Review: Lund Saddlery Five Point Breastplate 

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ve spent the past few months testing out a few items from Lund Saddlery, a new tack brand. The owner of Lund contacted me a while back and was very clear in his mission for the brand: to produce quality tack at reasonable prices.


He had an obvious vision, for sure, and his enthusiasm about his products is undeniable. But we’ve all heard schpeils like that before, haven’t we? I was skeptical and decided to reserve judgment until I could get my hands on the items myself. He asked me to review some things, and I agreed, but warned him that I would be 100% honest in my reviews. He (and his team of riders that have helped develop the line) seemed undeterred.

fresh out of the box

The main leather Lund uses is Sedgwick, with Italian leather padding and backing. The hardware is stainless steel, and everything is made in the same factories as some other well known brands. I’ve had some Sedgwick tack before… for those who haven’t: it’s good quality, rugged, strong English leather. It takes a little longer to really get it nicely broken in and soft, but that’s because it lasts FOREVER. It’s the kind of stuff that seems to just get better with age and use. It’s not as thin and butter soft as French leather, but it’s obviously a lot more hardy. So if you’re looking for something durable (like something you could use for everyday and for showing), Sedgwick is a good choice. You definitely do not have to baby it.

One of the first items I received was the Lund 5 point breastplate. The retail price on this is $210 Canadian, or around $158 USD. My first impressions out of the box were 1) navy elastic, hell yeah. (#teamnavy) 2) the details were very well done. Maybe it’s my h/j background but I’m a sucker for fancy stitching and padding, they make things look so much, well… fancier. I immediately inspected the edges, the backing, the stitching, and the seams, looking for quality issues. Just because it’s relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean it should look cheap – I don’t want to see any loose, crooked, or uneven stitching, rough edges, leaking glue, uneven straps, fake sheepskin, thin elastic, or cheap hardware. Luckily I found none. Nary a stitch was out of place, the sheepskin was gorgeous, and the elastic was thick and multi-layered. So far, so good.


The Lund breastplates come with dee savers, which are really nice to have since I don’t like clipping things directly to my saddle dees. It also came with a clip on running martingale attachment, another nice “extra”, and gives you the feeling that they didn’t cut corners to save a few bucks in production. It drives me nuts when I get a breastplate (or any tack item) and it doesn’t have all the snaps or attachments that I want. Extra points for Lund for providing appropriate snaps and accessories.

Despite the popularity of the 5 point design among eventers, I’ve never actually used this style of breastplate before. It took a little bit of finagling to get it adjusted exactly how I wanted it, but once it was done, it was done, and I haven’t messed with the fit since then.

In application, the breastplate does it’s job admirably. As one would expect, it’s quite stable, and gives a nice feeling of security. I can see why people like this design for cross country… your saddle isn’t going anywhere, and even if something happened and one strap broke mid-round, you’d still have several more to keep things steady. The only thing I didn’t like was that for the first few rides (until it broke in and softened a bit) I could feel the leather strap under my boot. Mildly annoying, so I attacked it for a few days with Belvoir and that seemed to do the trick.

5 point in action

My only minor whine is the color of the leather – I am not Australian Nut’s #1 fan. I prefer a darker Havana, but I know that most of the h/j world (and probably many eventers as well) prefer the slightly lighter, redder tone. I’ve had a little luck darkening it so far, and having owned a Sedgwick bridle in this exact color before, I know that it will darken more with age. The color is fine as-is, I’m just a bigger fan of darker tack. Personal choice.

it does look pretty smashing on Red

Overall I think this breastplate is a great piece of tack in it’s own right, and especially at the well below $200 price point. It’s light years better quality than the HDR 5 point, and I like it more than the Ovation, Nunn Finer, or Prestige 5 points (which are all more expensive) that I have seen, too. In the end it comes down to the details, and Lund really nails it in that respect. The fancy stitching, padding, and quality workmanship on the Lund put it solidly ahead of it’s competition.

Lund Saddlery is also doing a monthly giveaway to go with their brand launch, and October’s item is the 5 point! Go here to enter, and follow Lund on Instagram here.

Review: Vantage Equestrian Lifestyle

This is probably not the first time that many of you are reading about this brand. Some other bloggers have already reviewed a couple of items, mostly because they’re more timely and on top of things than I am. That and I have this strong desire to try my best to absolutely beat the crap out of something before I review it. I used to work in Quality Assurance, after all, where I literally got paid to try to break things (ironic twist: now I get paid to fix things…).

I’m also albino?

