Thursday, April 9, 2015

pre-season gear check

Last September, auf der autobahn hosted a blog hop asking to know what's in our tack trunks. At the time I had a single set of tack for all three phases, consisting primarily of a Wintec that fit neither horse nor rider and a cobbled-together bridle. 



we have since updated *almost* everything

We still have one Frankenstein's monster of a bridle for all three phases... But during the off-season I found a close contact saddle that actually fits me AND the horse (revolutionary ideas here, y'all) and upgraded all the related accouterments: show pad, girth, stirrup irons. 

modeled here by my saint of a mare

Then... bc things happen and I can't be held responsible, a dressage saddle found its way to me too. It's another 17" Bates with an adjustable gullet, tho it still has the CAIR panels (eventually will be converted to wool). It just showed up one day at the Maryland Saddlery - what else was I supposed to do?? 

resistance is futile

This saddle is a dream too - and actually my new go-to for trail rides. The irons are from my hunter days and were sitting idly around after I switched my jump saddle to composite stirrups. The leathers were consignment (from the same shop, like everything else in my life haha).

go ahead, take all my money. i ain't even mad!

Our disaster of a bridle at least got a new consignment padded noseband (with optional flash attachment), and I slapped on shiny nameplates & a bridle charm to maybe distract folks from the iffy, mismatched leather lol. 



is it working??

There are a couple other odds and ends needed to create a more polished picture (like, do judges really care if it's a 'dressage' coat or not? do they actually count the buttons??) - and eventually it would be nice to have a second bridle for dressage, tho I'm in no rush. 


But I did manage to snag a stock tie and pin on sale, which continues my theme of using 'shiny' to distract from everything else. 


For Isabel, I also added a full set of Majyk Equipe cross country boots (a definite upgrade from our amazon.com neoprene splint boots). 


What about you - any major updates to your gear this year? Were you like me - did you switch disciplines and need all new stuff?

this decal was obviously the most important addition tho

44 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are pretty well set!!! :) I got my saddle in October and my bitless bridle in January. Not sure when I will be riding consistently but I love them both so so so so so much :)

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    1. hopefully you'll be back to consistent saddle time soon! i got a hackamore this year too for trail rides and hope to bust it out again as soon as my horse is freed

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  2. This year I have quite a bit new gear - new show pads in my colors, a new ogilvy, new XC/jump bridle, switched up my dressage gear to a drop noseband, and bought a new show jacket/breeches.

    Also, don't worry about needing a dressage show jacket - I used a hunt jacket my entire first year!

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    1. nice - i definitely need to start upping my 'color' game too haha

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  3. Oh man I did a total tack overhaul too! Starting last fall I've gotten a new saddle, girth, bit, half pad, and tall boots. WHEW. And don't worry about your 'not dressage' coat - I show in my VERY huntery windowpane-patterend hunt coat and wrap collar shirt with no stock tie, and no one ever took off points for it. ;) I figure if I ever get to show recognized I'll upgrade!

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    1. new saddles are pretty much the best right? good to know about the coat too... and yea i figure for as long as i'm doing the schooling stuff it's probably nbd lol

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  4. Ohmygosh so much tack and happy horse stuff, I love! I actually own zero tack right now. Seriously zero. Owner Lady lets me use all her stuff, so I know it already fits Addy right and it fits me just fine- I'm pretty comfortable in almost any saddle. But my goal is to get a saddle of my very own this year :)

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    1. nice! i was using isabel's owner's stuff for a long time too... but neither bridle nor saddle actually fit the horse haha. plus i wanted to look into gear that would be best suited for actually competing, vs. whatever saddle was the cheapest that day. good luck saddle shopping tho - i LOVE the one i found :)

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  5. Judges don't care about the buttons on your cost, as long as it's a dark color and you're neat and clean! :)

    I finally acquired a dressage saddle and associated accessories (last fall, but it still feels new), and you know I can't control myself working in a tack store. :'(

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    1. good to know - i can do dark and neat (two non-patterned jackets, one black one navy). and i also have no idea how you managed to work in a tack store... i'd be spending each paycheck before it even arrived haha

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  6. Judges don't care about the buttons on your cost, as long as it's a dark color and you're neat and clean! :)

    I finally acquired a dressage saddle and associated accessories (last fall, but it still feels new), and you know I can't control myself working in a tack store. :'(

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  7. That stock tie makes my heart sing!

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    1. thanks! i'm pretty excited about it... couldn't tell if it would be overkill when i ordered it, but it's jussssst right :) riding warehouse ftw!

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  8. Yes, we upgraded and bought quite a lot already this year!! Still looking into buying a Dressage saddle lol!

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    1. nice! i can imagine it takes a bit of shopping and creativity to outfit two such differently sized creatures haha

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  9. Last year I got most of my wardrobe updated. This year I think the only thing I need to find are "normal" stirrup irons. Show season is creeping up!

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    1. it is coming!!!!! i hadn't really thought much about my 'normal' fillis irons that i replaced with composites, and figured i'd sell them eventually. but i'm glad i didn't so that i could use them on the dressage saddle... switching leathers back and forth from saddles was a PAIN

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  10. so much tack! i'm really tempted to purchase a saddle but my rational brain always reminds me that i don't own the horse i ride (nor lease, for that matter!) so i don't have physical space at home to be storing anything beyond the bridle and several spiffy saddle pads i have b/c i enjoy colour (navy with green whales, orange, pinky red).

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    1. yea... my rational mind told me that for a lonnnnng time, since i don't own izzy either. i'm fortunate that they let me have a saddle rack at the barn tho, so that at least solves the storage bit. then i found an adjustable tree saddle with wool flocking so that it'll likely fit any future horse as well as it fits isabel. spiffy saddle pads are fun to collect in the meantime tho!

