Mini Reviews

A few new things have joined the rotation recently, and I wanted to give you the benefit of my very expert and very important opinion on them. HAH.

RJ Classics Gulf Breeches, tan, on sale for $75 from Luxe Eq

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Remember the Great Pants Debate? This is one of the pairs I brought home. And I really really wanted to like them, guys. But I just don’t. It’s not a burning hatred, but I’m very “meh” on the fit. I’m a pretty true 26/26L, but these just fit…funky on me. The knee is SUPER tight and feels very constricting and the Euro-seat seaming digs into me and gives me LBS (Lumpy Butt Syndrome)- but the waist fits well, so I wouldn’t want to size up because then I would get GWS (Gappy Waist Syndrome). The fabric is nice, the fit just doesn’t work for me. I’m keeping them around due to my paranoia of running out of clean tan breeches at shows, but I don’t reach for these very often.

Iago Giulia Breeches, gray, on sale for $150 from Luxe Eq

This is the other pair that made the cut, and I absolutely LOVE them. The sock bottoms are super comfy, the material is sturdy but comfortable with good stretch, the leather accents on the pockets are lovely, and they make my butt look great. They’re my first pair of silicon patch breeches and I don’t notice a huge difference in the feel, but they sure do look cool. If I’m griping, these may be a little lower rise than I usually like since I have a long torso (and long everything else) and like to tuck my shirts in, but they stay put and don’t sag so it hasn’t caused any problems. Big big fan, will likely buy more of these in different colors, and a bunch of my barnmates want a pair too.

HandsOn Glove

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OK so I didn’t buy this, but it showed up in the wash stall and I used it and YES LOVE. Frankie bears the dubious distinction of being the smelliest horse in the barn due to his proclivity for napping in his own urine (homeboy likes to make a huge mess in his stall, which makes it a million times worse), and he gets grimy quickly. This helped lift all the crud and gunk all the way down to his skin, and he absolutely loved the sensation as we attacked all the itchies.

BackOnTrack Saddle Pad

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PC- Liz

I figured as long as we were doing injections/chiro/fixing saddle fit/etc., I may as well throw this in the mix. It’s hard to isolate what effect this has had (due to the aforementioned injections/chiro/saddle fit/etc.), but his back has definitely been less “flinchy” overall and I certainly don’t think it hurts. I like that it’s long enough to still look nice under my monstrously long saddle flaps, the profile gives great wither clearance, and I love the navy blue on Francis. I’m planning on getting the barn logo embroidered on it so it can be our show pad!

Smartpak Wellfleet Figure-8

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This is another one that I didn’t technically buy- one of my awesome barn buds had this lying around and is letting us use it. Have I mentioned lately that I have the best barnmates? Took oil beautifully (and is still taking oil, that leather is THIRSTY), fits Francis beautifully, and looks really really nice on him. I think it can still darken a bit, so the oiling shall continue!

The bills for Lake Placid, Upperville, and Blue Rock are all coming due at around the same time, so I’m on a spending freeze until after I can recover a bit from show season. Next on the must-have list once I’m ready to start spending again: a new helmet! I have some ideas about what I want, but will be sure to keep you posted about my noggin protection.

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Product Review: Roeckl Madrid Gloves

You all know that I’m a little bit obsessed with breeches, but you may not know that I’m also pretty obsessive over my gloves. I think I might just have a riding clothes obsession in general. Or an obsessive personality. But that’s neither here nor there, because we’re talking about gloves.

See, I’m really picky. They need to be grippy in all weather. They need to be small enough to be snug through the palm, but still long enough to fit my spider fingers. They must have touch-screen compatible fingers so I can add to my Insta story while I ride #essential. And they must be breathable, because I am a sweaty person.

I’ve used Roeckl gloves for many years very happily- their base Roeck-grip model has taken me in all three rings over the years comfortably and stylishly. I haven’t had to think about them. They have been a constant in my life.

