Today's post is more about schooling attire. Tho in my world, as a professed non-clothes horse (a la the SprinklerBandit), my favorite pieces to wear around the barn and for lessons / schooling ride often end up going to competitions with me too. So I guess there's a little over lap....
These pants are my go-to for winter. They are lined with fleece, super comfy and warm, and still have enough room to layer my favorite leggings forever, Mopas, underneath. Ooh, plus a side pocket that fits my ginormous
Downside? They are a tad bulky and would never be accused of being 'flattering.' Matters not the least tho - when I need to be warm, these suckers work. And that's good enough for me!
Worth noting, tho - I found my full seats on sale and would buy again at that price. Not sure if I would pay full price tho.
On the other side of the temperature spectrum is the Under Armour Sunblock long sleeve from SmartPak. This shirt is... pretty fucking terrible in hot weather. Not only is it NOT cooling, but it also shows sweat like a mother fucker. Which is... odd... for an athletic shirt made by an athletic gear company.
I do not recommend this shirt, at all. It's not even particularly flattering. Honestly I'm not sure how it didn't end up getting returned... but you may recognize it from being worn as an under layer in cold weather (below) - thus showing exactly how abysmally it does it's job of 'cooling.'
Staying aboard the SmartPak train for a little while, let's move on to the pinny holder. Obvi this probably belonged in my write up on show gear... but whatevs. I forgot, so here it is now.
Long story short - this is a pretty basic piece of equipment that lives in the trailer and is essential for shows that don't provide their own pinnies. It's easy to adjust and snaps on, tho there's quite a long 'tail' that I usually end up wrapping up or tucking in somehow.
I would recommend this again for the price. One word of advice, tho, for any type of plastic pinny holder - take your printed paper number OUT before stashing the pinny holder away for the next time, or else you'll end up with some of the black ink transferring permanently to the plastic.
Down Vest by Gap
This one is kinda an oddity on the list, as it's most certainly discontinued. In fact, I bought the thing sometime around 2003.... And yet this vest just keeps going. It's the vest that won't die. And it comes out of the wash looking fresh and new (aside from one small hole) every time.
It's super warm, zips all the way up to my chin, and the pockets are deep and also zip - perfect for lots of storage. I pretty much live in this vest all through fall, winter and spring... so yea. Apparently Gap vests have some serious longevity!
These pants are somewhat hilariously polarizing, it seems. Some folks hate them with the fire of a thousand suns, and yet others are equally zealous in their undying passion for the pants. Me? Count me in the 'love' category. Yup, I pretty much adore these pants and just got my fourth pair (light grey charcoal; 20% off discount codes ftw!).
The reality is that the pants just aren't going to work for every body type. Seems to me like they work better for riders with a little shape. All the same, I still always cinch 'em up with a belt.
One thing that I would point out, tho: having recently gotten a new pair, I was reminded that it really is NOT love at first zip. These pants really don't feel great to me, personally, for the first couple wears. They feel stiff and don't sit where I want them. But then, quite suddenly, they 'break in' and magically transform into pretty much my favorite riding pants EVAR. And so far, all mine are lasting well despite constant wear (even for chores!).
My recommendation would be - if you're on the fence about Pipers, or love the colors but are maybe hesitant to go for it, then wait around for another 20% off sale and just order a pair. And wear them around a couple times - really give them a shot. Because you may feel differently on the 3rd or 4th wear than you do on the 1st... maybe. haha.
|newest Pipers!! light gray and charcoal <3|
Mondoni Kingston Boots
Oh how I love these boots! I hemmed and hawed about buying these for pretty much forever after first reading about them on The $900FB Pony. But I finally bit the bullet (as a birthday treat to myself, and also during a 20% off sale at Divosa) and have never regretted it.
They are super comfortable - I will happily wear them all day long at shows or around the barn (tho I avoid doing chores in them). They've been soaked through and through in the rain (and with sweat, if we're being honest), they've trudged through mud, and through coarse drying sand. But they just keep on going too.
The boots are light weight and have a soft shock-absorbing sole. The elastic laces sometimes pop out of their holes, and the zipper won't stay up if you don't snap the leather tab at the top. And some of the dye looks a little worn around the zipper on the calf. That's easily remedied with a little shoe polish tho.
Generally tho - I just love zipping these puppies up for any ride. They're comfortable, eye-catching, and have so far stood up to whatever I drag them through. For the price point, these are an excellent pair of schooling boots. Or if you're me, you wear them to shows too ;)
|these Mondoni Kingston boots have taken some abuse haha|
Shoulders Back Gadget
I wore this thing pretty religiously when I first got it, and felt like it helped to remind me to sit up a little taller/straighter - whether I was at my desk or actively riding. It's not a magic bullet, tho. I could easily still slouch while wearing it.
Then summer rolled around and I didn't want to wear it directly on my skin with tank tops (other reviewers said it rubbed badly) so I put it away for the season. And.... it never came back out again haha. Pretty much never wore the thing again. So... idk. Wouldn't recommend this.
Any questions that I didn't address about any of these particular products? Or perhaps your experiences or opinions differ? Please share!
Also I'll probably have another post or two in this category at some point, maybe delving further into the general odds and ends I've collected over the years haha... lmk if there's anything in particular that you've seen in pics on this blog that you'd like to hear more about!