These days, many horse and pony enthusiasts are getting into the spirit of ‘bling’. If you’re unaccustomed to the phrase, it refers to: ‘Decoration that attracts attention because it is very noticeable, and looks expensive.’ But how much bling is too much? Should your horse bridles, saddles, riding boots and riding gloves be customised with added sparkle? And is there some kind of unwritten rule about the age of the (human) wearer?
Pleasingly, anyone can embrace diamante embellishments for their equestrian clothing and horse tack (saddles and bridles) - the trick is to choose items that are discreet and classy, in our opinion! So if you’re new to bling, don’t be afraid to dive in, and give it a try - there are some lovely diamante equestrian items available.
What’s allowed in the competition ring?
The horse tack and clothing rules are now fairly flexible for all of the UK horse riding disciplines. Within reason, you may wear or use any kind of embellished tack and clothing, across all disciplines - e.g. accessories, spurs, helmets, boots and horse tack - although British Dressage has some style guidelines in its ‘core dress rules’, stipulating ‘conservative colours in muted tones’, and only discreet embellishments.
Specific examples of ‘blingy’ horse riding items include a sparkly stone on the wrist of a riding glove; diamante plaiting bands; a horse riding helmet covered in a ‘sparkle fibre’; small logos on riding clothing; patent long dressage boots; a crystal-topped riding whip; and of course, diamante elements on your horse bridle and saddle.
Why do we love a blingy horse bridle?
All of the main riding disciplines, eventing, dressage and showjumping, attract stalwart fans of riding horses and ponies, e.g. equestrian enthusiasts who enjoy looking their best and showcasing their appearance.
However, it is within the field of dressage where we see most ‘bling’, or diamante embellishments. Why is this?
Well, dressage has a wonderful heritage of showcasing style and class - and if you’re lucky enough to ride in an arena with spotlights, diamante or blingy bridles will definitely help attract attention to the horse or pony’s head, giving an aura of sparkle!
Unfortunately, many fashion bridles for horses and ponies are very costly - but did you know that you can buy a beautiful, high fashion, blingy bridle for under £50? Equi Craft Ltd’s Ultimate Bridle is made from beautiful, polished, rolled leather, creating a refined look.
It has a slight ‘V’ or dipped browband for an on-trend appearance, which has a double row of crystal detailing, for a bold look. (Available in black, size Full, currently). The supple flash noseband has two separate rows of more discreet crystal detailing. The Ultimate Bridle will definitely get you noticed!
Our Crystal Bling Reins, sized from Shetland to Full, offer a further element of stylish excitement! The bit-end of the reins feature a double row of crystal detailing, which is also neatly fashioned on the bit stops.
What about British Dressage’s dress codes?
(You may be wondering - can I use these items of horse tack in classes run under the auspices of British Dressage? Firstly, ‘decorated’ browbands are allowed on a horse or pony’s bridle; BD states: ‘Horses may not be decorated other than via permitted tack, e.g. diamante or coloured browbands’. However, the rules are more ambiguous for embellished nosebands and reins! While British Dressage’s rules don’t specifically rule out diamante nosebands or reins, they do ONLY give the example of diamante plaiting bands being allowed as extra ‘decoration’. So, if you’re a BD affiliated rider, you may like to check with your show organisers as to how strictly they’re following BD’s rules!)
In any case - we are sure that embracing the current trend for embellished and blingy horse bridles will allow you to really showcase your personality and style - diamante is the perfect way to draw attention to your horse or pony, and engage in some unbridled fun. A diamante bridle will help catch the dressage judge’s eye, and can really give you an extra air of self confidence, when you’re riding in the ring!