Is this top ok for Horsemanship?

I am an English rider joining my college’s western team. I have been looking online for a decent top to wear, but can’t exactly afford a real horsemanship top, and even the used ones are very out of budget.

My mom’s friend mentioned checking out Hobby Horse. Are tops like this appropriate for horsemanship classes? I don’t want to look out of place or get penalized for wearing something inappropriate.

I did order a properly shaped hat in black, and have the right chaps. Those were the easy parts.

You don’t need an expensive top with lots of crystals. I would choose a plain, dark colored, well fitting shirt with some stretch in it. Hobby Horse has them as well as the western show sites like Schneider’s (


My laptop warns that link is from a spamming website.

Check the link, may not be legit.

I agree, that shirt may be fine, but it does stick out.
Most adults wear conservative colors, the more ambitious with bling on those colors, not the whole shirt mixed colors.

Then, if that is what OP likes, why not? :wink:

You might look here as well, Ranch Dressn. It’s run by a professional barrel racer and her friends. Their “rodeo shirts” are stretchy and have two buttons at the top; the rest are faux buttons. Easy to wash/dry, last a long time, not super expensive and come in a million designs and colors - plain colors available too.

Sorry, web site for Schneiders is But Hobby Horse is fine for horsemanship shirts

This blouse shouldn’t penalize you or cause a stir. I show my ranch style Mustang mare in a clean and pressed Wrangler button up in pleasure, horsemanship and halter :wink:

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This is a blouse for western pleasure or trail. It would not be wrong or penalized in horsemanship. But… if horsemanship is your focus, a solid colored, form fitting shirt is “more” correct and you can also wear it in the pleasure and trail classes. The pattern in this blouse is going to show upper body movement much more than a solid colored blouse will. It’s pretty though!


Don’t use Ranch Dressin. Those tops are not appropriate for horsemanship; the buttons are really distracting.

Ideally, you get something very subtle like this:

Horsemanship is worn with the shirt tucked in, so you present clean lines. You want to avoid contrasting button colors or anything that can call out excessive movement, unless you’re really solid in your upper body. Bling on the arms and the wrists are easy tells from the judge’s perspective.

Always wear your hair in a neatly made bun - no ponytails in the horsemanship. Some tops have built in shoulder pads to ensure you present your best silhouette - it looks like some of the hobby horse models have them but I can’t be sure.

Good luck!


I have this exact blouse! :smiley:

It’s really cute in person, but be aware that the branches and twigs are not gray like they look in the photo. They are brown. But it’s a very pretty blouse.

However, it is definitely more “proper” for trail and pleasure, not horsemanship. I show on the Paint circuit and have worn it in those classes only. In horsemanship, you really want more of a blending of colors from hat to boots so your body profile/look isn’t cut in half. I don’t pay outrageous prices for horsemanship shirts, but I do buy deep, solid colors (black, dark charcoal, wine, even dark purple) and then put various hot fix crystals on the collar and cuffs. It’s not that expensive and it’s kinda fun.

If you want to stick with Hobby Horse, which is affordable, you might want to try either one of their solid color shirts OR for a print get the black one with the reins and bits print with brown and silver. It’s very pretty in person.


English rider & Driver here, snuck over & I really liked that site. :+1:
Especially as the models are Real People, not all stickthin :clap:
I was thinking of something I might wear for Cones, but just the 1 design - Fast Lane in rust - seemed like it might work.

Still interesting to read replies to OP, as the BLING I see in WP classes here can be a bit over the top to my stodgy eye :smirk:

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Hobby Horse is an old and respected brand over on the Western side, good choice to deal with.

Just maybe not that particular shirt, which would be lovely in WP or Trail on a solid color horse. But a bit much for Horsemanship and/or a flashy horse with chrome. Go solid, conservative color for Horsemanship.

Go watch a few classes then get what most are wearing. Remember if you are winning everything, you can take more wardrobe risks. If not, stay on the safe side.


The only shirt on that site that I’d recommend to someone looking for a Horsemanship shirt, would be the solid black one, or maybe the solid brown one if they have matching chaps, otherwise they bring back the '70’s and early 80’s styles and are not what people would be wearing in Horsemanship.

You’ll see bling in Horsemanship, but it’s more monotone bling, different than WP.

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Unless your middle is 100%, you would do better to have a top that matches your chaps. The color change will make any issues magnified.

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If your only hat is black? I wouldn’t be looking at blue floral print shirts. By the “right chaps” I assume they are well fitting and current style but…what color are your chaps? Boots?

I showed in this ensemble at the APHA World Show this year - bun for horsemanship, long ponytail for pleasure.

I’m an outlier in that I don’t wear a black hat - I like my trusty camel color. But the trend is going towards minimal bling - some sparkles on the midline, some sparkle on the collar… IF you can get away with it. Mine is a Kevin Garcia, who does a lot of work for the breed show folks:

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Thats very nice, especially on the chrome trimmed, bright chestnut with silver trimmed tack. Thinking back, never had a black hat. Had a dark navy and a pearl grey forever. Never had a plain bay horse either, all mine came already “ dressed fancy”.

Black hat. Black boots. Used black show chaps with fringe from another girl on the team who was selling them.

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I think I am going to try to find something plain for now, some of the girls on the team have super fancy tops and some just have plain button downs and a neck scarf.

Thanks everyone for the help!


You can work very easily with black, great anchor for show outfits, but you don’t need to look like a mortician. Think about a black shirt with subtle white, light blue or red pin strip or a black and white glen plaid for something more casual.

Have you checked with your coach yet? Many teams have clothing that they share. Also some coaches prefer a certain style.