View Full Version : Gear Questions (a little long)

May. 30, 2008, 05:08 PM
OK, working on gathering my gear for hopefull CTR next year:) I want to get Traveler, and myself, used to working with everything ahead of time...Plus, I can buy things in steps this way too ;)

I did some research on threads last night, but didn't really get the answers I was searching for, so here I go:

Boots (Human and horses)
I wear Ariat Terrains. I feel they are a little wide (I have narrow feet) and don't quite offer the ankle support like I have in my EMS Hikers (I have one bad ankle from previous break and surgery). Suggestions? I tend to stick with lace-up because of the narrow feet, pull-ons never feel right. I have Mountain Horse Ice Riders for the winter, again a little wide but have more sock to deal with in the cold so that helps a bit!
Traveler is barefoot. For the short trails we'll be doing now to get confidence, I don't think he needs boots...but, later on I know he should probably have EZBoots or something. What do you look for when choosing a brand?

Leg protection (human and horses)
Forgive my ingnorance, but why do some people wear chaps, 1/2chaps, or chinks? I have a few pair of Gatsby Girl Breeches that are pretty comfy, but normally I am in Aura riding jeans. Is it just b/c of the longer time on the horse and chaffing possiblities?
For Traveler, how do choose the right leg protection? Splint vs. Tendon vs. Galloping vs. Sports Med?? :confused: Suggestions on brands not horribly expensive but good?

I remember seeing a link for a portable mounting stool...Anyone still have it?? His stirrups are just one hole too high for me to get my foot into and I am pretty darn flexible!

Thanks so much!:)

May. 30, 2008, 05:37 PM
For horse leg protection, you might want to check with the association you are planning on competing under. For example in NATRC, they are not allowed.
Jeans - they might get unconfortable and start rubbing after a day in the saddle - I like jods myself...

Auventera Two
May. 30, 2008, 05:42 PM
Boots are allowed as long as they don't cover the hairline. So none of the boots with gaiters are acceptable but plain oldfashioned easyboots are.

Some endurance riders do ride in jeans - I've seen them with my own eyeballs. :lol: But I haven't a clue how they can do it. It must depend on your saddle, your horse's gaits, and how tight your legs stay on the horse. One guy in our region runs LDs in jeans and he rides fast and is almost always in the top 3. But he rides with legs of iron that are clamped on his horse tight and don't move. Maybe that's the difference, I don't know?

May. 30, 2008, 08:49 PM
I don't last 10 miles in blue jeans. I tried it this spring and the seams made me sore in a few miles.
I ride in duck boots, joging pants and 1/2 chaps

May. 30, 2008, 09:51 PM
Ok, so jeans don't make it for long rides:) Nice to know before hand:lol:

So what about leg protection for the horse? Any guidance on what type of wrap/boot?
I am supposing my rides would be NATRC, UMERCA, or GLDRA rides...I'll have to look into their rules books a bit I guess. Plus, with gas prices and the lack of a trailer, I am at the mercy of hitching a ride for now.

May. 30, 2008, 09:54 PM
Love my ovation jean breeches!!

May. 31, 2008, 12:12 AM
I dont believe any of the CTR orgs. allow splint boots of any kind. I know for a fact that NATRC does not.

As far as hoof boots go, you'd have to use regular easy boots because just about all the other kinds come up over the coronet band so fall under the no "leg protection" also.

Definitely dont ride in jeans :) Half chaps give good protection against rubbing and chafing. And also good protection from cactus!!

May. 31, 2008, 11:57 AM
Leg Protection: I'm pretty sure that CTR allows no leg protection whatever. No wraps, no interference boots, nothing. Not even Sore No More or linaments before a ride nor after until the horse is vetted.

Boots: Easyboots are about the only acceptable full boot out there for CTR, since they do not go above the coronet band. If you plan to use them, play around with foaming them on (type of glue) so you don't lose a boot on the ride. Also, I'd spray paint them a bright color, since they are really hard to find when they go flying off.

