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Best and Worst Tack/Clothing Purchases

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  • #21
    I bought a pair of paddock boots form Ariat in 2010 and they're still going strong. I condition them every two weeks and use them 4-6 days a week depending on the week, all day. But I know people at my barn that bought them this year and had them wear out within 6 months. I always love Ariats for the price.

    Best Purchases:

    Pessoa AO Saddle. It's not a super expensive saddle and it can be had for $1,100 used if you look (I got it very dried out for $750 used from a friend). But this thing is comfy and my riding position improved a TON in it compared to the other saddles I was riding in. I like it better than the Stubben Siegfried.

    Passier Lederbalsam. This works miracles on most leather I work it into.

    Things that impressed/surprised me but aren't the "best best" would probably be The Tailored Sportsman breech (or the low rise version of it) because it's so durable and looks great, Thinline pads, Back on Track pads, Iridion Riding Tights, and Roeckl Chester Gloves.


    Prestige Split-End Girth. This thing consistently rubbed the skin until it was raw/irritated on multiple horses, even when it was done loosely. Not a single horse was comfortable in it.

    Weatherbeeta Genero. We got a bunch of these as backups to blanket horses while their blankets were out being washed. Within a month half of the buckles, loops, end snaps, etc were completely broken and ripped off on every single one. Never seen that happen with a blanket before.

    Other mentions for worst would be... Roeckl Winter gloves (they fail to keep me warm even in 35 degree weather). Cheaper Ariat breeches of any kind (they make my butt look like someone stuffed a pillow down there, and they retain stains even after being washed and bleached to holy hell). 99% of cheap fleece half pads (I will forever use sheepskin).


    • #22
      Best: My Ariat Lexi jacket--warm but not bulky; I need another one so I can have the one that smells like horse and the one that I wear out in public, instead of just smelling like horse in public. My IRH Elite helmet--super lightweight, comfortable, and not mushroom-y. Horze breeches--great quality for the price.

      Worst: Ariat zip-up paddock boots--I love the boots themselves and they've held up superbly, but the zipper on one was half broken when they were brand new, and now it won't move at all, even with lots of WD-40. Their zippers are crap. Ariat Heritage half chaps--got them from TOTD; the leather is super stiff and plastic-y and cheap, and they were almost two whole inches smaller in the calf than the size chart said.

      I also have a love/hate relationship with TS; I love the breeches, love the variety of colours, love everything except their lack of a freaking size chart. And the sizing varies depending on the style. Is it so hard to publish a size chart? Give me fifteen minutes in your warehouse and a measuring tape and I will do it for you, TS, no charge, for the greater good...
      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

      Graphite/Pastel Portraits


      • #23
        Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
        I also have a love/hate relationship with TS; I love the breeches, love the variety of colours, love everything except their lack of a freaking size chart. And the sizing varies depending on the style. Is it so hard to publish a size chart? Give me fifteen minutes in your warehouse and a measuring tape and I will do it for you, TS, no charge, for the greater good...
        I think I love you for this. They REALLY do need one. I own TS breeches in 3 different sizes and all of them fit: 26L, 28L and 26R. All different styles. I remember after they changed their low rise one I ordered some online and found that a 26R fit... but they were extremely, extremely tight (think compression under-armor tight). So I returned them and ordered it in a 28R. They were too short and I was SWIMMING in them they were so big.

        I don't understand TS sometimes.


        • #24
          Best purchases:
          Centaur Ultra turnouts
          Horze saddle pads (three different styles)
          Horze socks
          Horze synthetic gloves
          Weather beeta contential dress sheet
          Horze corchet gloves (runs big but nice otherwise)

          Kieffer bridle
          Amigo Bravo turnout
          Smart pak brand medium diamond saddle pads


          • #25
            Best things I've gotten this year would be EVERYTHING from Horze (a soft-shell show coat, socks, rain jacket, breeches in spades, caps, etc), and my Éce shirts. They were all given to me since both companies sponsor me, but I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing any and all of the above. I'm also super happy with my new calfskin Pessoa saddle, as well as a new Aramas figure eight (that was my early christmas present to my horse).

