Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seeing Red

I was in my local saddlery the other day and even with the new spring fashions on the racks, I was struck at how little colour there was when it comes to riding apparel in contrast to the other clothing shops I had recently been in.  Sure, there are some fun short sleeved tops, but basically not much else. 

 You probably have a favourite colour and when you are shopping, you are automatically drawn to the rack that has "your" colour.  When I am tired or know that I will need to be energized for the day, I wear red.  It not only makes my skin look great, but I feel like a million when I wear it.  :-)   I have always been interested in colour and many years ago, I decided to take a evening course at a local college on colour psychology as it relates to interior decorating.  It was fascinating.  Colours influence our daily lives and we don't even realize it.   Here's a few examples.....


Red is the colour of heat, love, passion, energy and strength.  It's the colour most used in national flags.  Red elevates your heart rate.  Have you every noticed that if there is a red car in front of you, you have to catch it?  I now have a red car and I have to really watch my speedometer!  Red also makes you hungry; it reminds you of meat.  A lot of fast food restaurants have red in their decor.  :-) Too much red will promote anger.  When it comes to riding, Masters of the Hunt wear red jackets.  I am sure it's like a badge of honour, but I also wonder if the colour red, in this case, has another meaning; does it encourage blood lust? 


Orange is a nice bright colour.  It represents fire, sun, warmth, fun.  It stimulates activity and is associated with the tropics and fruit.  Great colour to stimulate conversation.  Lazy, hazy summer days...... bring it on!  A lot of my summer ensembles have orange in them.  I don't recall seeing orange anywhere in my saddlery ever, not even when it comes to casual tops.



Yellow is happiness, sunshine and playfulness.  Certain shades of yellow are associated with caution (think hornets, road signs).  Although yellow is a bright colour, it is the hardest colour to see as you age.  I have seen light yellow blouses at my saddlery.



Green is a great chill out colour.  It makes us think of nature, growth, replenishment and safety.  It is also a food colour.  You see green as a main colour on a lot of advertising when they are promoting health products.  It also represent success, money (the colour of money) and banking. Green also represents envy (green with envy) and jealousy. Hunt seat riders can wear a hunter green jacket.  I am thinking that it's the "success" they riders are going for when they wear this colour.



Ah, blue.  Cool, calming, water, sky.  It represents creativity, intelligence, wisdom, loyalty and trust (lawyers and bankers used to sign documents in blue ink).  It reduces your heart rate and it the best colour for your bedroom.  But, don't use this colour in your kitchen!  There are very few foods that are blue, so this colour does not stimulate your appetite (hmmm...maybe i SHOULD have this colour in my kitchen...).  In show jumping and hunt seat, competitors wear a dark navy jacket.  



Grey and Brown can look very elegant but they don't stimulate.  Brown is an earth colour and can provide a sense of comfort.  Hunt seat and saddle seat riders sometimes wear dark brown or grey jackets.  


Purple, a combo of blue and red is associated with royalty, luxury and prestige and symbolizes mystery and magic.  I wonder why there isn't a purple riding jacket???  :-)

Black can be evil, depressing, scary and can promote a negative feeling (blackmail, black mood).  It's also powerful enough to portray class and elegance (black dress, tuxedo).    Dressage and saddle seat riders wear black jackets and black jackets are occasionally seen in hunt seat competitions.  I am hoping that it's the elegance they are going for and not evil!  :-)




White is often associated with being pure, clean, fresh and good.  Pristine white snow is peaceful to me.  Hollywood's good guys are usually wearing something white while the bad guys wear something black.  Doctors, dentists wear white coats.

Why were red, black, navy, grey, brown and green chosen as equestrian jacket colours?  Was it to hide dirt or dust?    Perhaps these colours looked best on all horses.  Perhaps they were chosen because the colours were easy to come by in days gone by when the wool and fabrics were being hand dyed.  Perhaps, in a once male dominated environment, these colours suited men.  Or perhaps psychology played a part without anyone even realizing that these colours promoted class, power, success, intelligence, elegance, and loyalty.  

