I forgot another plus: Centaur wool dress sheet. So nice for the low price.
I forgot another plus: Centaur wool dress sheet. So nice for the low price.
One of my favorite things I've purchased in recent memory is a pair of the Ovation winter breeches. I've been a bit of a TS only type of gal, but these breeches have given me the push to expand my breeches horizons and try other brands. The Ovation winter breeches are really soft and nice for cooler weather, plus I love that euro-seat butt.
Semi tack & clothing related...I finally had a farm logo done up and digitized for getting things embroidered. Wish I would have done that years ago.
Worst purchase is my custom Vogels, which continually make me super bummed out. Sigh.
- Wellfleet wide noseband bridle - great leather, nice price
- Custom Vogels - finally boots that fit my uneven calves perfectly!!! No heel rubs! I do recommend going to the Vogel shop, though, to try them on.
- Tailored Sportsman trophy hunter w mid rise - comfy, great fit, wear well
- Roeckle gloves - not slippery and very tactile
- Fleeceworks baby pads - perfect under a half pad
- Mattes half pad
- Antares breastplate with elastic - gorgeous!!! (No standing attachments, sadly, but I have an attachment that works)
- Fleeceworks half pad with wither relief - just bad design with rolled edges under the saddle panels!!!
- Ariat tall boots when they still had crappy zippers (new zippers are better)
- Ariat winter gloves - talk about slick!
Best: my vega saddle. Love it.
Smart Pak saddle pads. Good quality, love the fit and I'm a sucker for a monogram.
Ariat heritage boots. They hold up better than most I have tried.
Grand prix leather half chaps. Still kicking after 10 years of abuse.
GPA titium helmet. The best fitting helmet I've found.
Smart Pak Bradley breeches. The fit is very unfortunate.
Amigo turn out sheet. No lining, no leg straps. I guess that's why dover was selling it so cheap...
Best - RJ Classics show coats, love them! Great fit, great selection and quality for an awesome price!
Worst - Ariat field boots. Leather turned grey when I tried to buff them up after riding in them, and there are these weird nicks of cracked leather where they have creased at the ankle.
I don't understand the people that are pushing to shop local. The only time I shop local is if it's an amazing sale, which is seldom, or in the consignment section. Most times stores are overpriced, the mark ups are incredible! I'm not going to pay $160 for a pair of breeches that I can buy online for less than $100!
I needed a winter blanket rather quickly....So I called my local tack shop but it wasn't in stock, and no calls back about the availability.....and I really needed the item which was also marked up considerably from online relaitors... so I had to go with SmartPak who not only were there to assist me with fit, they gave me a % off, free shipping SAME DAY with my smartpak direct to the barn, and processed everything over the internet with a conformation email. Also free returns and preprinted label. Sorry but when they can't deliver I have to go with the store that can.
So Smart Pak is pretty much my only source for items... I just can't afford to have things be marked up and no easy way to return.
I do try to shop local but if I have to order everything from them I might as well stay home and save the 45 min drive and gas (my horse is an odd size)....
Started out as worst, but sort of redeemed themselves:
-- Riding Sport breeches. These were on sale, and I needed some practice breeches that wouldn't set me back $100. I think I bought them for $35. Anyway, the photo on the site had a seam across the thighs, which weren't the ones that showed up. Then, after 3 rides and one washing, the seams at one of the knee patches started coming unraveled. Well, I kept wearing them, waiting for them to fall apart. They still haven't, 9 months later. Of course, I also only ride about twice a week, so there's that. I like the fabric, as it's thicker, and doesn't show off quite so many bulges ...
-- Smartpak Plymouth raised bridle. I paid $54 for it and it's been a trooper. The leather was easy to soften up with just one coat of Passier Lederbalsam. And after using it for 8, 9 months now, I've definitely got my money's worth, even though it's showing no signs of biting the dust anytime soon.
-- Equine Couture jean breeches. There are seams that kind of dig into your legs a bit, but I've been wearing these now for nearly 2 years and they're going strong.
