I am lucky enough to have collected a lot of really nice equipment by this point in my life. From my Majyk Equipe gear to my Lund tack to my Tucci boots to my Devoucoux saddles to my TraumaVoid and Samshield helmets, and everything in between, I have spent a very long time accumulating a lot of nice things, slowly but steadily upgrading as I could afford it. Because life is too short to not have nice things, especially when your horse is a unicorn.
If you’ve spent any time around me at all this year, though, there are a few items that you’ve probably heard me talk about more than once. These things have shown themselves to be fantastic purchases, proving their usefulness over and over again to the point where I find myself constantly singing their praises, probably to the point of annoyance to some people. But buckle up, because you’re about to hear about them one more time. These are the top 3 MVP’s of 2018.
I’ve had my eye on these things since they first came out, but since I already own a really nice custom coat, I couldn’t totally justify the purchase of another one. And then we decided to go show at Chatt. In Georgia. In July. That was the last push I needed to finally bite the bullet and buy one of these.
My only regret is that I didn’t buy it sooner. It’s SO stretchy, and SO comfortable, and SO lightweight. The air flows through the mesh so well that you can feel any little breeze. It washes easily, fits beautifully, the price point is completely reasonable, and I honestly can’t think of a single negative thing to say about it. If the weather is over 60 degrees, you will see me in this coat, for sure. I often find myself wandering around the showgrounds still wearing it, not even realizing that I’d forgotten to take it off. I want one in every color. Even if it cost twice as much, I would still buy it. If you show in hot weather, you NEED this coat. Period. I even convinced Bobby to buy one, and he’s the cheapest mofo I know.
When I got my new trailer (you da real MVP of 2018, trailer, not gonna lie, but I thought that might be a little impractical on this list…) I knew without a doubt that I wanted a camera system in it. I haul a lot, I haul long distances, and with Presto being so young and precocious, I wanted a way to be able to make sure no one was in trouble back there. I left my tech guru father in charge of picking out the best camera for my situation, and I certainly have not been disappointed. Really I have no idea how I ever hauled without cameras back there. They were extremely easy to install and the peace of mind they’ve provided has been absolutely priceless.
I can see if they’re eating, if they’re sweating, what the airflow is like, if they seem fussy, or if maybe one particular little turd has managed to untie himself and get his head under the chest bar (AHEM looking at you, PRESTO). The picture quality is fantastic, and I have never once had any issues with interference. When I hauled Presto to FEH Championships in September, a cement truck pulled out in front of us and I had to slam my brakes on, barely missing his bumper. I could feel Presto scrambling in the back, but thanks to my camera I could quickly and easily check on him and see that he was fine, upright, and quickly went back to munching hay. I really can’t say enough good things about the value of having cameras in your trailer, and there’s no doubt that they could potentially help prevent a bad situation.
People love to comment and say “I wouldn’t be able to stop watching the camera!”. I always roll my eyes a little at that, because it’s ridiculous. As with anything else, you quickly adjust to just glancing at the camera sometimes, or when you’re stopped, keeping your eyes on the road the rest of the time just like you always do. So if you’re on the fence – install a camera system. You won’t regret it.
I already reviewed this thing in depth, so I won’t go into all the details again, but if you’re looking for a cheap and easy thing to give as a gift or throw in your grooming bag, grab one or two of these. I use mine pretty much every day for a wide variety of applications. At only $6 this is an incredibly useful little item, and just when I think I’ve come up with all the possible ways to use it, I find another thing it’s good for. In one day alone I used it to scrub buckets, give my horse a bath, and clean Magic Cushion residue off of a boot – and it excelled at all 3 jobs. Cheap, versatile, and effective? Can’t beat that.
What are your favorite purchases of the year? Any must-have items?