I’ve been mega slacking about reviews and stuff lately, mostly because I’ve just not been in the mood. I get a lot of people asking about certain things though, or asking how older items are holding up/if I still like them, so I thought I’d do some quick mini-reviews and review updates over the next few weeks, starting with the tack/apparel items I use on a daily or very regular basis.
Starting with Henry’s stuff, he’s got a mixture of new and old. The La Cense (made by Dy’on) bitless bridle we’ve had for a while now and I do quite like the style. I don’t love the leather color, it’s got that slightly reddish oakbark tone rather than a real chocolate havana, but I do love the design and the fit. Henry goes well in it and it’s holding up well to the daily wear. The leather could be a bit nicer if I’m being picky, but it’s not bad, just not particularly luxurious. I think this is one of the best bitless bridles out there.
His Premier Equine merino wool pads are a mainstay for us by now, we’ve had the navy one for two years and it’s held up remarkably well. Every few months I give it a good hose down in the washrack to clean it, brush the sheepswool back up, and it’s good as new. I’d put these in the Best Purchases category. Seriously can’t say enough good things about them for the price. The only minor thing I would change is that I’d like to see a slightly higher cut for the wither (I like my pads with A LOT of wither clearance, these have enough but not a ton). For real though, it’s been a great purchase and Henry hasn’t gotten a single saddle pad rub since I got them, plus he does seem to stay dryer/cooler under the saddle pad with the wool directly on his back. I was scared of keeping them clean but that’s really been a non-issue too.
A more recent addition to Henry’s daily outfit are these navy Weatherbeeta brushing boots. I tossed these in my cart on an order from the UK (I only paid $28 a pair for them) on a whim since my old boots were dying but the new navy Majyk Equipe sport boots aren’t out yet. I really wanted navy brushing boots and figured if these could just last for 6 months or so to get me through, that would be fine. Honestly though they’re holding up really well (Henry interferes a lot so they take some decent abuse) and look pretty much good as new after these first couple months. Neoprene boots aren’t my preference, although these are at least perforated, and I’ll likely still replace them with the navy ME ones when they’re available, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve liked these in the meantime. They look great too, the navy is *chef’s kiss*. They do run big though (with long straps), which luckily I had seen online before I ordered so I was able to get the right sizes. Henry is wearing a cob on the front and a full behind, and they’re both on the bigger side. These would be great for larger-boned horses.
Another fun item that we added a few months ago is his rainbow spiked browband from The Bling Bay. Look – is this the same quality of my Dark Jewel spiked browbands? Definitely not. The leather isn’t as nice and the spikes are glued instead of sewn. However, if you’re just looking for a fun low budget browband (I mean this is rainbow spikes y’all) it’s hard to beat the price. I’d still go to Dark Jewel for show quality ones for sure, which is why Presto has two from them (and they’re my favorite). This silly rainbow one sure does make me giggle on a regular basis though. I love spikes. I love rainbows. I’m a child. Whatever.
Moving down the list – my Charles Owen MyPS helmet. Helmets are always a little tricky to review IMO because whether you like it or not depends on largely on whether it fits you or not. If you fit into any of the various Charles Owens shapes, though, it’s hard to go wrong with the brand. Charles Owen and Champion are two of the best helmet brands out there IMO, and those two are always what I seek out first. I particularly like the CO MyPS not just because of the MIPS but because of the “full coverage” feel I get from it. This helmet covers more of the back of my head than my other helmets do, which does make it feel safer. The airflow isn’t as great as other helmets I’ve had (which is pretty typical of MIPS helmets in my experience) but it’s not terrible, and I like that I can remove the liner to wash it. Overall it’s been a great helmet for me and I quite like it.
I also get a ton of questions about my Pioneer boots – in all fairness I haven’t been wearing those on a daily basis so aside from getting pulled out here or there for special occasions they’ve spent the better part of two years sitting dormant with most of my other show stuff, thus they still look great lol. My current daily Mountain Horse boots have gotten way too big now though, so the Pioneers are about to get shuffled to daily duty. We’ll see how they hold up to that. I’ll report back in a few months.
My breeches conundrum has been interesting as I’ve changed sizes. Right now I only have 3 pairs – Horze Aubrey, Montar Megan, and Equiline Boston. I really like the Horze Aubrey and wish they came in more/better colors. Horze run big of course and those were no exception so I sized down and they fit pretty well. They’re comfortable and stretchy and holding up well so far, but they’re still fairly new. The Montars I just got last week and I am definitely a fan of their Yati fabric – it’s very stretchy and comfortable. The Montar breeches all seem to run a bit long so I’ve got extra fabric at the ankle, but it hasn’t bothered me thus far. I do wish they were a tad smaller in the waist but I’m not convinced I could go down another size. I love the cut of the higher waist in the back though, and while I generally don’t care for silicone full seats, these are very mild in terms of stickiness so they’ve been fine. The Equilines I got on facebook secondhand and honestly I don’t quite understand the hype or the price point. If I’d paid anywhere near the retail price for them I’d have returned them for sure. The fabric is ok but not great, they’re cut lower in the back than I prefer, and the knee patches are just the same fabric as the breeches. The green color I got is really pretty, I’ll say that much. Otherwise though, not impressed with them.
As for shirts, to be honest most of the time I ride so early in the morning when it’s very still and humid and the sun isn’t fully out yet, so I’ve kind of been preferring my tank tops. To the point where I’ve considered buying a couple Kastel or Dover sleeveless sunshirts. If I ride a little later when the sun is fully out, I still reach for a longsleeved sunshirt though, and I have a fair collection in my closet: Kastel, Ariat, SanSoleil, Dover, SmartPak, and Equine Couture. Kastel and Dover have similar fabric and those are definitely my favorite. It’s thinner and silkier and fits closer to the body, which I like. Granted, that fabric does seem easier to damage too, especially if you wash them with velcro items. I have Kastels in my closet that are 7 years old at this point, so I don’t find it to be much of a problem. My next favorite would be the Ariat, it’s not as cool but it’s not bad, and the fit isn’t too boxy, which is my complaint with the SanSoleil. That one is fine but I find that I definitely don’t reach for it as much as the Kastel or Dover. Granted, I got that one for cheap from Riding Warehouse so I’m not mad about it. Same with the SmartPak one, although my issue with that one is that the fabric is a little thicker and the dang thing is just SO LONG. There’s like 6″ more fabric than I need. I’ve not worn it much because every time I put it on I’m annoyed by it. For how cheap they are I like the Equine Couture ones with the full mesh sleeves although they are a little delicate and a boxier fit in the body, which isnt my preference.
I think that covers most of the things that I can think of? If there’s any other daily use type tack or apparel that I left off let me know and I’ll update!