What to get the adult equestrian for Christmas

In Part I and Part II of this series, I detailed what to get your barn child and a youth/junior equestrian for the holidays. Now I am moving onto my age group – adults! Obviously these lists can cross over. I know quite a few adult riders that adore My Barn Child charms, and there may be some things on here that the junior or youth rider would want. These lists are just meant to be idea generators for those of you that have horse lovers in your lives but have NO idea what to get them. Or, you might be making your holiday list and aren’t sure what to ask for (a rarity in the equestrian world, I know).

– Back On Track Products: Back On Track makes products that are designed to work with a horse’s natural body heat to promote the health of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. I’ve used many of their products with great success on my horse who has mild arthritis and a sore back. Back On Track also makes human products that work the same way. They have a whole bunch of products, such as knee and ankle braces, neck braces, gloves, and long underwear (to name a few). My trainer who has lower back issues purchased the back brace after she injured her back over the summer. She used it while teaching lessons, and she recommends it to people who ask her about it. Adult riders are no strangers to riding related injuries (or is it old age? who knows), and Back On Track products are definitely great for helping alleviate some of the issues we may have.

Back On Track knee brace.

 

101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider: Gridwork is a great way to improve a rider’s and horse’s jumping skills. This book has tons of exercises that vary by experience level and by what the rider and horse are trying to work on. The exercises start with ground poles and work up to bigger, more complicated jumps. Each exercise includes tips, benefits, and how to know if the exercise has been successful. This is a great gift idea for a trainer or someone who wants to improve their jumping skills, whether they show in the hunters, jumpers, equitation, or just jump for fun! There are also two other books in the series for dressage riders, 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider, and 101 Arena Exercises for Horse & Rider, which is for English and Western riders.

101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider by Linda Allen.

 

– Professional Photoshoot: Many riders get professional photoshoots done with their horse or horses. These photos always coming out looking gorgeous, and I have been wanting to get one done with my horse and pony for a while. I am lucky enough to have a professional photographer in the family, so I will be having a session once this blustery, cold weather disappears. Buying a professional photoshoot package from an equine photographer is a great holiday gift for any equestrian. They will get to have a fun filled day of showing off their bond with their horse, and it comes with visual memories to last a lifetime. Professional photoshoots don’t always have to be done during the spring or summer months. Fall and winter photos are just as beautiful, and I’ve seen many gorgeous photos of horse and rider while the snow is falling! I am in the New Jersey area, and a great photographer to book is Naya Shim, who also graciously designed a holiday package for anyone who found her through this post. The package, which will cost $115 (excluding travel fees), includes:

  • One 1/2 hour session
  • Unlimited wardrobe change
  • Photo editing
  • 1/4 photos taken from shoot for free (amount of photos will vary depending on how much was taken that day)
  • A Naya Shim Photography sticker

To check out her work, you can visit her website here. Naya is located in central New Jersey. If you would like to book a shoot, make sure to mention The Legal Equestrian. Other photographers include: Horse Sense Photography (Georgia); Northern VA Equine Photography (northern Virginia).

Photo Courtesy of Northern VA Equine Photography (MacKenna). DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Photo Courtesy of Northern VA Equine Photography (MacKenna). DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION.

 

– Le Fash: I am a HUGE fan (addict?) of Le Fash clothing. They are the first crossover equestrian clothing brand meaning their clothes can be worn while riding and while working/going to school/running errands. I have a few of their shirts, and I personally have worn them with my work suits. Their clothes make it incredibly simple to change if you are rushing to a riding lesson, or just to ride, after work. Just pull off your pants and pull on your breeches! Le Fash just released its Spring 2015 collection which is gorgeous as usual. They also are offering a limited selection of junior size City Breeches, which are one size down from their smallest adult size. Their shirts are well-made and extremely flattering. I am always amazed by how well they fit. I’ve gotten tons of compliments – both at the barn and at work – on their pieces. Their City Breeches are also amazing quality and fit really well. Le Fash is worn by many top riders including Jen Alfano, the hunter queen, Maggie Jayne, who is well-known in both the hunter and jumper rings, and Hunter Holloway, who has seen great success in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings. If you can afford the price tag, definitely check out their clothing for that favorite adult rider in your life. They will certainly thank you.

Le Fash Sport Shirts & Upper East Side City Breeches.

Le Fash Sport Shirts & Upper East Side City Breeches.

Lauren Mahoney modeling the Pistachio CC Long Sleeve & Central Park City Breeches. Photo Credit to Le Fash.

Lauren Mahoney modeling the Pistachio CC Long Sleeve & Central Park City Breeches. Photo Credit to Le Fash.

