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2016 Equestrian Fashion Forecast


The Equestrian Apparel industry continues to make forward progress in providing riders of all disciplines with clothing designed to maximize comfort and performance. Whether in the saddle or around the barn, we seek a wardrobe that works as hard and long as we do – apparel that delivers performance and comfort in blistering heat or blustery cold, at the same time offering the latest in fashion trends.

Riding enthusiasts will find many choices in active wear shirts this season. All of these shirts contain fabrics that feel luxuriant next to the skin and quickly wick away sweat to beat the heat. This advancement in technology keeps the rider cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, as well as comfy and dry year round. These fabrics contain SPF ratings anywhere between 30 and 50, to protect against the harmful rays of the sun. They are constructed with micro-sheer mesh panels, located discreetly on the bottom side of the sleeves. As an example, Ariat’s Sunstopper line of shirts is available in many color choices including Bluebird, Navy Dot, and White Multi-Stripe. This Beat the Heat series from Ariat, offers the same moisture wicking fabrics with SPF protection and breathable mesh underarm construction.

Charlotte Jorst, the creative designer for Kastel Denmark, saw a void in the marketplace for available and affordable sun-protective outerwear. Charlotte’s focus was on the active individual with emphasis on ultra violet protection, starting with the first launch of the “Charlotte Collection” shirts. The Charlotte Signature UV Protective shirts offer 30 UPF UV protection, breathability, antibacterial odor reduction and cooling mesh inner sleeves that go easily from the barn to beyond! There is a bevy of color choices with new colors being introduced each season. This active wear line protects like a fortress against the sun, while eliminating the guesswork for dressing for multiple activities. Similar designs are available from other designers in the industry, such as Kerrits, Noble Outfitters, and ROMFH, to name just a few.

Show shirts are following the same trends, with moisture wicking fabrics, UV ray protection and sheer mesh undersleeves, which keeps riders fresh and comfortable in the show ring. RJ Classic’s “Classic Cool” line features contrasting colors in a micro-fiber fabric with a more traditional shirt fabric down the front. This allows the rider to have a fashion-forward look with her coat off, and a more traditional show look with the coat on. Ovation, Ariat and Essex show shirt lines also have changed their designs in show shirts with these many technological advances to accommodate the riders’ needs for comfort as well as fashion.

English show coats, like the shirts, are now less conservative and have seen additional exciting advancements in fabric content and garment engineering. Leaders in equestrian design are combining premium fabrics with advanced technologies to create high performance coats worn by riders at every level. Trends continue to move away from the traditional sport coat look, and move toward a more form fitting, light weight, soft shell stretch fabric. Most are now machine-washable. Other features include unlined construction, and stain-resistant, water-repellant fabrics, allowing for exceptional, easy to care for coats. Another feature offers both zipper and button front closures, providing a sleeker look.

Breech manufacturers are becoming more adventuresome in their colors, many offering contrasting trim and piping on pockets and seams, and embroidered logos running down the leg. Synthetic suede full seats and knee patches are being replaced by modern silicone fabric treatments that increase the grippability for the rider and also enhance the comfort level. Most manufacturers continue to offer back pocket trims and embroideries and lower leg stretch panels as opposed to hook and loop ankle closures.

Riding helmets have been changed to meet the 2016 SEI/ASTM safety standards, with the exception of hunt caps and top hats. Easy-to-clean materials, lower profiles, dial fit systems and more ventilation, integrate innovation with safety and style. Many of the popular show ring helmets continue to be GPA First Lady, Charles Owen AYR8, and Samshield Shadowmatt. Schooling helmets with dial adjustment in the back of the helmet continue to be the best selling styles. Most are offered in an array of colors, as well as black, which is also acceptable for showing, and start at a very affordable price point. Ovation, IRH, Troxel and Tipperary are some of the leaders in this product category.

Although traditional tall riding boots will always be available, many companies offer variations on the classic design. These would include black patent leather trims as well as exotic leathers like ostrich and snakeskin. Square toe vs. round toe have become very much accepted in the industry. Ariat, Tredstep and Ovation, to name a few, continue to be popular lines of boots.

At Charlotte’s, our job is to listen to our customers, educate, and provide you the most current information on products and new innovations. By doing this, we hope to elevate your performance, comfort and safety, and enhance your total equestrian experience, while also providing the best customer service and value.

Charlotte’s Saddlery
Austin – Houston – Tomball

Western Saddles vs. English Saddles

Charlotte’s Saddlery features many Western and English saddles at our Austin, Houston, and Tomball locations. We have a variety of saddles for all ages and purposes. If you are looking for the best of the best, Charlotte’s is the place to go. What’s the difference between each type of saddle? We’ll help you figure out which is best for you.

