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Best and Worst Tack/Clothing Purchases

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  • My local tack shop died when the recession hit and any other tack shop with a reasonable inventory is 45min-1 hour away so it's online shopping I go!

    Best: JR8 Charles Owen Helmet
    Bates saddle with CAIR system (would love a Tad Coffin though)
    Dover sheepskin half pad
    Ariat Heritage Field Boot (3+ years as my show boots and going strong!)
    TS Low Rise Breech - LOVE will never buy anything else again. Sad the prices went up
    Smartpak Wellfleet Hunter Bridle-(I won this and have not used yet but I am itching for show season!)
    Oster Clipmasters-body clipping went so fast this year

    Any Ariat Show Breech....looked like I had major cellulite issues when I had none! GROSS
    Oster Power Max Clippers- these came with my oster clipmasters and even with oiling, new blades, etc it leaves a zebra like print on everything and does not clip as easy as the Andis I won a year ago.
    "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
    - quoted by Martha Drum


    • Love all these suggestions!

      Best - RJ Soft Shells, and yes...an RJ soft Shell Shadbelly!!

      - Sergio Grasso Imperia boots for fit and comfort (can't attest to their durability yet)
      - Tredstep hunter gloves that come up the wrist a bit, perfect for riders with long arms! http://www.doversaddlery.com/tredste...ter/p/X1-3936/
      - Romph breeches, great material that does not sag.

      - Magnet collar show shirt from RJ

      Worst - SmartPak Bradley breeches. 'Nuff said

      - Equifit hind boots, sizing runs small especially with the weighted liners in on hind boots. The liners ripped and weights fell out after only a few months.

      Member of the OMFG I got banned clique


      • Best:
        TS, Basically the only pair of show breeches I want to wear. I do have some pikeur that are wonderful, but why spend that much money when I can also wear TS?
        Ovation makes AMAZING schooling breeches. They don't sag as the day goes on and the rise is midway between low and mid so they're very comfortable.
        Ariat show coat. They don't make the style anymore, but it's a dark gray with blue piping and really comfortable. Looks custom on me, and wasn't too expensive.
        Grand Prix coat in Technilite fabric. Cool and comfortable and most of all traditional and stylish.

        I've never really bought that many bad products... I hate hate hate a happy mouth french link loose ring with a roller, but that's mostly because my horse abhorred it.


        • Originally posted by Bogie View Post
          Best purchases:

          No Knot Hair Net - Silly to get excited about a hair net but these are great and last forever. I've hunted three seasons with one so far and it's still going strong.
          Right?? I love this thing!!


          • Funny with the love/hate on the Smartpak Bradleys. They are super-flattering for me, they definitely go on my "love" list. Other loves: Soft Touch girths, HS Duo bit, cheap Decker brushes, SSG All-Weather Gloves, Nunn Finer thin rubber reins for close feel of horse's mouth. Edgewood Seconds seller on Ebay. 2 Professional's Choice air ride half pads I bought 15 years ago and can't replace because they discontinued them. Best half pads ever and still in regular use, despite all the frays.

            hate: Lister Star clippers. Lasted 2 clip jobs, during which they cut too close even using medium blades, then died a horrible death halfway through clip job 3. Oster Clipmasters are more unwieldy but at least they last, and the standard blades are longer for better results.
            JR8. Fit is nice, but TOO HOT!!! I should have sprung for more ventilation.


            • BEST:
              Charles Owen AYR8 - fits like a glove, love the vents
              One Knot Hairnets - as previous poster said, silly to get excited about a hair net but these are the best! No more headaches!
              Saratoga Fly Sheet - Surprisingly for a $65 fly sheet, it has lasted 3 years. Like the soft mesh and gusseted shoulder.
              Ariat Pro Circuit breeches – flattering for those who are pear shaped
              Mane N’ Tail Spray N’ Spray – great for training mane to lay flat plus great for braiding

              Solo Comb – probably user error but I can't seem to ever use this correctly without giving my guy a ugly haircut
              Roller spurs – keep falling apart – maybe mine are defective?

