The title of this post is probably slightly humorous considering pretty much everything in the horse world is a lot of money, but it is possible to get horse-related items that don’t burn a hole in your wallet. Just like everything else, there’s $22 breeches and $300 breeches. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to spend whatever we want for the things we need for ourselves or our horses while others need to budget and search for bargains while making the occasional splurge. Here are 10 items that you should consider if you get that urge to spend a bit more money than you’re comfortable with.
- Der Dau Field Boots: These boots are well-made, comfortable, and durable. Manufactured in Brooklyn, Der Dau has been crafting quality equestrian boots for about 50 years. I’ve heard nothing but good things about these boots, including that they’re extremely easy to break in. Even those that buy the stock sizes have said they feel like customs. I am actually waiting for my pair of Der Dau customs to arrive. I ordered them in December, and I was told they would be here by the end of January or early February (3 – 4 weeks to go..). Stock sizes are listed for around $900, and a pair of customs will easily take you into the mid to upper-1,000 range and higher. There is quite a bit of variety in the stock sizes, so it should be fairly easy to find something that fits you. If you want to splurge even more and go custom, Der Dau has TONS of options available. My custom fitter told me that a lady asked for purple alligator trim on hers. If that isn’t enough, there are also options for the inner calf that include elephant skin, which I did not get. I went with something simple and classic because I wanted it to be show-appropriate, but if you’re all about getting colored alligator skin trim on yours, then go right ahead!
- Rambo Supreme Turnout: This blanket retails for over $325. If my horse wasn’t so destructive with his blankets, and I had a spare $300 laying around to spend on a blanket, I would buy this for him. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s how handsome the horse looks in the picture, or the fact that the blanket comes in awesome color choices, or that it just looks so damn high-tech, but I am in love with it. It comes in three different weights – no fill, medium fill, and heavy fill. It comes with a removable neck cover, three surcingles, leg arches, and reflective stripes, among other things. It’s outer shell is made of 1000 denier ballistic nylon, which is pretty much the toughest, most durable fabric you can get for an equine turnout blanket. It’s the same stuff that SmartPak uses in its ultimate turnout that comes with a 10-year indestructible guarantee (but it has much cooler colors, if you’re someone who likes to get cool colors on your horse’s clothing, which I am). Major splurge, but it would be worth it.
- Le Fash: If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve been fiending over a pair of Le Fash’s new City Breeches. These breeches are more high-end than some of the most expensive breeches out there and are extremely well-made. They are extremely versatile and can be worn as everyday pants. The City Breeches are slimming, low rise, and stretchy. There are five color options: Gotham City, which is black; Upper East Side, which is traditional tan (perfect for the hunter ring!); Soho in the Spring, which is white; Tribeca City, which is teal blue; and Financial District, which is grey. Each color choice has saddle brown knee patches and can be purchased with gold front and back pocket rivets. The breeches are manufactured in New York City (not too far from the Brooklyn-made Der Daus). I personally would love a pair of the Financial District breeches. This is an absolute must have for Spring 2014, especially if you are into equestrian high fashion. Those who were lucky enough to snag a preorder pair should have theirs by mid to late February. They are available to two price points, $298 for the breeches without pocket rivets and $308 for breeches with pocket rivets. Pricey, but totally worth it! I also adore Le Fash’s show shirts which come in a variety of unique prints and colors.
- Ogilvy: After hearing all the rave reviews about their half pads, I finally splurged on a jumper half pad this past November. I ordered the memory foam jumper half pad, available here. It finally arrived this week (custom orders take a bit longer), and I love it. I decided to invest in the Ogilvy half pad because it is known for making saddles fit any horse beautifully. I got to use my pad for the first time yesterday, and I loved it. I have a saddle that was custom fit to my horse, but I used the half pad with my saddle on my pony, and when I schooled a lesson horse at my barn. The pad made the saddle fit beautifully. It looked sleek, professional, and was super soft. I got a white half pad with embroidery on the withers, but I found out from an Ogilvy representative that I could order a cover that I could switch out with the white cover if I wanted more of a color pop, which I will definitely be doing. I also received the memory foam hunter contour pad for Christmas, which I have used a few times as well. The jumper half pad has a base rate of $199, and the price goes up depending on any custom options added to the order. The contour pad has a base rate of $290, and the price goes up depending also on any custom options added. I am a huge fan of these pads already, and I know many equestrians that have splurged on these pads not just for the comfort of their equine friends but also for their own comfort. The pad is anti-slip, moisture wicking, and breathable. It provides special impact protection for the horse’s and rider’s back. It also is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and stain resistant. I definitely will be using this pad on every horse I ride. It doesn’t hurt that this product is used by some well-known big name equestrians like Lillie Keenan, Reed Kessler, and Ian Miller. There are options for hunter, jumper, dressage, and eventing riders. You can also get something for your canine!
