One of nice things about working at a tack store is that I get a discount on everything it sells. (Except saddles which are on consignment, obviously.) One of the terrible things about working at a tack store is that I get a discount on everything it sells.
I’ve made a lot of purchases over the last year and half- some of them were definitely needs, like new breeches and a new helmet. Some of them were completely superfluous, like saddle pads and festive scarves. Most of them don’t merit their own review post, but I thought I’d share some of my most and least favorite purchases of the last year or so!
I bought this primarily to use on Moe under my dressage saddle; barn owner had mentioned to me that he seemed more comfortable in a half-pad during his lessons. (I don’t typically use them.) I like this pad because of the Pro-Impact Inserts; they’re a very thin, light high density open cell foam that absorbs energy super, super well. (There’s a whole YouTube channel dedicated to the material!) Moe seems much more comfortable with this half pad than he did without a pad, with a gel pad, or with an all-fleece half pad. I’ve used it on Gina, too, who seems slightly less stiff in her back with this pad under the saddle.
Is it worth full retail? Yes, I think so. While it’s expensive, it is well constructed and does its job perfectly.
This was my first solution to the Moe-needs-a-half-pad problem; I’d had good luck with gel pads in the past and I knew this thin pad wouldn’t change the fit of the saddle much. It didn’t make a difference on Moe, so I decided to test its non-slip properties on a hunt with Gina. I always hunt with her with a 5-point breastplate, but my saddle would still move around a little as we traveled over the hilly terrain. Since adding this thing to our hunting equipment, my saddle hasn’t budged. It’s worn under the saddle pad, so you can’t see it at all. It’s a great solution if you have a slippery horse! (Or if your favorite saddle pad is slippery.)
Is it worth full retail? Definitely, although Horze frequently has sales and coupons available that would allow you to save a little.
The link actually goes to Essex’s newer “Lido” shirt, which is basically the same thing with different collar patterns; regardless, I bought this white shirt for foxhunting, because I didn’t have a long-sleeved white shirt. The technical fabric was appealing, as was the pullover style. It’s a comfortable shirt and has kept me cool under my heavy wool blend hunt coat. I always get compliments on the contrast trim (which is green paisley). I like the pearl snaps- I think they’re fun, and they’re covered by my stock tie anyway. It washes up great, too. I’ve had mud, champagne, and horse boogers come out in the wash without any special treatment.
Is it worth full retail? Yes. It’s a great shirt that’s comfortable, stylish, and durable!
I’ve had these boots for about a year, and they’re my primary footwear at the barn. I use them for schooling and show. They’re extremely comfortable, and I’ve been very happy with their durability. They’re a nice looking boot and the extra-wide calf option fits my 17.5″ calves very well. My only complaint is that the extra-wide calf is only available in a medium height; these aren’t terribly short on me, but they’ve dropped a little more than I’d like. Regardless, they’re a nice boot and a nice price. (I am thinking very hard about getting a brown pair.)
Is it worth full retail? Oh yeah, these are worth every penny, especially since finding attractive wide-calf boots can be difficult.
I bought these thinking I’d use them at shows to wipe off travel dust and at home to give my tack a quick swipe before leaving. They’re next to useless; they don’t do a good job of removing any kind of dirt and forget trying to clean anything truly grimy.
Is it worth full retail? Nope. You’re better off with a tack sponge and some spray.
It’s hotter than hell in Oklahoma throughout the summer, so when our Ovation vendor had certain colors of this shirt on super-sale, I snapped one up, thinking I would enjoy cool, dry summer rides. While the shirt does an okay job of wicking sweat and does have nice mesh undersleeves, everything else about it is a mess. The fabric is kind of thick, the zipper sticks, and the fit is awful. I am 5’9, and this shirt barely hits the top of my hip. I couldn’t tuck it in if I wanted to. The sleeves are also short, which means it fits my T-Rex arms just fine, but the cuffs are thick and closely fitted, making them uncomfortable and impossible to push up. It also runs fairly small- much smaller than other Ovation shirts I’ve tried on. Don’t waste your money on this. There are nicer sun shirts out there for a few bucks more.
Is it worth full retail? God no. It wasn’t worth the ~$15 I paid for it!
How about y’all? Tried anything lately that you love/hate but doesn’t merit a full review?