I’ve had my Vantage Equestrian Cross Country t-shirt since June, and have worn it quite a bit. I’ve ridden in it, worn it to work, worn it out and about in the real world, and washed/dried it a bunch.

Even though it’s “just” a t-shirt, I’m still as picky about it as I am about anything else. I want a good fit (not too tight but not too baggy), I want it to be comfortable, soft, wash well, and I want the graphics to be long-lasting. I don’t want it to fade or have threads coming out after just a few washes, and I definitely won’t buy a shirt that is boxy or feels cheap. Plus we’ve all seen the gross after effects of cheap screen printing – no one wants cracked, peeling graphics . Vantage uses American Apparel women’s cut shirts for the shirt I picked (some other designs offer the unisex cut, if you prefer that) so I’ve been quite happy with it. It’s soft and fits nicely and the lettering is still holding up perfectly despite my abuse. So far, so good!

Design wise, I think the Cross Country shirt is pretty cute, and they also offer hunter and dressage versions of it as well. I like watching non-horse people try to figure out why the hell I like ditches and coffins and banks so much, and what the hell they could all possibly have in common. For this reason, wearing it to work is my favorite, because confusing people is fun.

Aside from t-shirts, Vantage also has pillows, mugs, and some Lainey Ashker merch. Their stuff would make cute, inexpensive gifts, or a fun little Treat Yo’self item if you’re looking to meet your retail therapy quota without spending a lot of money. Everyone needs more horse stuff.

I also happened to notice that when you access their homepage there’s an opportunity for 15% off if you follow them on facebook or Insta. Just sayin…

Review: For Horses breeches

This is another one of those items that I get to publicly admit to being totally wrong about. It’s always fun when I’m wrong.

Image result for for horses

A while back, my friend Michelle called me from a tack shop in Florida (what up, TackNRider), telling me about all the cool stuff they had. We are both fans of cool stuff. She sent me pics of a few things, and was gushing about these breeches, the Julie Grip from an Italian brand called For Horses. Well, really, they were tights. As soon as she said the T word, my hackles went up. I dunno about y’all, but when someone says “riding tights”, I picture some kind of hideous, elastic waistband, stretch cotton monstrosity that shows every dimple of my backside and only looks cute on 10 year olds.

Michelle had a pair sent to me anyway, as a birthday present. I opened the package and my eyebrow went up… “what in the hell are these?”. I held them up and they looked child sized. I really thought there was no way they’d fit, or be at all attractive. I set them aside for a couple days before trying them on – that’s how optimistic I was. But when I finally pulled them on I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually fit perfectly. And they were pretty flattering. And really, really ridiculously comfortable. I wore them around my house for a few hours that evening, not really wanting to take them off, and needing some time to process my feelings.

and take creepy mirror pictures to send to Michelle

These things are like no other riding tight I’ve ever met. There is no elastic in the waistband, it’s just the same fabric that the tights themselves are made of. The cut is very good – it’s slightly higher than normal breeches so that they don’t slide down or bunch up, and the waistband is stupid comfortable. They have silicone dots on the knee area for grip, and a sock bottom. The fabric itself is a sleek, stretchy tech fabric, so that the end result is kinda like a pair of breeches and a pair of leggings had a really nice Italian baby.

The first time I wore them to the barn I kept looking down to make sure I was actually wearing pants. They’re SO light and comfortable and breathable… by far the best breeches I’ve ever found for hot weather. If it’s balls-hot, these things are awesome. Not only are they way cooler, they also dry really quickly. I like them so much, I now have two pairs. I’ve been reaching for those breeches by default pretty much all summer, wearing and washing the heck out of them. So far they’re holding up really well.

The only thing I don’t really like about them is the little faux pockets on the butt. Well really I like the faux pockets because it gives them more of a breeches look, but IMO the little “flap” needs to be tacked down. I ended up tacking mine down with a couple stitches, just because the flapping kind of made me nuts. Maybe other people aren’t as crazy as I am about things flapping on their butt?

butt flaps, before I tacked them down

Full retail price for them is about $150, which admittedly maybe seems a little pricey at first glance for, uh… tights (that word still makes me cringe). But I’ve been so impressed by the fit, comfort, durability, and performance of these things that I have to say – if you live in a hot climate, they are an absolute godsend in the summer. Worth every penny, for sure. I’d love to have a pair in every color. Thanks Michelle for knowing that I would like them, despite my initial misgivings!

Review: Ogilvy baby pads

Finding the perfect saddle pad seems to be ridiculously more difficult than it should be. The right shape, the right thickness, the right colors, the right features, the right materials… it seems like most of them fall short somewhere.