              As a side note, on a good product, I miss Murphy’s Oil in a jar.


              • Originally posted by wishfulthinking711 View Post
                My local tack shop died when the recession hit and any other tack shop with a reasonable inventory is 45min-1 hour away so it's online shopping I go!
                everything is over 2 hours from here now and since THS closed this means Dover....which I didn't hate
                Best: JR8 Charles Owen Helmet
                I forgot I bought this in January! I love it! I can't believe how cushy and comfy it is!
                Bates saddle with CAIR system (would love a Tad Coffin though)
                ditto and ditto
                Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
                Facebook me!

                I have Higher Standards ...do you?


                • Originally posted by starlight View Post
                  Worst -

                  - Equifit hind boots, sizing runs small especially with the weighted liners in on hind boots. The liners ripped and weights fell out after only a few months.
                  Yep. I don't like mine because they collect so much dirt. But I also acknowledge that they would never fit a WB. My TB has fairly refined legs and they barely fit him.

                  Originally posted by Dubarry View Post
                  One Knot Hairnets - as previous poster said, silly to get excited

                  Ariat Pro Circuit breeches – flattering for those who are pear shaped
                  Yes and yes. I have something like 8 pairs of Ariat Pro Circuits (thank you TOTD). They are the only breeches I wear now.

                  Another best: Stubben Glycerine. Love it and it makes my saddle clean and burnished looking...not tacky and finger printy like a lot of other glycerinces.
                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                  • Originally posted by Dubarry View Post

                    Solo Comb – probably user error but I can't seem to ever use this correctly without giving my guy a ugly haircut
                    Oh I forgot this! I LOVE my Solo comb although not as great a look as pulling a mane. Helps on my horses that insist on trying to kill you if you pull their mane. Interesting though. My mare alwaysss has a mohawk whether I train it or what. I used solo comb and flat! The reverse for my gelding. Perfectly flat....solo comb mohawk! All well
                    "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
                    - quoted by Martha Drum


                    • Top 3
                      Antares Leather conditioner
                      Sergio Grasso tall boots
                      Wal Mart brand Eucerin for growing hair back

                      Bottom three
                      any spray bottle ever
                      Tredstep Bridle (gave my horse massive rubs that are still trying to grow back in
                      cheap adhesive hooks, always break :/
                      My Horse Show Photography/ Blog


                      • I have another Love Product to add:

                        Absorbine Horseman One Step Leather Cleaner & Conditioner SPRAY, yes, i said it, a spray can! They sent it to me when I got a bad batch of the cream formula and it just sprays right on, a few circular wipes and it's clean and shiny! It cut through mud and everything on my boots and had them show shiny in about 3 minutes with like, no effort. Used it on the rest of my tack that night and it was just so quick and easy to use. The bottle still sounds solid, not like half empty like a can of hairspray when I shake it so we'll see how long it lasts me but I'm excited about it. It lacks the smell that makes me love cleaning my tack, but i'm not doing it for the smell, i'm doing it for my investment in all of my equipment.
                        Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
                        Facebook me!

                        I have Higher Standards ...do you?


                        • Just loaded up on Target knee socks - found them on clearance for 75 cents/pair!!!

                          Dubarry, I'm with you on the Murphy's in a jar....miss that a lot!


                          • Best:

                            Mid '90s Roosli Pilatus Dressage Saddle (with a long flap no less!) that I got on eBay for $500 a couple of years ago. The balance is great and it fits a lot of horses. Everyone else who has tried it loves it too.

                            A Smartpak Nantucket bridle...just found it in their upstairs clearance section yesterday. It was used, very dirty and marked down, only $65! Cleaned it up and it is just beautiful, in great condition, very well made, lovely leather. Fits the horse very well too, yeah!