 

– Mack & Jane leather cuff: Equestrian inspired jewelry is making the rounds, and I love these gorgeous leather cuffs from Mack & Jane. They are handcrafted in Pennsylvania and were recently included in swag bags at the Oscars and the Emmy Awards. The cuffs can also be personalized with initial charms. They are classy and beautiful, suitable for a fancy night out or as an accessory to a work outfit. The cuffs are a great way for any equestrian to express their passion for riding without being too over the top and tacky. If you are interested in these pieces, you can visit the Mack & Jane website here or email Jane for more information.

Mack & Jane Equestrian Inspired Leather Cuffs. Photo Courtesy of Mack & Jane.

Mack & Jane Equestrian Inspired Leather Cuffs. Photo Courtesy of Mack & Jane.

 

– Gift cards: Sometimes you just have no idea what your favorite adult equestrian might want which is where gift cards come in handy! You can get them one to their favorite tack store or simply get them an American Express, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover gift card that they can use anywhere. Equestrians always appreciate extra money, especially because we never know when our horse will need that emergency vet call or throw a shoe. Or may be simply want to splurge but don’t have the money because horses eat it all (yes, hay is actually money disguised as forage). No matter what the value of the gift card, it will definitely be appreciated.

Dover Saddlery gift card.

American Express gift card.

 

– Breeches: As I said in my teen gift list, a rider can never have too many breeches! There are many good quality brands out there, so I won’t name all of them. Another awesome thing is that many companies have invested in making plus size friendly breeches. Just like with injuries, aging also isn’t kind to weight loss which becomes harder after children are involved. There is a breech out there for everyone and every budget, and it’s just a matter of finding it! I personally like Tailored Sportsmans, SmartPak Pipers, and Le Fash. Other popular brands include Tredstep, Pikeur, Irideon, and Lo-Ride.

Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunter Low Rise Breeches in Redwood.

Pikeur Ciara Knee Patch Breeches in Anthracite.

Lo-Ride Breeches.

SmartPak Piper Breeches.

 

– Sports bras: This is probably a weird gift idea, but equestrians can always use more sports bras, so if you have the type of relationship with your equestrian friend/girlfriend/whatever, GET THEM SOME!! My favorite sports bras are from Old Navy. They’re good quality, true to size, and come in different styles. Also, if you sign up for Old Navy email alerts, they literally are always running some sort of crazy almost too good to be true sale. I’ve gotten 10 things from them before for $100 – yes, $10 an item, and I bought v-necks, sports bras, and jeans. If you’re on a budget and need something that will definitely be appreciated, these are definites on that list!

Old Navy padded sports bra.

 

Yoga for Equestrians: A New Path for Achieving Union with the Horse: As we get older, we sometimes get less flexible, less balanced… well, less everything. Yoga is actually a great exercise to assist with balance, flexibility, and working on our core strength which is really important for riding. This book has exercises designed especially for equestrians, and they will help any rider of any discipline. I have to confess I saw this book on the floor of my trainer’s car (she’s a major yoga junkie), and I decided to add this to the list. I have been wanting to start up yoga for a while because I’ve heard of its benefits for horseback riding (and I’m also a bit high-strung and tense at times). Whether you’re a beginner or a yogi master, these exercises specifically for improving your seat, communication with your horse, and even for when you’re on your horse or pony.

Yoga for Equestrians by Linda Benedik & Veronica Wirth.

Hopefully these lists have helped you pick something out for your favorite equestrian, no matter what their age or discipline. I can say with confidence that if you’re ever in doubt as to what your horse obsessed friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/sister/mother/brother/daughter/son/etc. will want, money or gift cards to a tack shop are always a safe bet.

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!

Must Have Equestrian Fashion Items for Fall 2014

City-Breech-Central-Park-SV

Le Fash Central Park City Breech.

1. Le Fash: I finally bought my first Le Fash shirt last year, and I am IN LOVE with it. I since have picked up three Le Fash long sleeve show shirts. I also own one of their short sleeve show shirts and two of their sport polos. Their Spring 2015 collection is being rolled out this month, and their new City Breech colors are already on the website. One of the greatest things about the brand is that their clothes are able to worn in day-to-day life. You could wear one of their shirts to work and only have to change into breeches when you get to the barn (I have personally done this – it works flawlessly). I love the versatility of the brand, and the designs are gorgeous. Le Fash clothes are 100% show appropriate and have already made their way into the show ring with sponsored riders Jennifer Alfano, Maggie Jayne, and Hunter Holloway. The Spring 2015 City Breech colors are to die for, and I will be purchasing the Central Park hunter green for myself. The new show shirt colors aren’t up on the website yet, but Le Fash has posted a preview to its Facebook page, and they look gorgeous!

