Hair and Make-up
The morning of a horse show is always pretty busy and having your hair and make-up done to perfection doesn’t always seem all that important but it is these little things that can make all the difference. The appropriate hairstyle for whatever event you are doing is something that can be underrated along with making sure your make-up and accessories fit as well. These styles may change according to different breeds but this holds true for a majority of stock type breeds as well as collegiate equestrian teams.
For events where you are being judged on yourself rather than the horse, your look should be streamlined and “put together.” For the western events like horsemanship and showmanship, putting your hair in a bun would be appropriate. It is not usually desirable to have your hair completely tucked under a western hat. A good bun means using hair spray, a matching hair net, and bobby pins. The bun should sit in the nap of your neck and be centered. There should be no loose hairs that stick out from the bun or coming out from your hat when you put it on. For events like western pleasure, trail and western riding, you could have your hair in either a ponytail or a bun. It is not as distracting in classes where it is judged on the horse.
Traditionally, in the hunt seat events, your hair is put over your ears and then is tucked into the helmet. You will see this most common in the over fences classes but is also a traditional look for the equitation on the flat. This is most easily accomplished by wearing the thicker and stronger hairnets but can be done without especially if you do not have many layers in your hair. You can choose to not put your hair over the ears but it should always be under the helmet or hunt cap. A bun is not desirable for hunt seat style classes including hunter under saddle, equitation on the flat and over fences events.
Your make-up for western events can be slightly more dramatic and complement what you are wearing but should not be a distraction. Some blush, a smokey eye and a coordinating lip color that is not too bright would fit well for showmanship and horsemanship especially. Matching or neutral earrings could be worn as well. All other excessive jewelry should be removed so as not to distract from your riding. This includes bracelets, most necklaces if visible and multiple rings. Hunt seat make-up is more toned down and understated. Some blush, eyeliner and/or mascara with a more neutral lip color are a good choice. Little to no jewelry is preferable, as hunter classes remain very traditional. A small stud earing would be acceptable if you choose except for the over fences classes where jewelry is not the norm.
Always remember to represent your own personal style but keep in mind there are traditions and trends in the show arena and it is best to watch top competitors as well as listen to judge’s comments to find out what is appropriate.