If nothing else, I'll get to buy a second pair for summer duty. I can live with that.
A few weeks ago, Dover suckered me in with one of their THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THIS PRODUCT WILL EVER BE ON SALE, SO YOU HAD BETTER BUY IT RIGHT THIS MINUTE email ads. I get them all the time, but I am usually able to resist with an eye roll.
I probably would have been able to say no this time too, except my muck boots, which I live in when I am not at home or work, have started to look as though they've seen better days. I literally wear them 365 days a year. I even wear them in the summer.
So when I saw the ad for the MUDS by Noble Outfitters at under $50, I couldn't say no. They typically run a bit over $100. I also had a $10 Dover gift card, so it brought the boots down to $39.99 plus tax and free shipping since I have a Dover Visa. The purchase was a no brainer.
They fit great, and past experience tells me they'll be just as comfortable as my old pair. The only thing I am not sold on is that this is the tall pair and my old ones are mid calf. Like I said, I wear them in the summer, so I am hoping they're not too hot. Noble Outfitters describes the boots as having "a moisture-wicking fleece lining for comfort on both cold and hot days." We'll see.
If nothing else, I'll get to buy a second pair for summer duty. I can live with that.
First off, yes, I like these tights/breeches. But who in the heck is that model and how much does she weigh because there is no way in a million years I'd tuck a shirt in with these.
For the record, I am fairly thin at 123 pounds, but at 5'3" I am not skinny. Being vertically challenged means the weight gets compressed into a small package. I chose the Ovation Aerowicks because they have belt loops which means I should be able to tuck stuff in and wear a belt. Less self-conscious ladies might do so, but not me. Proof below.
Unlike traditional full seats, these tights have definitely kept me cooler and drier on the warm days that I've worn them. But let me warn you, these babies give new meaning to the word "tights." They're super stretchy, and I love, love, love, the freedom of movement they give me, but they cling to every curve I've got. I probably should have gone for a darker color, but I was looking for something to help beat the heat.
These tights have a lot going for them that I do like. The pockets are what really sold me though. I don't ride with my phone, but I like it on me as I putter around the ranch doing chores. The Horze Juliet tights I bought last year don't have a pocket, something I really miss even though I love those tights. The pockets on these tights are big enough to hold my chunky phone, but when nothing is shoved in there, they lie flat and smooth against my thigh.
I also love the silicone seat, about which I am pretty picky. Some are just flat out too sticky. If I can hear the silicone ripping away every time I post, you've lost me. I've said this about 7 million times already; I want just enough texture on my full seats to keep me from sliding around, but that's all I want. And while I prefer a traditional full seat breech, they're just too hot for California's summer months.
I've been wearing this pair of tights for close to a week, and they look clean every time I pick them up off the floor. They were even dirty in these photos, but you can't tell. Even after laundering, they looked brand new. Will they still look good after 6 months? I am thinking they will.
I am still searching for that magical pair of tights that hides all of my lumps and bumps, possesses the perfect grip, has pockets, and comes cheap. These don't check off every box completely, but at $54.95 (less since I used a 20% off coupon), they are nearly perfect.
Next time I'm getting them in navy!
My equine purchases tend toward the need category. It's rare that I just spot something and decide to get it without first assessing whether I actually need it or not. Of course, most of the time I can justify things as needs. This time, not so much.
Over the weekend, Riding Warehouse shared on Instagram a photo of some new western shirts that they're carrying. While western wear is not really my jam, the hat caught my eye. I immediately fell in love. It's super cute, it's fun, it has my name written all over it. Do I need it? No, not really. I have two perfectly good straw hats hanging by my front door already.
Even so, I quickly searched Riding Warehouse's site and found the hat - Charlie 1 Horse Ladies' Vaquera Wild West Collection Hat. At $44.95, it's just a wee bit too expensive to throw in to meet a minimum purchase price for free shipping. It's also too expensive for an impulse buy on a month where I have a bunch of adult bills to cover (DMV registration, you suck!).
Do I still want the hat? Of course. Will I probably order it? Probably eventually. Do I hope someone will just buy it for me? Yes, please! Size small would do nicely.
I needed some retail therapy this weekend, so it's a good thing the sales were aplenty. There wasn't any particular reason as to why I felt the need to spend money that I shouldn't other than maybe being bummed out by yesterday's show being cancelled. And truthfully, I really should be using my money to chip away at Speedy's winter vet bill. I still owe $819.40, and I'll be adding to that on Wednesday when I take him in to have that pesky tooth pulled.