                            TS Trophy Hunter, low rise, side zip. These fit me like they were made for me (in the longs) and retain the great fit after multiple washings and wearings.

                            Smartpak saddle pads. They actually fit well under a 17.5, long/forward flap saddle and aren't super expensive.

                            Ariat Bromont winter boots. These are very comfortable, very warm and nice quality. Wish they came narrower and taller, but when it's 10 degrees out, I don't care about the fit .

                            This year's Ariat Heritage III H20 paddock boots (lace up). The quality of the leather was surprisingly nice, they are comfortable, warm and truly water proof.


                            Pikeur Full Seat breeches, believe it or not. They fit me well and are very nice, but they sag pretty badly in the crotch over a relatively short period of time...washing does not bring the fit back.

                            Beval Puissance field boots (these are out of production now). They actually fit my very long, very skinny legs well, are comfortable and look nice. But, a zipper broke after 8 months and the stretch panels wore through.

                            I do have a lot of tack stores within 30-40 minute driving distance...Smartpak retail store, two Dover locations (Plaistow is much better then the original Wellesley location), a busy consignment store, several smaller, independent, tack shops. I can find a lot of things locally...the one exception being tall boots, NO ONE, not even the Smartpak or Dover retail stores, will stock the bizarre size I need (big foot, slightly less than 13" calf, 20" height). There are a few stock boots that will fit my leg, but I can never try them on in person, always a gamble with special order or Internet shopping.


                            • I'm sure I'll forget some things, but reading through a bit of this thread made me think of a few of mine.


                              Horze Silvia denim breeches (when on the 50% off sale). Love these and wear them all the time. I thought the self knee patches might be a problem, but they are fine. Nice price at 50% off but full price (~$90-100) is too much so glad I bought a few pair when on sale.

                              Trainer's Choice Campion denim beeches. Love these! Really comfortable, with euro seat and not too high or too low. The fabric is kind of lightweight so I worry they may not last, but much cheaper than the TS Trophy breeches so I'm still happy. The sizing is odd, though, and I was told to order one or two sizes down and that was correct.

                              Ariat Volant paddock boots. The original short version that they may have discontinued? I love mine as they are the most comfortable for me and I really like the shorter height. Work well with my half chaps. Tried the Volant half chaps but those were not for me (I despise zip up rather than down and couldn't find a good fit).

                              ProChaps half chaps. I have one pair that I'm still wearing after years of use, and another waiting in the wings when these truly die. I can toss them in the washer and they come out looking great. Considering I found them on sale for <$60, they are even better!

                              Tekna fancy stitched bridle. I just put in an outdoor arena and so I get to ride in the rain - didn't want all my leather bridles getting wet so I tried a synthetic. Love this thing. I like the looks, find the no slip reins to be fantastic, and plan to buy two more so each horse has his own "wet weather" bridle. Im going to get everybody a halter too, so it can sit out in the rain when turned out (not on horse but nearby).

                              Cashel Saddle Shield. Speaking of riding in rain- this thing is great! Keeps my saddle dry and is grippy so I don't slip around. I have one for each saddle.

                              Mattes Girth. Love these! I purchased three at $80 each but one was horribly mismarked so had to return as it wasn't close to the size I needed. But the two I kept are fabulous. Unfortunately I had spread the word on the sale so all the closeouts in my size were gone.

                              Lister Star clippers. Someone put this on their bad list so I just have to add them here as I love mine! No problem ever and do a fabulous job. Such an improvement over my old enormous Oster Clipmasters.


                              Horze bridle -can't remember which one, but a keeper broke on the nose the first time used, so I won't bother with it again. Afraid something more essential will break! Won't buy any Horze leather goods again as I don't consider them safe (I also have a girth from them that was in use prior to the bridle...it is falling apart and now being replaced).

