What to get the teen equestrian for Christmas

In Part I of our Christmas series, we named some awesome items to get a child equestrian for Christmas. In Part II, we will give you some ideas to get a junior or youth rider! Part III will be dedicated to adults, and then I will let everyone know what was on my personal Christmas/birthday list.

– Breeches: You can NEVER have too many breeches, and there are tons of styles and colors out there so the possibilities are endless. Popular brands right now include Tailored Sportsman, SmartPak Pipers, Annie’s Equestrienne, Tredstep, and Le Fash. Each has their own price range, so there is truly something for every budget. Tailored Sportsman recently released two tone breeches that have been coveted by many Twitter equestrians. They are available at Willow Equestrian.

SmartPak Piper Breeches in emerald/navy.

Annie’s USA Tardis breeches.

Le Fash City Breeches in Central Park; available November 15.

Tredstep Symphony No. 3 breeches.

 

– Half pad: There are many half pads on the market, and there are quite a few ones that stand out more than the others.  Ogilvy & EcoGold half pads are the two that come to mind. EquiFit has also broke into the half pad market with its newest product, the ImpacTeq half pad. Each half pad has its own distinct following, so it’s probably best to consult with your teen rider before purchasing one. Each of these half pads also comes in different colors and models. As everyone knows, I am a personal fan of the Ogilvy half pads (who will be coming out with a line of pads for western and polo riders!). However, that’s not to say the other options aren’t just as good. Do your research and select what you think would best work for your horse! This is the perfect gift for a rider that spends their time riding a bunch of different horses or ponies. Each of the half pads mentioned will help fix minor saddle fitting issues, allowing the rider to use his or her own saddle on a bunch of different horses!

Ogilvy MemoryFoam Jumper Half Pad.

Ecogold Jumper Flip Half Pad.

EquiFit ImpacTeq Half Pad.

 

– Fly bonnet: Custom fly bonnets are very popular especially in the jumper ring, and like most other equestrian products, there are many companies to choose from. If you are looking to go high end, there is De La Coeur. Custom Fly Veils is another popular company that doesn’t sacrifice quality even though their bonnets are less pricey. Custom Bonnets is yet another great company. You can also find other fly bonnet vendors on Etsy, as well as at tack stores. This is perfect for the rider that is getting into the jumpers and starting to come up with his or her own look for themselves and their horse!

De La Coeur fly bonnet in chocolate with blue & white trim, & double crystals.

EquiFit Ear Bonnet.

 

– Tack cleaner: It is never too late to get a rider into the habit of cleaning his or her riding equipment on a daily basis. Keeping tack clean and well-oiled keeps it lasting longer, looking like new, and prevents the build-up of mold, dust, and other environmental substances that will eventually eat away at the leather. Taking care of leather boots – that most likely cost a small fortune – is also imperative. No one wants to go into the show ring with dirty boots! There are many types of tack cleaner on the market, but my personal favorite is Higher Standards Leather Care. The best part about this saddle soap and leather balm is that it comes in different scents, which is quite unique for a leather cleaner. My personal favorite is the vanilla and lavender scent, but they have a ton of different options on their website. They even debuted a Christmas-specific scent called Sugar and Spice. This leather cleaner really cuts into the grime, softens the leather, and keeps it look conditioned, shiny, and new. Best of all, it doesn’t have a sticky after feel. I highly recommend it and use it to clean all my tack, including my paddock boots and half chaps!

Higher Standards Leather Care saddle soap.

 

– Skin wipes: These are amazing to keep in a car or travel kit, especially when a long day has been spent at the barn or at a horse show. These are useful both in the winter and summer as there are many skin care wipes on the market that control oil and shine and/or moisturize. I am a personal fan of these skin care wipes which I get from my favorite store at the beach and can also be ordered from the face wipes company’s website by clicking here. They have five different scents, each of which has a specific benefit for your skin. Pro tip: Keep face wipes in the refrigerator during the summer. Using them cool is a refreshing way to cleanse your face and cool down at the same time!

Beauty Treats Green Tea face wipes.

