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Help me with a shopping spree!

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  • Help me with a shopping spree!

    Horze.com is having a 50% off sale and it's great timing for me.

    I just bought a horse I plan on training in dressage. I am a "convert" from Western riding so I know very, very little about English and Dressage riding.

    I need to make a "shopping list" to get a few essentials from Horze's great sale.

    Info about my horse: He's a 16HH Paint/TB, very green (has done mostly ponying, walking under saddle, some trotting with a rider but only a couple times). I've been told he has a somewhat long back.


    Info about me: I'm 5'7ish, 170 lbs, with fairly long legs (inseam around 31-32"). I am apparently TERRIBLE at measuring my waist because I'm coming up with numbers that are putting me at a "US size XXL" and I KNOW that's not right. I'm more like a US L, possibly XL. Boots are a problem, because my calves are monsterous.


    I need:
    Saddle (I'll be trying to get that locally with a saddle fitter)
    Bridle (including bit & reins) - no idea what kind to get
    Saddle pad(s) - what size? Material?
    Breeches - fit is an issue.. I'll try to get to the local tack shop to try some on
    Gloves - it gets quite cold up here!
    Boots/Jodhpurs - I'm probably going to order some Brit Colts for cold weather... maybe some Jodphurs/half chaps for everyday stuff?

    Anything else? I do have brushes, etc. at my parents' with my other horses, but I'll probably get him his own set.

    Here's the site: http://www.horze.com/

    Oh, and price is an issue.. I don't want to go "cheap," but am trying to get decent quality for a lower price.

  • #2
    You should wait to buy a girth until you know how long the billets on your new saddle will be.

    For boots (and I understand the calf issue) you might want to start w/ a paddock boot/half chap combo. I know Ariat makes some nice looking half chaps that come in a variety of heights/widths for better fit.

    I've had issues w/ winter gloves because they always seem slick to me. It's possible that whatever worked for you in western would still work for you now.

    If you're just trying breeches for the first time try on lots and lots of brands & styles. Most tack shops have the little plastic horses that you can use to sit in a saddle...well I just put a saddle on it and climb on in every pair of breeches I try. Fitting in the dressing room is one thing, fitting in a saddle is a whole 'nother.

    And your horse is cute - have fun with this!


    • #3
      Avoid ariatchapsthey run very small. Visit the womenly riders thread on off course for info an atings on riding wear boots saddles ect
      Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

      Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


      • #4
        I got this bridle from their sale. I'm really impressed with the quality of it. It comes with reins.

        Any of the saddle pads labelled "dressage pad" should be large enough for a dressage saddle.
        Join a new horse sim where you can train, show and breed dressage horses, jumpers and eventers! Fun and free with mature players.
        Join Horse Eden Eventing Today !


        • #5
          For my money the best shopping spree is a week with a great and wonderful trainer. Bring a video camera and have someone tape all the lessons on his/her schoolmaster for you to play over and over and over.

          I know that's not what you meant, but it's the first thing that came to my mind ... okay, first thing AFTER a visit to a huge breeding farm or top-quality horse auction


          • #6
            Spend wisely. I know you are so excited but honestly get what is a must. Check out used saddles, there are some wonderful deals out there. I agree with AllWeatherGal. Fancy stuff is just fancy stuff unless it causes you or your new horse pain. Find a saddle fitter in your area, best money ever spent! Also, purchase a good helmet that fits for you.

            I am 5'8" and as a former college sprinter......I have some thighs and calves. I've found the best boot for the buck are the ariat's dress boots. They have a wide calf.

            Best of luck to you and your new dance partner!

            Mary, Luke & Clippers


            • #7
              For bits, I really like the JP Korsteel oval mouth snaffles.

              In general, loose rings seem to be very popular with dressage riders, but my mare's not particularly fond of them. So I have one in an eggbutt for my older mare that she's very happy with, and I just ordered one with a D-ring for my younger mare.
              "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
              -Edward Hoagland


              • Original Poster

                I managed to restrain myself and just got a few things.

                I picked up one pair of breeches, a bridle, a couple bits (not sure what will work best with him and my trainer said she'd buy the extra one), a halter, and some grooming supplies.

                As far as a saddle is concerned, my trainer wants me in a western saddle for the time being because that's what I'm most comfortable with, and my horse is very green. She said once I get the hang of things, I can sell the Western (if I choose) and get a dressage saddle. That will give me time to try and find a saddle fitter that will travel to my area.

                I do have some confidence issues (from years of riding "problem" horses I automatically go into a "defensive" position when preparing to trot, etc.) and definitely feel more secure in a western saddle.

                So, now I'm on the lookout for a decent western saddle and nice pad.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
                  As far as a saddle is concerned, my trainer wants me in a western saddle for the time ...
                  Oh, I think this is SUCH a good idea! (srsly!) ... I remember when I decided to go for the mixed-discipline high point many years ago. I spent way too much money inappropriately on western tack because I wasn't experienced enough in the discipline to know what would work. Because my horse was over 7, we had to figure out how to neck rein *and* do it with a shanked bit. Quite a shock for our little dressagey-who-jumps-a-bit selves.

                  I think pacing yourself with the transition really is an excellent strategy!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
                    I managed to restrain myself and just got a few things.

                    I picked up one pair of breeches, a bridle, a couple bits (not sure what will work best with him and my trainer said she'd buy the extra one), a halter, and some grooming supplies.

                    As far as a saddle is concerned, my trainer wants me in a western saddle for the time being because that's what I'm most comfortable with, and my horse is very green. She said once I get the hang of things, I can sell the Western (if I choose) and get a dressage saddle. That will give me time to try and find a saddle fitter that will travel to my area.

                    So, now I'm on the lookout for a decent western saddle and nice pad.
                    Congratulations on your new boy

                    If you've been away from the Western scene for a while, do a market analysis for which saddles sell/re-sell fairly easily, if you're comfortable with ebay (there's a thread on here somewhere that offers some interesting commentary) you'll have a broader market but shipping fees can quickly strip a budget. If at all possible, find a local saddle to borrow/lease for the first 2-3 months as horse is likely to change significantly in his topline.

                    Anytime you buy a "temporary saddle" consider how it will affect your "next saddle" budget if you're unable to sell the former in a timely fashion or for close to what you paid ...

                    Do have the saddle fitter out to assess you & your horse, she'll be able to recommend brands/saddles most likely to fit, & you may discover that you feel very secure in a deep seat, knee/thigh block English saddle with a grab strap (also use a neck strap on your horse).

                    Western saddles also come with fitters & hopefully a used saddle contingent.


                    • #11
                      You did not mention helmet Though this is something you need to try on to see which one fits you. Don't get an ill fitted helmet - you will hate it and it will not provide much protection. And with cool weather approaching, add something like Barn Beanie to your list. You wear it under your helmet to keep you warm.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                        You did not mention helmet
                        That's cause I already have one that I love!

                        Will definitely have to get something to keep my ears warm, though!