Thursday, November 14, 2019

show gear inventory + new bridle

With our formal show season officially wrapped, I thought it might be fun to update our inventory on show attire and tack. Especially since... Wowza it turns out I kinda bought a lot of stuff this past year. Yikes....

charles in all his glory
Long time readers will already know that I have somewhat miserly tendencies tho haha, and a lot of my stuff is used and second hand. But I also picked up a few new items (especially attire) on pretty good discounts from show vendors.

charles, in slightly less glory. also this clip grew out in less than a month wtf
So. Shall we go down the list of what I've been using? First up, dressage stuff!!

I mentioned recently that we did the last two dressage tests in jump tack. The reality is that... I just really really love my jump saddle, and also feel like maybe my dressage saddle is a bit wrong for my geometry too small for my butt. Womp lol. (for anyone interested, said Hulsebos dressage saddle may be for sale at some point!)

basically our outfit for everything with some adjustments to bridle depending on type of adventure
Using the same saddle for everything is actually kinda nice too. It's fitted with a luscious and reliably plush black Dover sheepskin half pad (consignment), whatever saddle pad happens to be clean, and a cheap no-name black fuzzy girth I picked up from consignment for $7 that Charlie likes above all else. And we're still using the Herm Sprenger KK Ultra loose ring snaffle for dressage (and jump lessons too).

dressage outfit!!
And in addition to changing Charlie's outfit from black to brown, I've changed up my own outfit too. My two main pairs of white breeches are Montars and FITS. Both of which I honestly pretty much love. They're comfortable and flattering, and have pockets. Boom.

rj classics show coat; kerrits sleeveless show shirt; equine couture long sleeve show shirt; usg belt
I picked up a new show coat at Kentucky this year, in what was undoubtedly a bit of a splurge. It's the RJ Classics mesh coat and I lufff it. It's comfortable, flattering (it has a zipper behind the buttons OMG!!), ventilated, and cleans up well. Hopefully I can keep it nice for a long time.

Ditto the Equine Couture long sleeve shirt I picked up from VTO's show tent this year. I'm not likely to wear this in very warm weather bc it's not a particularly cool material. But it's sturdy and also cleans up really nicely.

one k matte defender + bonus spider webs
The USG belt is new from Fair Hill, and I've been wearing it a lot. The colors are cute and it's flattering. Plus obvi it matches LOL.

My gloves for dressage are ancient Roeckls, and I recently replaced my helmet from a One K Defender in suede to a One K Defender in matte lol. I love how this helmet fits, and am hoping the matte finish holds up better than the suede. The suede was fine, but it started to look dingy by the end, ya know what I mean?

jompies outfit!!!
For jumping, it's not really too different. My shirt often changes depending on weather conditions. Especially in extreme heat I'm likely to stick with the lightest weight and lightest color shirt I can find. Otherwise, tho, I've gotten into the habit of wearing sunshirts like Kastel or, lately, the Equine Couture shirt.

Likewise, the breeches sometimes change too. I'm awful at laundry and want my whites to last... Tho again, when it's very hot or cold it's hard to fathom trying to peel one pair of pants off and another on haha. So the Montars and FITS have been my go-to, with my dark navy FITS pinch hitting when I feel like changing.

yep i decided to keep this black rodney powell beta 3 certified body protector
My pinny holder is from consignment, no idea what brand. Obnoxiously, tho, it's slightly too small to fit standard sized paper. It's not usually a big deal, but at Waredaca they printed rider numbers on heavier card stock so I actually had to trim them down with scissors to fit into the pinny.

My medical armband is from RoadID, won as a prize through Sara's volunteer challenge last year. And after polling the audience a few months ago, I've started wearing this black Rodney Powell body protector. I still have my navy Harry Hall (the lavender Rodney Powell sold) and find it useful to have two, but my go-to has been this black one lately. I like the front zipper so that it can come on and off even when I'm wearing my helmet.

charles owen helmet cover, with logo covered up by ebay patch for +100 badassery
Speaking of helmet, I continue to wear a One K skull cap with customized helmet cover. This helmet will presumably be replaced in the next couple years, at which point I'm going to try on a few different types since the One K skull cap fits differently from the Defender.

For now, tho, I hang on to it, and it has the mount for my Contour Roam helmet camera. Which, obvi, #priorities haha.

qhp sophia long boots
I wear the same tall boots for literally everything, and I LOVE them. These QHP Sophias are so much better than I had ever dared dream, and I am legitimately sad that I didn't buy a second pair to keep in the wings just in case. By the time I thought about it, all the browns were gone. So I got a second pair of blacks. But dumb me ordered the wrong size. Sigh.

