Also, in France, most sporting good stores will have an equestrian section. Check out Go Sport, Decathlon, Au Vieux Campeur for the "rayon Equitation." Those are like REI here, so not fancy stuff, but fun to look at. They usually have cool breeches that are cheap and fun for schooling here.
Many thanks for the suggestions! I didn't have so much time and had to be diplomatic to keep DH happy.
I first went to Go Sport because there was a huge store in Les Halles, really close to where I was staying. They had quite a bit of horse equipment (both horse and rider) but the quality was really really low. As were the prices, at least! I tried on several breeches but could not find any that worked for the, ahem, more mature figure.
Then I checked out PADD, a really cool store. They had lots of stuff by a company called "Equi Theme" -- pretty much mid-range, and not terribly expensive. I bought several pairs of schooling breeches that are unusual but not in an outlandish way.
I decided to walk back to where I was staying and my route took me past Hermes, where I just had to go in to gawk. I only found a few horsie things, but I also didn't want to draw attention to myself as I so clearly was not a viable customer. They had three sizes of stuffed ponies (appropriately named "Hermes"), the biggest of which was still fairly small. They ranged in price from (I kid you not) 290 Euro to 735 Euro. I didn't see any saddles, but there was what appeared to be a canvas tote for a saddle, going for a mere 1990 Euro (about $3000!!!).
yes too bad I did not see this before either.
I am from paris and I would have tell you to avoid the stores like Padd, GO SPORT, decathlon. they are too commercial , and wont have much that would interested people that are already advance in the horse world, it is cheap, as the quality is. but like someone said, fun to look at if you're just walking in the area.
i would say to go for smaller tack shop that we call " sellerie" there is only horse stuff, good quality, good brand, but little bit more expensive. but if you re looking for something, you might be able to, and it might be cheaper than if you were to buy a european brand in america.
these stores are usually in small streets, or somewhere where you need to know where they are to know them we like to hide good stuff LOL