 

The Bible Hunter Seat Equitation, by George Morris: Every equestrian must read this book. This book, written by George Morris – the king of our discipline – goes through everything a rider needs to know from the very basics to more advanced jumping and riding techniques. He even includes a part at the end that discusses appropriate turnout for showing which is a must for every rider that eventually wants to make it to the higher level hunter and equitation classes. This book has helped me understand concepts I wasn’t quite getting on the first try, and I’ve also found that things my trainer had been trying to drill into my brain for years were endorsed by Mr. Morris himself. This book is a must have for any horse junkie. You’ll quickly see why it’s sometimes referred to as “The Bible” in our sport.

Hunter Seat Equitation by George Morris.

 

– EIS Shirts: I love these shirts. They are functional, come in awesome colors, and are versatile enough to be worn on warm or cold days. On a warm fall day, I can wear this shirt alone. On a colder day, I can layer it. The sleeves have a mesh underside to allow air flow, but they’re not so airy that one will get too cold. EIS also just released a heating shirt that keeps your body temperature about 5 degrees while you are moving around. I have one on order and will be doing a review on how effective this shirt is, but I have high hopes. It seems like it is going to be a cold winter, so shirts with heating technology built in are a must have for winter riding, even if your barn has an indoor. Whether you buy the heated shirt or the regular EIS, they are a must have for any fashionable equestrian.

EIS Shirt.

 

– Belts: Wearing breeches or jeans with belt loops but having no belt is a major equestrian fashion faux pas. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to look professional and trendy. There are tons of belts on the market, each catering to a different price range. From Tailored Sportsman to Deux Cheveaux to Tory – there really is a belt style for everyone. Nowadays, belts are starting to come in different materials and colors making it possible to always match one’s belt to one’s riding outfit. I don’t think any rider would say he or she has too many belts. Here are some of the most popular styles today that you could get for your favorite junior rider! There are many places that sell belts that any western youth rider would love to. Check out It’s A Cowgirl Thing, SmartPak, and Harris. Note: There are way too many popular belts than I have space for this article, so Googling “equestrian belts” is sure to give you some good and varied options.

Deux Chevaux “Ride” Belt.

Tailored Sportsman Quilted “C” Belt.

Tory Leather Clincher Belt, available at SmartPak.

SEREIN Custom Belts, available at Equestri LifeStyle.

Nocona Western Rhinestone Belt from SmartPak.

 

– Saddle: By now, the junior/youth rider is probably finished growing, and they are probably yearning for that one special saddle that makes them drool. There are many high quality saddle companies out there, and different riders have different tastes – but one thing is for certain: we all would love a gorgeous saddle to call our own. Some of the most coveted English brands include CWD, Antares, Voltaire, Hermes, and Butet. Some of the most coveted Western brands include Harris, Dale Chavez, and Blue Ribbon.

CWD saddle.

Harris saddle.

Butet

Butet.

 

– Snaffle bit jewelry: Snaffle bit jewelry is super popular lately, and I personally love this ring by Luv Inspired. It comes in three different metal types: sterling silver, gold, and rose gold (which is my personal favorite). There are many other equestrian-themed pieces available at Luv Inspired, so definitely go check them out. If you don’t have the money to spend on a Luv Inspired piece, you can also check out these other snaffle bit jewelry makers that are a bit more affordable: Etsy and Snaffle Jewelry.

Luv Inspired Bit By Bit Ring.

Luv Inspired Bit By Bit Ring.

 

– Personally Preppy Monograms: If you don’t monogram your equestrian items, do you really own them? Personally Preppy makes it easy to monogram just about anything – your helmet, horse’s boots, and even breeches! You can customize your monogram with different colors, font styles, and sizes also. Personally Preppy recently launched their brand new website, including a few new items like Samshield monogrammed gloves. This is one of the latest trends in the equestrian world, and there are many different businesses that offer monogramming services, but what makes Personally Preppy unique is that you are simply buying the monogram sticky and can put it on whatever you want! Personally Preppy is also used by some high profile equestrians, including Lillie Keenan. Trust me – this is something your favorite equestrian would want, and it’s super affordable too!

Lillie Keenan & her Personally Preppy helmet monogram.

Lillie Keenan & her Personally Preppy helmet monogram.

Personally Preppy monogrammed polo wraps.

