Thursday, July 16, 2015

Everyday Gear: Jumping Edition

I know I'm way behind on this blog hop, so instead of hopping, I'm just gonna pretend I thought of it first.

I'm a first class tack ho and I really love my gear. I'm splitting this one up between jumping and dressage because I haven't got the dressage pictures I really want yet.

First off, Moses.

How Mo dresses for a jump school.
Wait, no. Let's try again.

More along the lines of my idea.
There's nothing I don't love about his current setup. Starting from the head: The bridle is an Antares figure-8 that I got used and am completely in love with. He also seems to really like it, and is going great in it. I finally have M's permission to use it because he loves to open his mouth and flip me off. In his mouth is a loose ring KK, which is pretty much what I flat everything in.

The browband is from Tack Shack Ocala. I know, it's criminal to take anything Antares off the horse and put on something lesser, but it's so great. It's got a navy diamond inlay and grey padding. I adore it.

AND it was cheap!

Lately, the breastplate we've been schooling in is the Harwich elastic one that I got for almost $0 used. I put a wither strap on it since these pictures were taken, which keeps it out of my way and gives me another handle if shit gets wild. It's fine. I don't love it but I'll use it. (Also, does anyone know how to clean up the elastic on these things?) I also have an Antares breastplate I got for a steal awhile back, and it's a tiiiiiiiny bit too big for him, really, but I can make it work on the tightest holes. Although I never do this with anything else, I'm currently reserving that one for showing. I've schooled him in it enough to know that it works and fits, and since it's so freaking gorgeous and I won't be able to replace it (these NEVER show up used and I'm not spending $300 on a breastplate these days), that's the call I'm making.

Rocking Antares breastplate and rainbows everywhere.
That's how we do.
I always jump in my Nunn Finer neckstrap. I think it might technically be Bartlestville, I dunno. It looks precisely like Mary's neckstrap, which is Nunn Finer. Who cares. I could use a stirrup leather. I like it because it's thin and easy to hold. If I think Mo might be a butt, I put it on for dressage schools and trail rides, too. If it isn't there and I need it, I'm sad.

The saddle, stirrup leathers, and girth are also Antares. I have a problem, I know. But they're SO GREAT. I am seriously in love with that saddle.

My love.
I use Royal Rider composite stirrups, the non-flex variety, as I remain terrified of flex. My ankles are the worst, y'all, and in Fillis irons, two hours after a normal jump school I would have difficulty walking. So when I found these used for like $35, I pounced. I didn't even know they were Royal Riders until they arrived. I use the rubber pads instead of the cheese graters because I'm afraid of cheese graters near calfskin, and the rubber pads are working fine.

My half pad is an Ogilvy, which I love. This past weekend I washed the cover for the first time (I've had the thing for about 18 months) and it came out looking perfect. When I can afford it, I'll get a dressage Ogilvy too, or I'll put it on my Christmas list or something. The obsession is real.

The baby pad in the Mo pic above is also Ogilvy, also used (are we sensing a theme here?). I love it, and I hope to have nothing but Ogilvy pads in the future, but I have a bunch of different schooling pads of a variety of brands and they're all fine. I need a bunch of saddle pads, because I wash my pads after every ride, unless the horse didn't sweat AT ALL and was clean. I'm neurotic, I know. Polo wraps get washed every time, too.

I typically boot up for jump schools, especially at M's, because her poles are ridiculously heavy. Mo pulled a rail with a hind leg once and his leg got all swollen, so now: boots. 

The fronts are Majyk Equipe XC boots. I bought them on the strength of everyone's reviews and the one-year guarantee and all that jazz. The fronts have been fine, but within about a dozen uses, the binding on the hind boots started to come undone. I was surprised, so I contacted ME, and long story short, they're all "you've owned those boots for ten months and that kind of thing could happen in ten months," and I'm like "I guess you aren't taking me at my word that I've hardly used them and also if they're supposed to fall apart after ten months, what's the one year guarantee for?" But we've worked out a kind-of truce. I'm not impressed with their customer service, to say the least, but I'll keep using the fronts until they give up the ghost, too. The hinds are just Woof boots. They're not changing my life, but they're doing their job.

So that's the little horse. Here's the big guy.

I freaking love him.
So this isn't quiiiiiite gonna be accurate. The fact of the matter is, I've hardly been jumping Red. I don't have the footing to jump him at home, and I almost always ride alone here (for those who didn't know, Red lives at my house and Mo lives at M's). So this was a photo from an ordinary ride, but an ordinary ride for him these days is flatwork. Pretty soon I'm going to have to school him in the dressage saddle more. Anyway, he's sporting a fancy stitch Nantucket bridle, from the Smartpak line. I got it new (!!!!) but on clearance for $50. They've discontinued this one, which is a shame. I love it. It's not Antares, but it's very very nice. The flash is a CWD that I got used, and I took the laced reins off this bridle and replaced them with Edgewood rubber reins (used). He also goes in a rare fancy-stitched Edgewood breastplate (used) and an Antares hunter girth (USED DUH). The saddle and half pad are the same that Mo goes in. Pictured is a white PRI jump pad, but I end up riding him in the pads I've made myself a lot of the time. He's got on polo wraps here, but for an actual jump school I'd trade those for his Equifit boots. I'd also add my trusty neckstrap. He's using a loose ring KK here, but I jump him in a loose ring Waterford.

So there you have it. As Bill Steinkrauss said, "Quality is the best economy." I absolutely believe this to be true in all areas of horsemanship. That doesn't mean the most expensive thing is the best quality, but if I take care of my gear (and I do, I love cleaning tack), it should last me a very very long time, and keep my horses comfortable. The fact that I love looking at both of them tacked up doesn't hurt my feelings, either!


  1. First, I see nothing wrong with an Antares obsession....because I feel the exact same way about my saddle! Super jealous of your Antares bridle and girth, they're both super pretty. And aren't Ogilvys THE BESTEST?? :)

    You might reach out to Amanda at $900FBP regarding cleaning the elastic on the breastplate. I think she has one similar to yours and might be able to offer some insight!

  2. I am also obsessed with Ogilvy. Insert CWD for me where you have Antares and I need your life. I do covet an Antares figure 8 - so pretty!

  3. Forget all the Antares, I love that browband!

  4. Such classy set ups. :-) You have the nicest stuff.

    \Much respect, from one ho to another.

  5. Love that browband. I'm impressed at the daily saddle pad and polo washing.

  6. I LOVE those tack shack browbands, and now that my pink theme is flying out the window with my dying woof boots, I might need to get one! It looks fab on Mo.