Quality and purpose aside, when choosing tack for your horse, there are also some purely esthetic things to consider. Esthetic? Yes, the looks matter in horses too. You need to think of the color of your horse's coat and whether you want a more natural look, where the tack blends in with the horse's coat, or you want the tack to really stand out. So, here are some rules of thumb to take into account.
First things first. You'd have to know what discipline the tack will be used for because some are very traditional in their color choices regardless of the color of your horse's coat. For example, dressage is all about black tack, and hunters traditionally use dark brown.
Next, think about whether the tack will be used in summer or winter. Summer coats are often more vibrant, sleek, and bolder in color than winter coats. If shopping for summer, go for colors that make your horse look sharp, and if winter, go for tack that looks good against his clipped coat which might appear lighter than you'd expect.
Another important thing to consider is your and your horse's personality. Are you more of a traditional, classic dresser and your horse an even tempered, noble creature? Go for classic colors of black or brown without too many fancy details. If you want to spice things up, use browbands with inlaid gemstones, or sterling silver accents, hand tooled leather, or trendy but subdued patterns. On the other hand, if you like to stand out in a crowd and your horse is a real show-off, go for bold colors like turquoise, red, yellow, pink, or even white. Think fringe and inlays, elaborate tooling, beads and crystals, and anything else that makes your horse seem to say, "I'm here, I'm handsome, and I know it."
Now, back to your horse's coat... If you are leaning classic and traditional, and you want the color of tack to match your horse's coat, here are some suggestions:
- Bay, brown, chestnut: dark brown, black, hunter green, navy;
- Black: black, charcoal, navy, midnight purple, forest green;
- Gray: black, charcoal, navy;
- Palomino, buckskin: medium brown, black, navy.
If, on the other hand, you want to make a statement, go for colors that really stand out against your horse's coat. Turquoise and red look good on most coats, and here are some other options:
- Bay, brown, chestnut: pink, sky blue, yellow;
- Black: deep red (cherry red), eggplant purple;
- Gray: pink, purple, yellow, green, lilac;
- Palomino, buckskin: pink, burnt orange, medium blue, magenta.
No, I didn't forget paint horses and appaloosas in my suggestions above. These guys are showy enough on their own that using some fancy color tack would just detract from their beauty. So, find tack for them that matches the accent color of their coat, and you'll be good to go.
With all this style talk, don't forget about practicality. An important part of choosing the right tack is considering the time and effort needed to clean and maintain it. You know best how much time you've got to spare. Also, do you think you might want to sell that tack sometime down the road? If so, be aware that traditional colors will sell faster. You'll have a while to wait for the buyer for that neon pink tack.
Now that you know how to spruce up your horse's style, why not get a matching accessory for your cowgirl boots? Boot Bling by Buckaroo Bling is just the ticket... 'cause your boots need earrings too.