So, incorporating certain colours into your riding attire, tack or blankets can help you achieve a certain energy or feeling.  This time of year, winter sucks the life out of me.  I have a very bright red neck warmer that I had forgotten about.  I will be digging it out tonight and will wear it when I ride going forward.  Hopefully, the red colour will provide my brain with enough stimulation to give me the energy and motivation I need right now to ride, particularly on my lesson nights.  ;-)

Hope everyone is having a good week!

 

16 comments:

  1. I wore red to my prom! So much for being the shy quiet girl!

    You know, the boring attack of the clones looks in the English show ring were part of what got me into riding western. Love the color and individuality! Not brave enough to wear red yet but my show outfit is burgundy with enough swarovski crystals to make me feel like a disco ball in the sun! Totally fun!

    Outside of the horse world, I love to wear orange! Ok, today I'm actually dressed in black and grey and something that used to be white. Blah blah blah! I should make a point to wear something bright when I ride tomorrow. Great idea!

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    1. Red prom dress?? I bet you felt like a million! And, you are so right! I love watching the western competitions. The bling and colours are so much fun! Matching headstalls and saddle blankets. The guys get into it, too. Orange makes me smile. The blanket I have for Gem when he's sweaty is orange...he looks fab in it. :-)

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  2. I love this post it was really interesting to ride, I ride and 'casually' wear a lot of pink, everything has loads of pink in my life, even my bedroom is pink! I think I need a blue kitchen too, hmmm? Might have to suggest that one to my mum :P

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    1. Pink is another happy colour. I bet it enhances your skin tones. I hear you about the blue kitchen. :-)

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  3. Great post! During the winter, my favorite energizing colors are turquoise, orange, purple and pink! I think my mare looks pretty in pink!

    ~Lisa

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    1. Your mare does look pretty in pink, and so do you! :-)

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  4. Very interesting post. My favorite color is green. When I showed amateur-owner hunters 30+ years ago, I wore a green huntcoat. Still like green, but I like to wear (on myself or my horse) a splash of blaze orange when I trail ride. I don't usually ride where hunters are nearby, but I still like to be easily seen by other trail users (hikers, bikers, equestrians, motorists if I'm near roads).

    Red is a wonderful color with so many nice shades to choose from. I've also hear that in addition to making diners hungry and order a lot of food in a restaurant, it makes them eat fast so the restaurant has more turnover at their tables. It is amazing how color affects us. Enjoy your red neck warmer. Feel good, ride good.

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    1. I love hunter green. Such a rich colour. Good idea to add a splash of bright colour when out on the trails. Red making diners eat faster? Makes sense!

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  5. Great post Wolfie! When I showed we officially had to wear navy blue coats. I would have preferred to wear hunter green but it wasn't acceptable. I don't like being a clone but rules were rules. I look best in reds or greens so that's what I usually do. But in the summer I love the peaches and turquoise. It's hard to pick a favorite color so I have a colorful wardrobe. Don't know what that says about my personality. Probably that I'm indecisive... Thinking about doing my kitchen blue though.

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    1. I love turquoise! I think a colourful wardrobe means you have a colourful personality. :-) I just redid my kitchen.....I should have put blue in it!!! Whaaa!!

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  6. Here's a bit of trivia - foxhunters call the red jacket pink.

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  7. I love colour. The only colours I never wear are white and yellow, they just drain my skin and make me look sick. So when I got married, instead of white I chose Cerise, which is very close to red, but with a hint of pink for my wedding dress, and it was fabulous.
    I hate being cold, and wearing warm colours make me feel warmer. My yard jacket is red, which clashes a bit with Cassie's chestnut coat, but it looks great next to Minnie :-)

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    1. Sorry I didn't respond to your comment!! I am with you - I don't wear a lot of white and rarely yellow. You had a Cerise wedding dress??!! Love it!! I agree with you that warm colours make you feel warmer. Hope you are getting warmer weather now!

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