Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stock ties are a pain in the neck

From showclothes.com

Stock ties are a part of the trappings of dressage that needs to go.
  • They bind your neck.
  • They're not even real anymore--like a tacky clip-on tie.
  • You must wear them with a jacket, you can't wear them if jackets are waived. 
The stock tie shouts, "Hey,  this isn't a sport, this is dressup!" What sport wears pearls? What sport wears satin? Take the ties to the upper left and right.They are aesthetically lovely, but I don't see them as something you'd wear on a horse. And even the most beatifully designed of them makes the wearer look old and stuffy. I think of Bertie in the P.G. Wodehouse books -- Bertie in a smoking jacket.

 But right now we kind of have to wear them, don't we?

from equestriancollections.com
from dressagediva.com
My suggestion? Take advantage of the growing variety of stock ties available from Dressage ConnectionDoverEquilogic, Shoclothes, Dressage Diva, Equestrian Collections, and Dressage Extensions. There are stock ties now with a sleeker design, in addition to the varieties outlined by equestrianetc.com:
  • Traditional
  • European ruffles
  • Tuxedo
  • Pretied
  • Bib
 Read more about stock ties...


  1. I wear a plain white (cotton?) stock that I have to tie myself. Some of the new options are pretty, but I like the classic look. I already ride non-traditional horses, so I figure I should do everything else by the letter... That, and I already taught myself how to tie it, so I might as well put that knowledge to use!

    IIRC the rules call for a tie, choker, OR stock. You can still get away with the plain ratcatcher collar like the hunters wear.

  2. While I agree, and there's a part of me that abhors the rhinestone, ruffle, clip-ons that seem to be the norm these days... I'll never forget the ONE fox hunt I was on in traditional dress (everyone in legit stockties..they actually TIED). A horse got a nasty scrape from a tree, and we actually used the tie (as it's original intention) as a makeshift bandage until a truck with a first aid kit arrived... I've respected them more since then, but admit the likelihood of popping off your horse mid test to apply a stocktie-bandage is slim at best. :)

  3. LOL, I don't miss tying those things at all. After I get done wrestling with them they look like they have been used as a bandage. Pre-tied rocks!

  4. About the only thing they are truly useful for now (if you get legtimate, tie-it-yourself stock ties) are in foxhunting and field hacking. They were originally used for emergencies (like a dandy bandage around your neck). If you or your horse sustained a flesh injury in the field, the tie could be used as a tourniquet or bandage, or simply as something to clean up. They're a traditional thing, and while I'm all for traditional, I do agree there that equestrian attire should look a LITTLE more sporty. Stock ties, especially the ruffly foo-foo ones, add on to bad foo-foo stigma dressage sometimes has to non-horsey people or people in other disciplines. I like the ratcatcher look the hunters have. It's really simple.

    Although, I did see a DARLING polka-dot stock tie in Dressage Extensions that makes me want to go against that last statement!

  5. I don't think they are required with a jacket. At least they didn't used to be. I haven't competed in a recognized show for a few years but I have worn a white shirt with a choker and not been disqualified. Actually it was a white on white rather fancy shirt, but still, just a choker and not a stock tie.
    I hope that hasn't changed, I hate stock ties, especially at the lower levels.

  6. Frankly, I love stock ties. I love them as a way to give a nod to the past and express our style. Some people prefer a sleek, streamlined, no-nonsense tie, and there are ties out there, in hi-tech fabrics that fill that need. Me, I like some pleats and bling. I am a person who likes to be stylish in everyday life (I'm a graphic designer by trade) and i enjoy carrying that over into my riding. Little extras make me feel happy, that's all.

  7. I actually like the look of a stock tie, but they are a pain. I usually wore one I tied myself, but towards the end of my last round of showing went to a pretied, just because the whole showing thing was getting bothersome....I guess.

    In principle, the real "froo froo" ones are kind of strange, but they are a pretty in their one curious way.


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