Renegade has also come out with a glue-on boot that was used successfully by two top-ten finishers in the Biltmore 100. I may use them instead of easyboots if I compete my new mare, Roxy, in CTR next year. She's got run forward feet and I don't know whether she'll develop the concavity she'll need for going comfortably barefoot. Renegade glue-ons come in cool colors, too. :D

I took a little Arabian mare in a 30-mile CTR last fall and put Easyboots on her front feet for fear she'd get sore. She had been fine barefoot until I got aggressive with a nasty case of seedy toe and trimmed that toe way back. At that point I hadn't planned on doing a CTR with her. Anyway, the boots stayed on for the first 15 miles, then somehow a front boot ended up on a back foot, and then it came off altogether. She did the last 15 miles barefoot with no problems, not soreness, nothing. Wish I'd been brave enough to forego the Easyboots altogether!

Chaps: If you haven't competed over distance before, keep in mind that your horse is likely to be much more "up" than you are used to on competition day. Half chaps are nice to keep the lower leg from chafing when the horse is moving more vertically than usual. Also, it provides your leg some protection from branches as your horse hurtles down the trail thinking more about keepin up with others than about the rider. :D

Riding pants: Lycra is good for the rider because it lets sweat through, and you stay dry. It is cool and flexible to wear. I have one pair of expensive lycra riding pants for competition. I don't use them for regular riding so they don't get damaged. They are black and blue, which are my ride colors (and occasionally my skin color :lol:).

Human shoes: I like shoes that are equally comfortable for walking as for riding. In endurance you can get off and walk or jog with your horse. In CTR, everything but dangerous obstacles need to be done while mounted. So you needn't be as concerned about comfort for walking. However, unexpected things can happen out on trail, so I'd be prepared to have to walk anyway (disqualifies you from the ride, I think). No point getting blisters!

Other tack: You might want to consider getting your horse used to a breastplate and crupper, too. My saddle slips back going up hills, so the breastplate is necessary. It slips forward going downhill, too, but I haven't been brave enough yet to try a crupper on my OTTB who bucks like a fiend. Roxy (my new Arabian mare) will have to get used to both items for competition. I don't like riding with a super tight girth, so I want help keeping the saddle in the right spot on her back.

Rain Gear: Try out your rain gear before a competition, too. My first CTR was in the pouring rain, and I was glad I had practiced riding in that kind of weather first. I was a lot more comfortable than others who were less well prepared.

Trail Head: Get your horse used to relaxing at the trailer. We have a grooming and feeding routine (I make him a slurry for hydration) that my horse has learned to expect. It took a long time to get my OTTB to relax when tied before and after riding--he used to be hauled to races, and his association with trailering was filled with adrenaline. Now he's pretty good. He knows what he's supposed to do, but sometimes chooses to be a bugger anyway. Believe it or not, I spent more time training him for good manners while tied to the trailer away from home than just about any other aspect of our riding. He was a mess when I first started with him! Now I've got to do the same thing with Roxy.

Mounting: I have seen a little mounting peg that you can use and then pull up and stow in a saddle bag. I'll try to find it online. If you are only off by one hole, maybe you can just lengthen that stirrup for mounting? There's also some kind of mounting stirrup you can attach to a wester saddle for ease of mounting. I'm lucky enough to be able to get on from the ground, but I won't always be able to!

I'm prepping my new mare (assuming she is sane on the trail) to do some CTR before we go into endurance. Maybe those of us who are preparing new horses for the sport can keep each other posted on our progress and lessons learned. We can cheer each other long. After two failed seasons (my OTTB is not going to work out as a distance horse), I plan to get out there and compet next year! There are people here with miles and years of experience who are likely to laugh with us and allow us to learn from them as we go.

May. 31, 2008, 12:09 PM
Thanks matryoshka!
I will keep you posted... I am definintelya ways off from getting to a competition myself, we've only had one trail ride this spring so far, and that was next to our barn. Next step is trailering out after a few more confidence rides at home!

I have a treeless so I already use a breast collar...not sure if I am going to try the crupper route! We'll have to see how it goes when I get to do some downhilll work!

I'll start researching good pants and chaps next!

Thanks again:)

May. 31, 2008, 12:37 PM

The easy mount step stool is available at National Bridle shop. Me, I cannot mount from the ground, but manage away from home with ditches, stumps, logs, etc.