Asmar Equestrian Active Compression Top.

2. Asmar Equestrian: I recently became a fan of Asmar Equestrian, and I have one of their compression shirts on order right now. Not only do they look super cute, but they serve a dual purpose: keeping muscles warm and wicking sweat away. I cannot wait to wear this in the fall, especially during those rides where I get super sweaty and then super cold once I’m done riding due to the cold temperatures. The shirt comes in black  and can be found here or here. There is also a lux compression top that looks amazingly gorgeous. You should also check out their show shirts and their sweaters! I just bought their Merino Wool v-neck in Caribbean, and I. love. it. Super comfortable, super soft, and very flattering! I pretty much love all their apparel.

Rebecca Ray Bit Belt in black.

3. Rebecca Ray Bit Belt: If you haven’t checked out Rebecca Ray already, you must do so. She has a ton of cute equestrian themed stuff like wrist cuffs, handbags, home decorations, and more. I have been wanting the Rebecca Ray Bit Belt. The belt comes in black, brown, or red leather with a silver snaffle bit. The belt can be buckled in the front so that the bit is on the hip or buckled on the side so the bit is in the front. This is a definite must have for the fall. I mean, who DOESN’T need more belts? (Seriously.. if your breeches have belt loops, wear a belt!) The bit belt can be found here or here.

Spur belt available at Equestri Lifestyle

4. Spur Belt: One of my favorite tack shops, Equestri Lifestyle, has spur belts that are super cute and fun. They come in 9 different colors (on the website), including black if you want to remain conservative. The belt buckle resembles a spur. I’ve seen a ton of different color combinations with these belts, and I love them all. Equestri Lifestyle allows special orders, so if you want a color not on the website or a certain material for the actual belt, they can accommodate you! I personally love the aqua, light patent pink, and black colors. These belts would go great with one of the Asmar Equestrian polos, a Le Fash show shirt, or an EIS mesh shirt!

Renard et Cheval show coat in brown. Photo Credit: Equestri Lifestyle Facebook page.

Renard et Cheval show coat in brown. Photo Credit: Equestri Lifestyle Facebook page.

5. Renard et Cheval: This is a fairly new equestrian apparel brand, but their stuff is gorgeous. Alexa Skonieczny who also owns Equestri Lifestyle gave me the rundown on this brand new line created by individuals that spent years making custom show clothing for Karl Cook, Marcus Enhning, and Nick Skelton. They offer breeches, shirts, and show coats. Their breeches come in two colors: pomegranate and tan. Their shirts come in multiple colors and have details such as magnetic collars, printed collars and cuffs, mesh under sleeve, and fun designs in the collars and cuffs. Their show coats (the brown is to die for) come in four basic “off the rack” designs. However, you can get a custom collar or a completely custom coat for extra money on top of the base price. The brand is still new, but it can be found at Equestri Lifestyle, Barrington Saddlery, Allon, and Stirrup Cup.

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My Barn Child Evil Eye charm.

6. My Barn Child Evil Eye Charm: For those of you that don’t know what the “evil eye” is, it is a curse that is cast by a malevolent glare that is given when a person is unaware. It is often thought to cause misfortune or injury to the person that receives it. It has different names in different cultures; my favorite being the “stink eye” which comes from Hawaii. To protect oneself from the evil eye, you can wear evil eye jewelry which is meant to reflect the evil eye back towards the giver and keep you from receiving the curse. While I know this sounds like a bunch of mythical lore, but I really like the concept, and I actually had an evil eye bracelet until I lost it riding one day. Given the stuff I’ve been dealing with recently when it comes to riding (lots of gossiping and competitiveness), I decided to get the My Barn Child Evil Eye charm to put on my saddle and protect me from any negativity and bad karma. Even though we may try to avoid it, riding can be extremely competitive and catty, and the evil eye charm is the perfect way to combat that (if you believe in protective talismans, that is.. which I definitely do)!

Under Armour Authentic Tights.

7. SmartPak Under Armour: Some of us aren’t lucky enough to be at a facility that has a heated barn and indoor ring.. or even an indoor ring. If this winter is anything like last winter, and sources say it will be, we are definitely going to need more winter clothing to keep us from freezing. Under Armour and SmartPak teamed up to make a line suited for equestrians. They have items for the cold and hot days, but I am just going to be focusing on the cold days. My favorites are the Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Crew, the Under Armour Authentic Tights, the  Under Armour Infrared Full Zip Jacket, and the Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Liner Glove. Each of these items uses your own body heat to keep your warm while making sure you also stay dry if you begin sweating. The tights and the glove liners are a great idea because you can wear them under your breeches and winter gloves for those extra cold days. I personally wore leggings under my breeches several days this past winter because it was that cold. We may hate the cold weather, but it’s something we have to deal with, so we might as well do it right!

