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:

A look inside my wishlist…

I’ve got a few items on my list that I would love to have right about now (who doesn’t?) My list tends to change based on my or my horses’ needs, equestrian trends, and my mood. That being said, here are a few things I would like…

Butet Natural Saddle. Photo Credit to Beval.com

1. New medium tree saddle: My two boys are very wide, so my wide tree Butet fits them perfectly. However, I would love a medium tree Butet, or if I have to bring myself down in price range, I’ve been seriously considering the Butet Natural saddle. I haven’t sat in it yet to see how comfortable it is, and to be honest, nothing can beat the love at first sight I (and my butt) had when I sat in the Butet, but it’s worth a look. But really.. let’s hope my parents will get me another Butet for graduation.

Tailored Sportsman Quilted Clarino Belt in Dusty Blue. Photo credit to DoverSaddlery.com

2. Tailored Sportsman Quilted Clarino Belt: I am in love with this belt especially because it comes in all sorts of colors. I also just recently got the spring Dover Saddlery catalog, and their Tailored Sportsman section was torture. They matched the dusty blue color with a color shade of TS breeches that I currently own, so obviously I had to have the belt too. Plus, I love anything blue.

SmartPak Piper Knee Patch Breeches in Navy/Emerald. Photo credit to SmartPakEquine.com

3. SmartPak Navy/Emerald Piper Breeches: I already own a pair of these in the Merlot color, but they recently came out with several new colors that I adore. However, if I had to pick just one, it would be the navy/emerald. I can’t explain it – I just love this color combination! Plus, I think they would look amazing with my tall boots.

LuvInspired Infinite Luck Equestrian Ring. Photo credit to LuvInspired.com

4. LuvInspired Infinite Luck Equestrian Ring: If y’all haven’t checked out LuvInspired yet, you must go there now. Their jewelry is equestrian-themed, classy, and beautiful. I personally love this ring. I am super excited they offer it in rose gold because that is my favorite jewelry metal right now. I have a few equestrian related pieces of jewelry, but this one is super unique. Plus, LuvInspired is all about positivity and making women feel beautiful no matter what, which is a really important message, especially in this day and age.

GPA Speed Air Helmet. Photo credit to DoverSaddlery.com

5. GPA Speed Air / Samshield Helmet: So I confess I actually cannot figure out what helmet I want. I have polled my Twitter followers, and I’ve gotten mixed answers (though majority of people did say Samshield). Both of these helmets are very trendy right now. I personally love that the Speed Air is vented, which would really help during hot summers. I own a Charles Own AYR8 right now, which I love, but everyone could use a change now and then, right?

Ashlee Bond Clarke matches her nails to her Ogilvy. Photo Credit to OgilvyEquestrian on Instagram.

Ashlee Bond Clarke matches her nails to her Ogilvy.
Photo Credit to OgilvyEquestrian on Instagram.

6. Grey Ogilvy Jumper Half Pad with Turquoise Piping: So.. I literally just ordered a half pad cover for my current half pad, and there’s already another color combination I’d like. I actually forgot about this combination when I was ordering my cover, but that’s okay – I’ll just have to order another one soon! I’ve seen this color combination on Ogilvy’s Instagram, but I love, love, LOVE the above photo from Ashlee Bond Clarke (who also just happened to win the AIG $1 million Grand Prix last night). I mean, seriously, how could you not want that pad after how stylish Ashlee Bond Clarke just made it?! Also, for those of you thinking it, yeah.. I have an Ogilvy addiction.

Le Fash Navy & Plaid Show Shirt. Photo Credit to Twitter.com/LeFashNY

Le Fash Navy & Plaid Show Shirt.
Photo Credit to Twitter.com/LeFashNY

7. Navy & Plaid Le Fash NY Show Shirt: I love this color combination, and I am hoping to get my hands on one as soon as Le Fash posts it on their website. It was also worn by Lauren Mahoney in a Horse Junkies United interview with Arianna Vastino, who is the founder of Le Fash. Le Fash show shirts in general are a great investment, and I have heard they hold up well, are super soft, and are of great quality. They also will be selling short sleeve show shirts sometime this spring!

Equestrian Must Haves for Spring 2014

If you’re anywhere in the Northeast, you’re probably counting the days until spring arrives. This winter has been brutal and probably one of the worst in a while. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of my unwanted downtime lurking around on the internet racking up a list of things I need (okay.. maybe want) for when my riding life can go back into full gear.

TS Color Chart.

TS Color Chart.

1. New Tailored Sportsman Breeches: TS has added a few new colors to their line of breeches. My favorite is “ultraviolet,” which is available at Dapple Grey. They may not be ultra-conservative or show-appropriate, but they’re fun for schooling! TS breeches are some of my favorites. They fit me perfectly, are comfortable, and do not stain easily – can’t really ask for more!

Piper Knee Patch Breeches – Merlot
Photo Credit: SmartPak.com

2. SmartPak Piper Breeches: I got a pair of these during a sale that SmartPak was having on their Piper breeches. I love the color selection, and I couldn’t resist 20% off. I got the merlot color. These are super comfortable, warm enough for colder days, but not too warm that they will be uncomfortable on hotter days. The sizes do run a bit big, so I would advise sizing down if you’re in between two sizes. I unfortunately couldn’t because I wear the smallest size they make, so they are slightly baggy in the legs, but not too bad. I threw them in the washer and dryer to shrink them a bit. Their charcoal and blue jean colored breeches are also really sharp. Also, if you get SmartPaks, you automatically get 10% off the breeches.

