Sunday, January 26, 2014

Random Musings - Things I Miss in Today's Horse Show World

The cold has crept into my bones, I'm tired of barn chores in frigid weather and grumpiness is setting in.  So it's a perfect day to rant about some random things I really miss, things that I'd love to bring back to the horse show world.....back in the "good ole' days."

Velvet collars on riding coats. I know they are starting to come back but these are just lovely in every way.

I miss some of the old venues like the Cap Center just outside Washington, DC which is now a shopping mall. I never got to show there but went there to see WIHS a few times.  What a great place.

Recognition for our sport beyond Town & Country.  Even The New Yorker and the Times used to report on the horse show world.  Could you imagine that happening today?  Not ever.  Betty Reynolds, now Betty Oare is one of the best ambassadors for the horse show world.  Now in her late 60's or even early 70's and still going, and still winning.  What a class act.

A more recent photo of Betty.  She lives here in Virginia.
Top hats.  I know this is so politically incorrect but we need to bring these babies back for formal occasions like hunter classics and Derbies.  If I'm going to be killed from a head injury falling off a horse at least let me look good.

Big jumps. We have SO MANY 2', 2'3' 2'6, 2'9 divisions it makes my stomach turn.  If you are going to ride at a certain level at least learn how to jump normal sized jumps, without ground lines like we used to do.  Horses and riders need to be able to jump at least 3' jumps IMHO at the rated shows.  Everything in America has been dumbed down, everything.

Outside courses. See the rant above.

More Thoroughbreds.  This is my friend Bill at Devon.  He loves the old thoroughbred types.  I think they are coming back.

Fancy ribbons.  We spend so much time and money in this sport. At least produce distinctive, nice looking ribbons that will last into the next decade. Enough said.

Please take a look at Jeannie Carlton's Pinterest page here.  She has a wonderful stash of vintage photos.  Most of these photos came from her treasures.


  1. Agree with you on some points - Thoroughbreds, outdoor courses, etc... but can't get behind choosing fashion over head protection. Also as an adult amateur on a budget with a freebie horse, those 2', 2'6", 2'9" classes are invaluable to those of us are are working our way slowly to the 3' divisions.

  2. Love the old photos! Thanks for sharing. I agree about the velvet collars - tres chic! I wish we could go back to the old days when the hunter classes where for field hunters to test their skills in the off-season. I hate that the field hunter and the show hunter are now two entirely different animals.

  3. TOTALLY agree about outside course, and challenging jumps with no ground lines (even if they're only 2'6", which is okay by me these days). Also agree about the ribbons.It seems unfair that Saddlebreds, for example, wind up covered in gorgeous banners and neck ribbons and H/J folks largely get nothing but an itty-bitty short thing.

    I will add beautiful equitation as something I sorely miss, as demonstrated by the riders in the photos above. I guess I've just read too much George over the years, but I find the exaggerated crest releases, ducking and jumping ahead extremely annoying. Those "good ole days" horses are jumping JUST as well as today's hunters, thank you.


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