Professional Pictures and Show Outfit Details

Who else shows for the pictures? The photographers got some good ones of Eli! I am slightly obsessed and basically plastering them everywhere.

This one is the new header (Lavigne Photography)

(Lavigne Photography)

(SGL Photo)

(SGL Photo)

Eli is wearing his Lund Saddlery snaffle bridle, the Fleeceworks Show Hunter saddle pad, and a Lettia girth. I use Lund Saddlery stirrup leathers and MDC irons on my Devoucoux Biarritz.

I am wearing the Alessandro Albanese Motion Lite Show Jacket (that I maybe accidentally added to my cart at Riding Warehouse last summer during a sale or something. Accidentally.), a LeFash short sleeve Sport Shirt, Equine Couture Beatta breeches, EGO 7 Orion field boots, and a Duftler spur belt from Luxe Eq.

I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Beatta breeches wore all day. I’d buy another pair if I needed to.

We could benefit from another bonnet from ITBF, but one with “Get Off My Neck” embroidered on the ears. For practice.

My Spring 2018 Equestrian Style

If y’all don’t realize by now that I LOVE CLOTHES, I might consider you illiterate. And as the seasons change, so do the styles. While I am obsessed with the Gucci FW 2018 collection, it’s not practical for riding (I am not being totally ironic here — I really am obsessed with it and I think the collection and its inspiration are pure, badass art).

But there are some ready-to-wear picks for this spring that I’ve had my eyes on — not all are necessarily “new” for spring but I wouldn’t mind if any of these wound up in my riding wardrobe between now and June.

I do not wear riding tights. I haven’t seen very many that I would be willing to wear, either, until I picked up on BotoriΒ via Instagram and the look left me wanting a pair. Tights with actual knee patches and a phone pocket? Yes! I can definitely see myself wearing these.

Okay, but back to breeches … I have, over the years, struggled with how the calves of breeches fit me. Either they are too short or too baggy. I have been on the hunt for a pair of tan breeches that fit my waist, AND my calf, aren’t too thick, and don’t raid my wallet. I may take a chance on these Equine Couture Beatta breeches. Review forthcoming? Perhaps …

But we can’t go topless on a horse. At least, I can’t. More like I won’t, really. I have been impressed lately with how RJ Classics has really stepped up their style game. Couple that with my love of pattern, and I am lusting after the Lane shirt. This pattern is definitely my favorite and so tasteful.

So this next one … if you are even remotely active on social media and you have an ex-racehorse, you are probably obsessed with this shirt that Mango Bay Design posted yesterday. If you want my world view on a t-shirt, this would be it.

Now that we are almost completely dressed, on to the accessories! Belt purses are a thing, have you noticed? This is one of those items that I have been on the fence about for a long time because I am not sure I really need one, but it would be nice to have my phone with me even while riding yet not shoved into a breeches pocket where it can (and does) bounce out and fly into the arena footing. I haven’t ever really seen one that calls to me until I saw this one from Asmar. I might be a convert.

We can’t ride without helmets. I love my GPA First Lady. I love sparkly things. What do you think comes next?


Last … is it possible to get excited about socks? For me, yes. Usually about socks with a cute pattern or print on them. Those are not the socks I am talking about today. Again, I ran across these on Instagram and these seem like the most well-thought-out socks ever designed for riders. The Achilles pad is especially appealing to me. Sometimes I am in tall boots for hours at a stretch, and my Achilles is the first thing to get ouchy from that. I think these socks could fix that issue.

What do y’all have your eyes on for adding to your riding attire collection?

New Fave Socks: TuffRider Bamboo Argyle Socks Review

You can file this under reviews I was not expecting to write. I got three pairs of the TuffRider Bamboo Argyle socks for Christmas. I decided to wear a pair right away. I kind of want 3 more pairs now. (THANKS, MOM!!)

I am familiar with the TuffRider brand only in passing, and have had no experience with any of the brand’s products before this. But if their stuff is anything like these socks, I think I might have to try some more of it.

First, they are argyle. I love argyle. But I recognize this alone would not sway some consumers. Second, they are bamboo. Bamboo is one of those fibers you don’t generally consider for clothing, but more and more brands are offering options in bamboo and they are genius for it. If nothing else, it’s a fast-growing, plentiful resource for fibers and the results are incredible–some of the softest, most comfortable clothes I have are bamboo, and these socks are no different. I also have an Asmar tee and a few LeFash shirts constructed at least in part of bamboo and they truly are lightweight, breathable, and easy to care for.

Back to the socks. The two other features that I love about the socks are that they are tall enough for me, and that the foot of the sock is lightly padded. These socks go up to the back of my knee without stretching, but they are thin enough to wear easily under tall boots, as I already have. But the even better thing is the padded foot. It is SO comfortable. My toes don’t get pinched or squished together, there is not a noticeable seam to rub my feet the wrong way, and just walking around my house in these made them my new favorite sock. The light padding also easily fits into the foot-bed of my tall boots without anything feeling too tight.

I am not sure how many different argyle combinations there are, but I think I might want all of them. I am also going to have to give my sock drawer a good culling, to make room for all these socks I now want.

The dark brown/dark green/tan argyle makes me happiest. One last thing–the elastic at the top is snug enough to hold the socks in place, but not too snug that I end up with icky red tight elastic marks on my legs. Hate that.