I’ve had a lot of baby pads over the years, and while I’ve had a lot of luck with the very thin BobbiGees baby pads for schooling, I want something a little more substantial, a little sturdier, and a little more beautiful for showing or lessons. Since I’ve been a long-time fan of my Ogilvy half pads I decided to give their baby pads a try, too.


I’ve had the dressage pad for quite a while, about a year and a half (with heavy use), and the jump pad for about 6 months. While they were originally purchased for showing, I find myself reaching for them pretty regularly. The construction is exactly what you’d expect from a brand like Ogilvy – very high quality. The materials are top notch, with a soft anti-fungal, quick dry bottom layer and a sturdy, stain-resistant polycotton top layer. They aren’t as thin as a traditional baby pad, but not as thick as a normal saddle pad, more like right in the middle. For me it’s the perfect thickness. It holds it’s shape, but it doesn’t add a lot of bulk under the saddle.

after 2 weeks of Arizona, pre-wash!

My favorite feature of the pads is the very high cut wither profile. Biggest pet peeve ever is a saddle pad that binds down on the withers, and these offer several inches of clearance. I’ve also managed to keep these pads pretty stain-free, considering how much I use them and the fact that they’re white. It’s definitely easier to keep them clean than my other white pads, they seem to not absorb so much dirt.


My only suggestion would be to add girth loops (you can do that!) when ordering. My dressage pad has them and it never moves an inch, but my jump pad can sometimes bunch up a little bit, especially on XC. Girth loops definitely would solve that problem, and make everything just a little more stable in general.


Considering the quality of materials and the fact that you can customize them (so many colors), the starting prices of $37 for the jump pad and $47 for the dressage pad seem more than fair. I’m seeing almost no wear on either of my pads at all, despite heavy use. I’ll definitely be purchasing more of these! Pretty sure I need the eventing profile pad. And a new color coordinating cover for my dressage half pad. And then a new dressage baby pad to match it. And, and, and…



Review: RJ Classics Gulf Breeches

Ah, the joys of finding breeches that you a) actually like, b) can afford… why does that always seem to be an ongoing challenge? When I discovered Aztec Diamond I thought I’d finally struck gold, but then they changed their fit. Cue deep despair and minor temper tantrums.

My first problem is that I’m picky. Really picky. Those navy Animo’s that have been living in my closet for years have set the bar high. The second problem is that I’m horse poor. If I could drop $400 a pop on a bunch of breeches, I’d be golden. Things like entry fees and saddles and horse massages and farriers tend to take precedent though. Thus, I’ve kind of found myself on this never-ending quest for just the right pair of breeches.


I first saw the new RJ Classics Prestige Gulf breeches in January at AETA. The thing that first caught my eye was the colors – I spotted a nice deep burgundy and a hunter green. A few years ago I had another pair of RJ breeches, and while I liked the fit, I wasn’t a big fan of the fabric, so I approached the new ones with a skeptical eye. When I felt the fabric  on the Gulf breeches I was even more intrigued… it was a nice stretchy tech fabric that seemed like it would hold up well. Nothing like the old fabric whatsoever. I made a mental note to try them on at some point after they came out.

That opportunity arose when I was in the Luxe EQ trailer a few months ago looking for whites… I also went ahead and tried on the merlot RJ’s. They had a little bit of extra room in the hips, but otherwise fit really well and seemed comfortable. For the price I figured it was worth a try, and I brought them home. From the first wear they pretty much became one of my new favorite pairs of breeches.

I only took two pairs of schooling breeches to Coco, and these were one of them!

Design-wise, I really like them. The colors are great and they have the ever popular euro seat. Then length is perfect for me, the rise is also spot on, and the sport mesh on the lower leg (NO VELCRO) breathes well and is comfortable. The fabric stays pretty clean, washes up well, doesn’t stretch or sag, and doesn’t fade (another huge pet peeve). The construction looks solid, with no loose seams or hardware. I’ve been wearing them quite a bit and have no complaints about the quality or concerns about the longevity.


Fit-wise, they’re almost perfect. There’s that little extra room in the hip and some in the waist that I could do without, but luckily they don’t sag or require a belt to keep them in place. If my thighs were smaller I could probably size down, but since good ol’ Thunder and Lightning are my overwhelming majority… ain’t happenin’. If the breeches slid down or gapped considerably it would bother me more, but they don’t, so I don’t find myself thinking about it or noticing it very much. Basically – if you’re bigger in butt/thigh area, stick with your regular size. If you’re not, you may be able to size down.


