Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Clothes horse
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Clothes horse

Kristi Kurjan - July 4th, 2011
Equestrian fashion for Horse Shows by the Bay
By Kristy Kurjan
From polo shirts to riding boots, equestrian fashion is not just for the stables anymore. The sport of horse riding is becoming more fashion conscious. While the English inspired garb is still very traditional, what has evolved in recent years is the selection, technology and availability of stylish riding gear.
We all admire the stately equestrian look, but what exactly goes into a well-dressed rider?

Equestrian Elements
There are a hand full of universal elements that create the “equestrian look” including; pants, boots, and fitted jacket. While in the saddle, a rider needs a good pair of breeches (pants), because if a rider’s pants don’t fit, they are not comfortable. Riding pants are slim in nature but not so tight that they limit a rider’s mobility on the horse.
“They need to be clean, well fitted, nothing flapping. Clothes that are very loose may get in the way, or get stuck in the stirrups,” said Jess Collins, owner of Red Hare Tack & Togs, an equestrian boutique located on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. “If you are competing in a horse show, clothes that are much too loose or way too tight will also be unsightly to the judge. Bottom line, you can really see a difference.”

From the Saddle to the Street
Real style takes shape in the barn, where the day-to-day equestrian lifestyle look is perfected. This is where trends like polo shirts, slim pants, and denim come to life. This preppy style is casual and easily makes the transition from the saddle to the streets. Rubber boots called “wellies” are ideal for cleaning and bathing a horse and come in all types of patterns and colors.
A few of the more popular equestrian brands include; Pikeur, Gersemi, Joules, Kerrits, Kingsland, Equine Couture and Goode Rider (all of which are available at Red Hare Tack & Togs.) These names are known for their bold colors and preppy silhouettes that signify the equestrian lifestyle.
One of the most coveted and universally admired horseback riding elements is a riding boot. While leather riding boots are marketed in stores, authentic equestrian custom-made boots are much more complex with study construction and solid heal. Collins explains, a rider would never wear “street riding boot” in the saddle, as with any sporting equipment, horse riding boots are made especially for the activity.
Most enthusiasts agree that a helmet is the most important piece to a rider’s wardrobe because ultimately safety is always in fashion. During competition, all riders under the age of 18 must wear protective headgear while on a horse.

Dressage & Hunter/Jumper
There is a very distinct difference between barn attire and a performance wardrobe; Barn styles are more casual while show styles are much more formal with strict traditional elements. Many of the traditional styles have not changed because there are governing rules to follow while competing. The two main areas are Dressage and Hunter/Jumper; each have a distinct set of wardrobe requirements that riders must adhere to during competition.
In terms of fashion, the dressage event is the most strict category at a horse show. It is occasionally referred to as a “horse ballet” because it involves performing to music, similar to a long-program in figure skating. Competitors are required to wear a traditional riding coat of conservative color with a tie choker or stock tie, white or light-colored breeches, and protective headgear. At the highest level, a dark tailcoat with top hap is worn. Depending on the competition, the top hat might be replaced with a helmet for safety reasons. Hair must not be showing and should be pulled back in a bun and loud colors are not allowed. Judges even look at the rider’s boots which can not have laces.
For a Hunter/Jumper competition the dress code is less strict, but traditional attire is still required. Riders still don dark coats, white shirts, breeches and protective head gear. Even during this part of the competition, Polo shirts and chaps are not permitted.

Expression Through Details
In a sport with such strict guidelines, hunter/jumper competitors often express their individuality through details. There are more color and fabric choices available including more breathable options and comfortable materials. Pattern fabrics in plaid, paisley and stripes help to bring individuality to an equestrian wardrobe.
“You’ll see them wear fun belts and choose linings on the inside of their riding coats that may be a pattern or color,” said Alexandra Rheinheimer, owner and director of Horse Shows by The Bay Equestrian Festival. “If someone has a pink underside to their jacket or some bling on their belt you can usually predict they are fun and tend to be a bit on the wild-side!”
Another way to show independence in the barn is through the horse. Riders choose different colored saddle pads and ribbons to make their horse look their best. “Back in the day we expressed ours by tying a special color of yarn into one of the braids in the mane,” said Marlene Dykhouse Wierenga, an avid rider and lover of horses. “Red, white and blue was a color of choice for the 4th of July shows or sometimes a color that matched our shirts.”

Fashionable Shows
If you want to see the very best in equestrian sport and fashions then Horse Shows by the Bay is the place to be during the month of July. The five week summer series of competitions takes place at Flintfields Horse Park in Williamsburg, just east of TC. Founded in 2004, it has since grown into one of the nation’s top horse and riding shows attracting thousands of people from across the country to Northern Michigan. The festival’s attendees are some of the most elite athletes that the sport has to offer.
“They represent the epitome of what to wear while riding and are always up on the latest trends,” explains Rheinheimer. This year, Horse Shows by the Bay was given a rating of “20” from the North American Riders Group that surveyed the best shows in North America. “In our short existence we’ve immediately excelled to being ranked among the best shows on the continent,” said Rheinheimer. “This is the first year our show jumping folks will be in town for four weeks which means more people than ever competing on our grounds and staying here in Traverse City.”
Spectators of the sport are fashionable too. Attendees at Horse Shows by the Bay they should wear comfortable clothing that’s conducive to the climate since we are outdoors and exposed to the elements. On a hot and sunny day don’t forget the sunscreen or a big hat and something that lets the air flow, like a sundress. For colder days, there’s nothing like a good pair of rubber wellies to keep dry.

Spectators Welcome
Intrigued by equine fashion and horseback riding competitions? Attend Horse Shows by the Bay to check it out for yourself throughout July.
The five week show series on the grounds in Williamsburg starts on Wednesdays and ends on Sundays. Featured events are scheduled on the weekends and include the exciting Grand Prix plus exhibitions, special family day activities, and charity fundraisers.
The 2011 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival event dates:

Week 1 : June 30-July 2
Week 2: July 9-10
Week 3: July 16-17
Week 4: July 22-24
Week 5: July 30-31
 
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