Vintage Riding & Equestrian Apparel

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Evan Everhart, May 4, 2009.

  1. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

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    1,567
    Location:
    England
    Sorry to hear about your two losses. It's hard to lose our (mostly) silent friends.

    Are you kidding? That's fancy and workmanlike, both at the same time. No mean feat!
     
  2. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    Interesting point about American versus English riding gear. Actually, I believe there is a third area you have not pointed out that needs mentioning. It is the US Military impact on American riding gear.

    Prior to 1940, millions served in the US military and whose clothing was included the wearing of breeches and boots/leggings/gaiters. If one thinks about it, ex military personnel, especially following WW1, were inclined to wear breeches on a daily basis regardless of their work environment until the early 1940s. Most often, they were worn when working the fields or most agrarian activities. I recall seeing Johnny Carson wearing breeches and boots just banging around as a kid in the midwest (I think Ohio???). It really was the norm and wasn't consider snooty or english. I was also a fashion statement for all classes, other than western/upper crusty.

    As one can see in the vintage family photos thread, they were worn quite often by men and without regard for whether they were American or English. My dad wore breeches and boots in the thirties and he was a NH urban guy and he is remembered fondly. Perhaps it had much to do with him being in the military in the 30s and also enjoying motorcycles but he wore them when not riding as did many of his acquaintances/ex military friends. More importantly, the term "snooty" didn't really come into fashion until the 60s and beyond or when the upper crusty focused on Polo and the hunt or showing.

    In summary, there was really three classes of equestrian, Western, English and then American military/ex-military/agrarian/whatever. I don't know what that classification would be called.
     
  3. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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    Location:
    Bozeman, MT
    Great grandfather. He owned race horses.
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  4. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    Dinerman, Great Photo of your grandfather. This is exactly the point I made in a previous post that there was Western Equestrian Wear, Elitist Equestrian Wear and then every day regular folks riding wear. It looks like he was also ex military but that is just an assumption on my part. Excellent Post!
     
  5. alden405

    alden405 A-List Customer

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    361
    Location:
    Melbourne
    [​IMG]

    a party at my Grandmothers bungalow,chaps in riding clobber



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    my great aunt,Billy in breeches and boots and my Grandma
     
  6. alden405

    alden405 A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    [​IMG]
     
  7. alden405

    alden405 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Melbourne
    [​IMG]

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  8. Selvaggio

    Selvaggio One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Sydney
    These old photos are magnificent. I think it would be cool to have a thread in which can be posted pictures of our sharply dressed ancestors. So I think I will start one up and see what happens...
     
  9. Highlander

    Highlander A-List Customer

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    473
    Location:
    Missouri
    Wonderful old photos of great riding experiences, and great attire.
     
  10. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

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    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    That is a Really Great photograph there! Your great-grandfather certainly looks like a well turned-out man! I particularly love his breeches and boots! Snappy!
     
  11. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    As promised: Western Riding Apparel (Mine)

