Monday, February 24, 2014

Things that I like – Issue 1

I have bad news.  I am not always horse showing.  This is both bad news for you the reader, as I’m sure if I was I would be much more entertaining, and me the rider, as I would always rather be horse showing than doing just about anything else.  I should make a bumper sticker.  

Since I am not always horse showing, I am going to have to write about things that are sometimes not horse show related.  This is likely where most people are going to think to themselves, “What? Why bother?”  Good question, but I soldier on.  

So for today’s blog I thought I’d share two things that I like, with plans in the future to share other things that I like.  Why should you care about things that I like?  Not even one reason I can think of.  

First, often people seem to be looking for a good schooling breech.  Up until recently I only rode in Tailored Sportsman TS or Trophy Hunter breeches.  They are pricey for a schooling breech, and honestly not all that durable.  A friend of mine recommended that I try the Tuff Rider Ribb breeches.  She swore that they didn’t show dirt, wore like iron, and were comfortable.  At around 40 dollars, I didn’t really have much to lose.  The low rise version comes in two different cuts, wide waistband with the euro seat, and regular waistband with the normal cut.

For my first pair I ordered the regular waistband in black.  I have to honestly say, these live up to all of the billing my friend gave them.  The fabric is very flattering, doesn’t get baggy and loose after a day of several rides, but also doesn’t cling and isn’t too tight.  It looks a bit like corduroy, and I liked the textured feel.  The black was not perhaps the best of choices, as my experience with the TS dark colors is that show dirt of every kind (think like a black car).  But these Tuff Riders seemed to magically repel dirt and looked great even after a 4th or 5th horse.  They are super comfortable, stretchy, and definitely a breech I can wear all day without thinking about it.  My fellow Costco shoppers will attest that I did indeed wear them all day.  I hardly even notice the strange looks I get as I do errands in breeches, boots, and half chaps.  I wonder if people just think I’m making an odorous fashion statement.
On top of all this, they come in several colors, and as I mentioned are around 40 dollars.  Not sure you could ask for more.

Second is the Sunshield Long Sleeve Shirt by Smartpak.  

I have to admit, when these high tech sun shirts started appearing in the schooling rings at shows, I was quite dismissive of them.  To me there was absolutely no way that a long sleeved shirt could ever be as cool as a short sleeved one.  Over the summer I purchased one of these so called sun shirts in Colorado, just to try it out.  That shirt proved my theory right.  It was hot, uncomfortable, and I just simply didn’t like it.  

Then over the winter I was looking for a layering top for under my many many layers that I wear riding in the cold.  I hate the cold.  My “personal shopper” at smartpak convinced me to try one of their sunshield shirts for this purpose, and added on, that maybe I could try it when it warms up just to give it a chance.  So I ordered one in the silver color.  

True to her promise, the shirt is perfect under a fleece and coat when it’s cold.  It breathes and doesn’t make me too hot, but gives just the right amount of insulation.  Over the weekend I wore the same shirt on a day that I thought was going to be a little chilly, but ended up rising into the low 90s.  To me, a little chilly is 80 degrees.  The sun was HOT, and it was definitely a hot day.  I felt completely cool and comfortable.  It didn’t cling, I didn’t sweat too much, and in general I just loved it.  

The Sunshield shirt has converted me to the dark side of long sleeved summer wear. 

Shirt and breeches in action on Ashton, a friend's horse that she asked me to come ride for her!


  1. I may have to try the breeches! What a great idea.

  2. I agree with SprinklerBandit -- I need to try those breeches!

  3. I have 2 clients who swear by the Tuff Riders. I'm pretty sure you can't kill them! (the Tuff Riders, not my clients)