I’d absolutely buy more of these. In fact, I definitely need the hunter green ASAP. And the navy. And maybe the white. Someday I’ll have room in my budget for more. They’re comfortable to wear, flattering, attractive, good quality, the fit works for me, and the price is pretty reasonable at $150. Definitely recommend trying a pair!

Winston Equestrian Review

If your friend, who also owns a high end mobile tack trailer, ever says “You should try this on!” – be wary. If she also uses the word “amazing” while describing said item (especially if she’s even pickier and harder to please than you are), just go ahead and set your wallet on fire. You’re at the beginning of an addiction that will quickly spiral out of control.

Winston Exclusive Show Jacket

In my case the gateway item in question was a jacket made by Winston Equestrian. Some of you who read this blog regularly might remember the Brand Spotlight/Giveaway post that I did on Winston this past winter, where I mentioned the purchase. Now that I’ve received the jacket and have even picked up a few more Winston items, I figured it was time for a formal review.

I resisted trying on the coat at first, having been a self-proclaimed lover of tech fabrics and hater of wool for so long. The Winston coats are wool, so the first few times I saw them I didn’t really bother to take a closer look. When I finally acquiesced and tried one on in Luxe EQ, I was instantly sold.

Yes the fabric is wool, but forget whatever negative notions you might have about old-fashioned wool coats. This is not the hot, stuffy, stiff, dry-clean-only wool of yesteryear. It’s very lightweight, stretchy, washable, and still holds its structure well enough to be super flattering. Those of us who have a little bit to spare around the mid-section are well aware of how the modern tech fabrics can sometimes turn into sausage casings if the fit or fabric is just a tiny bit off. Wool offers a little more leeway, and can do a lot to help smooth out a midsection that really enjoys queso and donuts (raises hand). Winston has done a brilliant job of finding a fabric that gives you the flawless silhouette of wool but still has the same comfort level of a tech fabric; the best of both worlds.


Because I’m a crazy eventer and have to have everything in my colors, I ordered a custom Exclusive in navy with yellow piping to match my Samshield. While they do offer several off the rack styles, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to customize a coat to my exact specifications. I even got to pick the buttons (it’s the little things…)! When the coat arrived from Belgium I was not disappointed. The fit is perfect, the quality is high end, the finish is flawless, and it’s incredibly comfortable. Honestly, it’s lighter weight and more breathable than my Equiline tech fabric coat and I think it looks classier. Absolutely love it.

thank you Winston for being one of the few companies to put properly reinforced suit buttons on a show coat!

Vienna Show Shirt

I always keep an eye peeled for show shirts that are a little bit fun/unique without being overt (no fluffy ruffles or collars covered in rhinestones please). My other big requirement is that they must be lightweight and cool. This is Texas, it’s hot at 90% of our shows. It also has to be cut well, because no one wants a boxy show shirt with a mile of tail to tuck in.

This photo was taken before the Winston coat arrived, but you can see the shirt!
The Winston Vienna shirt has turned out to be the perfect combination of all those things. It features a strip of navy and white striped fabric trimming the top of the collar, the two chest pockets, and the bottom of the sleeves. It’s a small detail that gives the shirt a little something special, but it’s subtle enough to not be super noticeable or flashy. The fabric is a really nice, lightweight, slightly-stretchy cotton that somehow manages to be significantly cooler and more comfortable than even my Tailored Sportsman Icefil shirt.

This shirt went through all 3 phases on Derby Day
The icing on the cake is the cut and fit of Winston’s shirts – they’re flattering on the female form without being tight or uncomfortable.

Winston breeches

The Winston breeches were the latest addition to my collection. I went to Luxe EQ looking to try on some white breeches, and since I was so happy with my Winston jacket and shirt, my curiosity got the best of me. Seeing as how they’re priced around $300 I normally wouldn’t have tried them on, but given how much success I’ve had with the rest of the line, I just couldn’t resist. And of course – they fit me perfectly, and when you find perfection in the form of white breeches, you buy it (on the bright side, at least the $450 Animos didn’t fit!).


As someone with a smaller waist and larger hip/thigh, I have a hard time fitting into a lot of the breeches that are cut more for the junior rider build. Usually they’re a little too straight for me and end up either gapping in the waist or strangling my thighs (an especially horrifying thing when it happens in white). Winston has managed to make a pair of breeches that fit a curvier shape impeccably.