 

– A spa day: This is out of the ordinary – or is it? Riding horses takes a toll on our bodies. We often end up developing issues we shouldn’t develop until we’re about 45. But, we make sacrifices for this sport. A spa day is a wonderful thing in an equestrian’s world. This can mean a massage, a facial, a mani/pedi, or all of the above. Massages are great for getting the knots out of our tight muscles. A facial will definitely help with the gunk our skin endures on a daily basis – you know, dirt, dust, horse boogers, etc. A mani/pedi… well, they might not last long, but at least our fingers and toes will look cute until we go to the barn again.

Check out this super awesome equestrian themed manicure from Nailed it NZ!

– Money: This might seem a bit shallow, but equestrians can always use more money, whether its for lessons, showing, an unexpected but much needed new horse item (can anyone say ‘my horse shreds his blankets’?) or an emergency vet fund (which is something we should all have, if possible). If you don’t know what to buy your favorite horseback rider, giving them cash or a gift card to their favorite tack store is just as good as getting them an horse-related item. That way, they can use the cash or gift card the way they want to, and you don’t have to risk buying them something they might not like and/or use.

SmartPak Gift Card.

 

Every equestrian is different, so these are just a few ideas for the youth or junior rider in your life. Make sure to ask them for their Christmas list – they might have thought of something they want that isn’t on this list! And, if you’re really stuck, a nice horse in the rider’s preferred discipline is always a safe option – happy shopping!

SmartPak Haul!

As most of you know, I am graduating law school later this month, and my parents have gotten me quite a few things as graduation presents. One of those things was originally going to be a GPA Speed Air. I tried it on a few days ago, and the helmet did not fit my head right. I tried several different sizes with my hair up and down. With the GPA helmet out of the running, I decided I would just get a bunch of stuff from my favorite tack stores. I am still waiting on a few things, including a brand new Ogilvy half pad cover (yes, I’m addicted), but my SmartPak order came in today!

SmartPak Items

SmartPak Items

Clockwise from top left: Bradley Performance Short Sleeve Show Shirt in white with blue lining; SmartPak Piper Breeches in black with white lining; Back On Track hock boots; Kerrits Ice Fil Mesh Tank in coral; Ariat Prix Sleeveless Polo in cherry; Heritage Pro-Flow Summer Show Gloves; Tailored Sportsman Full Monty Belt in orange.

I also got a pair of EquiFit T-Boots for my green bean who LOVES to jump and will be doing the jumpers this summer to start off his show career! They are not pictured because I tried them on him this evening to make sure they fit.

If you do not already own a pair of Piper breeches, you must get them. They are amazingly comfortable, fit well, and are very durable. They also come in all sorts of awesome color combinations. I own several pairs of Piper breeches including the maroon ones, the emerald ones, the coral ones, and now the black ones. They run a little big, so if you are in between sizes, I would size up. I’m the smallest size available, and they are still a bit large on me, but just in the leg area. It’s not so much that I can’t wear them or that it’s noticeable.

I also own the Kerrits Ice Fil Mesh Tank but in purple. It actually does keep me cool in the summer. The cool technology does not get lost once it is washed either. I usually let the shirt air dry. I really love the coral color! I like to ride in sleeveless shirts when it gets super hot. I am very sensitive to the heat, so tank tops work best for me when it gets really hot. I also hate having a farmer’s tan. Along with the Kerrits tank, I own the Ariat Prix Sleeveless Polo in navy, so I got another one except in the cherry color.

I got the Back On Track hock boots for my lease horse who has some arthritis in his hocks. He requires hock injections every 6 months if he is not on a joint supplement. I currently have him on SmartFlex III, but I will be using the hock boots as a special treat, especially after jumping lessons. I also already own the Back On Track back pad, which has been AMAZING for his sore back. He really loves the Back On Track products!

If you are interested in any of the items in my haul, they can be found below:

10 “Urge to Splurge” Equestrian Items

The title of this post is probably slightly humorous considering pretty much everything in the horse world is a lot of money, but it is possible to get horse-related items that don’t burn a hole in your wallet. Just like everything else, there’s $22 breeches and $300 breeches. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to spend whatever we want for the things we need for ourselves or our horses while others need to budget and search for bargains while making the occasional splurge. Here are 10 items that you should consider if you get that urge to spend a bit more money than you’re comfortable with.

Der Dau Tall Boots.

