Thursday, February 24, 2011

This may just bore you, but please come help dress me.

Sorry if this is super boring but it is what is on my mind and well that is why I blog is to but my thoughts and experience on paper.  It's not really paper but you get the idea.  These things are on my shopping list.  I have this "fantastic" new job and now it is time to start spending some of that hard earned money on the things I want/need.  So here is the list.

First on my list is going in the mail today.  My Indiana Eventing Association membership along with my Hoosier Horse Park cross country schooling armband!

Second I can thank Team Flying Solo for this one.  A good show helmet. 

mmm...I love this vest.  It not only is the exact color of my truck but it represents, to me, become a real life eventer.  It also means I have to cross country school any chance I get to make it worth my while!

I would like some input on my saddle choice.  My trainer has a black adjustable tree Fletcher Henri De Rivel coming in March in 17 1/2 which will probably fit me.  She can also get good pricing on any passoa's.  That price is where I am leaving my budget.  If I cannot find a nice saddle for $1200 that will fit both me and my horse I may as well just give up eventing now cause that is just silly.  I decided I am more comfortable going new than used.  My thinking may be off on this but all I keep thinking is leather and padding are both things that stretch and form to horse and rider.  So if I go and buy a used saddle I am just buying a saddle that is perfectly formed for someone but not me or my horse.  So I would rather buy a lower end new saddle than a high end used.  That way it can conform to ME and MY horse!  Also I am going with a jumping saddle because I can do dressage in a jumping saddle but I cannot jump in a dressage.  And I cannot afford both right now.  My goal will be to get a dressage saddle next year.  Since the highest we will go this year is BN anyways.  I am leaning toward the Fletcher because I love the idea of the black jumping saddle and just think I will only need one show bridle!  Well and I am kinda drawn toward black in everything in my life.  Maybe there is a goth side to me I don't know about.  So what do you think is the best buy for my budget as far as a good jumping saddle?

Then that will mean I need a new bridle, reins and bit but I will be doing more research on that when the saddle decision is final.  But bridle suggestions are welcome.  I don't know much about them I have pretty much mostly ever ridden in a regular old english bridle with braided reins and a broken snaffle bit.  Beyond that I am pretty clueless.  If any of you want to share your bridle wisdom or have a post about bridles and the like I would love for you to jump start my education on them.

I am on the look out for a saddle pad the same color as my XC vest.  And also jump boots for Steady in that color.  Then we will be bonafide eventers.

I also need a white pad for dressage but that that is pretty basic and not going to be hard to get my hands on.

Also need help on breeches.  I HATE high waisted breeches!  I am much better built for low rise pants.  So I do hate the idea of buying online when it comes to breeches or any clothing really because I want to try it on.  I am headed to a tack store this weekend to window shop maybe I will find one I like and can then find a good deal on them on the web.  But what do you think about black breeches?  Like I said before I am pulled to black but should I go with black for showing?  I could do a dark taupe too.  Either one.  I will also be on the hunt for a good white breech.  I like full seat but not a must for me but I would like to find budget friendly but it looks like I will be spending a good $90 for each pair.  I may also be on the look out for a good inexpensive schooling breech.

Then there are shirts.  I want a cute sporty looking eventing polo.  I like the moisture-wicking ones but do you have a favorite shirt you like to show in for cross country.  I also need a good show shirt and collar for dressage.  Then I will be set for my first show of the season in April!

That is all we need and this will be exactly what we look like out there.....
hahahahahha!!!  Ok maybe not just like that but we will look cute going over our 2'6"!


  1. First, congrats on the new helmet!! Woohoo!

    Second, saddles -- it doesn't really work that way. The way a saddle breaks in is pretty standard for most people. Whether it is new or used, it should be flocked to fit your horse's back when you get it anyway. I'd go for higher end used if you can find one, but in the end it's about (1) what fits your horse [this can make a person crazy] and (2) what fits you.

    Third, you do NOT need white breeches. In fact, I would advise against them. They will just be constantly dirty. For showing, get a pair of tan/khaki coloured breeches and you are set for any discipline.

    If you check our review tab, I did do a post on summer schooling breeches, that might give you some ideas for sweat season.

    Fourth, for good wicking shirts, check sporting good stores like or I've gotten all of mine for $12 or less.

  2. And PS, for ALL horse trials where all three phases are in one day, you can wear your polo for all three phases. No special shirts or jackets required.

  3. I HATE high waisted breeches too! Let me know if you find a good pair for a reasonable price. Right now I like my kerrits tights, but they are tights, not breeches. :/

  4. Not an eventer so can't help you with much:) but that's awesome that you are becoming official! I need to do the same and start joining some of the dressage clubs, local and the big one, just to start getting my foot in the door.

