The Clothes Horse Debut: Texas Cowboy

Welcome to the Clothes Horse!

It’s  our new, regular feature with posts by fashion-conscious riders. Here, we discuss the decisions, merits, and enthusiasms behind riders’ wardrobe choices.

It’s not common knowledge, but aside from being an accomplished neuropsychologist and author, Dr. Steve Peters is a heckuva clothes horse. He’s mighty particular about his riding outfits.

Everything has to be just so.

In the morning, he doesn’t so much as get dressed as he creates an ensemble.

For the debut of the Clothes Horse, Peters is decked out in Texas-influenced gear.
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He describes the details:

The taco-type hat (although they would never refer to it as such) is folded up at the sides and commonly worn by Texas cow punchers. In the old days, they would not have worn a straw hat. Straw sombreros would have been worn in Mexico but cowboys felt they were for peasants.

I never ride in a short-sleeved shirt. Never have. Texas cowboys would button up a long-sleeved, wool shirt all the way up to the neck. The shirts had no collars or pockets.  Vests provided the pockets.

Scarves were usually tied with a square knot.  I am wearing a scarf slide made from a cactus plant. Scarves were usually red in color. Most shopkeepers carried red. I guess they didn’t have many orders for teal or periwinkle.

In the old days, pants were usually made of wool and dyed black, grey or brown. Then Levi Strauss patented his denims.  Believe it or not, they were not initially a hit with cowpokes. They felt denim overalls were for farmers. In ode to the old wool black trousers, I wear black jeans with boots tucked in.

I am wearing Batwing chaps (pronounced schaps from the Spanish word, chaparreras. Chaparro means a dense thicket of shrubs. Our “chaps” protect us from chaparros. Unlike shot gun chaps (also called stove pipe chaps), the Texas batwing chaps are cut wide and flare at the bottom. They are loose-fitting, providing more air circulation and freedom of movement.  I learned why Texas cowboys want full coverage when I was riding amongst cactus in Mexico and got a cactus spine stuck in my shinbone between my boot top and chinks.

The spurs have upright buttons and a “buck hook.” Some say it’s for keeping the chaps up off your rowel. Others say it’s meant to hook into the cinch of a bucking horse to help one adhere.

The spurs also have jingle bobs which have provided a tingling melody to many lonesome drovers and to their horses.

Clothes Horse: Ode to Rednecks

The Clothes Horses is our new, regular feature with posts by fashion-conscious riders. Here, we discuss the decisions, merits, and enthusiasms behind riders’ wardrobe choices.

Got a Clothes Horse idea? Contact us!

The Clothes Horse this week comes to a sliding stop and jogs abruptly to the side with an Ode to the Redneck Rider.

The Redneck Rider is passionate about many things. Fashion and taste and allegiance to tradition just aren’t three of them.

Redneck Riders:

  • love their horses
  • love their dogs
  • love their fellow riders
  • love a good time


When it comes to gear and apparel, Redneck Riders care most about

  • Usefulness (Function over fashion, every time)
  • Comfort is King
  • Whatever might lend itself to a good time

On the surface, Redneck Riders might come off as offensive, but stop and visit. You’ll find hearts the size of melons and street smarts that serve them better than any clothing sense, etiquette course, or college degree.
Read about boots, bras, and balance.

To quote Gretchen Wilson, professed Redneck herself:

You might think I’m trashy, a little too hardcore
But in my neck of the woods I’m just the girl next door.

Here’s some “fashion statements” of our most exemplary Redneck Riders:

— Ballcap
— Ripped jeans
— Tank tops when it’s hot
— Shirts emblazoned with rhinestones, logos, and clichéd sayings
— Saddle bags full of beer for themselves and water for their dogs
— Halters under their bridles

And possibly:

— Knotted reins
— Ugly, tattered saddle blankets
— Saddle, formerly owned by daddy and before that, grandpappy
— Cupholder mounted from saddle horn

And, finally, a trail-worn slicker tied on with saddle strings – because it’s not about good weather, it’s about a good time!

Watch a Redneck Goodtime in Acadia National Park, click on image below:

The Clothes Horse: English Casual

Welcome to the Clothes Horse!

It’s  our regular feature with posts by and for fashion-conscious riders. Here we discuss the decisions, merits, and enthusiasms behind riders’ wardrobe choices.