    I haven't been able to get down to go riding with my number one lady lately, so these pictures as those which preceded them, have also been taken in my room.
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    Me in my more formal Western style riding gear; black Levi's 514s, black cotton 6 button waist-coat, black on white tiger-striped shirt with contrasting white collar and cuffs (its an old Ralph Lauren which I got some years ago, it was made to give the impression that one was wearing a detachable collar), silver with onyx center Swank cuff-links, sterling silver Swank collar stud, black hard-top bowler of un-known make, black Justin Ropers, no belt but suspenders which cannot be seen (I usually wear 517s when riding, but I cannot for the life of me find mine right now...They may be in the shed with my Summer wardrobe), silver hair-braided styled single-Albert chain with silver tetradrachm as fob, Walthum 1898 rhodium plated size 16 in my pocket!
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    Slate gray denim Levi's Western Shirt with sleeves rolled up, silver with black center snap buttons, black leather belt, khaki Levi's 514s (which alas, they have ceased production of! POR QUE!), black Justin ropers. This shirt has individual yokes on each shoulder with single points, and a single point yoke on the rear.
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    Rear detail
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    Front Detail
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    Mucking/stable chore clothes (but I still really love this shirt as it's so dang comfortable to work in, and SOFT and THIN!). Burgundy and charcoal gray with tan on egg-shell white base plaid Levi's short-sleeve Western shirt with silver and pearl-effect snap buttons, same 514s as above (They're my favorites and as I don't particularly care for blue jeans, I usually wear khaki or black ones). The shirt has one single point yoke on each shoulder and a double point yoke on the reverse.
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    This is my favorite Western riding outfit, my gaucho shirt which was home-made by someone (I don't know who, but there are no labels and the needle work looks like home-made/hand quality in parts and there never was a label), my black belt, my khaki 514s, my black Justin ropers, my black gaucho hat and yeah! The shirt is really gorgeous and fits really well! I got this thing for something like three dollars from a girl I used to know at this one dive thrift shop out here (It was priced at thirty). If you look closely, the buttons are barrel buttons like for toggles but have been used with regular button-holes. Also, the shirt has inset sack pockets with brown taped edging with taped loops for the barrel buttons, there are buttons on the cuffs, but the cuffs are not un-button-able. The yokes are really A1, as are the cuff details! the collar is a band collar which has been set up for a detachable collar. I've never tried one though. The shirt is pale tan with brownish-green panels and ivory coloured buttons.
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    Front detail of Front yoke and cuffs both rear and frontal views (cuffs only, I turned them differently) You can just see the barrel buttons and the button loops on the breast pockets which are diagonally angled slash pockets.
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    Rear detail of rear yoke and cuff.
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    Black Justin ropers I polish the toes a LOT.
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    Black woolen gaucho hat with black silk hat-band and cotton cord draw-string for windage. The bead on the cord is black dyed wood. This hat is really Great for bright days during Summer.
     
  12. Lone_Ranger

    Lone_Ranger Practically Family

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Central, PA

    Draws brings up a couple of interesting points. Which are rattling around in my head.

    You mention military riding. Americans, adapted their own unique way. The McClellan saddle that was used by the US cavalry, for a long, long time, was a cut down western rigged saddle. Light weight, and short on comfort by the looks of it. Officers would typically ride in an English type saddle. Because they probably had time to train the officers in Classical Riding. As opposed to the enlisted troopers, that had to be taught quickly, the basics. How to use their sabre and not fall off.

    As far as that goes, what people call "English" riding, can be broken down into two categories. Actual English Hunt seat, which adapted a flatter saddle and riding with shorter sturrups, in order to be able to jump fences, from one field to another, while hunting.

    What people call "English" is also Dressage. Which can be referred to as Baroque, or Classical riding. It's origins go back to the 17th century. And is really based on French and German methods. At that time, Classical riding was Military riding. So, your European armies adapted an English/Dressage type saddle for field conditions and campaigning.


    I always extend the English vs. Western argument to the horses tack, as well as riding attire. The typical Western/Spanish saddle weighs in about twice as heavy as a typical English saddle. Why would you want your horse to carry that extra weight around? The extra material gets in the way of your contact with the horse. Kind of like trying to play a piano with gloves on. The horn has absolutely no use, except to rope a cow. In fact it can be a safety hazard. Certainly a danger if you want to jump something. Your typical Western saddle forces you into a 'chair seat,' as opposed to a balanced seat. An English saddle will have breakaway stirrups, where a Western saddle usually doesn't have that feature.

    Consider that the old cowpokes on a cattle drive traveled with a remuda (if I spelled that right) which is a herd of horses. They would change horses throughout the day. More often than they changed shirts. Compared to an Englishman that rides the same horse all day, during a hunt. Or a cavalry trooper that gets one horse. If you loose the horse, you are in the infantry.