Lillie Keenan & her Personally Preppy helmet monogram.

Lillie Keenan & her Personally Preppy helmet monogram.

8. Personally Preppy Monograms: I love the idea of monogramming, especially if multiple people at the same barn have the same stuff. Personally Preppy offers monograms for all the essential riding gear: helmets, gloves, boots, horse boots, spurs, and crops! You can also purchase monogrammed polos, a monogram for your show backpack, and a heat transfer monogram to put on your breeches or other apparel. They are customizable, and you can choose from a variety of different sizes, colors, and designs. Plus, Lillie Keenan uses them so what more do you need to know?

Ecolicious Equestrian Hey Sugar Lip Silk.

9. Ecolicious Equestrian Hey Sugar Lip Silk: Winter air is often very cold and very dry which is not necessarily the greatest combination for our skin or lips. My lips tend to get very chapped in the winter, especially because I still ride outside. My solution? Tons of lip balm. The Hey Sugar Lip Silk from Ecolicious Equestrian is AMAZING. Not only does it smell fantastic, it tastes fantastic too (not that I’ve been eating it………..), and it keeps my lips soft and moisturized all day. Just like every Ecolicious product, the lip silk is made from all natural ingredients like Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax. It’s great for your lips and great for the environment!

Parlanti Passion Miami boots

10. Parlanti Passion Tall Boots: I love my custom Der Daus, but I ride so much that I wanted to get a pair of schooling tall boots that didn’t break the bank. I decided to purchase a pair of stock size Parlantis over the summer. I got my pair, and they felt like they were broken in already even though I was putting them on for the first time! Mine do not fit me perfectly, but for stock size tall boots, they are pretty damn close which I cannot say about other brands. I love these boots, and they are amazing quality for a stock size boot. A size chart is available here. I have always heard great things about Parlantis, and these did not disappoint even though I did not spend the money to get a custom pair. Tall boots are a must have, especially if you will be showing. Not everyone can afford custom boots, so these are a great alternative. They are available here or here.

Gorgeous custom Samshield helmet featuring Alcantara body, Galuchat top, and Swarovski Zircom trim.

11. Samshield helmet: So, earlier this year I was obsessed with GPA helmets. Then I tried one on. None of them fit my head, and I quickly was over it. It seems as if Samshield helmets have been catching on lately, and I love them. I currently have a Charles Owen AYR8, and I am strongly considering purchasing a Samshield in the near future. Here’s what I like about the Samshield: it’s vented, so it will keep you cool in the summer; it has removable and washable liners; the padding does not make contact with your forehead which is GREAT news for migraine sufferers like myself; and the helmet itself is customizable (though some of the options will run you into the thousands). Samshields are available pretty much anywhere, so I can’t link you to all the available vendors, but you can definitely find them at SmartPak and Dover Saddlery.

Staying Cool When It’s Hot: 10 Summer Riding Tips

Currently, it is 93 degrees outside with a heat index of 102. The humidity is 54%. What does all of this mean? In one word: Disgusting. In a few words: It feels like a sauna outside.

Thankfully, it isn’t this hot everyday – otherwise I would never be able to ride! Nonetheless, here are some tips you can use to keep you and your horse cool on a hot summer day.

1. Wear light-colored riding apparel: Dark colors absorb sunlight more easily than light colors. Light colors will reflect the sunlight and keep you cooler. You can also keep this in mind for your horse. If the sun is beating down, and it’s hot, you might want to go for the lighter color saddle pad rather than the dark one.

Ogilvy Memory Foam Jumper Half Pad & Ogilvy Baby Pad.

Ogilvy Memory Foam Jumper Half Pad & Ogilvy Baby Pad.

2. Invest in some baby pads: If you use a half pad while riding, you may want to invest in some baby pads to put under the half pad. Baby pads are just like saddle pads except they are made of lighter material and thus will keep your horse’s back cooler when riding. If you do not use a half pad, then you should not use a baby pad with just your saddle. While baby pads are thinner, lighter, and cooler, they do not provide cushioning when used by themselves, so you will end up making your horse more uncomfortable. If you use just a saddle pad, I recommend the Lettia CoolMax Saddle Pads or the Ogilvy pads which have moisture wicking fabric on the underside. If you are looking for a good quality baby pad, I of course recommend Ogilvy profile baby pads, which also have moisture wicking fabric on the underside.

