Whether you’re getting ready for a hunter derby, dressage test, or a morning out on the hunt field… almost every equestrian can agree… the most frustrating part of formal attire is the dreaded stock tie.
You knot, you pull, you fluff, and you pin, but no matter how hard you try, the tie just doesn’t look right. You’re not alone, we’ve all been there, so we have the ultimate equestrian guide to stock ties. Learn about the different types of ties, why we wear them, and our secret behind tying them!
So how do I tie my stock tie? We get this question all the time, so...
Here is our handy video we made so you can learn to tie a stock tie like a pro!
Step 1: Check and see if your stock tie has a button hole on the back. If so, make sure it on the lower side of the fabric. Then place it around your neck as you would with a scarf.
Step 2: One side of the tie should have a slit in it. Take the opposite tail of the tie and thread it through that slit making sure it is flat and tidy.
Step 3: Flip that end over your shoulder and twist the entire tie around your neck so the button hole lays right in the center of your neck which one tail of the tie on each side. If you have a show shirt with buttons, you can button the tie to your shirt for extra security.
Step 4: Make sure the tie is snug but comfortable around your neck and then take the longer tail of the tie and cross it over the shorter side. Make a normal square not with the two tails. Try and keep the knot as clean and un-wrinkly as possible for the most polished look.
Step 5: Cross the top side of the tie back over itself and flip it across your left shoulder. Then repeat the process with the other tail, over the opposite shoulder.
Step 6: Take the original side again, uncross it, and grab the bottom of the tail- pulling it under through the hole of the tie on your right shoulder, making a second knot.
Step 7: Adjust the square knot to your liking, then cross the left tail over the right and fluff the two tails into the desired position.
Step 8: Take your stock pin and pin the two tails together. Make sure the stock pin is level and in the center.
Quick Tip: You can also pin the separate ends of the tie to your show shirt under your jacket to ensure the tails don't come flying out will you're riding. Or if the tails are long enough, you can tuck them into your breeches.
Origin of Stock Ties
The use of stock ties originated as part of the formal attire in fox hunting. The design of the tie was simple, yet practical, so in case of emergency the tie could be removed and used as a sling for a broken arm, or even a bandage if your horse was injured. Nowadays, equestrians continue to sport stock ties for formal occasions in recognition of our sport’s history. You will see them in hunter derbies, fox hunts, dressage classes, and the dressage and show jumping phases of eventing.
Different Types of Stock Ties
There are two main types of stock ties. Traditional, and pre-tied ties.
Pre-tied ties are convenient because the knot comes fixed and all you have to do is velcro the ends around your neck and you’re ready to head in the ring. They’re great if you’re in a rush… but you never know when you’ll be stuck at a show without one and no one knows how to tie a traditional one. That’s why it’s key to at least have the knowledge of the traditional tie- not only will you be set in a pinch, but you’ll amaze all of your friends with your sorcery as well!
While the idea of wearing a stock tie may seem daunting, after a little practice, you'll be tying it in your sleep. So good luck and get to practicing!