From Endurance to Dressage
I know I am hard to buy for. In many ways, I think I am easy - if it's got a horse on it, I am all in. But I understand that finding horsey gifts that are more specialized to what I do is not so easy. Unless you are in my barn every day, you wouldn't know which show pad I've been eyeballing (Steffen Peters Dressage Show Pad) or which leg boots I am currently coveting (DSB Dressage Boots, of course!).
My parents want to get me stuff that I really want though, so my step mom will often send me a gift card to the Riding Warehouse. To me, that's a pretty personalized gift because I want EVERYTHING in that store. This year, my Dad and stepmom sent a card loaded with $100. Holy cow - it's easy to do damage with that kind of moolah.
I have been drooling over several new show coats. I have two already, a black and a gray, but the black one is feeling a lot frumpy, and I get tired of wearing the gray one every time. I was wanting something a bit more high tech or with a bit of bling. Guess what? I got both, and this one is in navy!
The Riding Warehouse was having an amazing 20% off most everything after Christmas sale (ends today), and the Romfh Bling Coat was already on sale from its original price of over $200. With the sale price, the additional 20% off post-Christmas sale, and my gift card, I paid a mere $20.29.
Had I known how wildly fantastic this coat is, I would have gladly paid full price. Even now I am considering getting it in black as well. It is seriously THAT nice.
First and foremost, a show coat needs to fit right to be fantastic. As soon as I slipped this one on, it felt like it was almost custom made for me. It's a tad bit long in the arms, but I suspect that once I am in the saddle, I am going to appreciate that extra bit of length.
Through the shoulders, it felt roomy without being boxy. And while my weight tends to go up and down every few years, I am at my heaviest again right now which means my 5'3 frame is carrying a few extra pounds. I chose a 10, and I am glad I did. If I were 15 pounds lighter, the 8 would have been fine, but I might have still wished for a bit more room.
This coat has all kinds of little features that make it true athletic wear. First of all, the fabric is beyond awesome. It's 91% nylon and 9% Spandex, and it's machine washable. This is the stretchiest coat I have ever put on. It doesn't just give. It s-t-r-e-t-e-c-h-e-s. This is what athletic gear should feel like.
The second feature I love is the hidden zipper. Thank you, Romfh. There is nothing worse than having your buttons threatening to burst open as you're saluting the judge. And this zipper is thick and sturdy. I also love that it is short and hidden right behind the buttons.
This jacket doesn't stop there though. The armpits are also vented. I don't know if they will actually provide any relief on a hot day, but I appreciate the thought. And while they're easy to see in this photo, they are not obvious when the jacket is on.
This coat has all kinds of bling that brings the level of sophistication up a notch. The collar and the pockets are all lined with tiny Swarovski® crystals. All of the buttons are also embedded with little navy blue crystals.
Somehow, the coat is also quite slenderizing. I think it might be because of the little flare the coat has. It's ever so slightly fitted through the waist but then it has that tiny flare which gives the rider a nice silhouette.
The Riding Warehouse no longer lists the coat on their site, which is a shame as it is a lovely show coat. It is available at a number of other online retailers though. If you're in the market for a quality coat, this might be what you're looking for. It is completely worth the $200 price tag.
SmartPak sent me this email the other day ...
I am definitely a careful shopper, aren't we all?, but I don't shop at SmartPak just for the USEF savings. I go where the deals and best customer service can be found. Even so, SmartPak's prices are usually very competitive and that extra 5% often times makes the difference.
I looked over my 2015 purchases just to see how I saved so much. Most of the $28 bucks was saved on Izzy's SmartPak; he gets a daily dose of Quiessence, a magnesium supplement. But since shipping is so cheap (free) at SmartPak, I found myself adding various things to the monthly SmartPak shipment. Yes, I know that's part of SmartPak's sales campaign, but it works for me.
The number one add-on was fly spray. Pyranha Wipe N' Spray is only $14.20 at SmartPak; it's $24.95 at my local feed store. Now that I think about it, just buying my fly spray at SmartPak rather than at my local store more than pays for my $55 USEF membership.
Did anyone save more with their USEF discount than I did?
Now if only the Riding Warehouse would offer the same deal ...
Nothing gets my little heart pitter-pattering like a box at the front door, especially one with Riding Warehouse written on. It's even better when I've forgotten that I placed an order!
This was that little order I mentioned the other day - my Black Friday splurge. It would seem that I need some lessons in the meaning and application of "splurge."
When I was heaping things into my cart, it sure felt decadent, but to see my little pile in person leaves me wanting more. That's okay, the bell boots were needed, and the whip has a delightful spring to it unlike my current broken one that is more like a soggy noodle.
