I recently got the chance to try a bunch of pre-tied stock ties for the Chronicle’s Untacked magazine.
I’ve been really inspired to look into custom things for me and my horses since spending so much time at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and watching all of the dressage queens sparkle and shine, so searching for companies that did stock ties was a lot of fun.
Bad Habit Pre-Tied Stock Tie
Started in 2014 by dressage rider Veronica Himmelberger in Schnecksville, Pa., Bad Habit Stock Ties’ slogan is, “Put the dress in dressage.”
When she started the company, Himmelberger had recently purchased a custom saddle pad and wanted a stock tie to match. She wasn’t finding what she wanted, so she made her own. After she ended up with a pile of stock ties, her husband suggested she sell them to pay for her “bad habit.” Combined with inspiration from the term “riding habit,” the company and its name were created.
Himmelberger is a one-woman operation and sells her ties to cover her horse expenses.
I had a hard time choosing one to try because of the endless different options. From fabric color and texture, to the size of the buttons, pins, ribbons or gems you can add, every stock tie is enviable.
As an eventer, I loved the colorblocked styles that use white and a custom color on the edges, with optional gems, but if you’re looking for something even fancier, some of the ties looked straight out of Downton Abbey—made of silk or lace with fancy brooches that look very Victorian chic.
Picking your cross-country or barn colors is fun, but if you need a more muted tie to follow Fédération Equestre Internationale rules, you can still dress it up by choosing a textured fabric and adding some bling. Collar extenders are also available for $1.50.
This one ended up being my favorite, and I chose one with blue and black trim and crystals that I’ve since worn at shows.
Learn more: etsy.com/shop/BadHabitStockTies
Cost: $60 for a handmade tie; $45-50 for pre-made ties.
Ovation Dri-Tex Dressage Pre-Tied Stock Tie
Ovation’s budget-friendly Dri-Tex Dressage Stock Tie is no frills but all comfort. Available only in white and in sizes small through extra large, the tie is made from the brand’s moisture-wicking Dri-Tex fabric.
The tie was light as a feather when I wore it, and I hardly noticed it. It doesn’t come with a pin, so if you want to dress it up, it’s up to you. It looks a little limper compared to some of the fancier ties, but I’ll take that over feeling like I can’t bend my head and neck with too much fabric under my neck. It looks classic, despite fewer ruffles or a fancier “knot.”
Based on the feel of the fabric compared to some wicking shirts I own, I think it will work well on a summer day.
The tie features a hook-and-loop fastener, and the fabric’s treated with Scotchgard™ to help most stains come out in the wash. If you want easy and simple, this tie’s for you. There’s also an untied version.
Learn more: ovationriding.com
Style Stock Pre-Tied Stock Tie
Adored by top eventers, including Tamra Smith and Lauren Billys, West Coast-based Style Stock makes stocks in a variety of fabrics, selling untied and pre-tied versions of designs created in 2014 by eventer Hannah Childs of Santa Barbara, Calif.
From ruffles to rhinestones and knots to more simple pieces, Childs’ designs aren’t over the top. The colors and patterns are great for someone just stepping out of the comfort zone of a traditional white tie.
Light pinks, blues, lavender, silver, gold and cream shades give these stock ties an elegant look. The tie I tried included a pin you insert after crossing the two pieces of fabric.
The tie, which fastens with two snaps, was a bit tight, and although they’re only available in one size, extenders are available. Many designs are machine washable.
Learn more: Stylestock.co
Salute Stock Ties Pre-Tied Stock Tie
Founded in 2014 in Princeton, N.J., by U.S. Dressage Federation S judge Kem Barbosa and FEI dressage rider Lisa Stockman, Salute Stock Ties offers conservative-looking pieces with a bit of flare.
Barbosa and Stockman were inspired to create a well-fitting stock tie that didn’t sag, was flattering to the neck and easy to put on.
The ties are designed to come high up the neck, and the knot is placed high as well, so the tie stays full and sits securely under the chin. They’re wide enough to sit securely under a jacket, and the hook-and-loop enclosure was generous and comfortable.
Blue or black polka dots, gingham and checkered patters are different, but not too crazy for competition. In addition, foxhunters should like how similar this tie looks to a traditional untied stock, and many of the colors and patterns are subtle enough for the hunt field.
A fun feature with these ties is that they’re reversible. You can wear them four different ways by flipping the collar and the tie piece. My favorite was a blue-checkered collar with a white tie. The fit was unobtrusive and comfortable and just required a pin to secure the tie in the right place.
The ties are manufactured in the United States by members of the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana.
Learn more: salutestockties.com
Equi-Logic Stock Tie
Created by equestrian entrepreneur Julie Lackey, Equi-Logic pre-tied stock ties come in several different styles.
Lackey started making stock ties in the 1990s, and her original, the “Tie One On,” is still available today. A dressage rider sick of choking on the traditional stock tie, Lackey, of Las Vegas, tries to emulate the traditional knot in some of her designs, but she also has bib and ruffle collar versions.
The Tie One On comes in a textured pique fabric or a cotton poplin, both of which are designed to hold their shapes without ironing. It comes in plain white with a simple pin or with colored trim. A unique feature is the removable fabric that turns the stock into a ratcatcher.
My favorite of Lackey’s ties was the colorblock tie (pictured), which comes in satin or poplin and a choice of black, blue, purple or red for the collar. It was not bulky and laid nicely under my coat. It’s machine washable too, making it easy care.
Learn more: equi-logic.net
Fancy Pants 2-Color Pre-Tied Stock Tie
The eventer in me silently squealed when I saw the Fancy Pants 2-Color pre-tied stock tie. I love color coordination, and Amanda Ruane, of Sarver, Pa., who started her company in 2016, had a beautiful red, white and black tie that was calling my name.
Made of polyester taffeta and polyester satin, there is a lot of fabric, but it laid flat and didn’t feel bulky around my neck. The tie had a generously sized hook-and-loop fastener.
If it’s too much color for you, the blouse is interchangeable by reaching under the tie and undoing the fastener. I changed it from black to white, and it looked just as nice. There is also a permanent blouse option.
Ruane offers different brooches and one-color ties and sells ties with crystal embellishment.
The general style and pattern of the ties are the same, but custom color options make these really fun. Ruane said she invites creativity and will work with a rider to make her vision a reality as she continues to grow her business.
Learn more: fancypantsstockties.com
Cost: $60 and above