The fabric is a really nice mid-weight, and the cut is low enough to be comfortable while still being high enough to contain all the important bits and wrangle the waist pudge. The sock bottom is excellent (death to velcro) and I especially appreciate that the whites have some contrasting gray stitching around the top and silver piping on the pockets. It gives them a really nice yet classy bit of flair.

Overall the Winston line has yet to let me down – besides riding clothes I also have one of their sweaters that I wear to work a lot. My only real complaint is that I’m too poor to buy mass quantities of it. It’s high end, for sure; the pieces are all extremely well constructed and made to last, and the fit is second to none. No cheap fabrics, loose stitching, or questionable fit here – it’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort goes into producing the line (which is made entirely in Europe from European fabrics).

While the price tags on higher end clothes like these are a lot for the majority of us to stomach, they’re the kind of “grown-up” garments that can be wardrobe staples for many years to come. They aren’t the shirt that you wear for 6 months and sell, or the breeches that last a season before popping a seam. I’ve owned lots of those. It feels good to know that now I’ve got some really high quality pieces in my wardrobe that are timeless, comfortable, and classy. Almost makes me feel like I actually have a handle on this adulting thing…

Review: Leistner Hoof and Leg bundle

Yep, Teddy’s Tack Trunk strikes again, this time with a whole set of grooming stuff that I never knew I needed. They’ve already won me over with their awesome Leistner brushes and the Zephyr’s Garden Anti-fungal line, converting me to a total grooming supply snob in the process. Really nice brushes are a vital part of life now.

This time I got the “Hoof and Leg bundle“, a package deal put together and sold by Teddy’s Tack Trunk. This set arrived just as the torrential rains started here in Texas, which proved to be impeccable timing. The bundle includes:

Leistner Natural Coco Fiber Brush – Pure coco fiber bristles with a lacquered beech wood base. This medium stiff brush has dense bristles that are great for removing mud and grime. Coco fiber is water resistant, impedes break down by salt water, and will last a long time. The smaller, hand-held size is comfortable to use, especially on the legs.

Leistner Natural Hoof Brush with Handle – Hoof washing brush with beech wood handle. Stiff, natural fiber bristles on the end for tough scrubbing with natural Mexican fiber (also known as Tampico) bristles for cleaning. Also makes a great bucket brush. Helps to keep hooves healthy. Use after picking and during bathing.

Leistner Natural Bristle Hoof Oil Brush – Premium brush made of natural bristles with a natural beech wood handle. Use to apply hardener or medication to hoof.

The Ultimate Hoof Pick, Jr. – The Ultimate Hoof Pick, Jr. features a superior ergonomic design and pick angle to help remove the toughest packed-in dirt, mud and snow. It is designed for comfort with a soft rubber grip handle that fits solidly in your hand. The Ultimate Hoof Pick has a durable stainless steel pick, which makes it unbendable, unbreakable and built to last a lifetime.

The bundle with the hoof pick included is $42.45, or you can get it without the hoof pick (brushes only) for $27.50.

Typically I shy away from any brush with bristles that would be considered even remotely stiff. Princess Henry does not like hard/stiff bristled brushes, and I try not to upset the Princess. The coco fiber wasn’t super stiff, but definitely more than I’ve used on him before, and it had me a little bit worried about what his reaction would be. To my surprise he actually doesn’t mind it at all, and it works really well at getting the heavier dirt off of his butt and the chunks of mud off his legs. The coco fiber bristles are actually really cool, I like it a lot.

The hoof brush was interesting to me. We have really thick, clay based mud here in this part of Texas, and it builds up on the horse’s feet like crazy and sticks like glue. If it’s muddy I usually hose off as much as I can then use my hands to pick away at the rest. Who knew there was a brush that was actually meant for that job? This thing works great to help get the mud off faster (and does an especially good job of getting it all out from the sensitive area behind the pasterns, something that I usually failed to do but is really important if your horse lives in bell boots like mine does) and it’s really easy to rinse clean. The size and shape make this brush useful for lots of different things (I’ve also used it to scrub out a bucket and get mud/poop off of some XC boots), so it’s definitely earned a spot in my trunk.

There’s not a lot to a hoof oil brush, but it’s definitely a useful thing to have around. In the summers I use Effol on Henry’s feet to keep them from drying out, and in the wet seasons I apply thrush medication, so I can pretty much always find a use for it. My last one (a cheapie with an ugly red plastic handle and plastic bristles) fell apart last summer, so I had been slathering the Effol on his feet with my hands. This one is way nicer than the previous one, so hopefully it will last quite a while. The natural fibers lend to better application and are much easier to clean, too.