-- Passier Lederbalsam. I bought a large container and have conditioned any leather that can't run away. Work boots, hunting boots, riding paddocks, saddle, bridle, etc. The tackiness of it helps keep my butt in my plain flap, no block Crosby PDN.
-- Medallion Fleece pads. I bought these USED and they still look fabulous, are the perfect thickness for me and wash up quite well. When show season starts, I'll pick up some new ones.
-- Centaur pull-on bell boots in GUM. These are nice and thick and show no signs of rubbing. They run small, so get the next size up. Also, unless you're dead set on getting a certain color, go with the gum, or they're a pain to pull on. My boots pulled on fine. Another boarder's in white took forty forevers to get on.
Leather Keep, by the Australian Saddle Company. I got a big tub of it for $50 a couple years ago and it's just about half gone now. It truly does a great job conditioning leather and making it water resistant. My tack has not felt better since I started using it. It makes things grippy and soft; the only problem I have with it is it sometimes collects in holes and seams and it does not soak in/drip off, but a quick once-over with a toothbrush and you're golden. Really good for the price.
Smartpak Wellfleet bridle, padded raised and fancy-stutched with reins. I got it off ebay for about $160 new in bag, not even assembled. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality and the fit. The leather is a bit "thirsty" but very nice and supple.
I can't think about anything I really got burned on.
Everything else is ordered. The only tack shop in town doesnt carry quality stuff and the last time I tried to shop local, the owner got really rude with me when I pointed out the nameplate I ordered was engraved crooked (which I would not put on my $$$$ saddle). So they lost a customer.
If we had a better selection, Id shop local. But until then, I will order online.
Best-I bought a Dover Rider's choice Turnout sheet and that sucker has been pounded and rolled in and pulled and is still standing strong 4 years later.
-TS trophy hunters (when bought on sale)- I love the new fabric and they are so comfy.
-CO AYR8 helmet. The helmet is super comfy and looks nice. And when I crashed and landed on my head this fall, CO was so easy to deal with getting a replacement. Totally painless and kudos to CO for making it easy to get a new helmet.
-I havent ridden in them yet, but i have high hopes for my Equine couture breeches. The fabric feels great and they are comfy.
Worst-Grand Prix hampton Breeches. These fell appart in record time.
On the fence-Deniro boots. They are pretty and comfy and broke in easily. However, they have dropped at least 2" and are so big now i can put my entire hand down the boot (I bought them so tight i couldnt zip them up). So they stretch way more than I thought. Even worse, 8 months of light (2-3 days a week, riding one horse) use they are falling apart. The heels are coming off and the swagger tab came off. I contacted Smartpak and asked what was up and they told me to them to a cobbler. Ummm they arent even a year old and i paid $$ (to me) for them. I could under stand If I trashed them, but that isnt the case.
Best: My B.T. Crump Tomboy. I bought it used a couple years ago, and it's as good as when I bought it.
Best and worst: Tredstep Da Vincis. I was able to ride in these comfortably the day after I got them, but they hurt like crazy to walk around in.
Worst: For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get to Ovation tall boots. Never again. -.-
Best: My Equine Couture and TS breeches. I could ride in them daily
How odd is it that so many people rate EC breeches as good products and the Smartpak breeches as worst? They are both made by Tuff Rider and I really would have guessed are cut on the same pattern?
Brand new CWD saddle. It is my child, I love it.
Replaced the GPA Titium with a Speed Air. As a sweaty person I luff it.
La Mundial tall boots... I was gun shy on actually ordering these, but I could not be happier that I finally did.
Bucas blankets. Never had one I didn't like
Ovation bridle. Just lovely.
On the Fence:
Ogilvy pad. It's amazing on some horses, but a disaster on others. Not bad, just wish it didn't pitch the saddle forward on the horse it was intended for.
Dy'on bridle. Was crazy discounted, so I can't complain too much. Love the look but the feel of the leather is decidedly meh.