  1. Der Dau Field Boots: These boots are well-made, comfortable, and durable. Manufactured in Brooklyn, Der Dau has been crafting quality equestrian boots for about 50 years. I’ve heard nothing but good things about these boots, including that they’re extremely easy to break in. Even those that buy the stock sizes have said they feel like customs. I am actually waiting for my pair of Der Dau customs to arrive. I ordered them in December, and I was told they would be here by the end of January or early February (3 – 4 weeks to go..). Stock sizes are listed for around $900, and a pair of customs will easily take you into the mid to upper-1,000 range and higher. There is quite a bit of variety in the stock sizes, so it should be fairly easy to find something that fits you. If you want to splurge even more and go custom, Der Dau has TONS of options available. My custom fitter told me that a lady asked for purple alligator trim on hers. If that isn’t enough, there are also options for the inner calf that include elephant skin, which I did not get. I went with something simple and classic because I wanted it to be show-appropriate, but if you’re all about getting colored alligator skin trim on yours, then go right ahead!

    Photo credit to SmartPak Equine.

  2. Rambo Supreme Turnout: This blanket retails for over $325. If my horse wasn’t so destructive with his blankets, and I had a spare $300 laying around to spend on a blanket, I would buy this for him. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s how handsome the horse looks in the picture, or the fact that the blanket comes in awesome color choices, or that it just looks so damn high-tech, but I am in love with it. It comes in three different weights – no fill, medium fill, and heavy fill. It comes with a removable neck cover, three surcingles, leg arches, and reflective stripes, among other things. It’s outer shell is made of 1000 denier ballistic nylon, which is pretty much the toughest, most durable fabric you can get for an equine turnout blanket. It’s the same stuff that SmartPak uses in its ultimate turnout that comes with a 10-year indestructible guarantee (but it has much cooler colors, if you’re someone who likes to get cool colors on your horse’s clothing, which I am). Major splurge, but it would be worth it.

    Le Fash Financial District City Breeches

  3. Le Fash: If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve been fiending over a pair of Le Fash’s new City Breeches. These breeches are more high-end than some of the most expensive breeches out there and are extremely well-made. They are extremely versatile and can be worn as everyday pants. The City Breeches are slimming, low rise, and stretchy. There are  five color options: Gotham City, which is black; Upper East Side, which is traditional tan (perfect for the hunter ring!); Soho in the Spring, which is white; Tribeca City, which is teal blue; and Financial District, which is grey. Each color choice has saddle brown knee patches and can be purchased with gold front and back pocket rivets. The breeches are manufactured in New York City (not too far from the Brooklyn-made Der Daus). I personally would love a pair of the Financial District breeches. This is an absolute must have for Spring 2014, especially if you are into equestrian high fashion. Those who were lucky enough to snag a preorder pair should have theirs by mid to late February. They are available to two price points, $298 for the breeches without pocket rivets and $308 for breeches with pocket rivets. Pricey, but totally worth it! I also adore Le Fash’s show shirts which come in a variety of unique prints and colors.

    Ogilvy Memory Foam Jumper Half Pad on my pony.

    Ogilvy Memory Foam Jumper Half Pad on my pony.

  4. Ogilvy: After hearing all the rave reviews about their half pads, I finally splurged on a jumper half pad this past November. I ordered the memory foam jumper half pad, available here. It finally arrived this week (custom orders take a bit longer), and I love it. I decided to invest in the Ogilvy half pad because it is known for making saddles fit any horse beautifully. I got to use my pad for the first time yesterday, and I loved it. I have a saddle that was custom fit to my horse, but I used the half pad with my saddle on my pony, and when I schooled a lesson horse at my barn. The pad made the saddle fit beautifully. It looked sleek, professional, and was super soft. I got a white half pad with embroidery on the withers, but I found out from an Ogilvy representative that I could order a cover that I could switch out with the white cover if I wanted more of a color pop, which I will definitely be doing. I also received the memory foam hunter contour pad for Christmas, which I have used a few times as well. The jumper half pad has a base rate of $199, and the price goes up depending on any custom options added to the order. The contour pad has a base rate of $290, and the price goes up depending also on any custom options added. I am a huge fan of these pads already, and I know many equestrians that have splurged on these pads not just for the comfort of their equine friends but also for their own comfort. The pad is anti-slip, moisture wicking, and breathable. It provides special impact protection for the horse’s and rider’s back. It also is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and stain resistant. I definitely will be using this pad on every horse I ride. It doesn’t hurt that this product is used by some well-known big name equestrians like Lillie Keenan, Reed Kessler, and Ian Miller. There are options for hunter, jumper, dressage, and eventing riders. You can also get something for your canine!