- High-end saddle: I did a survey on my Twitter page, and many people stated they would splurge on a high-end saddle. I got a new saddle for my birthday last year and chose a custom fit Beval Butet. It cost quite a bit of money, but was totally worth it. My trainer, who has to ride in her own saddle (she calls herself the princess and the pea), loves my saddle and agrees to ride it in over her own. My barn manager said she hates her older Beval’s saddle now that she’s ridden in mine. Other names that were thrown around were Antares, CWD, Voltaire, and Devoucoux, and one of my Western rider followers said a custom Harris saddle! After riding in school saddles for most of my life, the saddle comfort can make a HUGE difference in one’s ride. School saddles make me hurt in all sorts of uncomfortable and awkward places, and now that I have the Ogilvy pad (see above), I’m thrilled I can use my own saddle on any horse I ride.
- EquiFit T-Boots: These are my dream boots. I do not have a need for them right now, but when I finally have my fancy show horse, I will be investing in these. They provide excellent support and protection for your horse’s legs. They also do not contain neoprene, which has been known to have trouble getting rid of heat. Have you ever felt the inside of these? I would wear them! They’re that comfortable and soft. They kind of remind me of orthotics, except for horses.
- Parlantis: I know I already have one pair of boots on here, but if I had a ton of money and could have multiple pairs of tall boots, I would definitely get a pair of Parlantis. And, when I do have a ton of money, my second pair of tall boots will be Parlantis. When I customized my Der Daus, I stayed classic with what I chose, but I probably would splurge and get some Swarovski crystal accents on my Parlantis. I mean, if I have enough money to invest in two pairs of custom tall boots, I might as well have fun with one of them, right? Whenever I see these boots on a rider, I love them.
- Spooks Show Jacket: I am a huge fan of colored horse and rider clothing, which is obviously a bit more acceptable in the jumper ring. If I could splurge on a show jacket for the jumper ring, I would hands down get this one from Spooks. I love anything blue, and this is just an amazing coat. The color really pops, and it would really make a statement in the show ring. I can just imagine all the combinations a rider could do with saddle pads, Ogilvy half pads, show shirts, show jackets, etc. The coral one is also amazing. I’m just in love with these jackets, and I’d probably buy all of them if I could. My number one pick though is definitely the ocean blue color. Must. Have.
- Olympic Size Indoor Ring: I’m kicking it up a notch here, but I am currently at a barn without an indoor, so this long stretch of cold/snow/rain/wind/yuck is really putting a damper on my winter riding. It also would be complete with hunter style and jumper style jumps. I grew up without an indoor, so I do love riding outside, but I get kinda irritable if I have to go a week without riding, so an indoor is sort of becoming a must have. Maybe this is a bit unrealistic, but this is my splurge list so I’m gonna dream as big as I want… which brings me to my final equestrian splurge…
- Hunter/Jumper/Equitation Import: Raise your hand if you wouldn’t love to have an imported warmblood…. no one? That’s what I thought. I’m currently in love with dapple grey and chestnut warmbloods. Trakehners, Dutch Warmbloods, Hanoverians.. give me them all. It’s pure torture for me to go on BigEq.com and see all the amazing horses that are for sale, but it gives me motivation to do what I can to make a ton of money so that I can afford that $100,000+ warmblood. In case you want to stare at your computer screen and drool too, here’s a few that I’m trying to wish into my life: Over Achiever, Sinatra, Nero, Springsteen, Wister, and the horse I would buy in a heartbeat, Enzo. Note: I had to cut myself off at 6 because there are just way too many horses I love on that website, and that’s just one website. Yikes.
That’s my list. For now.
Let me know what you think! What’s one of your must have splurge items?