Ashley Hutchinson Lombard spends most of her waking hours in barns and on horseback. The 31-year old, half of a Maine horsemanship power couple, works in equal stints as a trainer, saddle fitter, and equine massage provider with her bustling business, Whole Horse Works. She often assists her husband, Chris Lombard, at his popular horsemanship and versatility clinics. Additionally, she volunteers several hours a month at Ever After Mustang in Biddeford, Maine.

Hutchinson-Lombard’s style is casual English wear. Comfort, affordability and durability are prerequisites for any outfit, she said.

Thanks, Ashley, for your contributions to the Clothes Horse!

Got a style you’d like to submit? Contact us!

Ashley wrote about two styles of riding breeches: Full Seat style from Kerrits and Piper by Smartpak. She also weighs in on boot selection.

She writes:

I’m all about these Kerrit breeches!  These full seat tights and have an amazing Grip-tek technology that allows for a secure seat in the saddle while not sacrificing any comfort, like some full seats do.  They are great for the warmer months when the thought of wearing anything tight and fitting makes you cringe.  They are light-weight, durable, and they even have a side pocket – great for carrying gloves, treats, or a cell phone.
I am not willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion but these full seat tights offer the best of both worlds. I have no complaints here except that the fabric has faded due to years of wear and tear.

Tough enough if you find yourself going off trail – these Pipers made by Smartpak are another one of my favorites. The fabric is exceptionally thick and durable which make these breeches great for chillier months or if you decide to break trail.  They offer a synthetic full seat that allows for fantastic stickability as well as a more affordable full seat breech.  I would prefer a slighty more contoured waistline, as I sometimes feel the need to wear a belt.  With the thickness and durability of the fabric, these Piper’s are sure to last many seasons.

There’s nothing more important than happy feet when riding and especially walking around the farm.  I’ve always been in love with Ariat boots.  Quality, comfort, and all day support are just a few of their attributes.

These Hunter Dress boots are slightly more advanced than some other Ariats I’ve owned.

The soft, quality leather gives support while providing flexibility for your foot and ankle, and the full length zipper allows for ease when putting them on or taking them off.

As most of you know breaking in a new pair of boots can be torture. But with these Ariat Hunter dress boots, I was not left with a single blister!

Clothes Horse: Mexican Influence

The Clothes Horses is our new, regular feature with posts by fashion-conscious riders. Here, we discuss the decisions, merits, and enthusiasms behind riders’ wardrobe choices.

It’s not common knowledge, but aside from being an accomplished neuropsychologist and author, Dr. Steve Peters is a heckuva clothes horse. He’s mighty particular about his riding outfits.

This week, Peters and the Clothes Horse pay tribute to vaqueros (Spanish for ‘cowboys’) from south of the border, from the mission and rancho period in California. Check out the Clothes Horse ode to Texas garb.

Got a Clothes Horse idea? Contact us!

Starting from the top, Steve Peters writes:

I am wearing a sombrero. Cowboys came to use this term for any wide-brimmed hat. The sombrero provided wide shade to protect from an intense, relentless sun. The sombrero has a high, conical crown. The Spanish had a flat top sombrero and the vaquero modified the round crown (called a Poblano which looks like Zorro’s hat. The small beads on my stampede strings are Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday) skulls.

The vaquero often wore his scarf underneath his hat, pirate style.

Like the sombrero, the white cotton jeans and shirt were designed in response to the environment and desert climes.  The belt I bought from a small tack stand in Mexico City.

I am donning big Hispanic-style spurs with large rowels (Don’t worry, these are antiques, hang on our wall, and are never used on our horses!). Often the spur had a down-turned rowel and the rider did not walk with them. He took them off when he got off his horse.
Some of these spurs were called Chihuahua spurs or G.S. Garcia spurs. Guadalupe S. Garcia, born in Mexico in 1864, eventually settled in Elko, Nevada and built a reputation as a premier saddle maker and silversmith. His famous shop is now J.M. Capriola’s. Read more here.

The Vaquero could wear armas, a big leather skirt that attached to the saddle.  Here, I am wearing the traditional armitas (little armour). Armitas were light in color and light-weight with short fringe so as not to get caught up in the brush, and with an apron in front. Typically, these were “step in” style and decorated with conchas on the side.

Ponchos originated in the Andes and were used like a wearable blanket. They  were often brightly-colored and hand-loomed. The Saltillo serapes of northern Mexico were famous for their patterns, colors and association with horsemen.

My rope is made of maguey, a Mexican plant in the agave family.

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