For real, tho, these boots are wonderful and have broken in nicely. I'm trying really really hard to take care of them, including lovingly brushing out and waxing the zipper often. So far, so good, so we'll see I guess!

additional key players: leather bridle number tag; new jumping bat; $7 fuzzy girth; nunn finer neck strap
Alright. Moving on from attire, let's talk other gear. Also at Kentucky I picked up a leather bridle tag, which makes my plastic Dover version look hideous in comparison haha. Personally I think it looks much nicer than the paper bridle tags show organizers provide.

I picked up a new crop at Fair Hill that's the absolute maximum length allowable lol. The idea being, I could use it behind my leg without necessarily letting go of the reins. My one complaint is that the handle is actually kinda chunky and my hand has cramped up a bit after 5 minutes of clutching it in a death grip while on course lol.

full set of kentucky xc boots from ebay; tough 1 no-turn bell boots from consignment
Charlie's additional non-tack accessories include his boots and... That's basically it haha. I always imagined when I bought a thoroughbred that I'd finally be able to dress him or her up in all those cute bonnets. Compared to Isabel who didn't have bonnet-friendly sized head and ears. Unfortunately, tho, the reality is that any bonnet covers Charlie's big bright diamond-shaped star, and he just doesn't look like himself. So.... No bonnets. Le sigh!

same boots and bells over the final xc jump at waredaca, demonstrating that neither budged
The boots, tho. I picked up a full set of brown Kentuckys for my birthday a couple years ago after seeing some pros using them at events. I was having trouble finding boots that didn't rub Charlie, and figured they were worth a shot.

And? I like them well enough. They don't turn or hold dirt or water. And they've held up great to my abuse. The sizing is a little funny but they work for Charlie's dimensions (a horse with shorter legs might have trouble fitting the hinds). They're not particularly modern or technical.... But again, they seem to work well for Charlie so I haven't really found a reason to replace them.

More recently I picked up a pair of soft Tough 1 no-turn bell boots. Again, finding something that wouldn't rub Charlie has been a challenge. Plus I've had pretty terrible luck with "no-turn" bells in the past. These seem to work, tho! So we're keeping them.

handsome charlie <3 <3 mark todd bridle; dark jewel designs browband; road id medical bracelet
Phew, ok. Finally, let's talk tack. So much brown tack, wow. And actually, for the first time in 'Fraidy Cat History, I actually have a complete collection of tack that's.... all pretty nice, with not a frankenbridle to be seen!

Charlie has two brown jump bridles since we compete and school xc in a different bit than we use for dressage or normal jump lessons. It's the same mouthpiece: a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra in the Aurigan alloy. But with the gag Universal cheek pieces.

After years of fussing with double reins or curb straps and chains, I've simplified to just using a single rein on the curb. And? It works. Tho I also recently replaced the original bit with a slightly longer one that I think is less likely to accidentally pinch Charlie's lips.

same bridle; closer look at leather number tag; nunn finer reins + neck strap; herm sprenger KK ultra with universal cheek pieces
The bridle is a Mark Todd in the Dy'on style from Amanda, with extra long rubber Nunn Finer reins and a Dark Jewel Designs custom snap on browband with interchangeable bead strands. Ohhhh but how I love that snap on functionality! Ooooh, and as you know by now, I've started using a neck strap again, just a simple leather strap also by Nunn Finer.

one of my first DJD browbands - had it made for my black dressage bridles but quite like it on the brown bridle too!
The snap-on browband has actually been a fairly key player bc up until very recently, it passed back and forth between my show bridle and my schooling bridle that had the plain loose ring KK.

BUT!! Drum roll, please!! I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the leather family, my new Dobert padded leather bridle!!

brand new Dobert brown dressage bridle!!
Gosh this thing is so pretty.... I'd been eyeing it in the VTO tent all season long (since obvi I can't go to a major event and not do at least a little shopping lol), and finally at the Waredaca Classic a couple weeks ago I begged pleaded and cajoled until we could work something out.

basically in love with it <3 and, ya know, that handsome pony face underneath
It's suuuuuper padded on the crown and noseband, with crank noseband. I love the shape and style of the noseband too, and the buckle closures on the cheeks. Plus, that browband, so pretty!

I got it without reins tho bc they wouldn't have been long enough for Charlie anyway. But the cheapo rubber reins I got from Maryland Saddlery earlier this summer continue to actually feel quite nice, so it all works out. So this is the bridle Charlie wears in our jump lessons, regular schooling, and now dressage tests at shows.

possibly my third favorite material possession (behind my truck and trailer): the l'apogee monoflap jump saddle
Finally, last but not least, the butt piece. My beloved L'Apogee monoflap jump saddle. This thing.... is my everything. I recently replaced the stirrup leathers with some free cheap things a barn mate was giving away (I think DaVincis?) but one day will have nicer leathers. Also recently added an "Oh Shit" strap after encouragement from Martin at that clinic lol...