    My Butet saddle.
    Note: I have different stirrups on now which can be seen above in the Ogilvy pad picture.

  5. High-end saddle: I did a survey on my Twitter page, and many people stated they would splurge on a high-end saddle. I got a new saddle for my birthday last year and chose a custom fit Beval Butet. It cost quite a bit of money, but was totally worth it. My trainer, who has to ride in her own saddle (she calls herself the princess and the pea), loves my saddle and agrees to ride it in over her own. My barn manager said she hates her older Beval’s saddle now that she’s ridden in mine. Other names that were thrown around were Antares, CWD, Voltaire, and Devoucoux, and one of my Western rider followers said a custom Harris saddle! After riding in school saddles for most of my life, the saddle comfort can make a HUGE difference in one’s ride. School saddles make me hurt in all sorts of uncomfortable and awkward places, and now that I have the Ogilvy pad (see above), I’m thrilled I can use my own saddle on any horse I ride.

    EquiFit LUXE T-Boots.

  6. EquiFit T-Boots: These are my dream boots. I do not have a need for them right now, but when I finally have my fancy show horse, I will be investing in these. They provide excellent support and protection for your horse’s legs. They also do not contain neoprene, which has been known to have trouble getting rid of heat. Have you ever felt the inside of these? I would wear them! They’re that comfortable and soft. They kind of remind me of orthotics, except for horses.

    Parlantis.

  7. Parlantis: I know I already have one pair of boots on here, but if I had a ton of money and could have multiple pairs of tall boots, I would definitely get a pair of Parlantis. And, when I do have a ton of money, my second pair of tall boots will be Parlantis. When I customized my Der Daus, I stayed classic with what I chose, but I probably would splurge and get some Swarovski crystal accents on my Parlantis. I mean, if I have enough money to invest in two pairs of custom tall boots, I might as well have fun with one of them, right? Whenever I see these boots on a rider, I love them.

    Spooks Show Jacket – Ocean Blue.

  8. Spooks Show Jacket: I am a huge fan of colored horse and rider clothing, which is obviously a bit more acceptable in the jumper ring. If I could splurge on a show jacket for the jumper ring, I would hands down get this one from Spooks. I love anything blue, and this is just an amazing coat. The color really pops, and it would really make a statement in the show ring. I can just imagine all the combinations a rider could do with saddle pads, Ogilvy half pads, show shirts, show jackets, etc. The coral one is also amazing. I’m just in love with these jackets, and I’d probably buy all of them if I could. My number one pick though is definitely the ocean blue color. Must. Have.
  9. Olympic Size Indoor Ring: I’m kicking it up a notch here, but I am currently at a barn without an indoor, so this long stretch of cold/snow/rain/wind/yuck is really putting a damper on my winter riding. It also would be complete with hunter style and jumper style jumps. I grew up without an indoor, so I do love riding outside, but I get kinda irritable if I have to go a week without riding, so an indoor is sort of becoming a must have. Maybe this is a bit unrealistic, but this is my splurge list so I’m gonna dream as big as I want… which brings me to my final equestrian splurge…
  10. Hunter/Jumper/Equitation Import: Raise your hand if you wouldn’t love to have an imported warmblood…. no one? That’s what I thought. I’m currently in love with dapple grey and chestnut warmbloods. Trakehners, Dutch Warmbloods, Hanoverians.. give me them all. It’s pure torture for me to go on BigEq.com and see all the amazing horses that are for sale, but it gives me motivation to do what I can to make a ton of money so that I can afford that $100,000+ warmblood. In case you want to stare at your computer screen and drool too, here’s a few that I’m trying to wish into my life: Over Achiever, Sinatra, Nero, Springsteen, Wister, and the horse I would buy in a heartbeat, EnzoNote: I had to cut myself off at 6 because there are just way too many horses I love on that website, and that’s just one website. Yikes.

That’s my list. For now.

Let me know what you think! What’s one of your must have splurge items?