Good casual riding/barn boots and clothes for men?
My SO-recently-turned-fiancee is really making a phenomenal effort to learn about my horsey life and support me around the barn and at shows. He has been determined to learn how to handle my gelding (who is fortunately a gem of a horse and very gentle with him) and believes that sometime soon he'd like a horse of his own so he can ride with me - just something quiet and gentle, he has no aspirations to show or anything...the typical husband horse to trail ride with.
He started off in regular old sneakers at the barn, and when I explained why he'd need real boots (especially for riding) he found a pair of Ariat Ropers he is now fond of and wore to the last couple horse shows. Much to my amusement he has also been eyeballing a pair of DuBarrys. (I won't even splurge on those, so I'm going to laugh hard if he does!)
So let me get to my question. I wanted to get him some more horse-related things to wear...I saw a few pairs of Dublin "riding shoes" that look like sneakers but are designed for riding and thought my guy would love those..but I can't find them in 'mens'. And as I continued to look at other stuff for other boots/clothes/ideas, I have come to realize that the selection of good stuff for men out there seems limited. Where do you shop for good general riding/barn stuff for men? And are there any specific brands/products/ideas that your SO or DH received or bought and loves?
"To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."
A few years ago my parents (neither of them horsey by any stretch of the imagination) went on a week-long eco-trip in Mexico to see the places where the Monarch butterflies migrated for the winter. On one phase of their trip, they knew they would have to ride horses out to the butterflies so I took them boot shopping.
Obviously, they didn't need to be spending a huge amount of money on "riding" boots, but luckily there was a large tack store nearby and I was able to help them find some of those riding sneakers that would also be comfortable for them to walk in.
You may want to consider looking in some of the western-oriented riding catalogs and horse clothing web sites, as they often have more clothing geared towards men. Most English-oriented horse catalogs and tack stores seem to only offer show/schooling clothes for men. Nothing wrong with jeans and comfortable shirts - either t-shirts, polo-type shirt, or casual button-down shirt.
As for shoes/boots, a good pair of lace-up/paddock boots or pull-on would probably work fine. No need to get too fancy-schmancy or pay $$$ for something trendy. Better for him to be safe and comfortable.
Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.
My husband LOVES his stripey overalls. He likes to wear them so he doesn't get his Harry Hall breeches dirty doing barn chores and so he doesn't look too 'girl-ey' when we run errands on the way home from the barn.
He also was really happy to splurge on a good pair of half chaps. For as infrequently as he rides, they really help him feel more secure in the tack.