Oooh, plus, my absolute favorite stirrup irons in the whole world: The Stubben Maxi Grips I picked up from Kentucky two years ago. These things are so grippy and comfortable on my feet, I can count on one hand the number of times I've lost an iron while using them.

Plus imo they're super attractive with the brushed aluminum. They don't show any signs of wear, and I appreciate that they're still very light weight.

So.... Yea, that about sums up our kit. I didn't think we'd shopped that much this year, but actually we're almost completely changed from even our last show of 2018. Funny how that happens haha. As it is tho, I'm pretty happy with our current set of gear and feel like it's pretty tuned in to what both Charlie and I like and need. Which hopefully means no more shopping for a while LOL!

What about you -- anyone else feeling like you've got all your stuff sorted? Or maybe you're in the opposite boat, still growing or collecting your kit? Or not quite satisfied with some of the key pieces? Or, lol, maybe you're hoping Santa will tick a few items off your wish list??


  1. The Dolbert bridle looks fantastic on Charlie!

  2. The brown boots aren't available anymore?!?!?! Oh no!!!! How will I order another pair?!?! Not that I have money now, but...

    1. Well I now possess a black pair size 36W - not my size - for anyone sad they missed out !!

    2. Uh, not my size. They DO have a black in my size, but I'm out of money. Oh well... I don't need them. I have my brown boots anyway.

    3. Lol email me at fraidycat.eventing at gmail if you’re interested ;) I just spent $$$ on the vet so I’m fairly motivated LOL

  3. I love that bridle!! So pretty! Being in between horses and showing I haven't picked up any new gear lately, but I'm going to need new tall boots when I start to show again, and maybe a new helmet even sooner.

    1. yea i definitely understand the challenge of not really wanting to buy stuff without a dedicated horse or schedule. here's hoping tho that maybe some shows will come back onto the radar for you soon tho!

  4. OOO I love that new bridle!!! At first I thought it was really chunky but it actually looks lovely on charles' face. cause he got a big head :P

    I really like that show shirt too. I'm jealous of your consignment situation. There is no consignment near me (perhaps for the better??)

    1. lol charles legit has about 12" of nose below his noseband. refined he is NOT haha. and yea our consignment options here are amazing. it's basically like rooms full of stuff you'd otherwise see on facebook marketplace. plus they buy back my own crap too for credit, so it's essentially an exchange lol

  5. Omg that bridle is gorgeous. And I am going to give those boots a look. My old paddock boots that I wear with half chaps are on their last leg after 6+ years and I never change anything, so new ideas are great!

    1. Definitely needs new fun tall boots ;) paddock boots and half chaps are nice but honestly I just love a good boot!!

  6. The new bridle looks great. I love the dark brown leather.

    1. Thanks I kinda love the darker leathers too esp after so long with that lighter two tone Bates saddle haha

  7. First of all, LOVE that first photo! And secondly the Dobert bridle is gorgeous!

  8. Love that new bridle on him! Looks like you've done well putting everything together!
    I have more than enough tack (for a small army) so I'm pretty set with things these days. Though I really do need to figure out my saddle situation sometime in the nearish future. I'm much more... ahem... womanly (if you will) than I was 17 years ago when I bought it.

    1. Ha omg I totally relate tho. My butt now appreciates having an adequately sized vessel to accommodate it, thankyouverymuch lol. The hulsebos is nice and all but I don’t really need the squeeze haha!!

  9. LOVE that new bridle on him! He looks soooooo fanceh in it! I am with you - my jump saddle is my everything lol. I feel that my dressage saddle is now a little too small for my butt too, but I'm holding off cause it fits Amber the best and I need to see if we can continue dressage before buying ANOTHER saddle. Ugh. I'm gonna turn into a saddle hoarder lol. Also, love the look of the helmet on you! I personally like suede matte as well :)

  10. I I have been coveting your brown boots for a long time. I love them. Also, that’s bridle is perfect for Charlie.

  11. Yes, pls don't cover up Charlie's star- he has the best star <3 #teamnobonnets

  12. Love that bridle on Charlie!! Do you buy warmblood sized bridles for him?

    I'm pretty much starting from zero in the tack department - although showing halter is waaayyyy easier than 3 different phases so, there is that. ;-) None of my old tack is fitting Fred for training, let alone trying to show. Luckily that is not on the books for him. I am slowing going through all my stuff this fall/winter to sell what I don't need.

  13. I love your consignment/bargain hunting since I am also a frugal filly lol My tack has not changed in yonks but it really never needs to because Hunters lol


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