Miss Shield: This is probably the NUMBER ONE trend for 2017. The Miss Shield is Samshield’s version of the GPA First Lady. In my opinion, it fits better; is more comfortable; and has less break-in time. The Miss Shield comes in Premium or ShadowMatt versions and is fully customizable. I totally splurged on mine and got rose gold trim & blazon. It cost me a pretty penny, but it was so freakin’ pretty that even my non-horsey mom dropped her jaw when she saw it. I love riding in this helmet. It fit me comfortably from day one, and it didn’t give me that typically head-squeeze feeling you normally get from new helmets. The brim is wide but not too wide. It is also line with a leather piece, adding an extra accent. I purchased mine from EquestriLifeStyle. SmartPak and other retailers now carry it. You can customize what you want here to get an idea of what your helmet will look like, as well as price.. Just a warning, it is SUPER shiny just with the trim & blazon so for those of you that want the Swarowski crystals – be forewarned!
- Grey Parlantis: I have not seen these around at all, but I had quite a few followers tell me that a lot of equestrians at their barn own them. I personally don’t care for Parlantis, but maybe I would consider them a. in another brand and b. depending on the shade of grey. I’ve also seen grey tack as well. This isn’t really a trend for me, but it is something popular right now. These were actually super hard to find at a retailer, and this was the only place I could find them for purchase.
- Rose gold: See item 1.
- Brown apparel/helmet: Brown has been trending for a few years now, especially in the pony hunter ring with brown paddock boots and brown helmets. However, I’ve seen brown pop up more and more in the dressage ring, the jumper ring, and in schooling tall boots for any discipline.
- Hunter green coats: Again, this is another trend that has been making a comeback for some time –
brought on by Lillie Keenan. I personally am a huge fan of hunter green show coats. My next show coat is going to be hunter green, and I own a Charles Ancona training jacket in hunter green as well. This color is traditional yet still stands out in the show ring and gets the rider noticed.
- Tall boots with “untraditional” tops: Many equestrians, even hunters, have been getting tall boots that have “untraditional” trim at the tops, such as
crocodile/alligator, snake skin, or the like. It adds a little pop and unique-ness to one’s boot, but it isn’t SO crazy that a judge would dock points in the hunter or equitation ring… unless they had like, laser vision. I have not seen it make a huge appearance in the equitation ring, but it definitely has shown up in the hunter ring and lets a rider add a personal touch to their riding boot.
- “Tech” show jackets: Jackets that are made of more technical fabric are making a big scene in the hunter, jumper, equitation, dressage, etc. ring. They’re easier to wash, less heavy, softer, less hot in the summer, and overall have a cleaner, sleeker look. Some are not a fan of the “tech” fabric jackets, but I happen to really like them, ESPECIALLY when showing on a very hot, humid day. These jackets tend to be more flattering, softer, easier to wash, and less thick than the traditional wool-based jackets of the past. If you can find a technical fabric jacket that you like, that fits you well, and that is acceptable for your discipline, I would get it. Charles Ancona is a great brand to try for tech fabric and a flattering fit.
- Big visors on helmets a la First Lady/Miss Shield/Samshield Premium visor: Much like the Miss Shield’s big visor, these size visors are starting to make a huge appearance in the show ring. GPA
started it off with their First Lady model, which had a wider brim and was designed for a woman’s face. Samshield followed suit with it’s clip-on visitor for its Premium model (I have a black one for my helmet. I love it. It’s easy to put on, and it doesn’t come off easily, if at all).
- Rust colored breeches: Rust colored breeches were once a huge thing in the past. They are making a comeback; maybe not in the show ring, but I’ve seen A LOT of equestrians schooling in them. My favorite rust-colored breech is the NoHo City Breech by Le Fash. It’s a bit more brown than the traditional rust color, but I love the color of it. Le Fash also just released a more rust-colored breech for their spring line. It’s still on pre-order mode, but it is the Times Square breech and comes with tan or black knee patches. Tailored Sportsman makes a true rust colored breech, and I am sure other brands do as well.
- Denim breeches: Denim breeches are not REALLY denim, but the fabric pattern will make you look twice. In my experience, though, not all denim-like breeches are made alike. The first pair I owned, I ended up selling because they were too stiff and not comfortable. Le Fash also makes denim-pattern breeches. I find theirs to be much more comfortable, but that’s my personal preference. Currently, I have my eye on the Williamsburg City Breech, a new addition to their breech line this season. They also made the
Downtown City Breech two seasons ago, which was light denim, and the Uptown denim City Breech, which is a darker print. The Uptown & Downtown, I believe, came in a knee patch and full seat version. Additionally, last year they release the Flat Iron City Breech which is black but has a denim print to it. I personally own this one, and I adore it.