Monday, May 7, 2018

Kentucky: the shopping!!

Phew ok. It's been actual millenia since I got back from Kentucky, it feels like. And the world has already moved so far past the event - Badminton, the Derby, so much stuff!

let's get this party started right
But I still have photos left over from the trip that have to get off my phone, so now is the time. Let's talk about all the shopping at Kentucky!

i guess it's still the rolex main arena!
I ended up getting a few things, from purposeful items checked off a long standing list, to a few impulsive but practical items at bargain prices, to some wildly impractical but totally necessary peer-pressure-induced purchases lol.

my photo quality is crap so i only took one dressage picture. Elisa Wallace & Simply Priceless
And actually - quite a few items on my list were at the trade fair available for purchase, but weren't really priced any better (in some cases the prices were actually worse) than what I could find online. So I passed.

lol unless you also count this as an action shot: me taking pictures of my friend's mom taking pictures of my friend after she had to sneak into the main arena during lunch break to pick up the wrapper she dropped...
That was a bit surprising to me - I had looked up a whole bunch of stuff over the past few weeks. Things that are kinda sorta on my "would like" list - a breast plate for dressage, ice boots with pockets, etc - that I wanted to see what kind of deals I could get at the trade fair.

a lot of cheese happened
But.... In something like 90% of cases, there really wasn't any special price in the trade fair. At least at the items I was looking at (which mostly did not include attire, so idk about any of that). It was kinda disappointing, actually.

on our last day we stopped by 21c museum and gallery in louisville. this interactive exhibit was really cool
But I guess generally good news for my carry on luggage going home haha. I wasn't packing nearly as much crap as I had feared!

the cocktails were also quiiiiite nice haha
There were a few exceptions tho, to that experience. Like the Stubben tent had some baller prices. More on that later. We actually didn't even really realize just how good their prices were until my friend had waffled on a set of reins, then decided to go back the next day only to find them sold out. So she looked them up online only to learn... they were literally 50% off in the tent. Womp.

back to the main event tho. it's decorated really cutely!
Mostly tho I tried to be good and stick to my list. I can be as impulsive as the next gal, and there was certainly plenty to tempt me....

hoof soaking boots
Like these fascinating soaking boots. Soft rubber shell, with a knit tubing and velcro strap closure. They were pretty cheap too. Honestly I'm not wholly convinced by this concept but they're priced such that it might actually be worth trying them out one day. Maybe. lol

eponia is ALL ABOARD the fluff this year, apparently
Other items were.... a little bit more out there. Apparently Eponia's new concept is to put sheepskin on literally ALL the things. This bridle was.... unique. Haha.

hedgehog jump fill!
I also always really enjoy looking at the jump construction stuff for sale. Not like I have any use for it, but maybe one day I'll get another urge to DIY some stuff?

i kinda love these portable, adjustable xc style fences for arenas!
This style of jump in particular is really interesting to me, and doesn't seem overly complicated in construction. Honestly it's kinda the standards and jump cups that seem the most important here anyway.

i could see zoebird wearing this
Inside the arena was a whole 'nother world tho. Wow. There was just so much stuff in there. All manner of saddlery shops, and bigger stands like the Horselovers corner.

also why don't these boots come in adult sizes?
It was kinda a zoo, honestly, haha. And by this point I had already sorta hit my quota, so I mostly just focused on finding the silliest offerings. Like these adorable boots.

the sole is a hoof print. i die.
Actually there was a lot of really nice footwear inside too - including a giant section full of well priced country boots plus consignment. I found a couple reeeeally attractive brown tall boots, including one pair that were the right foot size for me but alas not the right calf size. I'm sure someone snatched those up quickly tho!

c4 finally figured out that people use their belts as neck straps and designed a thinner version specifically for the cause
There was also a TON of attire too, including loads upon loads of gorgeous jackets ranging from thousands each (no joke) to the more affordable Horseware stuff. Actually - I really like one of Horseware's new jackets that I didn't get a picture of but it's this neat breathable mesh stuff.