My saddle with my Ogilvy Half Pad.

My saddle with my Ogilvy Half Pad.

3. Ogilvy: Okay, so I may be overdoing this to death, but seriously if you haven’t invested in anything Ogilvy by now, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to anything I say on this blog. I have a MemoryFoam Jumper Half Pad, a Hunter Contour Pad, and a soon-to-be custom Baby Pad. If you have never heard of Ogilvy, then go here now. If you have, and don’t know what the big deal is, then check out my review of their half pad. Their products are top notch, worth the money, and most importantly, good for you and your horse. Saddle fitting issues be gone!

4. Le Fash NY Short Sleeve Show Shirts: A brand new item from Le Fash NY for Spring 2014. They are currently available for preorder if you are lucky enough to be at WEF and will be available for preorder on the website soon. The shirts feature all the awesomeness of Le Fash’s show shirts without the added heat and discomfort that accompanies summer showing. Currently, there aren’t any pictures of the shirts except for this one tweeted by Le Fash and Ms. Lauren Mahoney, an up and coming show jumper, but I imagine the shirts will come in many of the same patterns and colors that are currently offered in the long sleeve version.

5. Ecolicious Equestrian Waterless Shampoo: Ecolicious Equestrian is a natural horse care and grooming products company. According to their website, their products are 100% free of nasty chemicals, parabens, and silicones; natural and organic; earth friendly; biodegradable; and packaged in 100% recyclable bottles. In other words, they’re good for the environment and for your horse. Spring does promise a warm-up, but that doesn’t mean it will always be the right temperature for a bath that your horse may so desperately need. Luckily, EcoLicious EQ has a Squeaky Green & Clean Waterless Deep Cleaning Shampoo. I purchased the shampoo, and you can read my in-depth review here. It retails for $27.95 and is super effective. This is a must have for anyone who likes to make sure their horse looks his or her best at all times. It’s easy to use, all natural, and really works! It also smells amazing. I also recommend checking out their other products. They offer everything from mane & tail shampoos, to hoof oil, to shampoo for use with an actual water bath, and even stuff for equestrians. Definitely check this new company out!

6. Feed through bug supplement: With the spring and summer obviously comes flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and other lovely biting and stinging insects. My pony is super sensitive to gnats and flies that bite his sheath area. I decided to try a feed through bug supplement, specifically SmartBug-Off, and it worked amazingly. He no longer bit his sheath until it was raw, bloody, and swollen. SmartBug-Off is in pellet form and can be bought in SmartPaks or in its own bag. I prefer SmartPaks because they’re pre-measured, sealed, and I know my pony is getting his supplement everyday. I also only give the supplement to him in the spring, summer, and early fall. I have found it to be very effective, and I will be using it again this spring and summer, starting next month. Also, for full disclosure, my pony and I were featured as a SmartPak Success Story for SmartBug-Off last March.

My Barn Child Clover Charm.
Photo Credit: My Barn Child

7. My Barn Child earrings & charms: This suggestion came to me from a Twitter user. I have to confess that I actually do not own any My Barn Child products currently, but they have super cute earrings and charms that can go on your horse’s bridle or on the zippers of your tall boots. Personally, I like the four leaf clover charm. I also love their belts and all the colors they came in (and they’re the perfect width for TS breeches!)

EquiFit D-Teq Boots.
Photo Credit: EquiFit.net

8. EquiFit Jumping Boots: This is also a suggestion that came to me from a Twitter user, and I love love love these boots. I actually put them on my list of things an equestrian should splurge on. I actually just saw now that they have a new product called D-Teq Boots that can also be customized, which is right up my alley, and might be something I need once I get my fancy jumping horse. The custom ones are a bit expensive ($378), and the non-custom ones go for around $200. They sound like a definite must have, and they offer amazing protection and shock absorption for your horses’ legs – what more could you want? EquiFit even made a pink version of their D-Teq Boots to support breast cancer! Here’s Ronan McGuigan’s horse, Chapeau, sporting an all-pink ensemble including the boots!

De La Coeur Bonnet.
Photo Credit: DeLaCoeur.ca

9. De La Coeur Ear Bonnet: I am just becoming familiar with this brand (quell your gasps of shock), and I love them! Something I am definitely going to invest in for the summertime. They have bonnets in all sorts of color combinations, as well as ones with “bling.” I got a blingy ear bonnet for my horse last summer, and it fell apart within a few weeks. I also have a purple and blue one to match my horse’s and pony’s respective colors, but I definitely would love a more conservative one with some bling on it. You can also order a custom bonnet. If you haven’t heard of or seen this brand before, definitely check it out!

A REAL money tree! Seeds & money not included. Photo Credit: MDMProofing.com

10. A Money Tree: You mean these don’t exist? Well, regardless, this is a must have for any equestrian because let’s face it, this sport is not and never will be cheap.

Do you have anything on this list, or do you think I missed something? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

As always, I can be reached on Twitter, @legaleq, on Facebook, or via email!

Tailored Sportsman Breech Alert!

Available at Farm House Tack.

Available at Farm House Tack.

For those of you that have seen the above photo going around or that may have seen it on my blog, I have been informed that Farm House Tack has all these colors available!

Which one is your favorite?

Happy shopping!

2014 Tailored Sportsman Breech Colors

20140206-002705.jpg

Update: These are also available at Farm House Tack which is where this image actually originated!

I’m loving this Tailored Sportsman breech color chart. I haven’t found many places that have the new 2014 colors aside from Dapple Grey. Let me know if anyone else knows where to find them!