I have to admit to being a teensy bit disappointed by the Second Level Whinny Widgets book. I've been using these since riding Introductory Level. The thing I most love about them is the diagrams of the movements. I am guessing that by Second Level there are too many movements to diagram as this book just has a blank "court."
I have a whole pad of blank courts and know where I can get more. I guess I am going to have to sketch it out myself - I can be pretty visual when it comes to memorizing. Oh well.
Having a box at the door is a great way way to begin the weekend. TGIF everyone!
December's sales drive me nuts. Why can't all of my friends and family be equine enthusiasts? It would be so easy to get my shopping done if everyone just wanted a new dressage pad or a pair of glossy DSBs.
Since they don't, I had to fill my shopping cart with all of the things that I would like to have but don't need. I am not buying them of course. Well, I am not buying all of them, but there are a few things that I am allowing myself to splurge on.
Like a new dressage whip. I know I've put this on a Christmas wish list already, but I need more than one as I am prone to ditching it during the middle of the ride where it then gets stepped on and broken. With the Black Friday discount, it's only $7.10. There is a $12.00 shipping fee because it's over-sized, but since it's practically free, who cares! I am getting it.
I am also getting both boys some new bell boots although if you're looking for gift ideas, one cannot have too many pairs of bell boots. Speedy wears a medium and Izzy wears extra large. Speaking of which, the Raplast has worked as Izzy's boots are still intact and on his feet. Even so, they do wear out so I want a back up pair on hand. The Black Friday price for these boots is $10.36 - what a steal!
I don't like to jinx myself by buying things ahead of when they're needed, (like show stuff - I am not buying a shadbelly, no matter how good the sale), but when I saw that the Second Level Whinny Widget was on sale, I didn't even hesitate. I have all of the USDF tests on one of my website's pages, but I am getting tired of having to open the page every time I want to know how a movement is ridden at Second Level. At $10.30, I think I can afford a bit of an impulse buy!
And that's where I am stopping. I did have a bunch of other stuff in the cart, but I put it all back on the shelf and showed some restraint. Do you remember how I said that if I had money left at the end of the month I was going to upgrade Speedy's USDF Horse ID to a Lifetime Registration Number? Well, there's money left, but not if I blow it all on stuff that I don't actually NEED.
Besides that, my husband is looking for Christmas gift ideas and my birthday is a week after Christmas. I've already told my husband what I want, so hopefully these two things will be either under the tree or wrapped in birthday paper.
The Black Friday sale price for the cart is $51.16 - I think I almost need two!
I shouldn't have to even explain why I want these. I mean look at them. Yes, I know that both Speedy and Izzy already have full sets, but these would be for the warm up ring at shows. And after much debate, I decided that I want black fleece with black gloss. These will look stunning against Speedy's white coat. He wears a small in front and mediums in the back. When you buy two or more, the Black Friday sale price is $28.76 - at that price I'd be tempted to also buy them in Silver with white fleece (hint hint!).
And of course, you can't have too many of these. Gift cards are always welcomed gifts, especially when they're for the Riding Warehouse.
Now I just need my friends and family to send me links for their own Black Friday wish lists. Did you resist, or is your cart full of awesome deals?
I wish my bank account's level of funds matched my level of enthusiasm for the Riding Warehouse. I truly love shopping with those ladies. The reality is that I only make so much money which means I can't have everything I want. And in truth, I already have everything that I need. That doesn't stop me from looking though.
Sadly, I won't be participating in Riding Warehouse's current super cool deal. Womp, womp. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but we're saving for next summer's vacation - two weeks in Italy. We've purchased our flights, but there are a lot of expenses still to cover.
If I were going to shop right now, there are more than a few things I've been eye-balling such as ...
There is more of course, so much more, but I am not greedy. Maybe Santa's a bit bored this morning and has been catching up on his blogroll. In any case, maybe you've got a bit of money to spend ... hope you find something you like!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. We're currently showing Third Level for the 2020 show season. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are schooling and showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2020 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2020 Pending …
10/11 A. Newcomb (c)
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
2020 Completed …
10/26-27/19 SCEC (***)
6/20-21/20 SCEC (***)
6/29 Ulf Wadeborn (c)
7/11-12 SLO-CDS (***)
7/27 Breen-Gurley (c)
8/30 Breen-Gurley (c)
9/20 Caveletti Clinic (c)
2020 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
2 Scores/1 Judge:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
3 Scores/2 Judges:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
Score 3: 61.750% Johnson
Stuff I Read