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Add Some Bling to Your Horse
 By Saferaphus   •   21st Oct 2017   •   286 views   •   0 comments


“With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall make music wherever she goes.”

Nobody is sure just who this nursery rhyme is about, but clearly, we’ve enjoyed putting a little sparkle into our rides for at least a few centuries. Most of us don’t have masses of diamonds twinkling on our fingers, especially when we ride. After all, who wants to accidentally pull a rock off by catching it in our horse’s mane? And, wearing bells on our toes seems a bit silly, unless it’s hunting season and we tie a few to our stirrups so we’re not mistaken for deer. But, it is possible to add some (safe) bling to our ride when we’re in the mood. If it’s time to unleash your inner sparkly diva, here are a few ideas.

Helmets
Bling on helmets has been a thing now for a few years. If you’re hacking, you can buy a helmet as sparkly as you like. But if you’re heading for the show ring, you need to know if bling is appropriate. If you’re riding dressage, bling is a definite no, since the look is more 18th-century preacher rather than modern-day diva. Hunters... nope, unless it’s a breed show. Jumpers, yes wear your sparkly helmet. And western riders need to see what the latest trends are since they seem to change from season to season.

When you’re schooling, and you want sparkle on your head, go for it. Just don’t adhere anything directly to your helmet. Adhesives can affect the outer covering of your helmet, making it less safe. Now, if you’re just applying a few spots of sparkle, it probably won’t affect much. But if you decided to Bejewel the whole darn thing, be warned. It’s safer to go with a helmet cover. Hatbands are very easy to make, even without sewing skills and a quick way to add color or sparkle to your helmet.

People and Horse Clothes
Heat transfer vinyl is easy to find at craft stores and comes in all types of holographic, sparkly and fluorescent colors. It can be cut with scissors, craft knife or a personal plotter/cutter machine. You can add shine to almost any garment or gear made of fabric. The only thing HTV won’t work well on is waterproofed textiles. If you’re going to bling out your horse’s turnout rug you may have to talk to a pro to find out what HTV will work. You’ll also need the stretchy type of you’re doing helmet covers.

Tack
Silver mounted saddles are usually only seen in the western ring. Bridles too can have lots of glitter and shine, depending on the class. Equitation tends to be a bit more restrained, while pleasure classes can look more like neon light competitions. Load up the Bejeweller and go nuts!

Over in the English riding ring, things are a little more conservative. Here you’ll see a modest amount of sparkle on browbands but that’s about it. You can dress up a plain browband with rhinestones and the appropriate glue. They need to be press, or glue on since heat-set ones won’t work on leather.

Boots
Have you seen those English riding boots on Pinterest - those beautifully crafted ones that cost the same as a new car? I’m not sure where anyone is wearing those, but they look very impressive. I haven't seen any in the show ring yet. Western riders have a bit more latitude.

Elsewhere
Gloves, whips, bell boots, gloves, stirrups, spurs and other small pieces of tack can sport a bit of glitter and shine. You can buy them ready made, or get creative with DIY supplies from craft stores. Certainly, for schooling, you may not have bells on your toes but why be strictly practical and dull?
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