As I paid bills and budgeted for the month of June, I threw caution to the wind and hit the Place Order button. I just couldn't resist Riding Warehouse's Memorial Day sale. The 20% off nearly everything sale goes through today, so you've still got time to order.
I am pretty sure a hundred bucks isn't going to break the bank, and really, it's not like I went hog wild or anything. Most of it was stuff that I will be needing in the next month or so. Body Glide is a savior over the summer, and I throw in a bottle of Pyranha nearly every time I order, especially in the summer.
The Flaxen Flow is something I am using to see if I can keep Izzy's skin and coat better moisturized. I had Speedy on Platinum Performance's flaxseed oil for more than a year to help him with his weight. While I think it's a great product, it's pricey, something I've mentioned before. Flaxen flow is a lot cheaper. The first bag lasted three months. At $27 a bag, that comes out to $9 a month, well worth the price of experimentation.
Izzy's coat takes such a beating in the summer that I am experimenting with a couple of different products to see if I can keep his coat moisturized. The flaxseed oil is one of them. His coat has already lightened considerably over the past month, and I am beginning to think it's less from sun fading though and more from genetics. Maybe this is really his summer coat color.
The entire month of May has been cloudy and rainy. We've had longer daylight hours, but we haven't had the intense sunshine we typically get this time of year. Izzy's coat still lightened, but it's also a lot silkier than last summer. Is that because the sun hasn't burned it, or is the flaxseed oil keeping his skin and coat moisturized? By the end of this second bag, I'll know that it was working if his coat stays soft.
While I can sort of justify buying another pair of breeches - it's ridiculously hot here in the summer, and I NEEDED another pair of cooler riding tights; the three pair of tights I bought last year are still awesome but too big for my smaller self; I needed a pocket; the truth is that I couldn't pass up a pair of full seat tights for under $45. That's a great price, especially if I like them. They should be here on Wednesday, so I'll let you know what I think.
So? Anything you couldn't pass up this weekend? Or maybe you're heading over to the Riding Warehouse right now to get in on the bargains. Let me know what you got!
I've had my eye on the LeMieux Engage Breeches for a few months. When I first tried to order them in late winter, they were out of stock. They're now back, and I was finally able to grab a pair.
As it turned out, I ended up ordering them twice. Since losing so much weight, I just can't seem to figure out what size to order in anything. And we all know the sizing for breeches runs wildly erratic as it is. I already found that in the Ovation Aquas when I had to order a size 30. Just for the record, I am 5'3" and weigh 124 pounds. I would think that would put me in a smaller size, but nope.
When I ordered the LeMieux Breeches, I closely watched the video that Katie did, she works at Riding Warehouse. Katie looks a bit heavier than me (does the camera still add 10 pounds?), but she still ordered a 26. At 124 pounds, I thought that finally a pair of breeches were going to run true to size. When they arrived, I eagerly tugged them on but was disappointed in how snugly they fit. I like some room in my breeches, especially in the summer. I promptly boxed them back up and ordered the 28s.
While the 28s are a bit roomy, I've decided that I prefer some space in my breeches. It's so dang hot here in the summer that I need a place for some air to circulate. Even in the winter I like my breeches roomy as it's never actually COLD. So while they don't hug my hips and butt, I don't really want them to. Yes, I'd like to wear a 26, but I like air flow more.
Like every pair of breeches I own, I gave these a hard wear right out of the gate. I am not gentle on my breeches which means they have to be durable to get my approval. With that said, I don't want to walk around in chain mail either. I want my breeches sturdy, but lightweight, stretchy, but not baggy, stylish, but not expensive. I can be a bit of a hard sell.
I wore these breeches several days in a row, including one bareback ride. I have to say, they took a beating and came back looking relatively crisp and sharp for another day. Yeah, they have dirt smudges, but I cleaned water troughs, climbed in and out of the fence, and rode several different afternoons. I would expect them to look worn.
The fabric on the Lemieux breeches reminds me of a softshell jacket. Dirt, hay, and feed just brush off which I love as nothing annoys me more than having bits of hay and hair sticking to me. I also like the silicone full seat slightly better than the silicone on the Ovation Aquas as it's less sticky. I don't need to be stuck to my saddle. Just give me a little texture to keep me from sliding around, and that's all I really want.
The breeches are also quite stretchy, especially since the fabric is somewhat heavy. I am not sure how much I'll love them in the midst of our brutally hot summer though. The Ovation Aquas are MUCH lighter, so I may rely on them and the Horze tights I bought last year for our hottest months.