Western Saddles

Western Saddles

Western riding stems from the Old West when cowboys would work long hours on their horses. Saddles for this type of riding are deeper and slightly more comfortable to accommodate the long riding time. They also distribute the weight of the rider over a larger area of the horse’s back to make the long hours easier on the horse, too. Western saddles also have a horn on the front to hold onto while riding and roping. The horn is also used to hang rope when not in use.

The Abetta Stealth Trail saddle has a large seat jockey for the ultimate comfort and freedom of movement. Abetta’s newest trail saddle is designed with a Ralide® Extra Wide tree with Neoprene cushioned bars. With a deep seat and Pro-Tuff Endurance stirrups with shock-absorbing pads, this Western saddle is a great result from years of development.

The Wintec Western All Rounder saddle offers low maintenance, extra security, and visual appeal. This saddle is perfect for trail and pleasure riding and barrel racing. At Charlotte’s Saddlery, we can include Full Quarter Horse Bars at no additional charge. The comfortable Equisuede seat is accompanied by an Equileather skirt, jockeys, and fenders.

English Saddles

English Saddles

English riding is more formal than Western. English saddles do not have the horn and are not as deep because they are used for jumping, which requires the rider to lean forward. These saddles have more padding for the knees to help absorb the shock when jumping. English saddles are smaller and not as heavy as Western, and they are made to give you closer contact with the horse.

Charlotte’s Saddlery has an unrivaled selection of English saddles. The new Bates INNOVA Mono+ saddle is the result of in-depth research and advanced design and performance capabilities. Made from the finest European hides and the EASY-CHANGE™ Fit Solution, this saddle is easily adjustable for the ultimate comfort for both horse and rider. The CAIR® Cushion System allows for more free movement and virtually eliminated pressure points for the smoothest and most comfortable ride.

Another of the many options for the English rider is the Passier PSL Jump saddle. The wide channel of this saddle allows your horse freer movement, especially in the shoulders. It features gusseted panels to enlarge the surface and improve its fit to the horse’s back.

Whether you need a special saddle for jumping, barrel racing, or trail riding, Charlotte’s Saddlery has the one for you. Come visit one of our locations or our website to see our wide selection of Western and English saddles.

English and Western Tack – 2015

Charlotte’s Saddlery carries a wide assortment of English and Western tack and training equipment. We also offer saddle fitting services for those “difficult to fit” horses, whether a beloved backyard equine or a high performance show horse.

Because horses have served us as a means of transportation for thousands of years, tack and riding equipment has been designed and developed over the years to satisfy all the many jobs we have asked of them. The harnesses, saddles, bridles and headstalls we use today are basically the same designs that have been in use for decades. However, new developments in technology and materials have pushed these time tested pieces of equipment into the 21st century with benefits for both horse and rider.

Butet saddle

English saddles come in widths from narrow to extra wide to better fit the horse and a range of seat sizes and flap lengths to better suit the rider. Panels are still filled with wool but are also available foam filled or with air filled compartments. We have noticed a few trends with our customers. Hunter/Jumper riders are preferring saddles with a slightly deeper seat and double leather covered seats and flaps. Pessoa and Toulouse saddles offer these features and are strong sellers. Dressage riders are very particular about the saddles they choose. Some prefer custom while most others find a great fitting saddle made by one of the many quality brands we stock including Frank Baines, Passier, Stubben, Prestige and our very own Charlotte’s line of custom saddles, made in England using the measurements of your horse to create a custom or semi-custom fit.

Many English bridles are now padded and ergonomically designed to allow crown relief while maintaining a sleek look. Dressage bridles now feature exciting details with Swaroski crystals set into brow bands or black patent instead of traditional leather.

Circle Y saddle

Western saddle makers are committed to preserving the tradition of saddle making while
implementing innovative technology and design to provide maximum comfort for both horse and rider. Western saddles, available in regular and wide widths now have lighter weight trees such as the popular Flex Lite offered by Circle Y weighing in at a comfortable 26 pounds while working saddles requiring heavy duty trees for roping and ranch work are still built with traditional wooden trees. Tucker Trail saddles feature the patented Gel-Cush shock absorbing seat for ultimate trail comfort during long hours in the saddle. The majority of our Western customers enjoy recreational or trail riding and all the benefits of advanced saddle design. Our barrel racing customers love the Tammy Fischer treeless barrel saddles by Circle Y that keep the rider in close contact and allow the horse unrestricted movement.

Western saddle pads have made great strides in providing comfort for the horse. Memory foam built into the bar area expands and contracts to compensate for slight conformation issues or inconsistent saddle fit by equalizing and dispersing pressure. Other pads have gel built into them allowing additional shock absorption and weight distribution on the horse’s back.

At Charlotte’s Saddlery we are committed to offering our customers as wide a variety as possible of those products along with the best customer service and value for money in order to help fulfill equestrian goals at every level!

Which Type of Riding Boot Should You Get?

Charlotte’s Saddlery features many leather riding boots at our Austin, Houston, and Tomball locations. We have a variety of boots for all ages and purposes. If you are looking for the best of the best, Charlotte’s is the place to go. Here are some examples of each type of boot and for what each can used.