    (I got this quote from the Down Under Saddle Company website. They produce Australian saddles)

    "Traditional Western saddles were designed for working cattle in the traditional American way - which is a style peculiar to the Americas. It has more to do with tradition than efficiency. If roping cattle one at a time was efficient, all the cattle people in Australia would be riding Western, because, second to America, they are the largest producers of cattle in the world. And when you consider the population of Australia could fit into Southern California, THAT will give you some idea of how many people in Australia are on horses chasing cattle. Fact is, it wouldn't occur to the average Outback ringer to tie a raging 1200-lb wild steer to a saddle strapped on an 800-lb horse 300 miles from a phone"


    Now, back to that practical school of attire. I'd like to find a pair of Campaign pants. Especially this time of year. They were part of European cavalry uniform, designed to be worn over your boots and breeches while on campaign. They were leather reinforced in the same manner as "full seat" breeches, but were secured with buttons down the outside of the leg.

    Just to clear up the "snooty" issue. I'm speaking of contemporary times here. People that ride English on a typical day, will wear jeans with paddock boots, and half chaps. The ladies seem to favor suede half-chaps, and get them with fringes some times which blurs the English/Western thing.

    When you see people dressed for the hunt, it is a way of showing respect for the land owners, who's property you are using. The same way you are supposed to dress up for a job interview. Like Draws pointed out, the dressing down trend started in the 60's, and isn't just limited to the barn.
     
  13. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    Good points, Lone Ranger. As in everything in life, we could really break each of the three categories into numbers of differing sub-categories as you mention. I guess I was attempting to position myself at a higher level rather than getting into the weeds. For example, English breaking down into hunt seat and dressage. More information is aways better than less and that is where I may fall short even though I've done both hunt and dressage. I will be posting a photo of my fully original McClellan saddle tomorrow. It is mint with all of the required components. More to come.
     
  14. cwdubya

    cwdubya New in Town

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Idaho
    To be fair, a lariat isn't always exclusively used for roping livestock. It's pretty versatile for training. Not to mention the tricks you can perform, or it's always useful role to vigilance committees. Also, you can have your Australian ringer, I'll take a cowboy from Texas or Wyoming myself... what do they use in lieu of a rope, boomerangs? ;)
     
  15. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    Not to be "that guy", but I never wear paddock boots, half-chaps and denim trousers together. I think it looks ghastly. especially the half-assed half-chaps which are mostly on the market now. The only half-chaps which I've seen in a looooooong year that weren't aesthetically nauseating to me, were the ones on What Price Glory. I hate that most half-chaps which don't look like cyborg body armour or cheap cow-boy chaps cut in half, cost as much as a pair of munitions grade English Riding Boots or a reasonably good pair of shoes, or pretend to be the uppers of a pair of field boots! What happened to the days of good looking half chaps? The ones which the American and German armies wore and used during WWI and the inter-war period were snappy and looked GREAT, but not the ones now....I know what you mean about the whole casual thing, I just really find it nauseating. I also notice that people really appreciate the extra effort that I put into my appearance when I show up around the stables to ride. I hope maybe they are encouraged to try harder, though who knows. By the by, I agree on the tack issue. I don't care for the Western saddle as much as I notice a much higher tendency towards saddle-soreness after a Western ride. There should be a pared down saddle that's not as bloody heavy for Western saddle riding! UGH! We're not all of us heavy cavalry lancers from the 1500s (the Western saddle's origins by way of the Conquistadores - Check out an illustration of a saddle from the 14 to 1500s and compare the sitting posture and the like.)
     
  16. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    I think what cwdubya is trying to say here, is that la riata (the lariat, as we call it in English) is not so much used to rope the full-grown cattle, but to keep the smaller members of the herd in line (calves and such) and is a good general purpose utensil of plains and for anyone who works with cattle. It can also be highly useful for emergency tack repairs and for helping to pen animals or restrain them if necessary. Aside from the above, yes; the lariat is used for doing all manner of interesting and entertaining tricks which have become a hallmark of the Western equestrian style and that certainly can't be called down and shouldn't as it is a part of Western American culture, neither should we be calling down boomerangs. I don't even get that comment cwdubya. Boomerangs are not used for returning things so much as striking them in my experience. I think what the other fellow meant was that he didn't understand the necessity to use a lariat on a cow. You are both misunderstanding each other and using rather short and heated language. We're all friends here, so lets us just act like it, aye? No more harsh words; we're all horse people, 'nuff said!
     