I have been a long-time fan of the Ultimate Hoof Pick (I prefer the Junior size, I think it’s easier to hold than the bigger one) and already have one in my regular grooming kit. It’s never a bad idea to have a spare, though, so this one went into the little trunk that lives in my trailer. Now I’ll have one with me wherever I go! Nothing works as well as the Ultimate Hoof Pick and they last forever, so it’s a definite must-have item.

Overall this is a great little bundle full of several “essential” items, all of which are great quality and do their jobs really well. The Leistner line continues to impress me with their high quality materials, excellent construction, and beautiful finish. I have yet to be disappointed with any of it.

Mini Reviews: Back on Track, Ice Horse, Camelot

Yep, more mini-reviews. It’s the only way to fit everything in without doing a review every day for a month. Just go with it.

Back on Track

I was a hold out on the Back on Track voodoo for a long time. It’s pricey, and I wasn’t blown away by the science enough to shell out that kind of dough. Then last fall we found some arthritis and remodeling in Henry’s hind ankles, so I figured “what the heck” and asked the SO for a pair of the Quick Wraps for Christmas.

Trying it out

I used those a few times and thought I noticed some difference (windpuffs were smaller, and he seemed a little more limber from the beginning of the ride) so when the Mesh Sheet showed up on TackDealz one day for $145, I couldn’t pass it up.


I started putting the sheet on before lessons, or in the trailer on the way to shows. Can’t be 100% certain that it did anything, but again he seemed more limber through his back and his hind end when he had worn it vs when he hadn’t.

Then I found myself needing a new dressage pad, and when Riding Warehouse had their Back on Track sale (I’m sensing a theme here) I decided to bite the bullet. I’ve only used the pad a few times, but Henry was good each time. Coincidence, yeah maybe. Tough to say.

Sadly, it doesn’t make me ride better

All three products are really nicely constructed with good materials. I won’t let Henry wear the sheet unsupervised, just because I really don’t want him to destroy it, but it fits him well. I’m still not unequivocally sold on the idea of Back on Track being magical, but I’ve seen enough to believe that it can definitely help. If you get a good deal or come across a sale, or if you have an arthritic horse or one with a tight back, their stuff is definitely worth trying.

Ice Horse tendon wraps

I honestly had a hard time coming up with a lot to say about these. I feel very “meh”. Don’t love them, don’t hate them.

fronts are Ice Horse, rears are Finn Tack (haven’t used those enough to review them yet)

I only paid $35 for the pair, secondhand. I don’t love the design in general, I think the little strap meant to hold the ice packs in place is a pretty goofy. Also the gel in the ice packs tends to settle toward the bottom of the leg as it warms up, so there isn’t even coverage of the tendon.

No gel pack ice boot will ever be as good as ones that use real ice. Those are quite impractical for me though, so being able to toss these in the freezer or ice chest then pull them out and put them directly on the horse definitely has it’s advantages. They’re convenient.

Either SO has not noticed this yet, or he noticed and chose not to protest. Either way, yes we have an ice boots shelf in our freezer.

I use them after hard gallops or XC schools and they seem sufficient enough for that. If my horse was doing harder gallops or higher level fences, I would want the cooling power of real ice. Overall, for what I paid I’m satisfied with them. If I’d paid the $100 retail price I probably wouldn’t be super thrilled.


Camelot contact anatomic girth

It’s much easier to come up with my feelings about this thing: it’s legit heinous.

normal girth on the left, Camelot on the right

The leather finish is pretty bad, it looks like it was dipped in colored plastic. The “leather” over the padding on the inside has the same yucky plastic look, except it looks thin and wrinkled and sad. Edges are cut unevenly and the stitching is crooked in spots. The color, which they call Oakbark, is kind of a sickly grayish brown and there’s no way that will change short of a deglaze and a re-dye. Honestly, I’m not even sure that would work.

I’m going to assume the person that cut this piece of leather did so with their teeth

To it’s credit, the elastic is thick and sturdy, the anatomic shape is good, it has 3 dee rings that are nylon reinforced, and it has roller buckles. Technically it has all the things a girth should have. So… yay?

yay elastic?

Functionally it’s fine, if you can get past how it looks and feels and how questionable the workmanship is. I used it once and just couldn’t do it. It’s cheap, in every sense of the word. But good news – I have a 54″ I’ll sell you for $40.

