From Endurance to Dressage
The Pied Piper being SmartPak.
You might remember that I reviewed SmartPak's Piper Breeches a few weeks ago. I didn't love them, but I was considering re-ordering a different size.
As it happened, SmartPak had another sale the day I posted my review. I just couldn't quit on those breeches; I liked everything about them except the fit. My plan was to order one size down and get them in the long. I am not sure why I expected this strategy to work for me. If something doesn't fit in my standard size, tweaking with the sizing rarely works. And a long? I'm 5'3" - no one has ever suggested I need a taller size.
I couldn't help myself though. I really wanted those breeches to be The One. I placed my order for a pair of Military Green Piper breeches in a 28L and kept my fingers crossed. When they arrived, I laid the 30s on my bed and placed the 28Ls over the top see how they compared. As expected, the 28s were about two inches narrower at the waist and about two inches longer.
As I slipped them on, I prayed fervently that the fit would be right. To my surprise, they did fit a lot better, but that pesky sag was still an issue. It wasn't horrible, no belt was needed, but I did feel the need to do the occasional hitch up.
The color was really nice, almost a deep forest color - I guess military green (more brown than green though) is the best way to describe them. I liked them … a lot. Since jeggings are so popular right now, I knew I could get away with wearing them to work, and what better way to test them out than by wearing them ALL DAY LONG.
I paired them with a pair of black boots (fashion, not riding), a swooped-front, clingy black cardigan, and a white cami/tank. It was a really cute outfit that garnered several compliments. And you know, once I got to work, I found the breeches to be really comfortable. They needed to be hiked up every now and then, but so do lots of the jeans that I wear.
When I got home after work, I switched out of my top and kicked off my fashion boots. I threw on my paddock boots and was off to the barn. If nothing else, wearing your breeches to work is definitely a time saver. I had a lesson that afternoon, so those breeches got a full trial - all day at work followed by a ride. I wore them for more than twelve hours that day.
I liked them so much, aside from the occasional need to hike them up, that I got on the phone with SmartPak that night and asked what we could do to trade in the already worn and laundered 30s. I know SmartPak says they take anything back, but there is some fine print. Since they can't resell them, they offered me a partial credit. We negotiated the credit based on what I had paid, which I considered fair.
The credit was in my account before I could even return the larger pair of breeches. I packaged them up and sent them off, and then I re-ordered the anthracite with electric coral - they were just so darned cute, and then I went ahead and bought the navy with teal. I know. I am shaking my head in embarrassment; I don't know what came over me.
Can you hear that? I am sure it is a lilting tune from a flute that I hear ...
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%: