Friday, November 21, 2014

Tack and Riding Apparel Wish List

Since the rain ruined my plans to ride I decided to make a wish list... because I'm seriously in a want, want, want kind of mood lol.  I also take hints and suggestions because I'm about as indecisive as they come!!!!

Winter Coat

I really need a warm winter jacket.  All of my stuff is cheap and NOT WARM lol.  My boss told me about LL Bean (which I've heard of, but never looked at) because of the really low temp ratings.  I looked through one of her catalogs and found this one that I love.


The fake fur is removable if it gets annoying.  This is rated down to -25F.  It rarely gets below zero here so that should be sufficient for my wimpiness lol.  I have no idea what it would be like for riding in and it's really expensive, but I'm determined to save up for a really nice coat.  My boss said her stuff from there lasts for years and years.

Helmet

I definitely need help with a new helmet.  Mine is over ten years old so it needs replaced in a bad way.  The problem is the one I have is the only helmet I've ever owned and it was a gift so I have no idea how to shop for one lol.  I need one that is cool for summer riding and I'd prefer to not have a glue on visor because those get gross!!  I found this one, a Tipperary Sportage 8500, that seems like a really reasonable price and it's a pretty blue color (because that's so important haha), but how do I know if it's a safe, quality helmet?  Has anyone used one of these?  Personal feedback would be awesome.



I also wonder about the whole dressage thing... I don't ever plan on competing regularly, but if I did decide to compete once or twice would I be totally laughed out of the ring for having a blue helmet??

Paddock Boots

I NEED boots!  I ride in sneakers because the paddock boots (Ariat) I bought over ten years ago are too small.  I was on a time crunch so I needed something in store and the only thing they had was too small, but I got it anyway and it got me through my dressage lessons, but they are so not comfortable for everyday wear.  I will keep them for emergency backup, but if I walk more than forty yards in them I'm in so much pain!!  My problem is that I wear a size twelve in women's shoes (I'm 5'10" tall).  I also wear a wide... I have flat feet and I hate for my toes to touch the sides or front of a shoe... I'm so picky!  I don't even have any ideas for this because I have searched and searched and searched and I can't find anything online (there is nowhere near me to buy in person) that even goes up that high in size in women's.  Do I need to buy men's??  Are there alternatives to paddock boots that have a heel and look nice in case I did decide to enter a schooling dressage show?  Help!

Also do they go by your normal shoe size?  I found some Ariats that go up to size 11... maybe if I get over my toe touching shoe issue they would work?  I wish I could remember what size mine are...

Oh they do have a tag!!!!  The ones I have are a US10B (whatever that means) and they are too small width wise and length wise.  Any ideas??

I found these on the Dover website..  they go up to an 11 1/2.  I don't know anything about that brand though and I've never had lace up boots before...  so yeah I could definitely use some help in this category (can you tell I hate shopping for clothes?).



Half Chaps

At the risk of sounding like a total noob who knows nothing about horses or riding apparel I need help here too.  My half chaps were a gift as well that are too large around the calf, but great length... but they are green... I would like traditional black.  I don't know how to size for these.  Where do I measure on my legs?  Also what is the best material to get?  I tend to like synthetic stuff because I'm lazy about leather care (tack hos please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me for admitting that!!).  So any suggestions?  Keep in mind I'm tall with slender calves.

I kind of like the looks of these Saxon Equileather Half Chaps.  I think I heard somewhere that equileather is nice stuff, but I don't remember where I read that.  I like that the zipper doesn't show on these.  I'd want it in black though.  I also have no idea how to figure out the size on these.


Now if we are really dreaming here are some other things I would love to have.

Riding Vest

I don't know a lot about brands or sizing (tall, thin, big boobs) here either, but check this one out!  Blue!


Dressage Saddle

I will need a dressage saddle at some point, but I'll be saving for a while.  The only dressage saddle I've ridden in are Wintecs because that's what my trainer used.  I feel like I would need a changeable gullet since Chrome is young and not fit, so he'll be changing over time.  I've heard bad things about the CAIR panels... but I don't know if I could find a saddle fitter for reflocking.  My trainers barn has one out maybe once a year (or every other year) so I might be able to find out who that person is.  So what do you guys with young horses who live out in the boonies without a lot of options for saddle fitters use?



Skito Pad

I also need a wool/felt Skito pad for my treeless saddle that I haven't been able to use because I don't have the right kind of pad.  It doesn't have a gullet so I have to have one of the special treeless pads that protects the spine before I can ride in it.  They are super expensive though so I'll have to save up for it too.  If you want to see my treeless saddle here is a post where I tried it out on Chrome.  LINK

Well that's all the imaginary tack and clothing shopping I can do for one night.  My brain hurts!  If I had all of this stuff I would be so set for years and years lol.  If anyone has any experience with buying any of these things I happily accepts all tips I can get.  :)  Thanks guys!

Edited to add this post to the Pony Express blog hop!


P.S.  Check out the giveaway on A Filly's Best Friend blog.  They are trying to raise the funds to go to the Midsouth Three Day Challenge in Kentucky next year.  Visit their GoFund page here to donate and also check out their awesome silent auction on Facebook here.

33 comments:

  1. First off, buy a Carhartt instead of LL Bean. Carhartt is waterproof and wind proof and flat out keep you warm kind of coat. No, they aren't pretty, but you can do chores in them, ride in them, drive a tractor in them and they will keep you warm. I have a ton of jackets, but when the weather gets cold, that is the one I pull out of the closet.

    Second, I couldn't wear the Tipperary, because of the shape of my head. It was my first choice, but they are really designed for oval heads, not round ones and was tight on the sides. I went with an Ovation sport helmet that fits well and is dark blue. (I'm not showing though, so . . . ) Most helmets in that price range seem to be about as good a quality as any other, so it becomes a choice of comfort, fit and style. (My rule of thumb is the same for horse helmets as bike helmets - if you have a wreck, replace it.)

    I have huge feet too, although my have high arches and narrow body. I always buy men's boots when it comes to paddock boots. They aren't exactly gorgeous, but they fit and they last through five nights/days of riding/being at the barn, a week.

    The only time Ashke has really protested a saddle was the Wintec with CAIR panels. I wasn't in that saddle more than two minutes and he told me loud and clear to get my ass off his back. if you are going to do a Wintec, find one with wool flocking, so it can be changed as Chrome's back changes. I think the biggest issue with teh CAIR panels is that they are square and have a hard edge to them. I can't imagine they feel good. Saddle fit can be adjusted with pads and shims or flocking until he is fully developed, provided the saddle isn't too narrow.

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    1. Wow thank you for all of the tips!! I'll look at the Carhartt stuff. I've heard it's good too, but like you said it's not pretty LOL! Maybe I can get two coats. :) I have an oval head so maybe the Tipperary would work... my Troxel that I have now doesn't touch the sides of my head, only the front and back. I haven't had a wreck in the Troxel, but they do say to change them every five years and mine is over ten years old. I will definitely look into the men's boots since that works well for you. Do you know if they are sized the same as shoes? I wear a ten in men's hiking boots. Also thank you for the info on the CAIR panels. That is exactly what I had heard! Ashke is a saddle fit expert so we will totally listen to him. :D Thank you for commenting!!!

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  2. I love LL Bean, and yes their stuff does last years and years. I have a ski parka that I bought a few years ago that I mostly use for covering my little dog Oliver when we're at the barn on cold (for Miami) nights (despite his midweight Wetherbeeta jackets that he also wears *sigh*).
    Most half-chaps have size charts, and you usually measure around the widest part of your calf.
    And I've never used a Tipperary, but have heard good things about them. They're quite popular with eventers. But for dressage, while it would be legal, it would probably be considered gauche for anything other than a schooling show (but that doesn't mean you have to care what other people think!, so go ahead and rock it if you like!). Most of the people at the dressage shows I've been to at Adequan Global wear Charles Owens, but that is also a pretty "big-time" show.

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    1. I'm still leaning toward the LL Bean coat because I looked at the Carhartt stuff and I just don't love any of it. This coat is rated for weather a lot cooler than we ever get here so it should work fine. :-) thanks for the info on the helmet and chaps. I really don't care what other people think so I'll probably go with the blue one. I love blue! That's why we have to do competitive trail riding or endurance because I want all matching gear lol!!!

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  3. Oh, and as far as paddock boots go, I have been an Ariat girl forever but have been less than thrilled with their durability the last few years. My paddocks used to last several years, and now they usually start falling apart after less than a year. Last year, I tried Tredsteps, which were not nearly as comfortable and also started falling apart in less than a year (worse than the Ariats), so I am now back to Ariat despite my disappointment. They really are SO comfortable! And I'm sure if you buy a pair in a men's size, they will look exactly the same, so maybe look into that if they don't come big enough in the women's sizes?

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    1. I was reading the review on the Ariats and everyone was saying the same thing about them falling apart. Apparently they changed manufacturers is what is being said.

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  4. I have that exact helmet in blue. So far the Tipperary is my favorite. I like it better than the newer cobalt Troxel Liberty I bought. I think they make most helmets stop halfway down the back of the head so that women can pull their hair back into a pony tail or bun, but I like that the Tipperary goes down toward the base of the skull.

    I have one pair of lace up Ariats that have lasted forever, but I have another pair of zip up Ariats that were so inflexible and tight that they wouldn't stretch, so my toes actually dug holes in the insulation and now I get blisters every time I wear them. I know I need to throw them in the trash, but it's hard because they look so nice on the outside. I'll be interested in knowing how other brands of paddock boots work out for people.

    I wrote a review on the equitation protective vest I bought on my site. I was surprised to find out that while some of the vests are just specially padded like mine, others have a cable that you attach to your saddle when you ride, and if you fall off, the cord gets pulled and the vest inflates. People told stories about premature inflations or accidental inflations when riders dismounted without disconnecting the cable, and the sudden noise startled the horses. So, I avoided those. I've already got enough to remember before and after I ride.

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    1. LOL I heard about those inflatable vests too and I'm way too absentminded to remember that!! I saw the review on your riding vest, but I totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I'm also thrilled to know you love that helmet. I saw what you wrote about the Troxel, but I didn't know your other one was a Tipperary. :D

      That sucks about the one pair of Ariats, but I'm just like you. I won't throw away these too small ones either. I guess I'm a pack rat with some things. You never know when you'll need an emergency back up pair! Thank you for your help!!

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  5. I've had lots of stuff from LL Bean and have always been very happy with it- I like that I don't feel like a total bum if I run errands in my jacket. I had a Carhartt jacket, too, and while it was warm and durable, I only ever wore it to the barn. It's been nice to have a jacket that's multi-purpose!

    I've been very happy with all Ariat boots I've owned- two pairs of tall boots, two pairs of cowboy boots, and two pairs of paddock boots! They've all been comfortable and lasted for year. (One pair of tall boots is going on 13 years!)

    As for half chaps- I currently have a pair of these Horze Soft Leather Half Chaps (http://www.horze.com/half-chaps/horze-soft-leather-half-chaps/37246.html). They look very nice and the zippers have held up well. I also like that they're soft leather instead of suede- that way my lower leg isn't completely loose when I wear my tall boots! Haha! I've found that these are VERY tall on me (I am 5'9"), but I have kind of stubby legs, so who knows. Most half chaps will have you measure around the widest part of your half (width); some brands will also give a length measurement, which is measured from heel to knee, on the outside of the leg.

    As for the helmet- the Tipperary helmets look very cool! If you like the blue, go for it! At dressage schooling shows in my area, I've seen everything from Charles Owen helmets to bright white Troxels. As long as it meets the safety standards for the sport, you are fine. Navy helmets are even becoming a thing on the upper-level dressage circuit, so you do you! :)

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    1. Thank you for this comment! I'm so happy to read that every loves LL Bean. :D

      I'll definitely check out those half chaps and I appreciate the info on sizing. I'm also happy to hear about the helmet thing. I had no idea it was becoming a thing on the upper level dressage circuit. Yay!

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  6. I would try the Ariat mens, I have a pair that are about 5 years old and holding up well. I even had them stretched post baby. They are also way softer insole than my tall boots.

    For half chaps, best advice is go somewhere you can try them on. I have decently long, skinny, but not super skinny calves. A LOT of them fit me weird. I always end up back in my cheapy suede ones that I got as a teen (too big then). Go real leather, they will last forever if you take care of them. I wear mud boots for walking around so they don't get too nasty in winter.

    You could always get a helmet cover for the blue one if you show if you feel too colorful.

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    1. Thanks for the info on the Ariats! I'll definitely go with the mens. I think it'll be easier to find something comfortable in my size that way. I guess I'll get real leather half chaps.... at least almost all of my other gear is synthetic hehe. :D It's not like cleaning half chaps will take nearly as long as the huge western saddles (with TONS of tooling) that I had as a teen. :) That's a great suggestion on the helmet cover! I forgot about that.

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  7. If you want Canadian input the best approach for warmth is not a single coat but the layers:
    1. a wicking layer - I use a hockey undershirt- it works great for warmth.
    2. a fleece for warmth
    3. outer layer - I wear either a quilted flannel shirt, a warm vest or a medium weight jacket.
    This allows you to have mobility and to remove if you get hot riding.

    I love my leather half-chaps and would say that it's worth the investment. I ride in a safety vest too.

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    1. Thanks Teresa!! I've heard that about layers before. On the day I rode when it was in the thirties I was wearing silk long johns, winter breeches (or maybe it was jeans?) and sweat pants over that. On the top I was wearing a cotton camisole, a regular t-shirt, a thick sweat shirt and my blue jacket.... I never removed a single layer because I was still cold!! That's why I think my jacket is just a little inferior. I do need to look into some undershirts though. Maybe I need to try fleece too. I don't think I have anything that's fleece. Most of my stuff is cotton. You're the second person to say go for leather half chaps, darn it LOL! What safety vest do you use?

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  8. I think over 50% of endurance riders in my area wear Tipperary helmets. Liz wears one, I wear one and so does my husband when he rides. I agree with Karen that helmet fit will depend on head shape, but if you have an oval head, these are wonderful!!! I forget I'm wearing mine, it is so light and comfortable. The vents prevent overheating in hot, humid weather and I like that the back of the helmet goes down further than most: these literally cover your entire skull. Regarding shows, most schooling shows don't care about helmet color and if you were to go to one that does, you can always just get a helmet cover. Same goes for boots: a lot of schooling shows, even dressage, allow paddock boots and half chaps.

    Check out the size charts on the half chaps of your choice; they will tell you what size to pick based on your measurements and they also explain where to measure. Some brands offer wider ranges of sizes than others and sizing can vary greatly from one brand to the other. So always reference that size chart. I personally love my Ovation half chaps. I have these: http://www.amazon.com/Ovation-Ladies-Suede-Ribbed-Chaps/dp/B002HWBJPE Suede gives extra grip. If you were to want half chaps in a jiffy, the Dublin synthetic chaps are not expensive and can be thrown in the wash: http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/8000/DEC509 These are popular with endurance riders because they are so easy to care for. The material looks like suede but is thinner, so they are cooler than leather in the summer. Charles has these; you can see what they look like in the photos of him riding. I had a pair of synthetic leather half chaps very similar to those Saxons and I had a horrible experience with them: the zipper in the back was a PITA to get done, involving twisting around like a contortionist or needing another person's assistance. The stretchy panel in the back was exactly like the Saxons' too...and it split during my first ride in the half chaps. :( So I'm terribly biased against that style of half chap. I find the zipper on the side to be so much easier, even if it doesn't look as tidy. Half chaps with side zippers tend to have the stretchier ribbed elastic panels that make the fit so much more comfortable, too!

    LL Bean makes great jackets! And Carhart has some really cute women's jackets too for $150 or less. http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=10051&productId=284211&langId=-1&categoryId=15060&top_category=15058&quickView=false For my winter jackets, I have an REI membership card and try to shop their sales. TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Ross will have really great winter jackets at big discounts, if you have any of these stores near you. I have a 3-in-1 jacket that I purchased at TJ Maxx 3 winters ago for $60 and it has gone through that many winters of near daily use and almost-daily washings: it's my main barn jacket from October through April.

    Continuing in a separate comment because Blogger says this is too long! :)

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    1. I second (third?) what others said about men's boot sizes. With your shoe size and foot width, just go for men's. You will be so much more comfortable! I take size 9 women's shoes but have a wide foot and have no shame trying on men's size 7.5/8 boots if I can't find a fit I'm happy with in women's boots. I have an old pair of Ariat Devon Pros that I bought at wholesale price when I worked at the tack shop. They have lasted me almost 10 years. I'm not sure they make them that well nowadays. If you want to go for comfort, I recommend the Ariat Terrains. They have waterproof models, but even the regular Terrains are great. Valley Vet has a 15% off promotion right now. Here: http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=704f2fdf-056a-41f0-9a06-a6121398e7b2 :) Half chaps do fit well over them. I personally just have an old pair of steel toe Timberland hiking boots that I use for the brunt of my riding in warm weather, and have had no issues with half chaps fitting over them either. :D

      I own a safety vest and it is this one: http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=14bdc78a-68cb-41aa-9ea2-50cc1673b170&gas=safety%20vest I am BEYOND THRILLED with that vest. It is BETA 2000 Level 3 certified, which is one of the highest safety ratings. The sizing is accurate: it said I was a small, the small fit perfectly (sizes are chest sizes in inches). The vest is super adjustable too. And it is a third of the price of the one you mentioned in this post! :) I've had mine for a year and a half now and I love love love that vest. It protected me from a pretty nasty fall from Lily back in the summer when she spooked at that hole in the ground. I only had whiplash after that fall, nothing else. I feel naked if I ride without it.

      Ditto what Karen said about Cair panels. I tried a Cair saddle on Lily a long time ago and she did NOT like it at all! My current Wintec dressage is wool-flocked and my saddle fitter has had no problems adjusting it for Lily as her body changes. My saddle fitter comes out once a year.

      You have a great list! I hope you can find some wonderful deals on some of these on Black Friday/Cyber Monday! :D

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    2. Holy cow Saiph you are amazing!!! Thank you! This is so awesome. I don't even know where to begin lol. I'm super excited about the Tipperary. I think it will work great because my head is definitely oval. I'm glad everyone likes them. I think I'll order it first as soon as I get paid. :)

      I will definitely check out those half chaps! Anything that can be thrown into the washer is awesome in my book! That's one reason I like that LL Bean coat because it can go in the washer and dryer. Most nice coats can't. Thank you for the info regarding the zipper and material and everything. That's extremely helpful.

      Wow $60 for a 3-in-1 jacket that has lasted that long is a super deal! I think we have a TJ Max (in the next town over) so I'll have to check that out!

      Regarding the boots. Do you normally find you only have to go down one size in men's? I thought I had to go down two sizes in hiking boots, but that may be different. I really wish there was a place I could try on paddock boots and half chaps, but the only place within a hundred miles of me that sold English riding gear closed down years ago... :( I thought I read somewhere that you shouldn't wear steel toes around horses? Something about if they step on your foot it could cut off your toes?? Thanks for the info on the promotion too. I love links! You're awesome!

      Also thank you for the info on the safety vest!! Wow that is way cheaper! I will definitely add that to the list! I'm hoping to find some great Cyber Monday deals (I refuse to go out on Black Friday)! If not then I'll be passing a wish list around for Christmas LOL! Thank you again. You've been super helpful!

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    3. And...I don't remember if you read Cob Jockey but when I first moved to the Northeast, I used her wonderful lists as a guide for the warmest winter gear. She has Reynaud's Syndrome, a condition where circulation to the fingers and toes can be compromised, so if anyone knows about warm winter clothes, it is her! Here are some of her wonderful reviews:

      http://www.cobjockey.com/2013/10/reynauds-and-riding-update-year-3.html
      http://www.cobjockey.com/2013/01/annual-mid-winter-reynauds-update-and.html
      http://www.cobjockey.com/2011/11/reynauds-and-riding.html

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    4. Wow you are full of useful information!! I will definitely check these out. I think Cob Jockey is in my reader list, but I don't think it's one I read regularly. I'll check it out and add it to my every day blog list. :)

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    5. Glad I could help! :D Regarding the boots, I had not heard that about steel toes but it does make sense. I found those Timberlands on sale ($50!) almost 15 years ago at one of the outlet malls in PR; I bought them as hiking boots originally. When my paddock boots died, I just started using the Timberlands because they were my oldest boots and I have a newer backup pair of hiking boots specifically for hiking. :) About men's sizes: yes, I had been told to go down 2 sizes but always had problems finding size 7s in men's (7 is right in-between men's and boy's sizing). One day I gave up and just tried size 8's and was really happy with them anyway. I think my old Doc Martens are men's 8's but my understanding is that Doc Martens run large. I have a pair of Sonoma hiking boots that I bought at Kohl's in men's 7.5 and they are also fantastic. They are a little loose with thinner socks but not uncomfortably so, and I normally wear thicker socks with hiking boots anyway. They were the only shoes I could wear when I broke my toe 2 years ago: the only ones that could comfortably accommodate the swelling. :/ One great place to buy boots if you have any sizing concerns is Zappos (www.zappos.com): they have free 2-day shipping and free return shipping if the shoes don't work out. I LOVE that company and have bought most of my running shoes and Charles's (who is hard to fit!) from them. Even though they are an online store, they do have Black Friday deals too. I bought my snow boots from them last year online on Black Friday for $60. :)

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    6. Yes the crazy thing is a lot of companies require steel toe boots, but I know of someone who dropped a metal beam (like what are in indoor arenas) on his foot and the metal bent and caused more damage than if it had been normal boots... weird. Ever since I heard that they just kind of freak me out. On the men's sizes I think I'll try one size down because I like wide shoes and I don't like my toes touching and in the winter I can wear thick socks. I definitely prefer too big over too little. I'll have to check out the Black Fridays sales on Zappos. I've never heard of them, but that's a good deal!! Thanks again for all of the help. :D

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    7. I second all of Saiph's recommendations (I've got Tipperary and that vest!); I also second being wary re: steel toes. I've always been warned against them around horses because the horse could step on them and bend the metal and really hurt your foot before you're able to get the boot off (sometimes requires EMT/doctor intervention to cut off). Steel toes are a fabulous concept, but I'm just wary around horses.

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    8. Yes that's exactly what I had heard so I avoid them unless a job requires them.

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  9. such a fun list! and lots of fun stuff! looks like you already got a lot of good input - so i'll keep mine brief lol. re: attire for schooling shows - you can wear whatever you like. blue helmet? sure! paddock boots and half chaps? absolutely! (side note - my favorite boots are blundstones - which are identical for men and women, and are almost guaranteed to have a size that will work for you)

    i recommend investing in equipment that will be comfortable for your everyday wear and tear. retailers like dover and smartpak tend to be very open about exchanging sized items if they don't fit properly (just check the fine print about helmet returns!)

    happy shopping :)

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    1. Hmmm I've never heard of blundstones! I'll have to check those out! I'm glad to know Smartpak is good about exchanges and returns. I'll be sure to check the fine print before ordering. :) Thank you!

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    2. the blundstones can be a little pricey up front, but my first pair lasted 10 years, and i'm about 3-4 yrs into my second pair... so they last lol

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    3. Wow that's great durability!! Where do you order them from?

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  10. Without reading all the comments, I can say that if a Wintec is the right shape for your horse, then they are terrific. But the panels are pretty flat along the spine, so if Chrome's back is pretty shapely, then it wouldn't work. I did have the CAIR panels though, and loved that part of it. Even when the saddle did not fit Lady, she still did not complain and I attribute that to the air panels. :)

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    1. Good to know! Wintec is all my trainer uses so I'm hoping to try some of her saddles on him if I ever get the trailer fixed so I can haul him to her barn. :)

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  11. You may want to try the Tredstep paddock boots. They are more unisex and have larger sizes. My fiancé was going through three to four pairs of the Ariats (the more expensive ones) a year and he only goes through two pairs of the Tredsteps, which are half the price of the Ariats he was buying. He has wide feet and they are more comfortable for him too.

    I like the Tredstep half chaps too.

    Tipperary is a good helmet with great safety features. They're also very comfy :)

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    1. Oh thanks! I will definitely check those out!

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  12. I love my tipperary helmet. I just got a pair of smartpak half chaps and I love them too!

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    1. Awesome! I'm loving the tipperary. I'll have to check out the smartpak half chaps. Did you get real leather?

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