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Best/Worst Tack/Clothing purchases (borrowed from H/J thread)

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  • Best/Worst Tack/Clothing purchases (borrowed from H/J thread)

    Saw this thread over on H/J land and I thought it would be fun to post here. Since getting a cut in pay (I'm a teacher), I'm always on the lookout for a bargain, but I like quality things and I like them to LAST. So, what are your best/worst purchases? Please explain why, because what bothers some might not bother others. Here are mine:

    Best buys:
    Tredstep Xtreme Half-chaps
    . I've had these for about three years now, and they still look lovely. I do clean them after each use, but the stitching is remaining strong and only just now do I have fraying on the bottom edges.

    Devoucoux Chiberta. I've lusted after one of these for many, many years, and finally found one on an online website and took a chance that they were really all they were touted to be. They are. It's a magical saddle, and I will never regret buying one. I use it in combination with my next best-buy, a Corrector pad, and I don't get back soreness in my horse.

    Corrector half-pad (www.thecorrector.net). I swear by this thing. I've had one for almost 10 years now, and bought a second one to use under my dressage saddle. It's unconventional, but every time I've tried to use something else, or just go "naked" under the saddle, the majikal bodywork guy and my equine chiropractor/vet find that my pony's back is sore. I go back to using the pad, and voila' - no more sore back. Let me state that I KNOW my saddles do not fit perfectly, but it doesn't matter with this pad. Love love love it and will buy another once my original dies, which isn't likely.

    FITS Beka breeches. Dearly love these and would buy one in every color if I could. Very flattering to those of us who are not stick thin, great grip, and wash well. I'd buy them at full price if I had to - I tend to scour Ebay for deals on them.

    Back on Track quarter sheet. I didn't actually buy this - it was a Christmas present this year from my in-laws. Love it. Pony tends to have a tight lower back, especially in the winter, and I warm up in it. I have two other quarter sheets, NOT BoT, and I never use them since getting this one.

    Worst buys:
    Thinline half-pad. Other than being pretty, it's useless, especially since I have my Corrector pad. I have the one with full sheep-skin lining and i've only used it a handful of times. It's been sitting in my closet for about two years now, and I never take it out.

    Back on Track saddle pads. Blah. Totally not worth the money. I have two (I have no idea why I bought a 2nd one - must have been a gift or something) and they are just saddle pads. The dressage one is quite thick. I use it as a show pad, but have not seen any therapeutic benefit from it.

    Mountain Horse Supreme Rider tall boots.
    No matter how I tried to break them in, they persist in rubbing the backs of my heels bloody every. single. time. I hate them.

    Thinline covered reins. They were oh-so-loffly and soft in store. I couldn't stop touching them. After about a couple of months of regular use, they started tearing at the seams and leaving jagged holes where the stitching meets and the ends are fraying. They are also no longer soft. They DO have nice grip, though, but not worth the money.

    Your turn!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

  • #2
    Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post

    Back on Track saddle pads. Blah. Totally not worth the money. I have two (I have no idea why I bought a 2nd one - must have been a gift or something) and they are just saddle pads. The dressage one is quite thick. I use it as a show pad, but have not seen any therapeutic benefit from it.
    If you decide you want to get rid of one of these, let me know. I've been wanting to try the BOT products, but can't justify the new price.

    The only "must have" purchases I can think of right now are my Kerrits Sit Tights. I love the pull on, the material is stain-resistant, the seat is ultra grippy and they wash out nicely even when I've landed my arse in a mud puddle on the other side of the trakehner. And they are long enough and don't have velcro ankle closures - I hate that.

    Oh, also - my Schleese CC saddle. I didn't technically buy it, but traded my Delgrange for the Schleese after many years of trying to make it (the Delgrange) work and thinking that I just sucked as a rider. No, in fact, I don't - and my horse and my arse are much happier in the Schleese. He doesn't actively complain about non-fitting saddles, but he goes SO much better and offers SO much better work in a saddle that fits. And I don't feel like I'm constantly fighting to stay in a correct position.

    ETA: worst purchase, hands down? Ariat Crowne Pro zips. Stupid things are stiff, don't fit my calf quite right and despite having had them for something like TWO YEARS, they STILL aren't BROKEN IN. And they are all I have besides my cheapy TuffRider fleece lined pleather winter boots (best $80 ever spent), so I'm stuck with them.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post

      The only "must have" purchases I can think of right now are my Kerrits Sit Tights. I love the pull on, the material is stain-resistant, the seat is ultra grippy and they wash out nicely even when I've landed my arse in a mud puddle on the other side of the trakehner. And they are long enough and don't have velcro ankle closures - I hate that.
      I have the winter version of these, and oh man, they were the only thing that saved my life this cool, crisp winter, on a bored 4yo TB mare stuck in an indoor with the snow falling off...AND warm!


      Almost everything I've order from Horze. I've written a whole review thread of them before. The unfortunate thing, everything was an absolute STEAL when they were doing the 50% off coupons....now there are things I would not necessarily pay full price for.

      Bridleway: an off-shoot of Shires, I actually did not purchase this bridle but instead won it. It's my all-time favorite bridle EVER. It was buttery soft right out of the package. They run maybe $125 normally? I would not hesitate to buy them at that price, would probably gladly pay double.


      • #4
        My Shire's Grand Prix microfilament fly sheet that I bought off eBay for $30 five or six years ago and that JUST gave up last summer, after constant abuse from my rambunctious monster. Followed by the same one I randomly found for sale on the web last fall for $60. I would pay a $100+ for another one if they'd just keep making them.

        My Stubben bridles and reins. The leather is always the right middle ground between strong but not stiff and soft but won't tear/ scratch.

        I'm pretty darn happy with the 1680 denier Schneider's blanket I bought this year (see "rambunctious monster" above). He (or more, his friends) managed to tear some of the binding and broke a front clip, but there is not a mark on the actual fabric.

        $10 pillow wraps and standing wraps from Horseloverz. Had em forever, hold up to a million washings.

        Worst: Ariat paddock boots. Went through several pairs in two years, even with not wearing them in wet/snow/mud. I just won't buy them again.


        • #5
          Great idea!

          Best: KL Select super soft and flexible rubber reins. They keep their grip even when soaking wet, easy to clean and soft! Nice, nice leather.

          The original Mountain Horse dress boots. I have had these for at least six years and wear them almost every day. They still look barely broken in and I don't take particularly good care of them. I especially like the elastic panel that gives me a little extra room when I wear insulated breeches with long underwear in the cold weather.

          Kerrits Micro Cord knee patch breeches. I just don't love full seats. These fit me well, are comfortable and wash beautifully. I usually buy them on ebay for under $60. from gorge-us-girls.

          Roma wicking saddle pads. A friend introduced me to these recently and I love, love, love them.

          ECP half pads. I have two that are ancient and still look and work great.

          Worst: Ariat half chaps and crown paddock boots. They wear out way too fast for what they cost and the fit is not great!

          Fleeceworks sheepskin pad. They split apart with very little use and are no where near as thick as the ECP pads.


          • #6
            Ohhh this will be fun!!

            On the contrary, I LOVE my Thinline pads. I have the original, plain Ultra half-pad I use every ride, and I noticed a difference since day one. I bought the cotton trifecta half-pad and love it as well. My TB is more willing to lift and use his back when the half-pad is on.

            One of my most recent OMG LOVE! purchases? A $23 pair of Camelot web reins. LOVE them. Gripppy, soft without being *too* flimsy, and easy to grip even when soaked in sweat (TB is a sweater).

            Karl Niedersuss dressage saddle. Medium tree, 45cm seat, and it fits a huge variety of horses. Super comfortable, the knee blocks are minimal, and the seat doesn't swallow you whole. I LOVE this saddle. I can put this on my 15.1h Arab/QH and my TB, and it fits both. Also, even though it's an older saddle, with lots of conditioning after I bought it, it has cleaned up well and the leather is very high quality.

            Ovation dressage bridle w/ crank noseband: I paid under $100 for it thanks to Mary's sale, but the leather is high quality for the price. After a few days of being soaked in oil, and with regular conditioning, this bridle is super soft but sturdy. It cleans up well, and fits great.

            Weatherbeeta blankets. I bought one for my Arab almost 15 years ago, and he wore it every winter for six years. I still have it, and it's still in GREAT shape. It's still waterproof, and the only thing wrong with it is my dog gnawed off a chest strap. I'm sad I have no use for it, but I'll be able to sell it once I get it fixed. My TB came with an Original WB Genero, 600D blanket, and the thing has held up fantastic all winter. He's a pig and sleeps in his pee spot, and it washes nicely, doesn't rub his HUGE shoulders, and doesn't put too much pressure on his super-high withers, either. The majority of blankets on my trainer's property are WB, and they are all several years old and still going strong.


            I JUST ordered the Tredstep Donatellos, and I was horrified. The foot was uncomfortable, and they definitely did not come up high enough. The calf has a built-in bulge that makes the calf disproportionate, and overall I was just not impressed. For $300, I expected more. I had them on for half an hour and they are already in the box ready to be shipped back to Smartpak.