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They’ve been keeping me real since the DragonMare days.

But all good things do eventually come to an end, and after busting a hole in the finger due to my own carelessness, it was time to replace them. My first thought was to get the exact same pair- why mess with a good thing?

But then I realized. I’m firmly ensconced in JumperLand now. I have a backup pair of black gloves in case I want to do the eq again, so why limit myself? There’s a whole wide world of possibilities out there, it’s time to live a little.

Enter the Roeckle Madrid gloves, which I bought from Smartpak for $59.95. Spoiler alert: worth every penny.

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You guy, I’m in love. I opted to get the pair with red accents to match my barn colors #coordinated, but I will absolutely get this style in all-black if I need something more conservative in the future (for my DQs out there, they also come in white!). Let’s walk through my checklist:

Grippy: yes. I ride in notoriously slippery reins (side note, why on earth have I not replaced these yet??), but had no problem maintaining my grip throughout the warm-up-sneezes that Frankie likes to do. No death grip on the reins necessary, these kept my hands right in place.

Fit my spider hands: yes. I opted to size down since my last pair of Roeckls ran a little large, and they are perfect. They fit like a second skin without being too tight, and are long enough to accommodate my fingers. I do have freakish fingers though, so it may be a bit too much length if you have smaller hands. The velcro close is just right.

Touch-screen compatible: fo sho. And since they fit so snugly, I don’t have to deal with bulky seams or extra fabric getting in the way when I’m tryna get my ‘gram on.

Breathable: this is where they really shine. I have never ridden in gloves this breathable- I swear I could actually feel the breeze on my hands. I will forever be a sweaty person, but I didn’t end my ride with wet gloves for once in my life. They’re reinforced where they need to be along the palm and fingers, and extremely lightweight everywhere else.

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Be honest, the

Add to that how sporty and cool they look, and I’m definitely obsessed. Time will tell how they hold up to wear and tear, but I’ve only had good experiences with Roeckl’s in the past and anticipate these will wear just as well.

Final rating: 5/5 would recommend to all, go grab a pair!

Disclaimer: a distributor reached out to me about doing a product review, but I paid full price for these gloves- the timing worked out that I needed to replace a pair right at that time! 

Growing Up and Glowing Up

I’m super thrilled about my new job- getting to do super interesting work for a cause I believe in, meeting fascinating intelligent people, and getting to take advantage of some really great work-culture benefits. I miss my friends from my old job, but this definitely feels like a great next step in my career.

As part of feeling like I’m stepping into a big-girl job though, I’m trying to present myself in a more polished way. I was able to get away with t-shirts and no makeup at my last job and as a researcher, it was totally fine. My new office is still casual, but I now work extensively with more senior officers- I don’t want to look like that stereotypical sloppy millennial who will never be able to afford a house because I’m too busy buying my horse things he doesn’t need eating avocado toast.

Even though that describes me in a nutshell.

A big step for me was getting the damn haircut. I looked like a sister wife. It wasn’t just “oh I grew my hair out” long, it was “I joined a cult and now showing my ankles is a sin” long. So taking care of that was a step in the right direction.

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Here’s the haircut but more importantly, I have a desk fountain now.

I also went ahead and got some new clothes from Target. Guys, their new stuff is AWESOME. My rules for work clothes are (1) no dry cleaning and (2) it has to be comfortable. So I swapped out some of my more tired pieces and got some cute stuff to wear to work that makes me feel more put-together.

The last piece of the puzzle was updating my makeup game. This one was harder for me-most days I’m up at 6:45, out the door by 7:30 to get to work, and it’s not unusual for me to stroll back into the house close to 9:30pm. And while I don’t need my makeup to last at the barn, I do need it to last from when I apply it at 7am until at least 5ish when I leave the office. Usually closer to 5:30pm. So I need stuff that will go the distance with me.

Lo and behold- as soon as I started thinking about this, Alli from Rocking E Cowgirl just so happened to be offering some lip products for testing and reviewing! I’m not one to question the universe when things line up like that, so I happily participated in testing the Senegence Lipsense in the Apple Cider color.

My main criteria I needed in order to be happy with it were:

  1. It has to last all day with minimal work (I am lazy and won’t do touch ups)
  2. I don’t want dry flaky lips
  3. Seriously, don’t make me touch it up
  4. The color has to be versatile because I really don’t want to carry 20 different lipsticks in my purse

I’ve been using it for a few months now, and I’m really happy with it! I don’t get any of the dry lips that I usually get with other long-lasting lip colors, the color is just enough without being too flashy, and I’d definitely consider it long-lasting.

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Perfectly intact by the time I made it to the barn at 6pm

The gloss that goes on top definitely needs touching up throughout the day, but I tend to go for more of a matte look at work anyways. The color doesn’t budge through coffee, water bottles, lunch, etc.

I will note that it takes a bit of time to apply properly- it’s not the type of lipstick you can swipe and go. On days that I’m in a rush and I don’t have the time to apply it properly, it comes off much more easily. Alli was super awesome about giving me a little tutorial on how to apply it correctly, and when I do that it will honestly stay put until I use makeup remover before bed.

Overall, I’d give this product a solid 4/5, with the only ding being the time it takes to apply.

Go ahead and contact Alli at rockingeboarding@gmail.com if you’d like more information, or if you’re interested in ordering some of your own!

Product Review: ColorTack

There are products you absolutely need, and there are products that you want. I’ve had to be very controlled about only buying from the need column lately, because I have no willpower about turning down horse shows and that means I have very very little “play” money left over at the end of the month.

But then there are the products in the “it might not be a need but they bring me such joy” column. The ones that don’t directly impact your ability to live your life, but that bring a big beaming smile to your face. The not-necessaries-but-definitely-desirables.

And when I saw the ColorTack booth at WIHS, I knew that their spurs were solidly in that column.

A little information on the company: ColorTack is a young company based out of New Jersey, which manufactures entirely right here in the good ol’ US of A. They offer spurs and stirrup irons in any color you can dream up- or you can even send your own spurs and stirrups to them to refurbish and add color! They offer a whole rainbow of colors in their catalog, and there’s also the option for an extra stripe of color for those of us who have two barn colors. The color itself is a baked on epoxy ceramic finish, which is guaranteed not to fade, chip, or peel. As someone who regularly abuses her gear, I can attest to this- these things take a beating and still look gorgeous.

I really wasn’t planning on buying new spurs any time soon. Honest. I’ve had the same pair of roller-ball spurs for the last 10 years, and every horse I’ve been on seems to be cool with them. Besides, there were no roller-ball spurs out on the display.

But then they mentioned that “yes we absolutely carry roller-ball spurs!” and casually threw in “if you send us yours, we could just add the color to your existing spurs.” And then I started thinking that it would be awful nice to have one pair of spurs for schooling, and another for shows. Just so I wouldn’t have to swap the spurs from boot to boot, you see.

With my justification firmly in place, all that was left to do was pick out a color. No easy task, with all of the options there! There was an amazing arrays of blue shades that caught my eye in particular. But we all know that I’m obsessed with all things shiny and gold- I finally settled on a metallic gold roller-ball spur in a satin finish.

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Pardon the black boot polish on the insides- I was too excited to wear them and didn’t take pics ’til after I abused them!

 

 

They. Are. Beautiful. I’m totally in love. They look stellar on my black boots, and once I get some more coordinated spur straps, I’m sure they are going to be GLORIOUS on my brown boots! They’ve already been tossed around and abraded quite a bit in the dirt/sand/mud/gravel/tack trunk/car/you get the picture, and show zero signs of wear and tear.

For those of you who value customer service: be prepared to love this company. I sent an email with a few questions, and never had to wait more than 10 minutes to hear back from them. Their reps at the show were friendly and knowledgeable, the woman who corresponded with me over email was professional and prompt, and overall the whole process from ordering to use has been a pleasure.

Do you need colorful spurs? Absolutely not. But I can promise that these will put a big smile on your face.

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Check our their offerings here: https://www.colortack.com/

Note: I did not receive these spurs for free or for a discount, nor was I paid in any way for this review. I was just thoroughly impressed by this company and the products they offer, and wanted to share them with you all!

Breeches Review

I’ve been slowly building up my collection of riding pants over the last few months, and I wanted to share my findings with you. Here’s a list of what’s currently in my closet and what I think about them:

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Image: Smartpak. Looks accurate.

TS Trophy Hunters (mid-rise, side-zip $189): Obsessed. They are definitely the most expensive breeches in my closet, but I think they’re worth every penny. I have them in tan and white and can’t wait to collect more colors. The material stretches where it should, holds me in where it should, and the euro-seat is super flattering. They do get a little baggy in the crotch if I’m not wearing a belt/don’t pull them up enough, but I feel naked without a belt anyways so that’s not a big deal. I may try out the front-zip or low-rise for schooling some time.

I can’t find a picture that look like mine.

TS (low-rise, side-zip, on sale for $99): Just the classic breeches, though I think the reason they were on sale is because they’re from a defective product run- the knee patches aren’t the classic suede. These do run a little small, but they stay up nicely with or without a belt. If I could have a do-over I would either size up or get the mid-rise since they’re pretty tight on my hips, but it’s not too constricting so I’ll just deal with it- bonus that there’s no sagging anywhere because they stay in place on their own. A little lighter fabric than the Trophy Hunters, but still has good stretch. Got these for a steal on sale and super happy with them. Only negative: the velcro on the bottom hits at a really weird place at the inside of my leg, so I can really only use these with tall boots unless I want weird rubs on my shins.

Still can’t find a picture. Do I only own bootleg breeches?

RJ Classics (low-rise, side-zip, $140ish): These are my go-to schooling breeches. They’re a little stiff after I wash them, but once I do some knee-bends they soften up just fine. The velcro bottom hits just right on my leg, and the knee doesn’t bunch up under my tall boots. Showing in these hasn’t been quite right though: my shirt doesn’t stay tucked in because it’s too low-rise. My long-torso self needs to stick with the mid-rise for shows.

RS_brownImage: Dover. Imagine these in blue.

Riding Sport (low-rise, side-zip, $70): In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a side-zip kinda girl. These are another favorite; I’ve washed them a thousand times with no sign of wear, I ride in them at least once a week, and the slate blue color makes me super happy. They’re stretchy, comfy, and good looking to boot. All that for $70. I would totally show in the tan version of these, that’s how much I love them.

Seriously can’t find a picture. These are pretty bootleg though.

Fouganza tights (mid-rise, pull-on, $15 on sale): So yeah, these breeches were on sale for $15 and there’s a reason for that. They’re a nice stretchy knit, pretty thick so good for winter. The knee patch is just more fabric so there’s not a ton of grip there. I only ever wear these for riding on my own, never in lessons, and they get the job done. These are what I wear on bath days since I don’t mind getting them wet and dirty and messy. They’re showing a little wear after being washed a bunch, but for $15 I won’t complain.

These do not deserve the honor of a photograph.

Corduroy full seat (mid-rise, pull-on, depths of a consignment shop): I won’t even dignify these with a brand name because it’s not worth digging them out of the depths of my closet. The suede full seat makes me feel like I’m wearing a diaper and these only make an appearance when I don’t do laundry for 3 weeks and have literally no other choice. Even then I’ll probably end up wearing jeans with my half chaps. Anyone want to buy some terrible full seat breeches? (I don’t think I have a promising future in sales).

My question for you, Dear Readers: what’s your favorite breech for schooling? For shows? Anything you would super duper recommend to someone who is 5’9″ and slender? I’m always looking to grow my collection!