The art of the stock tie

Maybe it’s just the dressage crowd I’m hanging out with, but does it seem like good old tie-it-yourself stock ties are out of style?

It’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the right…
Over the weekend, I saw a lot of riders in dressage attire; I’m certain I was the only one not wearing some kind of pre-tied stock tie.
I am a die-hard stock tie traditionalist. As a youngster in Pony Club, I struggled and struggled to learn how to properly tie my stock for formal turnout. I spent time in front of a mirror fluffing the knot, getting it just so before pinning it down. But I knew I looked sharp in the dressage and show jumping rings.
A perfectly tied stock tie looks lovely, especially with a plain gold pin. It’s a classic style. Plus, it’s useful! Traditionally, the stock tie is used in the hunt field as a safety measure: in case of injury, the tie may be used as a temporary bandage for a horse’s leg or a sling for a rider’s arm. It is also useful in keeping rain or wind out of the rider’s collar.
For me, a traditional stock tie is a nod to tradition as well as a point of pride (some of my dressage friends don’t know how to tie them!). What do y’all think? Do you wear pre-tied ties? Traditional? No tie? Are the dressage people the only ones wearing the silky ruffled kind?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

15 thoughts on “The art of the stock tie”

  1. I have one of each. Plain white traditional tie and a fancy custom pre-tied. I've been a die hard "TIE IT YOURSELF"er forever but I have to admit, there's something awfully damn appealing these days about just slapping on the pre-tied.

    1. I totally understand- I had a moment where I was trying to get the pin through the knot where I thought "omgwtf am I doing, I am buying a pre-tied one TOMORROW"

  2. I don't ever wear one because I don't ever show (ha! need to get on that… next year…) but if/when I do, it's pre-tied all the way. Partially because I'm lazy, partially because I would only be showing in a ring with an ambulance on the grounds so the need to tourniquet myself=zero, and mostly because I think the biggest single drawback to horse sports is people living in the past and absolutely refusing to embrace technological advances to the detriment of the horse.


  3. If I ever did get the chance to show in a dressage arena I'd probably try to tie it myself only to say, "look I did it!" But I wore a self-tied tie for high school as well as jazz band so it seems natural to me.

    1. I think that's most of the appeal to me- "Look, I did this!!" Not because I want to show off or brag to other people (I imagine they're all thinking "that girl's tie looks weird" anyway), but because it makes me feel good to accomplish it! It was a serious struggle for a while.

    1. It's pretty neat! I also enjoyed that it HAD a reason- it's not just a totally useless, extraneous piece of equipment. Somewhat related: Pony Club also taught me to wear a plain leather belt every time I rode because it could double as a stirrup leather if needed!

  4. i've actually never worn one, although there were a few shows this year where one might have been appropriate… i like the idea of going traditional, but worry about my dexterity in the face of show nerves lol

  5. I want to say a million thank yous for posting that picture. My trainer is a steadfast "tie it yourself" person. I just recently purchased my first real stock tie to wear when we event next year and despite watching a bunch of youtube videos neither my husband or I could figure out how to get it just right. This makes way more sense now!

  6. Could not have said it better than Aimee did. Also, my beloved Romfh Coolmax Stock Tie does not come in untied, and that thing is the best.

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