  17. cwdubya

    cwdubya New in Town

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Idaho
    Evan, I didn't mean any offense with the boomerang comment, it was just a (probably ill thought out) joke =) I'd like to see ringers work stock in Australia, I bet it would be interestng to watch. Do you know if they herd cattle the way that Florida cracker cowboys did with the use of whips and dogs? As an aside, it brings up the point that there are several camps of tradition within the US as well, between cowboys of California, Texas, Hawaii, and Florida. I'd argue that the Rocky Mountain West and Great Plains fostered some regional differences of their own, but perhaps just modifications of the California or Texas traditions. There are a ton of uses I think of that are associated with the lariat- as you've pointed out, that don't include the classical vision of tying it to the horn and working it like a winch and tow truck, not that you can't attempt that as well. I'd actually like to try riding in a style other than Western to see what it's like.
     
  18. Lone_Ranger

    Lone_Ranger Practically Family

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Central, PA
    Aussies use fences! [huh]

    Seriously. ;)

    Cwdubya, Think cutting horse. They herd the cows into pens. When they get the cow in a small enough pen, they dismount and deal with the cow. Rather then trying to chase the cow down, on an open range, and rope it. (Very skill intensive BTW, I'm impressed when people can do that)

    I didn't mean to start a fight. To be fair, we're not busting on people that ride Western. Just pointing out that what is considered American/Western is a form of riding, that evolved for a specific purpose. Working cattle. Operative word being work. You are wearing work clothes as opposed to a more recreational activity like a fox hunt. Though the clothes worn for a fox hunt are also adapted for a specific function too!

    Like Draws pointed out, that the evolution of tack and attire, branched in different directions, depending on the "job" they were designed to accomplish.

    You wouldn't take the Benz out to chop firewood. You take the pick-up. Just as you wouldn't enter a road rally in the same pick-up. You take the Subaru for that.

    I wouldn't be able to get my leg over a 17 hand German Warmblood if I was wearing tight jeans. If they are loose, I'm going to be sorry, if it's a long ride. Most QHs are shorter and wider. Handy if you have to mount and dismount often in the field.

    Evan, I always wear my tall boots and breeches. Mostly out of necessity. I can't find chaps that fit me. :eek: When I was in the National Guard, I was infantry. lol My calves are big from wearing GI boots. So I have to get custom boots. Though I usually wear a polo shirt in the summer, and a sweater, or fleece in the winter.

    I'd like to try riding with an Aussie saddle. They look like they would be good for a trail ride, especially in rough terrain. They have the side bolsters (poleys?) to help keep you in the saddle, and there's no horn to get in the way.

    Draws, I can't wait to see your McClellan. I'd like to try one of them too. I'm wondering if they would be good for endurance riding, or whether they would be very uncomfortable.
     
  19. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    I will be posting that photo later this evening since I've got a concert to prepare for. I should be able to post photos by later this evening.

    All we ride are McClellans and I personally find them quite comfortable, in my opinion, but they do take some getting used to if you have only ridden English or Western. I'll be posting later and I'm sure there will be some lively discussion. Till then.
     
    Yahoody likes this.
  20. Lone_Ranger

    Lone_Ranger Practically Family

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Central, PA
    There are a lot of "cowboy" words that have Spanish origin. For example, the word "dallying" comes from the Spanish "dale vuelta," which means to give the rope another turn around the saddle horn. Cowboys turned their ropes around the horn after lassoing a calf or steer to hold it fast.

    "Caballero" A Spanish gentleman; a cavalier. A Man of the Horse. Indeed, we are all horse people.

    As we follow the dusty trail back from the Old West, to Mexico, to Spain, to Europe. You can see how the Code of the West, has it's origins in the Code of Chivalry.

    http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/the-code-west/index.html

    http://www.chronique.com/Library/Chivalry/code.htm

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I think that's pretty cool. There is nothing wrong with being a cowboy. The ideal cowboy; one who is brave and honest with strong ethics and values, and fought for freedom and justice. Just like the Knight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QclVGUHvRvE
    (A little symbolism there, huh?)

    Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent
    from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint
    of the horse beside it. ~John Moore
     

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