Review: Majyk Equipe leather stadium boots

Some of you may remember my first sneak peek at the new Majyk Equipe boot line from my AETA posts a few months ago. I’ve been a fan of ME since I got my first pair of their XC boots a couple years ago – their stuff is always so well designed and reasonably priced. From the moment I first laid eyes on their new leather boots, I was  dying to get my hands on them.

I recommend trying them with accompanying quarter marks, because that’s how fancy they are

I’ve had lots of open fronts over the years, especially having shown in the jumpers. From Eskadron to Equifit and a lot of things in between, I’ve tried many different styles. What I’ve learned through a lot of trial and error is that the two things I love most are stud closures and removable linings. But the thing I require for the horse’s sake (and why I no longer own most of them) is a lightweight, breathable liner. I really don’t like memory foam or thick neoprene that traps heat against the leg. So when I saw the leather Majyk Equipe’s on display at AETA and got to see and feel the liner, I knew I had to try them.


First of all, the boots are leather. Real, delicious, genuine, fantastic-smelling leather. No ‘pleather’ or ‘leather substitute’ (PVC) with these boots! They’re made from first grade Argentinian leather – the kind used in polo equipment and saddles. It was chosen specifically for it’s deep color and ability to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.  The leather is vegetable (not chemical) tanned all the way through – it’s rugged and heavy duty while still looking really classic and elegant.


Aside from the gorgeous leather, the liner in these boots is what really sold them for me. Yes they’re pretty, but they’re also really functional. First, the liner is removable (and they use actual Velcro-brand velcro, the good stuff) so you can easily take them out for cleaning and pop them back in. But the best part is that they’re made from a perforated heavy duty foam, which makes them super lightweight and breathable. The foam is the same family as the material used in their tendon boots, but it has an additional layer of impact protection built in. This helps dissipate the force and concussion should the boot take a hard hit. The foam is also hypo allergenic and has a rebound memory so that it gradually shapes to your horse’s leg over repeated uses. And, unlike memory foam or neoprene, it won’t retain heat and doesn’t provide a viable environment for bacteria to grow.


What makes these boots most attractive, IMO, is the price. While you’re looking at easily $300-400 for a full set of most of the other high end boots, and more like $500-600 for real leather ones, these ring in at only $160 for the fronts and $117 for the backs (or less, if you follow Riding Warehouse on facebook and use their FB10 code for 10% off. *HINT*). So potentially you’re looking at only $250 total for a full set of real leather boots with removable liners. Great design plus great price – the very rare double whammy.


While I love my stud closure version of the boots (because I’m lazy), they also make a really pretty brown version with buckle closures, if you’re more old school. All the same features, just buckles and brown leather instead of studs and black leather. Another really classic looking boot but with all the awesome modern technology.


I’ve been using my boots for a little while now and really love them. They’ve broken in nicely and started molding to Henry’s legs. The elastic is thick and heavy duty, everything is very well-stitched, and they really do seem like they’re built to last. They also stay in place, definitely seem to breathe well, and Henry appears to find them comfortable. It can be a little bit tricky to find open fronts that don’t move around on his front legs because of how crooked-legged he is (if the boot is sitting correctly on his leg it’s not actually pointing straight forward, it looks a little off to the side because of his deviation, so some boots have a tendency to spin on him) but these have stayed in place perfectly. I have no complaints! When they get dirty I wipe them off with a rag, slap on a little Belvoir, and they look new again. They really are super beautiful and “check all my boxes” for what I’m looking for in a set of boots. Definitely two thumbs up… I can’t find anything to NOT like.


Mini Reviews: Cambox ISIS, I-Quip gloves, Decopony

I keep slacking a bit on the review thing, mostly because I’m lazy and reviews are work. So I decided to group some things together in review posts – tack, clothes, etc – starting today with “show season extras”, because otherwise lets be honest it’ll take me a year to get to everything.

Cambox ISIS helmet camera

This is pretty new to the American market, with Dover being the only US retailer at the moment. They have it listed for $290, but I bought mine from a French website for $270.

The Cambox is, IMO, the absolute best helmet camera on the market. It’s very light weight and unobtrusive, to the point where you don’t even notice it’s there. I also find it much easier to use than my GoPro, too, due to the design. The camera sits under the brim of your helmet and has little LED indicator lights that you can see in your peripheral, letting you know when the camera is on and when it’s filming. No more fumbling around blindly for buttons or trying in vain to hear a faint little beep.

The Cambox comes in a convenient little hard shell carrying case that fits the camera itself, a cleaning cloth for the lens, and the USB cable for charging and file transfer. This also makes it really easy to carry around or toss in my purse without worrying about damaging it.

