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Equestrian horse show bows - where did it begin and why they are important for pony girls and moms

Sigh. I've put blogging off for a good long time. Why? I don't know. In my previous life, before grandchildren, ponies, and equestrian bows, I was a children's book author with 27 books published by major houses in New York so writing shouldn't be that difficult -- no harder than taking a girl to a horse show, watching her ride around the ring on her pony, praying for her safety and happy smile. Do you know about that? If you do, you're in the right place.

When you want the best equestrian bows at competitive shows --

How did it start? I won't go back to my Grandma braiding my hair in a way that didn't pull or hurt, the sprinkle of water on the back of my neck, or her tying the bows in the tip of my braids. I'll only tell you that I began because when we took our granddaughter and pony to her competitive horse shows, I couldn't find bows good enough and if you know anything about Grandma's, you know they only want the best for their grandkids. So I began making show bows. But why? What is it about bows, girls, and horse shows?

What I learned about horse show bows -

At horse shows, equestrian bows play a crucial role beyond being a hair accessory. They serve as a way for young girls to express their individuality while adding a pop of color to their riding attire. At a competitive show, attention to detail matters, and a well-chosen bow can help a rider stand out in the ring. I mean, after all that effort -- driving to the lessons, the shopping at Dover, scheduling, finding a dog sitter, bathing the pony, shampooing HER hair, trailering the pony, packing water and snacks, polishing boots and tack (did I mention writing the check?) -- why wouldn't you want your young rider to stand out in the ring? Plus, eye-catching hair bows can boost a rider's confidence as she enters the ring -- at the same time giving the judge a subtle reminder of her uniqueness and personal style.

You want your rider to stand out --

Let's face it -- that judge will see a ton of cute riders, most in navy jackets and a black Charles Owen on a relatively well-behaved pony. Unless it's a "name rider" or a "known pony" or "big name trainer" those cute but good riders are lottery tickets left in the barrel. There is no instant replay. Only a human being, dedicated but perhaps already hot and tired observing class after class after class of children and ponies. Get the picture? You want your rider to stand out and be seen and recognized as a individual deserving of attention.

Show Bows add visual appeal and motivation --

No, bows don't win the class but I tell. you what -- they do add visual appeal while motivating a young equestrian to ride her best with confidence and style. That's what I observed as I began making bows for Margo and then her friends and then selling at our local Dover Saddlery. I saw an excellent rider overlooked in favor of the rider (my granddaughter) wearing orange bows in July

Proof at Pony Finals --

The final proof to my efforts occurred at Margo's Pony Finals where her welsh pony swapped leads and spooked in the Over Fences class and still they were 12th over fences in a field of well over a hundred. The bows she wore were especially designed to fly over fences. The photo taken as they flew over the last fence with the dark green trees as a backdrop, was magnificent. Her bows made the jump appear higher and flawless. This was not a mistake. It was the last thing the judges saw.

So, no, bows don't win the class but they are more than ornaments and they do make a difference.

From then to now

Now, years later, Margo has graduated from college and I'm still making bows -- thousands of bows -- all with the same love and care as tho making them for her. Instead of going to shows, my husband and I get goosebumps over the photos, videos and letters our best-in-the-world Show Moms send us.

We love and admire our best in the world show moms. What you are doing is so difficult but it's also so worthwhile!

Bowdangles Horse Show Bows - Made with Love and Sprinkled with Magic

Next blog? Show nerves or placement of bows. . . And why I will never ever never make bows with snaffle bit ribbon. NEVER EVER!

Enough of this blogging. Back to making equestrian bows.

If you found this blog meaningful or helpful, please drop me a short note to let me know -- If there are any topics you'd like me to cover, please tell me and I'll do my best. And, if you know someone who would benefit from my blog(s) (I'm being optimistic with the plural) or the bows here on please share that link as well. They'll thank you and so will I!

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