            Premier Air-Cooled Eventing boots. I used them for only a few times, about once a month for 4-5 months, and they look like hell. Velcro is fraying, stitching coming apart, and they look CHEAP. I will give the company credit...they gave me half my money back, but I'd rather have new boots. I'll use them until I get new ones, which will be soon, but I was disappointed in how they held up with minimal use.

            Tough-1 heavy duty rubber bell boots. Both of my guys ripped theirs in under a week. $15 I could have put towards Prof. Choice quick-wraps, except I was trying to be crafty since it was muddy.
            Last edited by runNjump86; Mar. 25, 2013, 03:53 AM.
            runnjump86 Instagram

            Horse Junkies United guest blogger


            • #7
              I very rarely buy things that I don't already know what I think of the product, so I very rarely get things that I'm not happy or at least satisfied with.

              BEST: Mattes and ECP sheepskin pads. But especially the ECP products. Both brands hold up exceptionally well, especially considering how hard I used them, but the ECP is MUCH cheaper and, I think, higher quality that the Mattes.

              All of my Smartpak blankets. For the price, these things are exceptional.

              My Trainer's Choice Challenger britches. Rugged and flattering. While I do save them for competition and times I won't to look really good, they are still holding up VERY well, after several years of use.

              My Wellfleet dressage bridle. The Wellfleet stuff is very high quality. This bridle is gorgeous and absolutely buttery soft without the constant stretching of other buttery soft strap goods. And it fits TRUE TO SIZE. Nothing bugs me more than a cob sized bridle that is either teeny tiny or on the top hole everywhere!

              My Tory breastplate/collar. For the price, it was hard to beat, and it looks great and is decent quality! This actually really surprised me!

              WORST: ANYTHING Fleeceworks makes. Everything I've ever bought from them has fallen apart or shrunk or both within a few washings. Their products just do not hold up the way I need them to. I've wasted a lot of money on them!


              • #8
                Best: Cream colored Equissential breeches.

                Mikmar, large loose ring, lozenge snaffle bit.

                Micklem bridle (although I wish that he had used better leather.)

                Cream colored Roeckl gloves to match my breeches

                Cream colored stock tie made by Baxtersmom (lovely!)

                Wise Equestrian Dressage saddle

                Tough1 1200 D, waterproof breatheable sheet by Horze. (not!) It soaked through the first time that it was used in the rain.

                White FITS Breeches, which have not been white since the first time that I rode in them, despite repeated washings and suggestions from FITS.

                La Mundial custom made boots. After three tries, they still have not figured out how to make the boots so that they do not severely rub my oddly shaped heel. They finally got the foot right, but my heels kill me. I have given up. I do appreciate the fact that they gave it three tries. I had hoped that "the third time would be the charm", so to speak. It is sad, because they make a beautiful boot.

                Thinline sheepskin correction pad. The third time that I washed it , the sheepskin fell apart. Yes, I did use the soap made for washing wool.
                When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


                • #9
                  I thought of a few more since my H/J post:

                  Best: Yoga pants for everyday riding. The bootcut ones fit under my half chaps, look decent if I have to stop by the store and are $10-15 rather than $50-100.

                  Weaver leather halters, the 3/4 inch ones. They are so soft, with a chin snap so you don't have to unbuckle all the time. And cheap!

                  I like the Smartpak blankets too, especially the Thinsulate one (so lightweight but still warm). I also like the Big D Magnum sheet -- it's extremely durable and fits TBs/QH types well.

                  Worst: Amigo turnout sheet. Put on one night, went out the next morning to a naked horse and tatters of sheet strewn around the field. What a waste of money.


                  • #10

                    Tredstep Donatello: I actually quite like these boots since I was on a budget. They fit my foot and leg well. They came up a little higher than expected and that made them perfect after they dropped a bit. I still do have the heel risers in them, though. They fit my calf and ankle perfectly (better than others I have tried) since I have a larger calf and small ankle. They've been holding up great. I feel like opinions could differ on these since we all have different legs/feet.

                    Horseware Newmarket Stable Sheet: Not only does it look great, it fit my large shouldered TB. It also wore like iron. This horse was a pig in his stall and would lay down to sleep every night with it on. I would wash it with a little of the Rambo blanket wash and it would come out good as new, even after being stained with urine, bedding, and manure.

                    Kerrits Power stretch Pocket Tight: I had gotten these at almost half price from tackoftheday.com and I wanted to wear them everywhere! They are super comfortable with a nice warm fleece lining. They wash well and are just overall warm. Nice fit, too.

                    Plymouth Dressage bridle by SmartPak: I bought this many years ago and it was a great value. At the time it was ~ $55.00 and it looks like it is $65.00 now. I bought it as a schooling bridle and the quality for the price was great. I ditched the webbed reins though since I'm not a fan of those type of reins and had other extras.