                              Boett blanket for bugs...I can't get this thing to fit my horse at all. If I address the rubs in one area, it rubs elsewhere. The leg straps are the worst, and on a big horse, having only two straps for the belly is not enough. Maybe my horse is a bad fit for it! But I can either start making modifications to fit him or sell it...leaning toward the latter. At least I bought it for way less than full price.

                              Bogs Rider boots. These were on my good list. I loved them. Seriously loved them. Then after less than a year, they split in two places. Contacted Bogs because they have a great warranty. They replaced them - major kudos to Bogs for this. But I think the boots have changed since my first pair as I HATE the new ones. They seem lighter weight and make these annoying squish squeak noises all the time, wet or not. They aren't as comfortable as my other ones and seem like they are more street not barn boots. So Bogs Riders go on the bad list and I'm searching for a replacement.

                              I'm sure I'll think of others, but this is pretty lengthy as it is!


                              • Funny to see others complain about the Equifit hind boots, I had the same problem. I bought fronts in medium for my average sized TB and they were fine, then found the M hinds in a consignment shop and thought, "perfect!" but they were so much smaller! I find if I leave them in the car so the liners will be more pliable they go on a little easier.


                                • my post is for over time, not just 2012/2013

                                  BIGGEST Disappointments:
                                  -TS breeches Supreme Hunters: I spend over $200 for breeches and the size is 2 sizes bigger than my other TS breeches and it should have been noted that the cut is for someone fuller-figured in the hips.
                                  -Ariat Heritage paddock boots: these have degraded in quality and I won't buy them anymore. Take some pride in your products, Ariat.
                                  -Riding Sport and Grand Prix breeches: shrunk in wash, stiff-feeling and generally over-priced for quality (ie if you want something cheap, just buy TuffRider or Devon Aire). The Riding Sport jacket I have, on the other hand, was a great buy at $45 - warm and comfy and long-lasting!
                                  -Tredstone Half-Chaps: these were decent quality but so tight and did not break in...ultimately they were pretty uncomfortable and restrictive.
                                  -A5 Clippers: loud and vibrate a lot and mine broke...junk.

                                  Happiest Purchases:
                                  -Love my Thinline half-pad!
                                  -Frank Baines c/c saddle: this may not be the cushiest saddle but has a great close contact feel with a narrow twist, reminds me of a more modern Crosby.
                                  -CO flak jacket: I fit in the child's size so woot! Good Buy 8 years ago...still use it.
                                  -OLD State Line Tack "Made in England" bridle - they don't sell these anymore - orig. purchased in the 90's and still school in it today...never had anything break or wear on it...kind of amazing.
                                  -ANCIENT WINTEC purchased off CL for $80 (incl. stirrups/leathers & pad): no cair or adjustable gullets, this old thing has fit every horse I put it on and is very comfortable to ride in, ha ha!
                                  -Effingham Field Boots: they don't make these any more, but they fit me like customs! And I got them off eBay new for $75.
                                  -Plastic Stirrups, aka "composite": for $20 retail...I will never go back to metal stirrups! Much nicer on the knees, and look nice, too!
                                  -Passier Leder- whatever it is called that everyone else is writing about: they are right, it works great.
                                  -The blue little razor combs: who needs Solo Comb when you can combine this thing for $.99 with a $.99 pulling comb and for $2 have all you need for a perfect mane? (Well, add $1 more for bands for braiding.)
                                  -The maroon-colored Andes Clippers: purchased to replace my horrible A5's...quiet and wonderful!

                                  On the fence:
                                  -Ariat Pro Tek Gloves: I can typically get these to last me less than 6 months. I keep buying them because I like them but I wish they would last longer.
                                  -Kerrits Breeches: I have the Sit-Tights and the Microcords, both full-seats...the Sit-Tights take forever to break in and are kind of awkward, but they grew on me. The Microcords are kind of slippery and make me look fat (have received that comment in so many words from 2 other people! ), but they do feel comfortable.
                                  -Grand Prix Troxel helmet: this is the only helmet so far that fits my head but unfortunately it looks like it is from 1995.