            Worst would be my GR8. Loved that thing, but it made my head sweat even in the winter and that got old fast. Can't say I was devastated when it bit the dust and I replaced it with an AYR8. Other worst is (perpetually) hairnets... doesn't matter what kind they are, they always end up shredded.
            Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


            • #26
              The worst thing I ever bought was a Tad Coffin saddle. It bridged on every. single. horse. I put it on. They managed to make a saddle that fits nothing. Even a broken clock is supposed to be right twice, this saddle was unbelievable.

              Best thing I ever did was turn over saddle shopping to Kate Wilson. She shows up, measures, gives me several options in all price ranges, I ride around a while in each, decide, and then along comes a perfect saddle.
              The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
              Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
              The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


              • #27
                New Schneider's blankets for both of my horses. Gelding fat man in a little coat destroyed his least year (my fault...tried to get *one* more season out of his baby blanket!) and mare was new to me and living outside. Mare also got a blanket liner since there is minimal shelter where she lives.

                Dublin Aristocrat dress boots. Love them.

                Running Bear sidepull bridle in BRIGHT BLUE beta. I use it for every day riding, trails, endurance, etc. Its in my favorite obnoxious bright blue color. Thing is fantastic. Its basically indestructible. It comes clean by just dunking it in a bucket of warm water for a few minutes. It turns into a halter or bitless sidepull in seconds so I can either ride bitless (I can take the bit off while mounted even ) or tie my horse up with it on trail rides.

                And by far my favorite - my Stubben Roxane. Saddle fits both me and my Arab like it was custom made for us. I foxhunt in it and I've never ridden in a saddle I've loved more!


                • #28
                  Best purchases:
                  Five Star Tack Piccadilly Bridle. Love, love, love this bridle, it's super flattering, super soft, and IMO higher quality than some much more expensive bridles.

                  Anything from Horze. Fleece blanket liner, breeches, rain boots, riding boots, waterford bit...love it all, and for an unbeatable price. They have a lifelong customer.

                  A waterford bit....the freight training through my aids is gone completely, and he is much happier.

                  Schneider's Duramesh fly sheet. Cool enough for my guy to wear in 100 degrees, and versatile enough to be used as a top layer on the chillier days when a sheet is too much, nothing isn't enough, and I'm not brave enough to leave aforementioned fleece blanket liner on without any protection.

                  Irideon riding tights. Flattering, comparatively cheap, and lots of colors to choose from.

                  Surprisingly good purchases/acquisitions for the price/reputation:
                  Newer Wintec jumping saddle with Cair and changeable gullet. I scoffed at first, but after a few rides, it fits Apollo super well and is incredibly comfortable. Doesn't trap you in the saddle, puts your leg in a good position....it's no Butet or Antares, but I like it a lot.

                  FSS Color Padded Bridle. I hesitated because of some of the reviews about FSS tack, but I wanted a bridle with royal blue padding and rhinestones without spending $300 on it. So I bit the bullet, and I was pleasantly surprised. Soft leather, solid stitching, nice color, good price. It's not a $300 bridle, but it sure looks like one when it's on a horse.

                  Kerrits Ice-Fil Shirt. For $53, I expected a heck of a lot more....there wasn't a noticeable difference in temperatures, and the quality and durability of the fabric was meh. It looks nice, though.

                  Actually, Kerrits in general. I went through 4 pairs of their full seat riding tights before I found one that didn't rip a hole in the seat within one ride. And the stitching on this pair of tights is still fairly subpar, but they're comfortable and usable enough that I like them, but wouldn't buy another pair. Color me unconvinced.


                  • #29
                    mvp, I'd like to see the halter.
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                      mvp, I'd like to see the halter.
                      Here ya go-- a link to an album of 5 pictures:


                      The halter is horse sized. It's 1" wide to accommodate 3 colors. I have had another 2-colored one that was a little finer at 3/4 wide. Hardware is brass. They might do silver/chrome, too. Even with 3 colors, the nylon isn't too stiff to go through the buckles.

                      Kustom Kritter Fitters (who made this) is a small, family company in Alabama somewhere. No website, but phone is 205.372.0360.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #31
                        I like that! I wish they had a website?!
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                          My MO for buying breeches is to try them on in the store, then go online to find the colors I want. I am a bigger size (34L) so there is very little selection usually. I got tired of wasting money on breeches that were NQR and never wearing them.

                          So a few years ago, I ordered some Platinum breeches, full seats that were knock offs of the Pikeurs with the side pockets. The gray ones fit great, but the beige pair was too tight. I was bummed because although I rode dressage at the time, I had hunter color palette envy. Sold the beige pair to a friend.

                          Years later, I am feeling flush, try on a pair Pikeurs to figure out if they will fit, and take the plunge, again with a dark grey pair and a beige pair. The beige pair is too small!!! I suffered through riding in them a few times, then sold them on eBay.

                          On the other hand, after switching disciplines, and reading a thread on favorite cheapie schooling breeches, I bought two pairs of Ovation side zips, knock offs of the TS breeches. The beige ones fit! I loff them!

                          and this is why so many local tack stores can't stay in business...sigh
                          "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                            I like that! I wish they had a website?!
                            Me too! Would make cute barn gifts.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by mroades View Post
                              and this is why so many local tack stores can't stay in business...sigh
                              Next time you visit your local tack store, check out the huge selection of breeches up to size 32, then the five stained and misshapen pairs of 34, only two of which are L. I do make a point of shopping at the three or four local tack shops, but I never find my size in what fits me.
                              A helmet saved my life.

                              2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


                              • #35
                                If you like what you see, don't be lazy sissies, you customizers. Call them. They have an order form, some basic instructions for measuring dog collars and such, and a printed card showing colors.

                                But when you design your horse wardrobe from, say, The Clothes Horse, you have them send you swatches of all the materials and trims you'd consider. I'm sure you can have them send you swatches as well.

                                The price was right on this halter, maybe $23?

                                If I were running a show barn, I might get a bunch in barn colors to give to clients for holiday presents and have them use at the shows.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat


                                • #36
                                  I'm always looking for Devon ideas. Not halters per sae, but I wish they at least had a list of what they do. Who doesn't have a website these days? Anyway... I'll call 'em post holidays because, as mentioned, I'm ALWAYS looking...
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                  • #37
                                    Treadstone's Italian Calf field boots. They're absolutely beautiful and the leather is gorgeous. Extremely comfortable and no break-in period. They're easily worth 2-3x more than the $300 I paid for them.
                                    I also love love love my fancy stitch Aramas reins. I got them on closeout from Equus Now for $40 and they were bright orange when they came, but they've darkened to a beautiful color and they're super supple.

                                    A no-name bridle I got for $20 at a used tack sale. I figured with a little love it would soften up and look pretty nice, but no such luck.


                                    • #38
                                      Best: My Harmon Kraft bridle I got (barely) used on ebay for $75. Also fuzzy girths in general. Cheap, durable, and washable. What more can you ask for?

                                      Worst: A Paris Tack figure 8 bridle I paid the same amount for used. I needed a cheap schooling bridle but the leather was TERRIBLE (I knew it would be cheap, but it was beyond bad) and the fit was poor.


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                        I'm always looking for Devon ideas. Not halters per sae, but I wish they at least had a list of what they do. Who doesn't have a website these days? Anyway... I'll call 'em post holidays because, as mentioned, I'm ALWAYS looking...
                                        In general, they do anything with various widths/colors of nylon that you can think of. Besides horse halters, they do dog collars, leashes and those 4-strand/2 color lead ropes.

                                        They'll also stitch names onto those things if you are so inclined.

                                        Lots of companies do this stuff, but this was the place that I found people that could do 3 colors, not just 2. Very important.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                                          As far as overrated, I've long been a die-hard Pikeur and Tailored Sportsman breeches girl, but lately, I've been wearing some less expensive breeches—SmartPak Bradleys, Ariat Heritage, and just got the TuffRider soft-shell winter breeches. Still love TS and Pikeur, but don't think the price differential is worth it.

                                          What about you? Any great discoveries this year?
                                          I just bought a pair of those TuffRider soft shell breeches on sale for $30, and I LOVE them! The dirt just brushes off, they are pretty warm, and I can put them in the dryer. LOVE.