It’s the worst feeling: You get to a show or rodeo with your blouse pressed, your boots shined, your tack cleaned, and your horse prepared. Just as you’re finishing your last touches before getting on, you reach for your hat, lodged into the corner of your tack compartment. You place it on your head, check yourself in the mirror, and then you realize — your black felt hat is covered in arena dust from the last show, and its once-crisp brim droops unevenly.
The good news is, this never has to happen again. I tracked down a hat-care expert, Justin Thomas of Resistol Hats, to give us the low-down on the best way to ensure your hat gives off the wowing first impression you need it to in the show pen. From the hat-shaping station at Rod’s Western Palace at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, Thomas shapes hats for some of the top competitors in the industry. Follow his tips, and your felt hat will last, season after season.