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Boots, Saddle & Helmet for Re-rider

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  • Boots, Saddle & Helmet for Re-rider

    Excited to be back in the hunter/jumper world after a 17 year break to go to college, get a hubby, have kids...you name it. I have been taking a lesson a week for the past 3 months and really have the riding bug BAD. My hope (if I can afford it!!) is to do a 1/2 lease starting this spring and show a bit (probably will post a question about this some other time!), so this is all in preparation IF I can swing it and would love your advice:

    1. Saddle: I have a 1994ish Crosby Hampton Classic. Still in great, great shape. Is it so out of fashion that I should just sell it for whatever I can get and start over? If so, what do you suggest for a decent saddle on a semi-budget?

    2. Boots: I am riding in paddock boots and half-chaps now. My old tall boots are beat up and I need to start over. Suggestions for decent boots on a budget? I am tall (5'9"), fairly thin.

    3. Helmet: Good helmet? I am using my old helmet for now...forget what brand, but I am sure it is not up to the current safety guidelines. This may be more of a priority since I would prefer to not get too injured as a mom of a 3 yo and 5 yo!

    thanks for your help!!

  • #2
    Welcome back to the riding world! Definitely get a new helmet first! They're usable life is about 5 years.

    If you're' comfortable in your saddle, keep it. Since you're riding school horses now and plan on leasing later, you may want to find a saddle that fits whatever horse you lease, so buying a new one now may just be a huge headache if it doesn't fit the lease horse.

    Paddock boots and 1/2 chaps are fine for lessons and schooling. My advice here is to go to a tack store and just try on boots in your price range until you find a pair that fits. Ariats have a great variety of fits in prices ranging from $250 to $900. There are also semi-customs and customs available. I think you can get custom Vogel's starting at around $800 - but beware, because once you see the options, you'll get window shopping fever.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm


    • #3
      I like the Tipperary Sportage 8500 Riding Helmet.


      • #4
        welcome back! I took a 17 yr break myself! started back about 4 yrs ago and while I don't ride all that often, I love being back in the saddle. I would probably ditch the saddle eventually, however wouldn't be the first thing you need provided it fits the horses you're riding. Helmet first, I got a GPA which I now hate, I'd get a Charles Owen GR8 if I could spare any money. As for tall boots what is your range? There are great boots out there in lots of price ranges, I have heard great things about the Mountain Horse Supremes, which I are around $400-450, but there are certainly others that are less. I ended up going custom for about $550 direct from germany but I have impossible to fit legs

        Good for you for coming back to it!!!


        • #5
          Welcome back to the wonderful world of horses! I hope you will get to do everything you want, and more.

          1. Saddle - I wouldn't bother trading in your saddle unless you don't like it or fit in it anymore. Wait a bit for that one, try out some other saddles. What's popular in the hunter world? Butet, very expensive; Beval, much more reasonable. Ask around.

          2. Boots - Ariats are a good place to start. They have a wide range of sizes and fits. You can get a pair of Ariat Challenge Zip Field boots on closeout at Dover for $179. They also carry many other brands. You can get a pretty decent boot for around $250, not top of the line, but good enough to start showing in. Check out eBay, Smartpak, HorseluvrZ.

          3. Helmet - Again, so much more on the market now. IRH makes some nice ones that aren't expensive. Charles Owens are the most popular in the hunter world. For a schooling helmet, Troxel makes a lot of inexpensive but good ones. I have a Tipperary that I love, and it ran about $60.

          Hope this helps some.


          • #6
            1. Saddle: "I have a 1994ish Crosby Hampton Classic. Still in great, great shape."

            If you like this saddle - keep it until its an issue of fitting a horse you are leasing properly. fashion should be the least of your concerns, more to the point if it fits the horse OK and puts you in a good position (and is comfortable [enough])

            2. Boots: "Suggestions for decent boots on a budget?" used boots! EBAY (a bit of a risk since you are stuck if they dont fit but you can try on boots at a tack shop to see if you are a std size or not) or many tack shops have consignment sections.

            3. Helmet: "Good helmet? I am using my old helmet for now..." this is your first priority, THROW OUT your old helmet tomorrow! its useless after all that time. get a Troxel for schooling or I use an Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet, Dover has them...

            welcome back


            • #7
              Welcome back to riding! DEFINITELY get a new helmet! Saddle should be fine unless it doesn't fit whatever horse you end up leasing What level of showing do you want to do? Schooling shows/C, or higher? If you're not hoping to go up higher than C for now, don't worry too much about 'keeping up appearances'

              Definitely eBay for tall boots, or scour the websites (horse.com, dover, horseloverz, equestrian collections, etc.) for something you like the look and price of.

