From Endurance to Dressage
I Really Like SmartPak
After tracking every single penny I spent on my horses last year, I've learned that I can wait on things that I want. Just because I want it, it doesn't mean I need it. Or that I should buy it.
This time of year is tough, though. Catalogs have been pouring in, including those with handsome equine faces on the covers. Resisting the American Shop 'til You Drop lifestyle can be difficult when it comes to all things equine.
I found myself flipping through the glossy pages this weekend. You see, Louisiana has a saddle, but no girth. I have several dressage girths and a long girth for my endurance saddle, but no girth for a hunter saddle. We borrowed one for the fox hunt, but I just don't feel right borrowing someone else's girth every time Louisiana rides.
So I started shopping. The ridiculous part is that Louisiana might never come back to ride; I doubt it as she has kept in contact, but still … what if? My fear of having a girth I'll never use outweighed my sense of propriety. I HATE borrowing something more than once. So, I bought a girth for a saddle that's not mine for a rider who I may never see again.
That's not to say I went all out and bought a nice girth; I didn't. I started by browsing the Dover catalog and found an Ovation that is in the same style as Speedy's dressage girth: fleece with elastic at both ends. I was all set to order it when I thought I should check out Ebay for some kind of going out of business, buy the last one now kind of sale. And surprisingly, I found the same girth a few bucks cheaper from Mary's Tack and Feed.
I put that girth in my shopping cart, but then thought I ought to go ahead and give SmartPak a quick peek as their barn shipping and return shipping are free. Plus, I get a 5% USEF membership discount off most items.
SmartPak did indeed have a better deal. It's their own brand of girth, but it comes with 217 positive reviews (with no bad ones) and an unbeatable price, $33.20 for USEF members.
Louisiana is off in Oregon visiting family, but I feel confident that once she returns after the Thanksgiving holiday, she'll be giving me a call wanting to go for a ride. Hopefully the girth will be here and we can hit the trail.
As a little post script, I also ordered Sydney a new dressage girth a few days ago. I currently use a lovely Professional's Choice fleece girth, but after the fox hunt last week, the fleece had a big tear. Not quite sure what happened. I couldn't find that particular girth, so I went ahead and ordered the same one that I use for Speedy G, but in a slightly large size!
I use that same Ovation girth. I had to buy a second one yesterday from Dover (we were in store) because Ashke has lost weight and there is no space between the girth and the saddle (can't get it any tighter if I needed to.) I got a 24". What size does Speedy use? Was that the same girth you were using on Sydney? It seems like it would be difficult to tear.
11/25/2013 09:35:33 pm
I use a 20" dressage girth for Speedy. I like a lot of room between the bottom of my pad and the top of the girth. I've also had to shop long and hard to find pads that aren't so long down his sides. For schooling, I use very square all purpose pads, but for show, I have a delightfully small dressage pad that is the perfect size!
11/25/2013 09:36:09 pm
Me, too! :0)
11/25/2013 09:37:27 pm
Nice to know - thanks! I usually trust SmartPak reviewers, but it's always a chance when it's not a "name" brand.
Comments are closed.
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. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. 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 showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: