From Endurance to Dressage
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.
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 Second Level. 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%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read