                                  • Ooh, forgot to mention on the best list, my Ovation helmet. I've had a couple different models and all fit great, are reasonably cool, and price can't be beat. I've had the $$$ helmets (CO, GPA, and Antares) but like the Ovation the best.

                                    And something that I think got discontinued, the Bionic riding gloves. I love these for riding. I won't to get more, but I think they discontinued the equestrian line. I wish now I'd bought another pair or two when I found them on closeout. Most comfortable and seem to help my achy fingers.


                                    • This is an AWESOME thread!

                                      Tredstep Show Jumper Pro Glove - I have slender palms and LONG, skinny fingers... needless to say I have SO much trouble finding gloves that fit. If they fit my palm, the fingers aren't long enough. If they fit my fingers, the palm is too big. These ones FIT! But sizing aside, these gloves are excellent. Super comfortable & cool - yet surprisingly have even kept my hands warm all winter. Excellent grip even when wet! Seriously will never be buying another type of glove... ever!
                                      ThinLine Half Pad (I have the Ultra Contour) - excellent shock absorption with NO bulk.
                                      Ecogold Half Pad - Looovelovelove the memory foam in this pad. Keeps its shape and doesn't "freeze" in the winter time. Helped my OTTB get through growing pains while building his topline and now I won't ride without it!
                                      Kerrits breeches - LOVE all of their tights! Fit is excellent and I don't feel "exposed" when wearing them. LOVE their winter breeches as well. Just tried out their full seats for the first time... not in love yet but I'll give them another go.
                                      Vetrolin Shine - Best coat conditioner hands down. It's all I use. NO residue whatsoever.
                                      Canter Silk Mane & Tail - The only conditioner I've ever used that doesn't leave some sort of residue in the mane/tail. One application lasts at least a week! Smells great too
                                      Effax Lederbalsam - brought my neglected saddle back from the dead.
                                      Professional's Choice neoprene girth - SO easy to clean and super comfy for my sensitive skinned OTTB.

                                      Professional's Choice No-Turn Bellboots - I went through wayyyy too many pairs of these before I wised up. The velcro just does NOT. HOLD. UP. Every pair I've had has ripped in the same exact spot. They offer great protection but I was spending a fortune replacing them!
                                      LIKIT Boredom Breaker - My horse destroyed this in a day. Ripped the ball part off first then demolished the LIKIT holder up top. Marley also thinks he has to EAT Likits IE take massive bites out of them... so maybe this was just a bad decision on my part.
                                      Chew Stop Aerosol - Dear lord just do NOT use this stuff if you ever want to breathe normally again! I was choking on it for hours. I think it kept my horse from chewing on his stall but there are other products that work just as well without destroying your eyes and throat.
                                      IRH ATH Helmet (I think... not sure of the exact model but it's the one with the stripe down the middle) - Fits my head and works like a helmet should as far as protection goes but it does NOT breathe whatsoever. Even in the winter my head sweats like crazy!!! Need a new helmet ASAP.

                                      Drawing a blank now.... I'll come up with more soon!


                                      • Was doing a search and found this post. Kind of fun, anyone want to continue 2014.


                                        • YES!


                                          Dover Figure 8 Nose Band. I get it, it was cheaper then the $130 one that looked nicer, but you could at least size it right. My horse has a decently large face, but it is by no means warmblood. God for bid anyone with a warmblood need a properly fitted nose band.


                                          Smartpak Piper Breeches. They are comfortable and cool, and when I rode in the rain they didn't make me miserably wet. They also come in amazing colors (the coral is wonderful) and the full seats are sticky enough but still have stretch and breath-ability. I am such a fan, I have both knee patch and full seat. I will soon have all the colors. I can't say enough good things. Just remember, they do run a tad big. So I wear a 32 rather than 34.