So here is the showing edition! I will break this down into the three phases...
For dressage, I use a DK Freedom dressage saddle. This is new-to-me, having just bought it mid June and I had it fitted to Snappy on June 23! So far, I love it and it is super comfortable. After using saddle pads for years that looked like my horses were wearing a blanket, I finally got smart and ordered a PRI pony sized saddle pad from Just for Ponies. It is just a little bit shorter than a regular pad and looks a lot more put together. I have always used the Ovation Airform dressage girth because it is one of the only dressage girths I can find in an 18". It is perfect for schooling and looks nice enough for showing (I have two so the show girth stays looking awesome) and it is a great price point.
For her bridle, I have a Bobby's Tack bridle with a regular caveson, which was SUPER hard to find! I don't use a flash yet it seems that EVERY dressage bridle out there comes with a flash. It was frustrating but I am glad I took the chance on the bridle sight unseen because for the price point, it is very well made and decent leather. I am not a huge leather snob but I want things that are going to last, seeing as my last dressage bridle for showing lasted me twenty years LOL! Snappy is happiest in a baucher bit, so she wears this one from Stubben. While I would choose a loose ring or eggbutt French link, she very clearly dislikes both of those so I had to do a ton of experimenting to find the most stable bit possible. (I tried a Micklem bridle thinking she would like the subtle stabilizing affect but she hated it with a passion.) And of course, we have a gorgeous custom browband from Dark Jewel Designs because no self respecting dressage queen rides without a blingy browband nowadays! ;-)
For me, I wear a Romfh dressage coat that I love for its easy care and lightweight fabric, but this year I splurged on an Annie's Equestrian coat because THAT TEAL! 😍 I have coveted it since I first saw it, so I finally gave in. I have a Kerrits short sleeved white shirt and a handmade pretied stock tie and pin made by a talented friend. For years I used a classic untied stock tie but the thing fell apart last year so I had to replace it. I purchased the pin from her years back when she had her business going, but she stopped creating last year and I scooped up the tie for a good price when she cleared her inventory. I have a few pairs of different white breeches, in various stages of wear. For example, one pair is brand new with just two rides on them while one is an ancient pair I only use when I have to show in the pouring rain LOL! I believe two of them are Ariats and one is a Tuff Rider. I have such a hard time finding full seats that I like, that fit me, and have a decent material. I wear Ariat Heritage field boots, because they seem to be the only tall boots that really fit me well. I am short but I have a WIDE calf and I don't feel like going with a custom pair of boots. The field boots seem to fit best around my ankle despite having a huge calf. Five different repairs and new zippers later, I know I will need a new pair within the next few years, as they are just getting worn out but I dread it. The new ones will probably never fit the same, never mind the exciting journey of breaking in new boots. Right now, my lucky socks are a pair of blue and white stripe Horseware socks, like the ones in the middle here, because despite the fact I own 29 pairs of riding socks, these are the ones I use for showing (yes, I do wash them LOL). I feel like I need a pair to match the coat's teal, but for now I have refrained haha. I like the thickness and support of them unlike the nylon like thinness of other riding socks. I bought a new belt this year to match the Annie's teal coat (obviously) and finally succumbed to the Mango Bay buzz. It is super cute and well made! And I LOVE my SSG gloves, which are fabulous in that I can literally throw them in the washer and dryer and they come out looking amazing. Great price and the only place they wear out is underneath my rings, but that is to be expected. My helmet is an IRH, which is super comfortable and looks good for showing.
|The most recent turnout|
|Her browband in her first year of showing was also by Dark Jewel Design, but was maroon and gold, a nod to her racing colors.|
|Saddle pad was WAY too big, hence the reason I switched to the pony size!|
For cross country, I have done LOTS of colors over the years because everything looked good on a black horse haha, but I finally decided to stick with green and white last year. Mostly because it is our farm colors and also because I just had to thin out the number of saddle pads and XC boots I own. I sold nineteen saddle pads at an early spring tack sale this year and I STILL could sell more LOL!