              Again, welcome back, and keep us posted on your progress!
              The Little Red Mare: French Curve

              and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!


              • #8
                Welcome back!!! I too started to ride again last year after a 7 year hiatus and had to buy everything because it either was no longer safe (my helmet) or didn’t fit. Depending on your budget, you might want to start to shop now so you don’t find yourself in a tight spot if you do end up showing. I went on a spree two weeks before a show and ended up with some items that I wasn’t so thrilled about but kept so I had something to wear at the horse show

                Look for deals and sales...especially with the holidays coming you might be able to get some steals!

                1. Saddle: I say if your saddle works for you and the horse you may end up leasing, keep it. Even if you end up buying something else I might still recommend keeping it. I sold my Crosby PDN and could kick myself as it was super comfortable and could potentially have been used. There are so many nice brands now that I don’t remember seeing back then. I ended up buying a used Antares that works for most horses I ride. I recommend looking at quality used saddles if you decide to buy another.

                2. Boots: I bought a pair of Ariats new at a sale at Dover. If you have a consignment shop near you that might be a good way to get something already broke in and cheaper. Otherwise there are tons of options in many price ranges.

                3. Helmet: I'm not sure how much you are looking to spend, but do please get a new helmet sooner rather than later, and try on many different styles and brands. I bought one helmet in a quick decision so I could start to ride again, ended up not liking it, and then bought another. Ended up being pretty expensive!

                Best of luck to you!!


                • #9
                  Replace that helmet first! I love my Charles Owen AYR8, but they're not made for folks with round heads, so you may find that a GPA or IRH will fit you better. Lots of nice helmets, in a wide range of prices, out there these days.

                  I'd say go for paddock boots and half-chaps (Tredsteps are nice), but if you are set on tall boots for everyday I second Starda01's suggestion of the Ariat Challenge. Mine broke in quickly and are holding up beautifully. (One of the whippersnappers at my barn is wearing a pair of Tredstep tall boots that I covet, though, and the basic model is quite reasonable.)

                  I wouldn't even worry about a new saddle until you've been back at it for a while and have had a chance to ride in some other saddles and see what you like or determine whether yours fits the horse you're spending the most time on.

                  Welcome back -- have fun!


                  • #10
                    Yeah! Welcome back!

                    I started riding again a year and some ago after 30 years off! I have been half leasing a horse for a little over a year, highly suggested solution to horse bug when you have a lot of non-horse commitments that make time and money a challenge.

                    All my old stuff was long gone, of course, including the Prix de Nations I used to ride in. I did the helmet first and paddock boots and half chaps. A good helmet is whatever fits you best. I have a funny head, VERY long oval and "deep" top to bottom. I ended up with an IRH Elite Extreme in a long oval side. It's comfortable, which is more than I can say for anything else I tried on my strange head.

                    I'm tall too, also 5'9", with scrawny calves. The only off the shelf boots I could find that would fit me were the Beval Puissance with extra slim/extra tall shafts. They are usually about $800 and something, but every February Beval has a 20% sale on everything, so that's when I ordered.

                    I rode in my horse's owner's saddle for a long time, though it didn't really fit me well and I was fighting for my position in it. I tried every used saddle I could get my hands on and finally settled on an older Devoucoux Socoa, which I got a pretty decent price on.

                    I'd try riding in the saddle you have now for a while, if you like it and it fits whatever horses you are riding well enough, who cares if it's fashionable! If I still had my old PDN, I'd be riding in that .

                    Go get a new helmet and wait on the rest...you'll have time to wait out good deals since you have the basics already.


                    • #11
                      My helmet is an Aegis. It was like $30, but it has the same ATSM certifications the rest of them do. I figured I'm more likely to replace a $30 helmet than an expensive one. Troxels are good inexpensive ones too.

                      I really like my Dublin Aristocrat tall boots. They were only about $160, but they fit thin, long legged me.

                      Keep the saddle. I ride in 20yo Stubbens. They fit me, fit my horse and are in good shape. I don't really care about the "in thing".


                      • #12
                        Welcome back, and you may wish to check out the re-rider support thread.
                        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                        • #13
                          Yay for re-riders! I started back about 2 years ago after about 15 years of nothing (well, I had a couple of months of lessons in there, but then we bought a house and I couldn't afford it for awhile!) - mostly once a week lessons, but since moving and having to start at a new barn. I've started a 1/3 lease, which is a lesson and practice ride a week, and I am SO EXCITED!!

                          DEFINITELY get a new helmet ASAP! I have a CO JR8 and a Tipperary Sportage (which I got because I nearly got heat stroke w/ the CO in the summer!) - love them both equally. The CO was like $120 and the Tipp was like $50.

                          I recently got a pair of Mountain Horse field boots (the Richmonds - in men's, actually, because I have huge feet and were the only boots n my price range that had the height and slimness I needed, in my giant foot size!). I adore them, and everyone I know who has any boot from MH loves their boots. They wear well and are pretty darn reasonable. I've been engaged in a long term begging session w/ MH to have them make the Surpremes in an 11 slim...

                          Saddle - yeah, I wouldn't do anything unless it doesn't fit whatever horse you end up leasing. I'm riding in a 20 year old Smith Worthington saddle (which luckily fits the horse I just started part-leasing, as there's no way I'm ever selling this thing!) and it's totally fine. Different brands are in and trendy, but ride in what fits you and your horse - no one really notices what saddle you're riding in if it fits well.


                          • #14
                            elizabuggy -- I was in your exact position in August of 2008 when I started taking lessons again after 18 years.

                            I agree with what everyone is telling you re: your saddle. If it still works for you, and the schoolies you are riding, no need to replace it. You may want to upgrade when you do your half lease, or maybe not even then if it fits your horse.

                            My first helmet when I came back was the Charles Owen JR8. It was about $135, and it fit me well. Do you have a tack store close by so you can try lots of helmets on? The GPAs don't fit me at all -- but the COs are great for me. I think you have to try them on to know for sure what is best for you. I have a Charles Owen AYR8 now, and I love it. I also have a Tipperary Sportage helmet for schooling in the depths of summer, but it doesn't fit me as well as my COs do.

                            I'd give you the same advice on boots -- try a bunch on. Between Ariat and Mountain Horse you should find some that work for you that are under $350 if you are looking to keep the price down. I started with the Ariat Heritages, but have had several pair since (I am a field boot junkie now). You can get some great deals on eBay -- I got a brand new pair of Sergio Grasso's, still in the manufacturer packaging, for less than half price on eBay. I use the SGs for shows and clinics -- I have Ariat Crowne Pros for normal use.

                            Welcome back to the obsession! Don't be surprised if you find yourself owning your own horse within a year or two!
                            Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks, everyone, for the amazing support and replies!! I am lucky that my hubby is incredibly supportive of all this (for now!)!! I am going to get a new helmet today and wait on the rest as there is no immediate need. The CO JR8 looks like a decent option so hoping to try one on. I will definitely hop on the re-rider thread (already checked it out ). I need to be patient, but I am soooo excited. Have to remember that I still have a job and other obligations, but I am a true addict. thx again!


                              • #16
                                Welcome Back!

                                Good to hear you're getting the helmet right away. Also, since you bought your last one, they make them with air vents now- very nice to have in the warmer months! I have a CO AYR8 and love it. It's pricey, but you only get one head, and they are quite difficult to repair (did that once and it wasnt fun - injury was oddly not horse related).

                                Agree with everyone on the saddle, if it's comfy and fits the horse you're riding, no need to rush out for a new one. I recently went back to my old one while having my new one repaired, and discovered that now that I have regained balance and strength, I kinda preferred my old one (dont tell my husband).

                                And another purchase that may come in handy is Aleve. :-)
                                Rule 1- Keep the horse between you and the ground.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Ha! love the Aleve suggestion. I am over the pain hump, but it was definitely a reminder of how long it has been! So fun to feel challenged again, but wish I wasn't so hard on myself. Guess perfectionism never goes away and at least I don't cry after "bad" lessons like I did as a teen!

                                  I am hoping a horse will be in my future in a few years (maybe after we stop having to pay for pre-school/daycare!). Still a little blown away by the sticker shock...I used to work off part of my board and lessons.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ray View Post

                                    2. Boots: "Suggestions for decent boots on a budget?" used boots! EBAY (a bit of a risk since you are stuck if they dont fit but you can try on boots at a tack shop to see if you are a std size or not) or many tack shops have consignment sections.
                                    This. Used boots are way more affordable and so much easier to ride in! There's nothing worse than having to break in a new pair of tall boots.
                                    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


                                    • #19
                                      keep the saddle

                                      love my Tipperary Sportage

                                      love my Mountain horse boots.
                                      A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton