European horse riding, cowboy costumes and country music
If you’ve always been a fan of traditional European horse-riding, you might have noticed this growing trend. Lately this concept has undergone lots of subtle influences; all thanks to the American cowboy look and style. This globally accepted western theme is now infiltrating many of the European riding circles. One cannot say if you are a fan or not, but it is surely corrupting the traditional style. This influence of western cowboy culture can be seen being added to riding techniques, costume wear, as well as the typical country music used in local and annual show competitions across Europe. But why?
A rich and well defined history
Equestrian is a very unique sport that is rich in European cavalry and hunting activities that dates back as far as the 1700’s. Some of the traditions are still present today, but are slowly fading away because of the introduction of western cowboy styles. Nowadays, people find western riding easier, relaxing and secured option when compared to the traditional English style. The western riding is all about comfort and control over discipline and technique. The saddles are of course more comfortable to sit on for long hours, and you can control the horse just with one hand. This is one more reason why it makes it one of the more common and acceptable options in horse-riding.
What is the appeal?
The cowboy costume appeals a lot to the people all around the world and at first look it’s easy to understand why. The cowboy style has become synonymous with a cool, husky, laid back style. It includes a cowboy hat, leather pants, jacket, and cowboy boots. This makes the attire more casual when compared to the traditional classic riding costumes. People prefer to follow the casual stuff over the classic ones. In addition, cowboy style is easier to carry, especially for the novice riders. Nowadays, you can see the influence of American themed cowboy style in every aspect of the European horse-riding clubs. The competitions are now embracing the cowboy image instead of the traditional themes. This has definitely jeopardized with the pride of traditional competitions. The most common example is the sitting posture. Initially, in riding, the rider sits up straight; however, the western riders go for the crouched posture. This posture actually helps in competing in the races successfully. This is because the posture gives them extra leverage of 5-7%. Eventually, this crouched posture was adapted by everyone in the racing field.
The effect of cowboy image does not limit to the riding and dressing style, but it also has influenced the country music of Europe. Now you will find a different, relaxed taste of music more appreciated by the crowd rather then the classics. This way you can see the grip of American themed cowboy style in local as well as annual competitions in Europe. Now we’re not asking to stop it or suggesting that it is not good. But what I am saying is that do not get so much influenced that tomorrow you won't even remember the classic uniqueness and discipline of the European horse riding.