Right now, I use a Stubben Juventus jumping saddle. Maybe eventually I can upgrade to another DK, but this saddle actually fits Snappy fairly well for now and the budget can only handle so many new saddles at once! I have used several different XC saddle pads over the years, but I keep coming back to the Smartpak AP pad because it is easy on the wallet and holds up well. I also like that it it thin enough to not create bulk under the saddle. I haven't fallen into the Ogilvy fad just yet even though I do like the baby pad and because I feel as though I won't be changing my XC soon (famous last words), I could probably comfortably buy one and get use out of it LOL! I also use a Christ Lammfelle sheepskin half pad for no other reason than that's the brand a former saddle fitter I used sold to me, but I do like it and it has worked well for years. I have a Stubben girth that matches the saddle.
I upgraded our bridle and strap goods this year to all Lund Saddlery, so we have the snaffle bridle (with a green Dark Jewel browband, of course) and the five point breastplate. I didn't know how I would feel about the Sedgwick leather, but so far after two events I can say it looks good and seems to be well made, so I am pleased. I have both the web reins and laced reins, so I use the rubber reins for XC. They are probably the best rubber reins I have ever used, because they are soft enough to not feel horribly stiff and thin enough not to create a ton of bulk in my small hands. Previously, I used a Courbette bridle for at least twenty five years, first buying it for my mare Sparky in high school! It was time for it to retire, seriously the "stainless steel" buckles were rusting out, hence the reason I tried Lund. I still own and have used the Stubben breastplate as well, but while it fit Dreamy, it does rub Snappy's shoulders. She goes in the same boucher bit as dressage, but I did order a fun rainbow bit from Evo Equine that is pretty much the same bit. It was a custom order that I placed in February and it just arrived the middle of June! I used Woof boots to match certain colors and had a pair of Centaur boots in black for years, but when they started to fall apart, I upgraded to the Majyk Equipe boots in black. I have many pairs of bell boots, generally the Roma brand. I don't boot in the back for XC, as none of my horses so far have needed it.
I have never really found a shirt I like specifically for XC, usually just wearing a polo shirt in order to get the correct color. Generally it is hot and sweaty no matter what, so I don't necessarily buy into any of the promised cooling shirts. Right now, I am using the sport-tek side blocked polo shirt or long sleeved shirt, both in green, from Prater Designs. Trish did a great job creating lots of different clothing with our farm logo and so far I have liked both of the shirts I picked out for XC. I generally wear my white breeches but sometimes change into the tan color if it is just so hot. I also use the same boots, gloves, and helmet as dressage. I have a Tipperary vest, in black, which made it easy to change colors though I figure if I ever move up the levels (someday!) I will invest in a better vest. And as far as socks, I currently am using a cute white, green, and orange pair with four-leaf clovers on them (of course). They are not technically riding socks, just fun socks from Target. And I recently started using C4 belts and have a plain green, green pattern, and of course, clover pattern already.
|The current XC turnout|
|As you can see, I have done lots of colors...|
|Even pink plaid!|
|I do love this color!|
|The helmet covers crack me up.|
|This was the first time Dreamy ever ran XC in 2007 and I was wearing the maroon from when I competed with Sparky!|
|Dreamy in 2008|
For stadium, I either wear the same as XC, since some events nowadays have you do your stadium round right after XC, or I change it up a little. I always use the same saddle, bridle, breastplate, and boots, but I change the pad to either a square white with black trim or a fitted white fleece pad from Toklat to look more classic. I had the hardest time finding a fitted pad that would work with the shape of the Juventus, but the Toklat one seems to do the trick. I hate when everything else on my turnout looks lovely, but the saddle pad doesn't fit the saddle correctly and looks weird. Again, I either use my white breeches or tan, but I go back to the white shirt and stock tie and this pretty blue and super comfortable coat from Horseware. I do own a brown tweed Devon Aire jacket (cannot even find a link for it) and an unmarked gray jacket I bought used, so sometimes I change it up for fun. This is especially true when I have done under saddle classes, where a dark navy coat on a black horse just looked washed out. Even though I don't show in those classes now, it is nice to have options for coats just in case.