I don't need any more jackets tho lol...

stubben maxi grip stirrups!
But what did I actually buy?? Well. Lemme tell ya. Right off the bat, I kinda splurged a little bit. Like I said, the Stubben tent had some cool stuff at good prices. I was in there wandering around looking for a breast plate for dressage, but kept ogling these light weight Maxi Grip stirrups.

yup i'm cool with this
Then I saw a pair on the ground below a saddle stand - apparently the demo set. I asked what they would sell those for, and the rep kinda shrugged and named a price about $100 below sticker. Plus I had a gift card so...... Yea. It was a no brainer. Also I can rationalize anything.

old compositis look right at home on my dressage saddle
I've been low key thinking about replacing the old school fillis irons on my dressage saddle for a while, so the current plan is to use the Stubbens on my jump saddle and my old Compositis on the dressage saddle. So far I like it!

wildly impractical PS of Sweden faux crocodile brushing boots
The next item was.... maybe even a little sillier. I was looking through some of the PS of Sweden stuff, again looking for a breast plate in the style I wanted among all the strap goods. At which point I found the faux crocodile gray sheepskin lined boots that you saw in my first Kentucky post. I took that picture bc.... I thought they were kinda ridiculous.

skeptical pony is skeptical
And they are. They are absolutely ridiculously. But.... Sometimes I'm into that sort of thing. The price was reasonable enough ($55 - same as online) and I thought perhaps the black would be just right for Sir Charles. Plus my friends basically made me. So.... What the hell, right?

Tho I ended up getting the full size hinds intending to use them as fronts bc... the boots look a little small. These boots I got would fit a larger horse than Charlie, but I'm not sure I would have liked the smaller fronts on him.

this style breast plate was actually the #1 item on my list
Anyway. That wild hair out of my system, I finally found what I had been looking for. After striking out at Bit of Britain where their Nunn Finer breast plate was priced ~$20 more than I had seen online (which did not seem to interest the reps one bit), I had picked up a card from Clever with Leather, thinking maybe I'd do a custom order.

i looked at a few options but the Eponia ultimately won me over as the nicest and best value for the cost
But then the Eponia booth had exactly what I wanted. Very similar to the Nunn Finer except nicer leather. Plus this version came with the neck strap included, plus straps to the D rings and a set of D savers.

so yea. we fuzzy now.
Naturally bc Eponia is doing all sheepskin all the time right now, it's got a big hunkin tube of it on the breast plate. Fully removable tho, but I might keep it on just to ensure there aren't any rubs. Plus. Ya know. It kinda matches the boots haha. #itsthesmallthings

maybe if i keep dressing him up like an uber fancy dressage horse, people won't notice that he isn't actually fancy?? lol he's still the actual handsomest tho for sure
I've still gotta futz around with the fit a little bit, I think, but from a practical perspective I'm pretty happy to add this to Charlie's dressage outfit to make sure everything stays right where it's supposed to. Everything fits and he seems comfortable in it!

plus he's super lovable too and that's all that matters <3
So. There ya have it - my small slice of Land Rover Kentucky shopping haha. If you went, did you see any screamin deals that I missed? Maybe in attire? Or did you kinda feel like most of the prices were the same as online?

Have you likewise gone into a shopping expedition with a specific, carefully curated list - then walked out with all manner of unexpected goodies??? Or are you really good at staying on task?

42 comments:

  1. It’s not the same if there isn’t shopping!

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    1. Ha the shopping was definitely item #1 on our to do list at Kentucky!

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  2. I went a few years ago and felt the same way - a lot of stuff I was hoping to find on sale... wasn't. But definitely still fun looking (my long suffering husband miiiiiight not agree - ha ha)

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    1. Yea I really enjoyed checking things out, even if I didn’t end up buying some of the things I wanted

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  3. Can we go back to the cheese for a minute, because YUM.

    I love the look of those boots on him! Ridiculous or not, I think they look great. And the cheese grater grabbiness of the strirrups looks amazzzzing.

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    1. I’m sensing a cheese theme with this comment LOL! Srsly tho those stirrups are crazy grippy! I’ll have more to write about then after I’ve ridden in them more

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  4. I tend to go to things like this and walk out with nothing. Now, online shopping on the other hand? Omg. Look out! 🤣

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    1. Yea srsly. Almost all of my shopping these days is done online so it’s kinda nice to get that opportunity to see everything up close and in person

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  5. The shopping is a bit intense there. Its a bit ridiculous that some places had higher prices than online. Did they figured people wouldn't notice? That style of breast plate was on my to buy list for Gemmie though not any longer since we are stepping back from the while arena discipline thing. I'll be interested to see how you like it the more you use it. He looks really good in it!

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    1. The higher price had to do with that particular item being on sale a few weeks ago. So technically they were offering regular price at the trade fair but it still wasn’t thrilling to see haha. And yea I’ll let you know about the breastplate. I’m really excited about it tho and so far Charlie seems comfortable in it - which says something as a horse who will lmk if something is buggin him.

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  6. Those pony rain boots are priceless and hilarious!