Field Boots

Field Boots

The new Ariat Challenge Contour Square Toe Field Zip Boots are made with premium European calf leather. They feature a moisture-wicking and gel cushioned footbed for ultimate comfort and shock absorption and a lightweight composite forked shank for extra stability. You can choose from a variety of outsole options for maximum wear resistance. Available in cognac and black, these ladies’ leather riding boots are perfect for jumping and hunting.

Dress Boots

Dress Boots

The Ariat Women’s Volant Vented Tall Back Zip Dress Boots are made with premium European calf leather with upper stretch mesh. These boots are equipped with temperature-managing footbeds and front intake port vents for extra breathability and comfort. They are designed with an open-cell cushion for rebound and a closed-cell layer for shock absorption. Their integrated Core Stability Technology and honeycomb shank provide the ultimate foot and arch support. The Duratread outsoles provide maximum wear resistance and self-cleaning tread. These boots are perfect for shows, clinics, and schooling. When you wear these, you wear the best.

Paddock Boots


The Dublin RCS Advance Zip Front Paddock Boots, available for both Women and Kids, are made of the most supple leather for extreme comfort. These boots feature a Poliyou insole that is breathable, antibacterial, and antifungal. It also reduces foot odor and wicks away moisture. Its Italian shank board provides arch support while the high density foam heel support provides durability. Wear these when endurance riding and trail riding. Get this pair in either brown or black for you or your equestrian kid!

Lifestyle Boots


The Dubarry Galway Flagship Boots are iconic with their combination of smooth and crushed leather. Made with DryFast-DrySoft™ leather, these boots will take 70% less time to dry compared to other leathers. The GORE-TEX® lining is both waterproof and breathable so that you remain comfortable in wet or dry conditions. These boots have a wide entry and finger pulls for easy fit. Dubarry of Ireland has had over 75 years of footwear making experience, and these boots are made to endure rugged performance. Get these essential boots for hiking, pasturing, and an overall outdoor country lifestyle.

Whatever type of boots you need, Charlotte’s Saddlery has it. Come visit one of our locations or our website to find the perfect pair of leather riding boots for you.

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show – A Tradition of Excellence

Pin Oak logo
Charlotte’s Saddlery is a proud corporate sponsor of this year’s Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. All proceeds from the show benefit Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Candlelighters. The show runs March 18 – 29, 2015 and is held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Tx.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is a multi-breed show – a rare treasure in North America today.

Only a handful of horse shows continue to host a variety of breeds and disciplines as a major equestrian event. As such, Pin Oak was honored to be the first show in the United States to be designated as a Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. The North American Riders Group (NARG) designated Pin Oak as a Top 25 horse show in North America three years in a row. Many other awards and “Best Show” designations have been collected over Pin Oak’s history – creating their tradition of excellence for this equestrian athletic event.

Become involved! Volunteering is just one way to carry on the Pin Oak tradition of giving.
Volunteers are the Champions of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show! Pin Oak could not a make a donation to our charities without our volunteers. All talents and the gift of time are greatly needed. We hope you consider sharing your talents and a bit of your time to make a difference for sick children.

The opportunities are endless and we have needs throughout the year. As Pin Oak is so much more than just a horse show because we engage with our charities all year long and our fundraising efforts go beyond the two-week horse show.

Nifty Shades of Gray

Time spent with horses can brighten the bleakest winter day or refresh our world weary souls. Our relationship with horses keeps us fit, energized and confident.

Whether in the saddle or around the barn, we seek a wardrobe that works as hard and long as we do – apparel that delivers performance and comfort in blistering heat or blustery cold while indulging our fashionista fancies. Equestrian designers follow trends from mainstream fashion and technology and 2015 is no exception. Color is always a defining trademark of a season or collection and this year is filled with “Nifty Shades Of Gray”! From rider’s apparel to horse wear, shades of Slate, Charcoal, Gray, Smoke and Shale dominate the scene! Read the entire write up>>

2014 Equestrian Fashion Forecast

Designers and Engineers in the Riding apparel industry continue to commit to providing the equestrian community with the highest level of design, innovation and technology.

The Equestrian Apparel industry continues to make forward progress in providing riders of all disciplines with clothing designed to maximize comfort and performance. Focusing on innovation and technology that delivers machine washable textile products with UPF sun protection, full range of motion, and moisture, heat and cold management while being environmentally friendly, riding apparel keeps equestrians comfortable in the highest heat conditions with garments sporting labels such as Coolmax, icefil, Durabreathe or Dri-Lex offering optimal breathability and rapid evaporation benefits. Products with Polartec Thermal Pro, Windpro, or Windsport keeps riders protected from frigid wet and cold. While keeping the elements of Mother Nature at bay, all these high tech functions must be presented in the most stylish and appealing fashion! Read the entire write up>>

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