I also like the small details that give these breeches a bit of style. The contrasting color is fun but not so in your face that you have to wear a shirt that matches. While I try, some days I am just in too much of a hurry to coordinate what I am wearing. On those days you're likely to see me in green breeches with a purple shirt. Sue me.
The pleats on the front pockets add a bit of of interest, and the wide belt loops look good while being useful. The lycra panel on the leg bottoms keeps the breeches from riding up. Can you even buy breeches with velcro bottoms? And if so, why would you?
Overall, I'd buy the LeMieux Engage Full Seats again. They come in white and a blue that they call midnight/indigo but look more like azure/sky blue. Not sure I am digging that color, but maybe it's darker than it looks. While I might not be able to wear them in the dead of summer, there really aren't any breeches that are comfortable in our heat. I have my fingers crossed that the Ovation Aquas will be cool enough for our triple-digit days.
At $112.95, I think the LeMieux breeches are a great buy. They're sturdy, stretchy, impervious to hay and hair, and pretty fashionable to boot. And as a bonus, if you order them from the Riding Warehouse by June 1, you can get them 20% off with code RWEJ, and of course the shipping would be free.
That's a hard deal to pass up. Where's my credit card?
Congratulations to Kirrily. Hers was the name my husband drew for the Roeckl Melbourne Gloves and the $25 Riding Warehouse Gift Card. Thank you to everyone who commented. I only wish I could have sent everyone a pair of gloves, but Ellen Degeneres or Oprah Winfrey I am not.
I've been using the Melbournes every day for the past few weeks, and I have to say, these gloves are a great addition to Roeckl's already expansive line. The two things that I most enjoy are their weight - great for our summer heat, and that cuff. I never realized how often I have to pull back my gloves to see my watch.
Riding Izzy takes very quiet hands, so being able to glance down to check my watch without taking my hands off the reins has been a bonus I hadn't expected. Nice thinking, Roeckl!
Since I started this giveaway, I've had no less than two boxes delivered from the Riding Warehouse. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but if RW is not on your top 3 places to shop, you really and truly should give them a try. It's rare that they don't have what I need, and with their lightning fast shipping (I live two hours away) and readily available discount codes, I can't afford to shop anywhere else.
Speaking of which, I just placed another order while I was writing this. Love you/hate you, Riding Warehouse. Need something? Here's that 20% off code (it's good through June 1, 2019): RWEJ.
And just to sweeten the pot a little bit, the Riding Warehouse jumped on board with a $25 gift card!
It's no secret that I love Roeckl gloves. In fact, they're the only gloves I wear. Yes, I know they're a tad bit pricey, but they are absolutely worth it. They're long wearing, they feel like a second skin, and as a bonus, they look good doing it. So when Roeckl asked if I would take a look at their new glove, the Melbourne, I shouted YES!
Taken from Toklat's website:
The Melbourne was designed with eventers in mind. It has a long double-layer cuff and no Velcro for a bulk free wrist area, and allows one to wear a watch over their glove. The backhand is made with ECONYL® yarn, which is made entirely from regenerated nylon waste (such as fishing nets) and is infinitely recyclable without sacrificing quality. The palm is made of Roeck-Air, a thin but hard wearing material designed for both grip and breathability.
I am glad that Toklat explained the cuff because I was initially perplexed by the lack of velcro. After riding in them though, I appreciated being able to see my watch.
A little extra that Toklat didn't mention is the handy little pull strap located on the inside of the wrist. At first, I thought it was there to affix the label to the gloves. As I was riding though, I felt myself reaching down to give my gloves a little tug to reposition them, something I obviously do without noticing. Since the gloves have a cuff, it was too form-fitted to grab and tug. When I looked down in confusion, I noticed the little pull tab positioned right where I needed to pull to get my gloves in exactly the right place. Ingenious!
While Toklat asserts that the Melbourne Glove is designed for eventers, this dressage rider thought they were great. The same features that eventers enjoy appeal to dressage riders.
The grip on the palm is what I expect from a pair of Roeckl gloves: grippy without being tacky or too sticky. The fit was true-to-size, if not maybe a bit generous. Don't trust me on sizing though. Since I've lost more than 40 pounds, everything seems to be running big. I've typically worn a 7.5 in gloves, but I could have maybe gone down to a 7.0.
The material on the back of the glove is thin and stretchy and feels almost like a pair of tights. I love that the fabric is made from 100% recycled nylon waste. When I checked out Econyl's website, the company who makes the fabric, I was heartened to read that they rescue nylon products from the ocean and landfills, clean and purify it, and then reuse it.