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    1. Aren’t they way too cute? Seeing little girls tromping around in them was pretty adorable too

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  7. Love that breastplate! I love being able to touch and feel things before buying them, especially since most of my horse shopping nowadays is online.

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    1. Yea that was my favorite part too I think - getting to touch everything and really examine even the stuff I would never actually buy for myself.

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  8. Unfortunately the prices for vendor spaces are SO insane now (like... SO INSANE) that a lot of vendors just can't afford to have great sales anymore. Most of the good sales that do exist are the same clearance/overstock/old stuff that these companies have had sitting around forever and just keep bringing out. There are some decent promo type things here and there, but for most vendors they won't turn much of a profit at all if they put stuff on too much of a sale.

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    1. Yea I get that. And like Jannae said above there’s a real advantage for shoppers who want to touch and feel before buying. Plus brick and mortar opportunities make impulse shopping easier right? Like I would have never bought those ps of Sweden boots online, but in person they won me over. So. Ya know. It’s not such a big deal to not have special prices. But then again word definitely spread where there were deals and the vendors that had them sold out of a lot of things way more quickly than others. Esp in instances where different vendors were selling the same thing at different prices.

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  9. Okay, so if you don't get that fuzzy bridle too, you are just doing it wrong. lol, seriously though I am very jealous of the cheese and all that shopping! :)

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    1. lol omg can you imagine it tho? fuzzy fuzzy bridle, fuzzy wuzzy breastplate, PLUS those fluffy boots??? omg that would be quite the look! tho perhaps i'm underestimating charlie's ability to pull off even the most ridiculous outfits haha....

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  10. After going all out last year, I really reined it in this year and escaped with just one purchase. Look at all the fuzz! Hope some reviews are in the near future.

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    1. so. much. fuzz. haha.... but yea will definitely have reviews. i had a pretty specific objective in wanting this style breastplate, so hopefully i'll have more to say about whether it's doing that job. plus obvi thoughts on quality and longevity for that and the ps of sweden brushing boots. the stirrups too will probably garner some additional thoughts, as my feelings on them evolve with each use (so far, two rides - one walk only and one doing trot sets and a very little itsy bit of jumping). more to come for sure!!

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  11. I may have ended up with the hedgehog jump filler. Not for jumps but just to put in my yard because SO CUTE.....omg.

    LOL i have enough trouble keeping the elastic clean on my lund breastplate I dont think I could do sheepskin anything. But it looks great on Charlie.

    THe cheese looks good yum

    PS I could go thru that whole tent area and walk away with nothing on my own. With Peer Pressure (HELLO AMANDA) I can drop money like no one's biz :) HA HA HA

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    1. lol yea i definitely feel ya on the trouble with keeping sheepskin clean... luckily the chest strap on the breast plate is a removable tube that can be washed separately. the little pad on the crest of the neck strap tho is a different story. so far, tho so good. same with the boots - i've used them a couple times now and even with our dark dressage arena footing and damp conditions they haven't gotten nasty yet. we'll see how they hold up!

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  12. Roxie and Michael Jung had sheepskin on their breastplate - so ya know, stylin' in good company :D

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    1. lol omg i said the EXACT SAME THING to my friend, like, "well obvi i'm basically michi now" haha

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  13. i really like that eponia breastplate - it looks great!!! i got one of their 5pts but not the 'super fuzzy' version and i really like it. their stuff is nice.

    i really love his fanceh new boots. dressage fanceh. so fanceh.

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    1. thanks i'm pretty excited about it, and it's definitely well made. i liked the nunn finer version too and was pretty sure that's what i was gonna end up with (or at least the bartville equivalent) but actually when you consider that the next strap is sold separately with nunn finer, plus this eponia model has the d ring connection plus d savers, plus the sheepskin cover... the value ended up being a little bit better. so. i'm happy with it.

      and yes. charlie is ALL the fanceh right now! just, uh, don't pay too close attention to the quality of his gaits ;)

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  14. uhm that hedgehog panel is perfection

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  15. Lovely! Yeah the gold ps dressage boots were a total "omg so preeeeettttyyyyy" purchase of mine lol. I think the black and the fluffs look good on Sir Charles the fancy dancy prancy dressage poneh lolol. And that looks like a really nice breastplate too! Sounds like a MUCH better deal than the Nunn Finer. When I visited their booth last year some of their prices I was just....yeah certain things were priced higher than online so it was interesting. So glad you had a fun tack haul! LOVE those boots and totally agree - why don't they come in adult sizes?!

