Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A few of my favorite things

Favorites post! Here are my favorite brands of things. Your mileage may vary, for sure, but this is what I love and will stick with.

Summer shirts: I got one of these at Twin Rivers, and they're so, so cool, literally and figuratively! And flattering, with the side panels. I am SO getting a bunch more, in plenty of colors. Plus, I can wear them to work. :) Technical polo with side panels

Breeches: Do I even have to say it? FITS! FITS FITS FITS FITS. Worth every penny. The segmented, pinpoint-holes, deerskin full-seat panels make for complete ease of movement in the saddle and out of it, and they're sticky like whoa. The fabric is comfortable -- wicks sweat and keeps cool in the summer. I really want a set of winter FITS, but I don't have one yet, so I can't comment on them. I won't buy another brand of breeches ever again.

Saddle pads: TOKLAT all the way. They're sturdy, fit well, and have all kinds of colors and styles. My favorite is the Classics line, like this one. Classic II, Classic III, don't care. Love them. When I had a bin of horse gear get rained on and molded, I lost everything in that bin EXCEPT the Toklat saddle pad. It washed and held up perfectly. I'm a convert forever.

Bridles/Strap goods: Another "do I even have to say it?" one: Five Star Tack. Gorgeous design, excellent customer service, charitable, highest quality leather, and fits well. One of these days I'll have another FST bridle for jumping, and when I graduate to Training level, I'll give myself a five-point breastplate as a congratulation gift.

Horse boots: I can't say enough good things about Davis splint boots. They're not hugely fancy, but they're protective, sturdy, easy to clean, and hard to damage. They also come in all kinds of awesome colors. Granted, I prefer white, but ... there you have it. I also prefer the way these close, with metal rings and turning the velcro back on itself, to the straight elastic/velcro of things like Woof boots.

Lead rope: I am completely in love with my Big D braided nylon lead rope. I ordered royal blue and white, and it's lovely. It moves well in my hand without being too floppy, and it's strong. Very, very happy with this purchase.

Blankets: I've had good luck with my Schneider's Saddlery lightweight turnout. It fits Rev well, and it held up well. For the price, I can't complain. I ended up needing to mend a small tear on the outside and redo some stitching on the liner, and I re-waterproofed it, but overall? I'm quite pleased. Good price, good product. I might switch to a Rambo if I had lots of money, but really this is a nice blanket. Recommended.

Saddles: I hesitate to even say anything about saddles, because it's so personal and there's so much range. If I had my druthers, I'd have County or Black Country saddles custom fit, bought new, etc. I looked at Stubbens, Karl Neidersuss, Courbette, and Thoroughbred saddles, and the original way I was leaning ended up being the right thing: Collegiate. They fit the three primary criteria, all equally important: they fit me, they fit Reveille, and they're in the budget. Most saddles are designed off the rack for more banana-shaped backs. Reveille has a flatter back, having QH blood, and these fit her beautifully. I find them comfortable. And I found them for under $1000 each. Win, win, and WIN!

Helmet: Charles Owen. All the helmets have to be certified to a certain standard, but I really think the CO has the best safety record and gives me the most peace of mind. Unless I find myself in a really tight spot, I won't buy any other brand. Incidentally, I discovered I should have been wearing the J3 skully all along. Who knew? Next time I buy a helmet ...

Safety vest: Well, I don't know yet. I know I don't love Tipperary or Charles Owen vests, and I am really keen on a Rodney Powell. Let's hope my instinct is right. I like RaceSafes, but they have the same problem as the Tipperary: not enough customization available. KanTeq would be a great choice, but they don't think they can fit me quite right. I have huge respect for this company. Anyway, if I can't get a RP, I'll have to settle for a CO. Humph.

And I think that's about everything you can do with shrimp. If I think of anything else I'm hugely partisan to (other than my teachers!), I'll add it.

1 comment:

  1. Always good to have lists. I'm hoping to steal Cuna's rambo when I buy him...