The video quality is about the same as what I was getting from the GoPro, no noticeable difference to me for better or for worse. The battery life is the only real complaint I have – it’s about 90 minutes MAX. Not a big deal if you’re using it at a show, but something to keep in mind if you want to use it for a long ride or an XC schooling. Also, like the GoPro it is not waterproof, but unlike the GoPro there isn’t a waterproof case available. If it’s a super rainy day, don’t wear it; the footage would be crap anyway. I had a bit of a hard time getting the velcro attachment to stick to the alcantara on the underside of my Samshield brim – I ended up having to use some glue to make it stay. Didn’t bother me because you can’t see it, but I know some people would not be delighted at the idea of gluing velcro to the underside of their brim. I think it would stick best to plastic.

Spot the helmet cam

I’ve had to order a couple of accessories to optimize the camera for my skull cap – a second velcro attachment of course, and their brim stabilizer so that it doesn’t flop around on the looser brim of the cover. A little bit more investment ($25) but I really like the fact that I can put the camera on either of my helmets very easily.

Overall – 4 out of 5 stars for the Cambox, really only dinged for the battery life. If you’re a helmet cam lover, you need this.


I-Quip custom gloves

I posted about I-Quip a couple months ago in a Brand Spotlight feature, so I figured I would update y’all now that my gloves have arrived and I’ve been using them. Those with keen eyes might have spotted them in some of my pictures or the helmet cam video from Holly Hill, their first show outing. I’ve been wearing them every day at home too, because I really want to test their claim for exceptional durability and because I just really like wearing them.

I-Quip cameo

The first impression right out of the box is that these gloves are super high quality and exquisitely made. I examined every stitch, inside and out, and couldn’t find a flaw. They’re butter soft while also feeling rugged. On the first ride they felt a little tight, but by the next time I put them on they had already molded to the shape of my hands and now they fit, well, like a glove.

In the past I’ve tended to stay away from leather gloves because of how they felt stiff and crunchy when they dried, and a lot of them leeched dye and stained my hands. I hate both of those things. But despite getting these things absolutely soaked through with sweat on many occasions, they’ve always dried just as soft as they were before and never left a hint of color on my hands. They are also showing absolutely zero wear so far. None. Zip. Nada. I have high hopes that these gloves are everything they claim to be, in addition to being beautiful and super grippy.

I know that the price is a deterrent to most people on these gloves. Their stock model, the black Signature, starts around $70, and the custom Luxury Eventer like I purchased runs more toward $150. Expensive? Yes. But a) they’re totally custom, color-wise and fit-wise b) even if I only get 3 years out of them, that’s how much I would have spent on Roeckl’s in the interim anyway. They make me happy both to look at and to wear, so to me they’re worth it. Treat yo’self.

Overall – 4.5 out of 5, only because the price point means I can’t justify 10 pairs.

Deco Pony custom stall guard

Deco Pony is a small company that makes custom printed vinyl stall guards and halter guards (as well as some other accessories like bags and shirts). I’ve seen their stuff popping up at events all over the place, especially the stall guards, so at Christmas Bobby and I went in together to get a custom one for our coach.


I liked hers so much that I went back and ordered one for myself a few weeks later. I needed a stall guard anyway, and most of them are in the $40 range, so why not spend $10 more and get something custom?

Since I was the one that set up our original design in the first place, I got to work one on one with Deco Pony owner Jenn to get everything just right. She made a few mock-up designs for me using the barn logo and I picked the one I liked most. She was very easy to work with and did a great job with the design, and there is no minimum order. Once your original design is set up its easy to just go in and order more of the same design, which makes it awesome for barns – everyone can order and pay for their own, rather than having to do one big giant order and pool money.


The stall guard arrived within just a couple weeks and I was really happy with the quality. The vinyl is thick and very well constructed. I keep mine rolled up and stored in my trailer in between shows, and just hose it off whenever it’s dirty. Henry has chewed on it, licked it, and even stepped on it, and it’s survived all of that with no damage. Plus I love the united, matching look of the stall guards together at horse shows.

Overall – 5 out of 5. Great value, durable, practical, and an easy company to work with!

Other items on the docket for review soon:

  • Majyk Equipe leather stadium boots (next week!)
  • Back on Track saddle pad, quick wraps, and mesh sheet
  • Ice Horse tendon boots
  • QHP breeches
  • Camelot anatomic girth
  • PS of Sweden 3 point breastplate
  • Sporthorse Lifestyle Hudson shirt
  • Style Stock stock tie
  • Winston show shirt (gonna roll into review of Winston coat)