The true test of whether or not I like a product is if I completely forget that I am evaluating it as I ride. The second I climbed into the saddle, I forgot to think about the gloves. Just like my Roeckl Lona's - the two-toned version, they feel like I am riding with skin to leather contact without damaging my skin. There was no bulk or anything to interfere with my "feel" on the reins. And because of the fabric on the back of the glove, they were also very cool during our recent hot weather.
There aren't a whole lot of vendors here in the U.S. selling the Melbournes yet, so if you're interested your best bet would be to buy them from Toklat ($59.95) who carries every single Roeckl glove. Other retailers who carry them are Adams ($59.95) or in the UK, Horze (€42.95). Or, you can win a pair here!
I rarely do giveaways, I think I've done four?, but this company makes a product that I truly love, so I am happy to spread the word. Since I don't do complicated, the rules for this giveaway are pretty simple.
1) Roeckl and the Riding Warehouse are giving away a pair of Roeckl Melbourne Gloves, black/size 7.5 and a $25 gift card, respectively.
2)The giveaway will run between Monday, April 22nd and Friday, April 26th.
3) Head over to Facebook and "Like" their page - Roeckl Equestrian.
4) Head over to Facebook and "Like" the Riding Warehouse's page.
5) Leave your email in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. No one else can see your email address.
6) Leave a comment describing your experiences (if any) with Roeckl and Riding Warehouse.
7) Since I like simple, over the weekend, I'll write everyone's name down on a slip of paper and have my husband pull a name out of a hat (or whatever I find laying around).
A few days ago, I reviewed the Ovation Aqua X Lightweight & Cool UV Full Seat Breeches. I need to update my review. These things are stinking AWESOME. They are so fabulous that I need them in every color. And lucky for me, they actually come in several additional colors which is why I needed to do an update.
Let me back up a bit. When I first reviewed these breeches, I lamented the fact that they were a closeout item. I hate finding a product that I like, especially breeches, only to find out that I've jumped on the bandwagon too late as they're disappearing from this earth, never to be heard from again. Just my luck.
Much to my delight, the fine ladies over at the Riding Warehouse let me know that only some of the colors were being discontinued while the rest would remain as a part of their regular inventory. Not only that, but they're adding colors this spring and fall. Be still my heart.
Besides new colors, there must be something else to necessitate an updated review, right? There is, and it's a good one. I generally wash my breeches after every one to three uses. In the summer, my breeches are only good for one, maybe two wearings. After that, they just stink beyond what I can stomach wearing. In the wintertime, I can get more wear out of them.
I have plenty of breeches. It's not like I need to stretch the wearings until laundry day. I just hate doing laundry. So when I started wearing my black pair of Ovation Aquas some time late last week, I was surprised when they still looked (and smelled) good enough for Saturday. And then they still looked good for Sunday's lesson. And then, with no exaggeration, I wore them again on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
Here's where I am probably going to lose you. When I woke up on Wednesday morning, it was freezing cold. I knew I would have my students out on the field practicing the high jump - it's track season, so I wanted to be comfortable. On top of that, I just couldn't face changing into my barn clothes later that afternoon while shivering in the feed room. With only a moment's hesitation, I pulled my heavily worn black Ovation breeches out of my barn bag and donned a (clean) black riding shirt. I topped those with a horsey-themed fleece vest and yanked on my Dublin river boots. Some lipstick and jewelry helped dress it all up.
And do you know what? Those breeches looked sharp! There was not a stray horse hair, stem of hay, or speck of dirt on those pants. There was no bagging at the knees or butt, nor any other indication that they had been worn every day for a week. In fact, once I was back home, I shoved them back into my barn bag to wear this afternoon.
If you need a new pair of breeches, I promise you, you will not be disappointed in these. If you're looking for a deal, there are still some of the discontinued colors/sizes available. And if that's not enough incentive, message me for a 20% off discount code.
You can bet I'll be stalking Riding Warehouse's page for the new spring colors. And since my first show probably won't be until April, I have enough time to get that white pair, too.
I've mentioned this several times already, but in case you missed it, I've lost a fair amount of weight - close to 40 pounds in fact. I actually need to write about that in a separate post as it has changed my riding in some ways. The reason I mention the weight loss is because it created some problems with my wardrobe.