    As for the saddle, I'd go with a good quality used one. Find a brand you really like, Dover even has a try it before you buy it program, and then look for a used one. A lot of times people will be selling their barely used saddle because it didn't fit their horse or the moved to a different horse, etc. and it won't be badly worn.
    I have Kerrits breeches, i really like mine.

  5. So what brand saddles are talking about? I have had an extremely hard time finding a used saddle that fits. I feel like I am in a situation that I need to find something now. I can't keep riding in a saddle that doesn't fit. The one I ride in has already given him white spots on his back. This is so frustrating!

  6. Oh shopping fun!!

    Gotta go with Solo. Def buy used. If your trainer has a saddle that you love and fits you both, I'd at least check for a used option before springing for a new saddle. I just picked up my new dressage saddle for $525 including shipping and it fits us both marvelously. Used is good. New saddles are more expensive, take break in time, and simply do not hold their value. I can sell any of my saddles (all of which I bought used) for at least what I paid for them, maybe more. A new saddle? Not so much.

    For bridles, I HIGHLY recommend nunn finer bridles.
    I have the above bridle in havana with brass, but it also comes in black. LOVE the leather quality. Word to the wise: as cool as brass looks, don't get it. Brass must be polished. Stainless has no upkeep. They're pretty standard for eventing, they look great, and they hold up really well.

    Bit: Do try double jointed. Izzy goes in this:
    You know Steady best as far as what mouthpiece width her likes and what cheekpiece, but I've had really good luck with this one. (Izzy is a loose ring kinda girl who LOoOoves her fat mouthpieces). Herm Sprenger bits are pretty, but they work no better than JP Korsteel, which is VASTLY cheaper.

    Clothes: I love Kerrits. Comfy, snappy looking, reasonably priced. You mentioned not liking high-waisted pants--Kerrits makes a "flow rise" model which is low cut in the front and higher in the back, to cover your "assets". LOVE.
    Good general look, very flattering. Lots of options. You can sometimes get super deals on ebay. The great thing about kerrits is that their sizing is very consistent, so I tried on (and bought) one pair in person, and since have just ordered that same size online.

    Same for shirts.
    Lightweight, comfortable, flattering. That's not the best price I've seen...

    Just remember, if you figure out what you like, you can watch for sales and snag it for half price or less. It's all about timing...

    Good luck!

  7. Oh, and HATE Dover. Only buy from them if you must. Even if their prices is cheaper, their shipping is atrociously expensive, which makes it cheaper to order elsewhere.

    That said, I'd exploit their trial saddle program if you're interested.

  8. SB Thank you sooo much for all the detailed help. That is what I need. I need pointed in the right direction. I understand you learn over time what you like and don't like but I cannot afford to make a $1000 mistake on something like a saddle and I have no saddle fitting knowledge. I have tried EVERY SINGLE used saddle that my trainer has. And they are the only english tack shop in 60 miles. I am going to another this weekend that is in Indy and I will see what they have to offer. But it is not like you can see if a saddle fits without your horse there. So I am sure they will let me take them home to try them out but it being so far away I don't get out there much and we are talking then $100's in fuel to drive back and forth. ugh can you tell I am flustered about it. Ok I am going to look at used but puleeeze ladies tell me what I should be looking for in a saddle, brand ect...

  9. My friend has had saddle issues as well with her hard to fit mare and she bought a used Stuuben that she loves. She got it for $500. I really love my Wintec but I know lots of people will jump on and say they are awful. Don't know why.
    It has the CAIR and easy change gullet system. I have put it on Bear with the high thoroughbred withers and it fit well with the gullet switched out from what I used with Cassy.

  10. forgot to add, have you tried a half pad? Those really provide a lot of cushion. They don't replace a good fitting saddle of course but I like them even with good fitting saddles.

  11. What tack shops are you going to in Indy? Our biggest one around here is Grand Champion tack, but they can be pricey depending on what you're buying. My fav tackshop is The Stable which is in Fortville, IN. Lots of consignment saddles and great prices on everything. Since I lease my horse I went with wintec saddles. The easy change Gullet system has been a life saver. I have an ap and a dressage and love them both. Practically no upkeep which means more time riding and less time polishing! I also recommend a well cushioned half pad. I think it adds a nice cushion between the hard saddle and a sensitive back. I'm still searching for a pair of low risers that I like, but I do love Kerrits. I have a tuff-rider moisture wicking polo that I love for X-country. I bought it at The Stable for less than $20. As far as saddle pads, theres tons of options. I make all of my own s I can match my colors exact, so I'm not big help there. Horsey shopping's always fun!

