use accessories to make any outfit a mirror of my own somewhat flamboyant personality. Clothes are our second skin, so don't hide in the corner if you want the judge to think you're worthy of winning.

Thanks again, and good luck!

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Hobby Show-Girl Mantra

From: Lost And Confused

I just read an artical in Horse and Rider. I am hoping you can give me some help, because the more I read the more lost I get. This is my first year showing. So to say the least I am not sure what I am doing. I ride a sorrel and white paint. I was thinking about using mostly black for a slimming look, I am an older woman and I do not have that perfect young figure anymore. My idea was black hat, boots pants and chaps. With a hunter green saddle pad and a hunter green blouse, black show vest for riding and black jacket for halter and showmanship. What do you think?


Hi Cindy,

You're not lost and confused- you're doing fine! Your idea of the black (simple, slimming, easy to deal with) with green accents on your sorrel horse is a great first outfit.

Black is kind of universal, and the green will definitely be attractive on your horse. Plus, there won't be a great color contrast at the waist, which will be flattering for you. If you want to be more cool and casual at a show, you might try a nice neutral straw hat for something different, and you can really change the personality of the whole look with various pins and earrings. You'll be fine- don't panic, and remember to chant the Hobby Show-Girl Mantra as you go in the ring "I'm having fun, I'm having fun, I'm having fun." Go show a little and get your feet wet, and worry about complicate outfits later!

Thanks for asking,

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Small Daughter, Big Question

From: Cheryl

My daughter is very petite--the size large girls are too big around and not shaped for an eighteen year old and the petites are too large. She wears a size 0 and has a 22 inch waist. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Hi Cheryl,

Well, your daughter could come hang out at the Hobby shop for a while, where we seem to live on birthday cake, Girl Scout cookies, and other sugary snacks... She might 'bulk up' like the rest of us!

Just kidding- I feel our line accommodates about 80% of the riding public, but some sizes really do slip through the cracks, like your petite daughter. Altering women's extra-smalls is about the only alternative. Vests work the best, because you can simply take up the side seams, and still retain the shape in the bust and so forth. The simplest vests are the easiest, and when you get into jackets, it's much more complicated because of the sleeve issues...You might try one of our extra small women's garments and see if it can be easily altered to achieve the fit she needs, but you may have to go the custom route as she is very small proportioned, and we don't have a lot of demand for that kind of sizing.

Thanks for asking- hope it works out.

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Bridle Registry

From: Tricia

When speaking with a representative on the phone recently, I mentioned that you should have wishlists for your clients.

This could be an entry/form on your website, but what it does, is it allows customers to create a list of items that they want from your site (much like a wedding registry) Then when my husband, mom, dad, etc. wonder what to get me for a birthday - they can simply log on and pull up my wishlist or call you for a list of items currently on my wishlist along with the prices...

This is great, and many websites are doing it today.

Thanks!


Hi Tricia,

Thanks for your wish list suggestion- I think we could call it a 'Bridle Registry.' Great idea!

Hobby Horse 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Glove Story

From: Vicki

I have a 6 year old daughter showing in leadline. She has bone chaps, boots and hat. I am looking for kid-sized gloves in sand/bone but can't find them anywhere. Any suggestions? Can she show without gloves?
Thank you!


Hi Vicki,

Thanks for your question. Your little daughter can show without gloves (it's pretty much always an option, but they add a formal touch in classes where the rider is judged...) or you can try to dye some.

To dye gloves, find some nylon gloves at a wedding supply store and buy 3 pairs. Cut up one glove of one pair to make some test dip strips, then boil up a mess of Rit or Tintex dye (usually you can find it at the drug store) and start experimenting. Make sure the gloves and test strips are wet before you put them in the dye, and remember the strips will look quite a bit darker wet than dry- use a blow dryer to hasten drying to check them. For your pale bone color, you might only put in a couple granules of brown and a pinch of yellow- it will take several test strips until you get close. When you're looking good, put in all five gloves and let them steep for say 10 minutes, then take them out and allow them to air dry. Now you have 2 1/2 pairs of gloves in that special color, so you can lose a couple and still be OK!

Good Luck, thanks for asking, and have fun-

Hobby Horse

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Suggestions and Kudos

From: Lara

Hi,
Thank you for always answering my e-mails, I don't know how you have the time! I would like to suggest that on the interactive site that the saddle pad color match the chaps. Thanks!


Hi Lara,

Thanks for the thanks- I do answer all the e-mails at this time, though some days (like a Monday after a holiday) there are more than 100 to reply to!

Our InterActiv feature will be updated this summer with all new features and options. There are literally hundreds of images that must be created and matched together to provide all of the different combinations. So make sure to check back with us in a few months. We're very excited about the new InterActiv!

Good Luck!

Hobby Horse

 

All materials are copyright 2019 © Hobby Horse Clothing Company, Inc. and cannot be reprinted or used in any way without express written permission.

Back to Top