If you’re anywhere in the Northeast, you’re probably counting the days until spring arrives. This winter has been brutal and probably one of the worst in a while. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of my unwanted downtime lurking around on the internet racking up a list of things I need (okay.. maybe want) for when my riding life can go back into full gear.
1. New Tailored Sportsman Breeches: TS has added a few new colors to their line of breeches. My favorite is “ultraviolet,” which is available at Dapple Grey. They may not be ultra-conservative or show-appropriate, but they’re fun for schooling! TS breeches are some of my favorites. They fit me perfectly, are comfortable, and do not stain easily – can’t really ask for more!
2. SmartPak Piper Breeches: I got a pair of these during a sale that SmartPak was having on their Piper breeches. I love the color selection, and I couldn’t resist 20% off. I got the merlot color. These are super comfortable, warm enough for colder days, but not too warm that they will be uncomfortable on hotter days. The sizes do run a bit big, so I would advise sizing down if you’re in between two sizes. I unfortunately couldn’t because I wear the smallest size they make, so they are slightly baggy in the legs, but not too bad. I threw them in the washer and dryer to shrink them a bit. Their charcoal and blue jean colored breeches are also really sharp. Also, if you get SmartPaks, you automatically get 10% off the breeches.
3. Ogilvy: Okay, so I may be overdoing this to death, but seriously if you haven’t invested in anything Ogilvy by now, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to anything I say on this blog. I have a MemoryFoam Jumper Half Pad, a Hunter Contour Pad, and a soon-to-be custom Baby Pad. If you have never heard of Ogilvy, then go here now. If you have, and don’t know what the big deal is, then check out my review of their half pad. Their products are top notch, worth the money, and most importantly, good for you and your horse. Saddle fitting issues be gone!
4. Le Fash NY Short Sleeve Show Shirts: A brand new item from Le Fash NY for Spring 2014. They are currently available for preorder if you are lucky enough to be at WEF and will be available for preorder on the website soon. The shirts feature all the awesomeness of Le Fash’s show shirts without the added heat and discomfort that accompanies summer showing. Currently, there aren’t any pictures of the shirts except for this one tweeted by Le Fash and Ms. Lauren Mahoney, an up and coming show jumper, but I imagine the shirts will come in many of the same patterns and colors that are currently offered in the long sleeve version.
5. Ecolicious Equestrian Waterless Shampoo: Ecolicious Equestrian is a natural horse care and grooming products company. According to their website, their products are 100% free of nasty chemicals, parabens, and silicones; natural and organic; earth friendly; biodegradable; and packaged in 100% recyclable bottles. In other words, they’re good for the environment and for your horse. Spring does promise a warm-up, but that doesn’t mean it will always be the right temperature for a bath that your horse may so desperately need. Luckily, EcoLicious EQ has a Squeaky Green & Clean Waterless Deep Cleaning Shampoo. I purchased the shampoo, and you can read my in-depth review here. It retails for $27.95 and is super effective. This is a must have for anyone who likes to make sure their horse looks his or her best at all times. It’s easy to use, all natural, and really works! It also smells amazing. I also recommend checking out their other products. They offer everything from mane & tail shampoos, to hoof oil, to shampoo for use with an actual water bath, and even stuff for equestrians. Definitely check this new company out!
6. Feed through bug supplement: With the spring and summer obviously comes flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and other lovely biting and stinging insects. My pony is super sensitive to gnats and flies that bite his sheath area. I decided to try a feed through bug supplement, specifically SmartBug-Off, and it worked amazingly. He no longer bit his sheath until it was raw, bloody, and swollen. SmartBug-Off is in pellet form and can be bought in SmartPaks or in its own bag. I prefer SmartPaks because they’re pre-measured, sealed, and I know my pony is getting his supplement everyday. I also only give the supplement to him in the spring, summer, and early fall. I have found it to be very effective, and I will be using it again this spring and summer, starting next month. Also, for full disclosure, my pony and I were featured as a SmartPak Success Story for SmartBug-Off last March.
7. My Barn Child earrings & charms: This suggestion came to me from a Twitter user. I have to confess that I actually do not own any My Barn Child products currently, but they have super cute earrings and charms that can go on your horse’s bridle or on the zippers of your tall boots. Personally, I like the four leaf clover charm. I also love their belts and all the colors they came in (and they’re the perfect width for TS breeches!)
8. EquiFit Jumping Boots: This is also a suggestion that came to me from a Twitter user, and I love love love these boots. I actually put them on my list of things an equestrian should splurge on. I actually just saw now that they have a new product called D-Teq Boots that can also be customized, which is right up my alley, and might be something I need once I get my fancy jumping horse. The custom ones are a bit expensive ($378), and the non-custom ones go for around $200. They sound like a definite must have, and they offer amazing protection and shock absorption for your horses’ legs – what more could you want? EquiFit even made a pink version of their D-Teq Boots to support breast cancer! Here’s Ronan McGuigan’s horse, Chapeau, sporting an all-pink ensemble including the boots!
9. De La Coeur Ear Bonnet: I am just becoming familiar with this brand (quell your gasps of shock), and I love them! Something I am definitely going to invest in for the summertime. They have bonnets in all sorts of color combinations, as well as ones with “bling.” I got a blingy ear bonnet for my horse last summer, and it fell apart within a few weeks. I also have a purple and blue one to match my horse’s and pony’s respective colors, but I definitely would love a more conservative one with some bling on it. You can also order a custom bonnet. If you haven’t heard of or seen this brand before, definitely check it out!
10. A Money Tree: You mean these don’t exist? Well, regardless, this is a must have for any equestrian because let’s face it, this sport is not and never will be cheap.
Do you have anything on this list, or do you think I missed something? Let me know what you think in the comments below!