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  11. This season I'll be riding in all my old gear because until TC stops chewing on everything, he is not getting anything new. I really really need new tall boots before I do a rated show (mine won't zip closed anymore, calves apparently got bigger), and I would like a new snaffle bridle eventually.

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    1. haha yea baby horse needs to learn not to be so destructive first! and boo about boots not zipping up... i have a similar problem with my schooling boots but hope to remedy that by simply replacing the old zipper with a bigger new one

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  12. If one of my dressage bridles was small enough for Isabelle I would float you one but I'm pretty sure they'd be giant on her little head. Agreed that the coat for dressage doesn't matter, they're pretty ballsy with their fashion these days anyway.

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    1. aw thanks! yea isabel's head is pretttttty dainty but hopefully we'll find something promising eventually :)

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  13. love your attitude of bling makes everything awesome! looking forward to following your HT adventures when Isabel feels better!

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    1. thanks! i'm all about hedging my bets lol, and if i can secure a judge's approval by distracting them with shiny, then everything will be shiny :)

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  14. As long as it's blackish I don't think it matters if it's a dressage coat or a hunt coat as long as you're not going to rolex or something. And all my tack tends to be mismatched thought we've been working on that a bit. If the horse is shiny and fancy, who cares... right???

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    1. haha exactly. a little mismatch here and there makes us 'unique' and not very 'cookie cutter' rather than sloppy and unkempt, right??? (haha this is what i tell myself!)

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  15. I got a new horse in the fall who is a completely different shape and size than anything I've ever owned so since September I've bought:
    -full set of blankets (in my world this is over 12!)
    -PS of Sweden bridle
    -PS of Sweden breastplate
    -new jump saddle
    -new girth
    -new Ogilvy (and a spare cover)
    -new EcoGold XC boots
    -4 new bits
    -2 fly masks
    -MDC irons
    -elastic breastplate
    -the magical mesh Zephyr Show coat (which I plan to use all the time, because MESH)
    -3 pairs of Aztec Diamond breeches and Aztec Diamond Lace Show Shirt

    Now I just need a dressage saddle and bridle (hoping to find brown) and brown tall boots.

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    1. oooh so much fun stuff!! i actually kinda wanted brown dressage tack too and had a few leads on brown saddles... but no such luck. hope you find yours tho!

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  16. I've been a very good girl this year and have, so far, avoided buying any new tack or gear. Probably because I bought pretty much everything I needed last year (five point breastplate, bridles, girths, stirrups, leathers, new saddle, horse boots, human boots, blah blah blah). I did buy a neck strap. I also sold my white show breeches, so I'll need a new pair of those at some point. And my Woof boots are sadly starting to fall apart (only been worn like 450 times so far...) so I'll probably need at least some new XC hinds and maybe a set of stadium boots.

    Buuut I'm buying a horse and he comes with a bridle so... that counts.

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    1. buying the horse is a pretty big deal, i'd say! one day i'll do that too, but for now i'm just amassing a whole arsenal of equipment that may (or may not) fit said eventual horse lol)

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  17. I have been SO good this year, which is now making me want to buy ALL THE THINGS!

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  18. I did get new breeches a while ago, and my show pad somehow became assimilated into the lesson tack while I was doing IEA, so a new half pad is in order. I gasped at that stock tie. Can you say gorgeous!

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    1. bummer about your pad getting absorbed by the lesson program... i kinda hate when that happens! but hey, any excuse for new stuff works!

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  19. I love buying things. You know I can't stop

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  20. I've done All The Shopping this year. It's a problem.

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    1. eh, guess it depends on how you define "problem" ;P

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  21. Oh my god. New stuff. So much new stuff:

    1. A double bridle. Complete with new set of bits, one of which I use for daily schooling now. Squeeeee! (Holy $$, though. This this is more than my saddle.)
    2. A new-to-me fleece pad.
    3. New spurs.
    4. Misc new wraps.
    5. A new set of rear dressage boots.
    6. A fancy new saddle pad for clinics.
    7. Expensive ass Rambo TO blanket.

    Things left?
    1. Smaller cavesson for the double.
    2. Show-quality regular cavesson for the snaffle.
    3. A new bit for the snaffle. (Thanks Aoife!)
    4. New show coat for me.
    5. New reins for the snaffle on the double. (Why does it come with flat reins? Who uses flat reins? Why is this a thing?)
    6. A new helmet for me (holy crap. Has it really been 4 years already?!)
    7. Better cooler, because mine is the worst.
    8. Eventually, a dressage saddle that fits me better. Hopefully a Custom Saddlery, because drools.
    (Anyone have any of that stuff? Anyone...?)

    Do you frequent the FB for sale groups? That's a good place to pick up a decent quality used bridle on the cheap! Stick with brands you know/have heard of, and you should be fine.

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    1. Oh, and also on the TO BUY list?
      1. A horse trailer, once we move. Something not older than dirt, aluminum, and with a tack room.

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    2. so much new stuff!! also your wishlist is definitely drool worthy - good luck finding it all! esp a new trailer - happy hunting!

      also - i don't spend much time on the FB sales groups bc i don't actually have a FB account (kinda crazy, i know...). at least our local tack shops tend to have pretty solid consignment selections, for the most part

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  22. Wow! She looks all spiffed up in her new gear!!! I'm all for consignment stuff too! Especially for the well-maintained leather goods!

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    1. consignment is pretty much my favorite ever haha - especially if i want to try something new out but am not sure it'll work

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