  12. I'm no help. I don't know any of this stuff either. However did want to mention I am so happy and excited for you! I can't wait until your first show. Please try to have someone get pictures and/or video. :)

  13. Fabulous help everyone. I am going to Bucakroo tack shop tomorrow and possibly Grand Champion but I have heard the same about the prices before. A friend and I are considering spliting the cost of a saddle fitter from Stuuben.

    Right now I use a Cami-cell pad but it is not doing the trick. Our last ride ended after him with head high and hollow back and bolting when I tried to get him to round his back. It took me forever and a conversation with a friend that knows him to figure out that it is most likely the saddle/sore back that is the issue. Which makes me feel like I should not be riding him until I get something better. I hate the idea of him being out of work over the saddle but it is what it is I guess.

  14. Amy--I feel your pain on the saddle fitting thing. It sucks and mistakes are expensive. I'd mention treeless, but with Steady's high withers, he's just not an ideal candidate.

    New wintecs suck. Big time. I have no idea what kind of horse they were created for, but certainly not one that has a shape other than flat. That said, I had an older wintec AP that fit my TB mare and we evented through BN with it. It also worked fine on Izzy, but I got snobby and wanted leather.

    You might consider going the collegiate route. I have a Collegiate Alumni saddle. It's close contact, convertible gullet, leather, and designed for the higher-withered horse. It fits Izzy really well. Leather quality is not fab, but it functions. The seat is relatively open, which gives you room to move around for XC and allows you to open your hip angle for dressage.

    I'm told if you're super long-legged that it's harder to use because the flaps aren't as forward as they could be. Whatever. I'm 5'8" and it works for me.

    I haven't done much with Stubbens because they're pricey. Good luck! Saddle fitting is a major pain, but ill fitting saddles are worse.

  15. I'd highly recommend googling "trumbull mountain tack." They sell new and consignment saddles, but here is what you want to do: call or email one of their reps. There are a FANTASTIC resource and will walk you through finding something that works for Steady.

    I have to agree on the new Wintecs -- I had a previous model one and it was ok, but the new ones are NOT fitting horses; so much so that our local tack shop has refused to stock them any longer and has switched over to Thoroughgoods and Teknas (both of which I'd look into if I were you) for synthetics.

  16. Interesting about the new wintecs, both mine are older models. I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

  17. And I've never heard of buckaroo, I'll def have to look them up. For some reason when I posted earlier it was just a bunch of numbers. Not sure why-I'm still new to this!

  18. That's quit a list you've got going there. That much shopping makes me tired. LOL

  19. This much shopping makes me exhausted, mentally, physically and financially. But since this is our beginning into all of this we just don't have much of anything. Well anything other than a few ill fitting saddles and a 20 year old bridle.

    We went to buckaroo but I will try to do a full post tomorrow about todays adventures.

  20. I love, love, love my white show breeches. It took me FOREVER to find a pair that I liked. I wanted good, fit, comfy, and not see through! I got these and while they were way over my budget of $75 they were worth every penny! In fact, my friends all ended up getting pairs after seeing mine. I love them so much I even bought a pair to school in. They are like a comfy pair of riding tights, but they look like the expensive breeches that they are!

  21. lol, knew there'd be a bunch of negatives on the wintecs. I guess my horse is just weird since it fits her well.

    I came back to share with you something I read yesterday in Dressage Today about saddle fitting for high withered horses. "a high withered horse often should be fit with a specialty pannel made thicker in front rather than using a narrowed tree to lift weight off the withers. The change in panel design vastly improves freedom of movement. Without an adequately thick panel, many high withered horses have too much pressure along the sides of the withers and into the shoulders, closing capillaries, which carry oxygen to the muscles."

    I don't know if that helps but when I read it I thought of Steady and wanted to pass it along:)

  22. Horsemom you warmed my heart that you thought of Steady and I when you read that! And that info is fantastic. I have heard that high withers does not mean narrow tree but hearing the why behind it helps a ton and a solution. Actually a wintec is the best fitting saddle that I have been able to find as of to date. At the time my past life hunter jumper snobby gene kicked in and I couldn't bring myself to buy a synthectic saddle. If I had that to do over again I would have bought in a heart beat!

  23. Too funny Amy, "your snobby gene!" Yeah, having a synthetic dressage saddle is definitely looked down upon, but it is also strapped to the back of a little Quarter Horse that I got for free, so in the dressage crowd we lose all around and I figure what the heck!

  24. It's true about the extra panel needed around withers -- this is what I had to do for Solo's dressage saddle. It has extra wither gussets AND a trapezius panel underneath to keep it up off his withers.


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