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    1. yea the pricing is tough. i know some online retailers undercut the recommended pricing which makes it harder for brick and mortar stores to compete.... but when carry on luggage space is at a premium, i'm definitely not gonna be stuffing my bag with items that could just as easily be shipped to me.

      tho i will say that some vendors, professionals choice as an example, had really good shipping deals where if you wanted something that they offer but wasn't at the trade fair, they could process the order and provide free shipping right there on the spot. i didn't end up taking advantage of that offer, but it seemed like a nice medium ground.

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  16. I'm not much of a shopper (I know, I know), so I'm afraid I got stuck at the cheese. That chunk of bleu in the foreground is calling my name...

    Also do they have a cheese both? Because they totally need a cheese booth.

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    1. lol no that cheese selection is one we chose for ourselves from the kroger by my friend's house haha. it was soooo good tho, my favorite was the humbolt fog <3

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  17. Very curious about the soaking boots- please do a review at some point!

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  18. That cheese! Humboldt Fog is my fav. And cheese in general is my fav. I want the hedgehog jump too. I've been eyeing the Kavalkade sheepskin bridle that RW has. Levi likes to rub chunks of his face off in the pasture and I end up having to add halter sheepskins to his bridle to protect him from himself and I figured a bridle made with it would at least look better than the halter rolls because I keep getting asked if I'm trying to get his head down (aka shadow roll). I'll have to cross compare it with the Eponia since I've heard so many good things about their tack.

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    1. omggggggosh it was so good. so so so good. omg. and yea you should definitely check out the eponia! i was pretty impressed with everything i looked at, and folks with pickier tastes than my own have likewise also been happy with the quality.

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  19. OMG love the purchases! And glad you were able to score some great deals!!

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    1. i admit to being pretttttty pleased with some of it haha - those stirrups were such a great deal and so far i'm enjoying having them - and also enjoying finally having better stirrups on my dressage saddle too, since those old school fillis irons had to go lol

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  20. Ha ha ha yeah we all know ZB is going to show up in a unicorn horn one of these days. It just hasn't happened yet.

    I'm actually jonesing for a set of grey boots right now, so I'm curious to hear your review of the ps boots.

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    1. the grey was really really lovely and i'm sure would look great on ZB. i'll be sure to follow up with thought on the boots after a lengthier period of use, but up front i can say that they seem well constructed and haven't gotten dinged up or scratched yet in current use. the straps are sturdy and the sheepskin fuzz lining is seriously cushy, but also dries fast.

      for your purposes tho, i think fit will be a bigger concern than longevity. charlie has a fair amount of bone for a TB and i had some concerns about the actual front boots being large enough in diameter to fit him, which is why i opted for buying the hinds. height hasn't been a problem for him, but for a shorter horse the "hinds as fronts" solution might not work. so i'd take a good look at the actual measurements to see if they'd suit ZB. one big caveat to this is: i'm a little paranoid about too-tight boots and these things have great elastic on them, so they're probably stretchier than i'm giving credit. plus the lining does compress. but you might end up with a gap between the edges of the boots. so yea. measure away!

      on the subject of gray boots tho: my friend picked up a really lovely pair of gray professionals choice (i believe the pro performance elite) that ended up turning on her spindle-legged tb, but might suit a horse with more bone better.

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  21. I went to KY3DE on a mission... I needed new XC boots for May. My Majyk Equipe boots are dying, and May has had a lot of issues with the fit on them causing some fluid buildup in her hinds lets... I really need to blog about that one of these days...

    I figured there would be tons of great deals on XC boots. (there weren't). At Bit of Britain, I was disappointed to only really find overpriced options on the fanciest of boots. Smartpak (and some other retailers) only really had the ME boots. There was one pair, but at $190 for the pair, it was out of my price range.

    Finally, I went to the prof choice booth, told them my issues, and they recommended me some boots. No great deal on them, but I actually got to TOUCH THE BOOTS before buying them, which is a great luxury at this point. I bought them. They fit. May has no rubs or weird swelling issues after wearing them for 3 hours on Friday. I am a happy camper.

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    1. oh man, did you not see the boxes of white prof choice boots that had extremely minor yellowing and were therefore being sold for basically nothing??? they might have sold out quickly, but damn those were a good deal!

      in any case tho that's awesome that you found a pair of boots that work. that's really what matters, right?

      regarding your experience with the ME boots.... yea i'm honestly not sure why they're so popular. my experiences with them weren't great (they turned and rubbed) and i sold them. and my friends who have used them had the same problems. i think they got their rise to popularity on the now-debunked gimmick of "OMG LEGS TOO HOT = CELL DEATH OMG!" and then stayed popular bc of the colors.... but the construction and their actual effectiveness is... questionable haha.

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