                    ETA: The Weaver leather halters are nice for the price. Hold up well too.


                    Fleeceworks half pads: I had a few of the "wither relief" half pads over the years and they would shrink no matter how they were washed. They also just didn't hold up or look that great after a bit.

                    Schneider's turn out sheet: I think it was 1680D Stormshield with the V-free and in black. I can't remember the exact name but it was horrible. It was supposed to be one of their best turnout sheets and waterproof. It was neither. I returned one after any moisture just seeped through and the second one did the same. The waterproof coating just started peeling off? It was very strange. Hopefully they've improved since then, but I'll stick to Horseware.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Auburn View Post
                      Cream colored stock tie made by Baxtersmom (lovely!)
                      Aww <3


                      • #12
                        Coming in a little late on this but I'm sick of watching my husband watch lacrosse on tv....

                        -Sergio grassos vincenza: best grad school graduation/birthday/20th riding anniversary combo present ever. Soft, gorgeous, comfortable, perfect fit, soo happy with these puppies. My husband had a minor heart attack when I couldn't find them after our xc move fwiw and yes, I found them.
                        -Tailored sportsman crochet back gloves: I loooovvveeee these, have multiple backup pairs (though my dog just munched one glove mate, so now I'm down a pair). Best rein feel ever, cool in va summers, comfortable in winter and I wear them year round.
                        - ariat paddock boots: I'm still rocking the cordovan lace ups that I bought over 10 y ago
                        - dubarry's: no words....
                        -Tuff-rider breeches: at the rec'd of a tack store, I reluctantly purchased after a steroid-induced weight gain and for the $40ish bucks, they are fantastic. Yes, the sewing & cut isn't perfect but they are indestructible. I do rec'd wearing smartpak's spans (smart slims) underneath though b/c they can show skin "imperfections."

                        -Roeckl gloves: haaaaate these. They don't breathe, are too thin, hurt my fingers with pullers/babies and I can't believe I spent $45 on them.
                        - ariat pro-circuit breeches: purchased barely used at middleburg tack exchange and while i wore the crap out of them, the stitching frayed, they stained easily and no amount of oxiclean or shout helped, and they were super constricting in the calves.
                        -irideon balaclava (in pink): somehow I thought I would wear this and not look like a muppet. wore twice and felt like a moron.
                        And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


                        • #13
                          Kerrits fleecey winter breeches with sticky seat! Good buy, already worn the crap out of them -- super nice. Don't like the cold water wash but everything is anymore, anyhow. Ariat Hunter field boots - hunted hard in these and they've held up well for three years of continual abuse.
                          Smartpak breastplate cost $109. Leather stiff and mediocre quality. Droops, had to purchase ANOTHER strap at $10 to cross the wither to keep it up on the sides. Blue webbing looks nice but total dirt attractant. Total leather pieces on this breastplate probably aren't 20 inches in all. Cheap nickel buckle at girth for adjustment, and the horse size just barely fits my horse-size horse - nearly too small. Wish I had just bought a plain leather breastplate instead.
                          Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                          Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                          • #14
                            This is a great idea! I love reading through these posts.

                            - My 2001 County Competitor dressage saddle. I've had it about 7 years now and I'm still so in love with it!

                            - Stubben bridles - they hold up super well! The leather doesn't get "gummy" very easily either.

                            - I love my Nunn Finer rubber webbed reins. They're much more flexible than some of the other rubber reins on the market.

                            - Poly pads!

                            - Woof Double Lock Brushing Boots. I've had a set for at least 6 or 7 years and they're still in great condition. The velcro is still as strong as it was the day I bought them.

                            (I'm sure I could think of many more things I love, but for the sake of time...)


                            - Kerrits Full Seat Flex Tight Breeches. Wore them once and the grippy stuff on the seat peeled off.

                            - M. Toulouse Marielle Girth. We all know it's hard to find short brown girths to go with a monoflap saddle, but do not get this one. It's incredibly stiff, the buckles move and don't sit straight on the girth, and the billets don't fit in the holders. Just not my favorite product.

                            - Schnieder's fleece-lined rubber velcro bell boots. I bought these in black and they didn't stay black... the footing in my arena caused them to stain horribly and the fleece peeled off the boots.


                            • #15
                              Wanted to add:
                              BEST: SSG Digital Gloves. I LOVE these gloves. I have 3 pairs (white, black, and brown). They are tough, wash well, feel great, aren't too hot, aren't too cold, are sticky-sticky (even on Toby the Sweat Monster). LOVE THEM. I never thought I would find a glove I liked as much as my good old cotton string....I actually like these better!


                              • #16
                                Love: Stubben bridle. I echo dappled's post. My very favorite bridle I own.