SmartLytes Pellets

SmartLytes Pellets

3. Make sure your horses are hydrated: At an absolute minimum, your horse should drink between 5 and 10 gallons of water a day. If your horse is a good drinker – great! If your horse is naturally a poor drinker, you will want to encourage water drinking on hot days (and on cold days too). There are several ways to do this. First, keep your horse’s water supply cool. Most of us don’t like to drink water that has been sitting in the sun, and neither do horses. Second, you can invest in an electrolyte supplement. Electrolytes will not only encourage your horse to drink water but also replace any minerals and electrolytes he or she has lost during exercise and sweating. I personally love SmartLytes by SmartPark. SmartLytes encourage healthy drinking, do not have unhealthy sugars, and mimic the the minerals your horse loses in its sweat. SmartLytes come in pellet or powder form, and you can even create a nice hot weather treat from the powder if you would like!

4. Focus on hydrating yourself too: We all know the importance of hydration for our horses, but oftentimes we don’t think of ourselves. When it is hot and you are engaged in physical activity, it is essential that you stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and passing out. When full dehydration hits, you can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, as your body is no longer able to cool off. Keep a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day and make sure you drink before, during, and after you are riding or doing barn work. If you don’t like water, you can put some lemon or lime in it to make it tastier and more appealing. Sports drinks can help replace lost minerals and electrolytes too, but make sure you choose a drink that does not have a lot of sugar content. Additionally, don’t confuse energy drinks with sports drinks. A drink with too much caffeine can actually hurt you in the heat more than it will help you.

5. Alter your riding time: During the summer, it might be a good idea to choose a different time to ride on hot days, if possible. For example, riding in the early morning or in the evening is more desirable than riding at noon when the sun is at its highest and strongest in the sky. If you are going to be doing heavy work or jumping, early morning lessons are much better and healthier for you and your horse.

6. Give your horse a bath: A cool bath after a ride can feel amazing to your horse. After riding, hose or sponge your horse off while scraping him off with a sweat scraper. Keep doing this until the water that is coming off of your horse is a normal temperature. Bathing your horse and letting him get hot while he is wet can actually be more uncomfortable than when he is dry and hot. Additionally, after bathing, walk your horse or graze him until he is dry. Putting him back in his stall while wet can cause him to overheat because of the confined space and already hot temperatures.

7. Get a stall fan: Stall fans are a great way to keep air circulating while your horse is inside. However, you should research the fan you will be buying and make sure it is appropriate for use in a barn. Using a stall fan can increase the risk of starting a fire if the wrong equipment is used. As an added bonus, increased airflow will decrease flies.

8. Consider night turnout: Some barns will actually turn the horses out at night when temperatures are cooler and bug frequency is lower. This may not be a feasible option for your horse or your barn, so it is important that you talk with your barn manager to see if this would be okay. However, there are some important things to keep in mind for night turnout. You will want to keep an eye on the weather, especially if thunderstorms will be moving through the area. If your horse does not have adequate shelter in his or her pasture, night turnout may not be the best option, especially if there will be storms. Also, night turnout means that horses will be unsupervised outside for a long period of time. If a horse gets hurt or sick, odds are that no one will discover it until the next morning. Finally, night turnout makes it a bit harder to monitor a horse’s vitals. For example, unless you are REALLY good at identifying which manure pile belongs to which horse, and will be willing to walk through the field each morning, you might not know if your horse’s poop has changed or if he or she pooped at all. This may be on the extreme side, but it is something to consider.

9. Wear sunscreen: This is a tip for both horse and rider! We already know that unprotected exposure to the sun can increase our risk of getting skin cancer, but did you know that it is beneficial for horses to wear sunscreen too? This is especially important for horses that have exposed pink skin or white hair. There are even sunscreens made specifically for horses, such as Healthy Haircare Sunscreen. You can also use baby sunscreen. For noses that are extremely pink and vulnerable to sunburn, you can get a fly mask with a nose protector: SmartPak Kensington Fly Mask with Removable Nose.

Le Fash Short Sleeve Show Shirt.

Le Fash Short Sleeve Show Shirt.

10. Buy summer-appropriate riding gear: There are many types of riding gear available for hot weather riding including shirts, breeches, socks, and gloves. My favorite summer weather riding apparel includes: Kerrits Ice-Fil Shirts; Le Fash Show Shirts; Heritage Pro-Flow Summer Show Gloves; Ovation CoolMax Zocks. Vented helmets are also available, like the GPA or Samshield. The Charles Owen AYR8 is also vented.