I debated with myself about boots for the horse, hoof boots, I mean, for several months after I got my mare and pulled her shoes. She was ouchy on gravel for about 6 months and is still careful on some types of gravel, but she's been trail ridden completely barefoot, up to 18 -20 mile hacks for two years now. The gelding has big ugly (beautiful to me) feet like iron, he clatters over big sharp clunky gravel with nary a wince. If and when I ever get transportation and bravery enough to try a LD he'll be my mount and he'll be barefoot. Last time the farrier was here after a longer than normal interval (his choice) he trimmed a tiny bit from both horses and said, you know, if they'll go 8 weeks, they'll go twelve, keep riding them and I'll see you in July. We are blessed with more sand than rocks, fortunately.

May. 31, 2008, 05:18 PM
Jeano, that is the one I saw. It was pretty slick and tied up into a neat little parcel.

May. 31, 2008, 08:40 PM
That's what I was looking for!
I was able to mount from the ground today (wore breeches instead of jeans and fixed the left stirrup height)...but, since I decided to do the lesson without the breast collar the saddle slipped a bit;) Had to get down and fix the girth, then had the instructor hold the other side while I hopped up again. Definintely going to order one soon!

Jun. 1, 2008, 10:13 PM
I don't last 10 miles in blue jeans. I tried it this spring and the seams made me sore in a few miles.
I ride in duck boots, joging pants and 1/2 chaps

There are blue jeans and there are blue jeans.

Most manufacturers make jeans for "looks" rather than riding. If you notice on jeans, the inside and outside seams are different. One is thicker than the other.

Real riding jeans (some levi styles and most wrangler styles) have the correct (for riding) seam on the inside. I love Cinch jeans, but found out that although they consider themselves "cowboy" jeans, have decided to place fashion over function and put the thicker seam on the inside.

Now, your horse, your riding style and your body all play a factor. But if you are wearing jeans with the thick seam on the inside, you are usually looking at pain after many hours in the saddle. With the thinner seam on the inside, you at least have a fighting chance.

Jun. 1, 2008, 10:26 PM
Yep, I have the Wrangle "Aura" riding jeans for women...but I could definintely see how they might hurt after a while...I'll try it out sometime and see how long I last.

Jun. 3, 2008, 06:36 PM
Try mounting from the opposite side too... It will help your horse and sometimes our bodies can do things better on the other side - which might mean you can forego the helper. But... with a treeless saddle sometimes a small step is necessary.

I can mount my horse from the ground better if I do so from the off-side. Being right handed, I guess my right leg is stronger in some ways, despite having been broken to smithereens and having a metal rod, plate, and 8 screws in it. I can get more "bounce" with my left leg.

Half chaps would be more appropriate for riding with an english saddle to offer grip, lower leg protection, and avoid pinching from the stirrup leathers. Chinks are chaps that hang down just below the knee with fringe at the bottom edge. Good for scrubby/shrubby terrain and cooler than full chaps.

Human footware: Shop at outdoor sporting goods stores for different boots. Or, look for paddock boots or blundestones. I've heard EXCELLENT reports on "blunnies"... : )

Jun. 3, 2008, 08:31 PM
I just rode 10 miles in jeans. I will only ride in my Wrangler Riding Jeans.

I have a pair of the Q-baby jeans and LOVE THEM!!

Comfort meets beauty. With stretch denim, flat seams for added comfort and a no gap waistband that keeps your shirt tucked in, you'll never want to ride in another pair of jeans. And with a slimming, stylish cut, you're sure to make even the toughest cowboys feel a bit weak in the knees.

Jun. 3, 2008, 10:51 PM
Q-baby jeans? What are those and where can you get them? The Aura's I can pick up at TSC, so at least I can go try them on too...Online is so iffy on sizing, tho the breeches I have picked up are great:)

gabz: I'll have to try that one...I can mount either way off a block, but have only tried on the left from the ground.

Jun. 3, 2008, 10:56 PM
I bought mine through valley vet. I wear a 14/15 and they were true to size.

Jun. 3, 2008, 11:06 PM
I also have riding jeans, but I wouldn't wear them on a 25 mile ride. They just don't breathe enough, and they are buggers once they get wet. Plan for comfort when you are hot and tired. That's why the lycra is nice for competition days.