Ovation tall boots. Thought I had finally found boots that would definitely fit. The zipper broke the first day. After dealing with that I paid about $100 for them brand new, but I was so disheartened I haven't even bothered to fix the zipper.
Amigo/Rhino blankets. The whole no back strap thing just doesn't work for me. One horse is very hard on blankets, one very easy, both have killed theirs. Rambos seem to be fine though.
What people were questioning in terms of going to local shops was those who go to the tack store to try things on but then ordering the item online. I've known more than one person who has gone to the store to try on helmets taking a lot of time with a sales person and benefiting from their expertise and then going home to get the helmet on the web.
Of course the price is going to be cheaper online. It's more expensive to maintain a bricks and mortar store and pay sales people, but then again that also puts the money back into your local economy, not to mention the local taxes they pay.
I believe the point was that its not entirely ethical to take advantage of what your local shop offers in terms of inventory and knowledge but yet going in there knowing you're not planning to make a purchase. Again I'm thinking of items like helmets and breeches where it can be so difficult to get the right fit.
I wouldn't expect one of my customers to pay full price for a shelf worn item (like the size 34 breeches originally posted), but I would appreciate the opportunity to extend a discount or order a fresh pair. We aren't all mind readers, so if you walk out of the dressing room and say you don't want them, some will assume they don't fit well, not that you plan to go home and order the same item elsewhere.
I am spoiled. I have a Dover store, Bevals, Horsemans Outlet, and a nice selection of small but high quality tack shops within 30 mins of me. Very rarely can I not find something locally, nor do I see the smaller shops marking up prices over Bevals or Dover.
In my own store, I primarily sell bras in hard to find sizes. It is virtually impossible to have every style, every color, and every size. Thankfully a lot of people seem to appreciate my personal time investment I spend during a fitting and give me the opportunity to get the items they want. I am well aware they could hop a train and be in NYC within an hour to buy the item. I know large online retailers can ship faster than I can order and have it shipped to me. Thankfully there are still people out there who believe in the concept you just posted.
None of this was meant to be a personal attack, just a view from the other side of the counter.
When I want something where the fit or fabric or feel is important to me, I go to a store where I can try on or touch! Boots, breeches, jackets, helmets, bridle leather, etc. We have a great local tack store that will bend over backwards to help. Not ethical to "use" their inventory or expertise, then go buy on-line.
This inability to differentiate when on-line shopping is appropriate, is why I have little sympathy for the whiners on this board who buy clothing on-line with certain expectations, and then go on and on about bad customer service when the buying process becomes difficult.
I am tall with an odd shape. There is never a selection and even if there were, most of the breeches would not fit me. When I am lucky enough to find a pair that fits, I may buy what's in the store, Or I may, for example, try on the full seats when I really want the Euroseat and then find it online.
Smartpak and other online retailers want us to be on the habit of buying exclusively from them. They make it easy and bombard you with spam after every purchase to make sure you never leave your desk and drive to the local places. Then everyone comes on here and raves about their customer service. I unsubscribe from all the spam emails. I ask myself if I am just being too lazy to drive if there is something I need, and if I can't find what I want or need locally, yes, I will buy online.
There are probably people on here who could shop locally and don't. I am not that person. I want those retailers to be there when I need them and I do think about that. I know there are people in rural areas who have no choice, but I want to have a choice.
I also want stuff that fits me and my horse.
Best: Centaur Fleece Dress Sheet, USG fly veil (I wash veils weekly and most break down, this one hasn't!), Woof boots (any of them!), Shire's StormCheeta Turnout and my new (to me) Stubben Juventus S.
Worst: CWD saddle...never again unless fully custom!, NEW leg boots - binding literally fell off the boots after 1-2 months of use. Emailed the company and they said that they are meant for x-c, not basic flatwork and that is why they fell apart and wouldn't honor the warranty. My flatwork is harder on a pair of boots than a x-c round? Will only buy Woof from now on!