None of my breeches fit anymore. And I don't mean they're a little loose. I could live with loose. They're so big that I can take them on and off without unsnapping them. They're so big that the butt sags in a most unattractive way. These are the same breeches that I used to suck it in in order to snap them closed. When I ride, the saggy butt bunches up and forms lumps under my seat. I had to order some new ones.
I discovered that this is not necessarily the best time to buy breeches. It seems like everyone is getting rid of their old inventory (cheap, but limited sizing) and bringing in new inventory (pricey). Since my body has changed so much, I've had a harder time finding breeches that fit my new shape, especially at the price point I was interested in. I am firmly in the $100 range, but will go up to $125 if something is just perfect. Speaking of which, I actually ordered the LeMieux Engage X-Grip Full Seats, but the backordered date got moved to March. That wasn't very helpful when your pants are falling off today.
So, I went with the Ovation Aqua X (silicone seat). Their price point is fabulous at $89.88, especially if you can find a pair in your size. The problem is that they're a closeout item which means if I totally love them, which I do, I won't be able to get more.
I wasn't sure I would love them, but they have quickly become a favorite. The first thing I noticed when I pulled them out of the box was the fabric. It feels like they would be water proof. In fact, while I was hosing out a bucket, I over-sprayed and splashed water down my leg. The water simply beaded up and rolled off. Bonus feature, for sure.
The fabric is also really stretchy without losing it's shape. The tag reads 77% Nylon, 16% Micro Nylon, and 7% Lycra. They definitely hold their shape without bagging at the knees or butt.
The other thing I noticed is that nothing seems to stick to the fabric. I've actually worn them for a week straight, and they still look clean with no hair, hay, or dirt sticking to them. The photos are actually after giving both horses a thorough grooming and riding Izzy for 45 minutes. There's not a spot on them.
I've only just started buying silicone seats, and so far, nothing has been too sticky. Once I sat in the saddle, I never even gave the grip a second thought. Silicone is definitely cooler than suede or leather, and with our brutally hot and extra long summers, I need all the cooling features I can get.
The mid-rise is where it's supposed to be, and the bottoms have a stretchy panel instead of a sock bottom - and no nasty velcro. They have front pockets but no rear pocket - I do love a rear pocket, and my C4 belts fit in the belt loops even though they look like they'd need a narrower belt.
I took a chance and ordered all three colors - gray, white, and black. The "features" really sold me.
My only complaint is the sizing. Before losing what amounted to a bag of beet pulp (doesn't that put weight gain and loss in perspective?), I was wearing a 32. Sure they were a little snug, but not uncomfortably so. All those pounds later, I was certain I was down to at least a 28 if not a 26. HAHAHA. Nope. Or at least not in these breeches. I had to go with a 30.
Overall, these are really nice breeches, despite the humbling sizing. My fingers are crossed that they'll actually help with our summer-time heat. And maybe those LeMieuxs will get here sooner rather than later.
You all know how much I value my trainer, Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables. First and foremost, her teaching is sound, and horses and riders improve under her tutelage. Almost as important is her ability to promote and maintain a positive attitude within her team of students. Team Symphony is pretty drama free; not something you always see amongst a group of dressage riders.
Just over a year ago she relocated from Simi Valley to Tehachapi which is just under an hour from Bakersfield - woot! woot! Moving to Kern County meant a new group of adult amateurs and juniors joined Team Symphony.
I already have Symphony Dressage Stables emblazoned on everything from shirts and a jacket to saddle pads to vehicle stickers and even on a license plate frame. I knew Chemaine's new clients might want to sport her team logo as well, so I offered to put together a shirt order from my favorite screen printer and embroider shop, New Generation Graphics.
And so began Operation Team Jersey. I am just gonna say ... wow, was that ever hard! Even though I sent everyone links to the shirts with pricing, getting everyone organized was like herding cats. Some wanted all of us to order the same color. Most wanted to choose their own color. Some wanted long sleeves, some short. We also have a man in the group which meant I had to find a shirt for him. I finally built a spreadsheet to keep everyone's preferences organized. Friday, the last two shirts arrived.
Because I know the fit well, I have at least five of them, we ordered the Horze Trista shirt. I like this particular shirt for a variety of reasons. It's flattering for a lot of different body types. It comes in many colors and two sleeve lengths. Equally important is that the price is low enough that paying extra for the printing didn't make the shirt unreasonably expensive.
We're putting Chemaine's logo on back of the women's shirts, but the men's style shirt will have the logo emblazoned on the left chest. We chose a metallic silver ink which should look good even on the gray shirts.
I took everything to the printer yesterday afternoon. I know everyone is eager to get their shirts, even me. I bought three!