I have no idea where my mom found these, but my guess might be Dover. I linked to Adams Horse because I actually could not find these socks on the Dover website. And I can’t find these color combinations anywhere, but other pretty combos are available online. Go and getcha some! I am sure some of you already have a few pairs and I am late to the sock party.

Whimsical Wish List

Oh, the shopping you’ll do after Thanksgiving, right? Mostly I avoid Black Friday, because stuff goes on sale even more steeply discounted closer to Christmas, or what I intend to gift never goes on sale ever, or I gift gift cards. Also the crowds are an emphatic no for me. I actually went inside a grocery store Sunday night and I wanted to run over everyone with the little two-tiered shopping cart.

I am pretty much 3/4th of the way to full blown Scroogedom, but I do like all the Christmas lights. In deference to the pretty twinkly icicle lights, I have put together an outlandish list, primarily of things I would not really ever buy for myself but wouldn’t mind if they magically showed up on my doorstep. Although I would not actually expect anybody to buy such things for me, as they are all a bit extravagant. Trying to stay festive here, people.

Have you seen the Equestrian Stockholm breeches? Well, now you have.Β  I have no idea what size I would wear, and they are outside of my breeches budget. But they are pretty.

 

Okay, so this next one … you know how buying in bulk often means a better value? But you know how you feel like spending $120 on poultice seems a bit ridiculous if you only have one horse and you use poultice just every once in a while? And you know how no one wants to leave me a 23lbs bucket of Sore No More on the top of my tack trunk? (Seriously, I wouldn’t want to lift this anyway but it IS a better value than the 5lbs tub.)

I can’t get through a wish list without something Asmar, apparently.Β  They are killing it with their color palette this season. I must be entering a blue period …

This next one is for Conrad– a Friday Fox coat. Honestly, the price isn’t what’s giving me paws pause here. It’s the international shipping, plus how am I supposed to return it for a reasonable shipping cost if it doesn’t fit? But oh my gahd Conrad would look so cute in it!

And last, these things … WHY DO THEY EXIST? Purely to torment me, I think … why do I even want them? Eli told me he needed them, that’s what it must be.

If the Shoe Fits

I think I mentioned earlier that I had been stalking some things on eBay for some time. When I finally messaged the seller, she offered a great deal if I purchased both things. I felt morally obligated to purchase both things at the price she quoted to me (practically a 2-for-1 deal!).

I only had one operative pair of tall boots and needed a schooling pair to keep the black EGO7s in shape for shows. For day-to-day riding, I needed something else. So now I have two pair of DeNiros that were exactly my size, new in box, and the chocolate brown is gorgeous.

Three pairs of tall boots, two pairs of which I hope to keep in good shape for at least a few years — what a luxury! I got the chocolate brown DeNiros broken in, which took all of two rides, and now have moved on to using the “Cotto brown” pair for schooling.

“Cotto brown” is apparently Italian for “orange.”

I applied many coats of Hydrophane to the orange boots, and that did mellow the color somewhat. Now time will tell how well they wear and how the color will change with sweat, water, dust, glycerin soap, Belvoir, and frequent — almost daily — use. I will probably periodically wipe more Hydrophane on them, too. If that stuff can make Edgewood orange go away, I have a feeling these boots will get a few shades darker eventually. The fit is perfect and they are solely for schooling, so I am not too concerned with the color, although they will probably look pretty gross against the coat of a blood bay. Eli gets more mahogany during winter, so maybe that will look better?

Fall Looks

I really have just a few ideas to augment my fall equestrian wardrobe. Surely by now, these will be no surprise to anyone that I covet them.

I have been very happy with the one pair of Romfh Gabriella breeches that I have in White Sand. With Romfh’s fall colors hitting tack shops right now, I like seeing a broader palette for the Gabriella silhouette. I am torn between Coffee and Deep Sage. Deep Sage triggers a little nostalgia for me because it looks a bit like the green beige Tailored Sportsmans from horse showing in the 90s. Plus I’m certain that shade is gonna camouflage dirt.

Layering is a necessity in Texas in the fall. Because it might be in the 40s or 50s in the morning, and mid-to-high-80s by the afternoon. I shop for base layers regularly that can still be worn alone, mainly because I only have a few shirts that fit this bill and I wear them out! I think the Asmar Vale Top is a great addition for their fall line. And it comes in a dark grey, one of my favorite colors for fall and winter.

My default footwear for the barn is tall boots for riding, and muck boots, tennis shoes, or boat shoes for non-riding activities. In the back of my mind, I think paddock boots might be a safer option for my toes than the boat shoes. I occasionally window shop for paddock boots, but haven’t owned a pair in ages. One of my friends has a pair of Tonics and I love the look. Does anybody else have experience with this brand?

 

 

 

EGO 7 Orion Field Boot Review Update

Back in October/November-ish, I ordered EGO 7 Orion Field Boots from Germany. This means I spent $340 USD for boots that retail at $499 here (many tack shops have them in stock now).

And you know what? I’d buy these boots again at $499 in a heartbeat. 10 months in to wearing these boots fairly frequently, they have worn beautifully.

So I’ll break this down for you piece by piece based on my tall boot comparison chart.

FIT

The EGO 7 fit is S L I M. If your measurements are toward the larger end of a range in the size chart, I suggest sizing up. I fell about in the middle of the range for my calf size and the fit is very, very snug. I am thinking I might need a second pair for winter riding with a larger calf size if I want boots that will fit over thicker breeches and socks. They fit me well over thinner breeches and socks. The tall height worked out perfectly for me, as did the foot size 39. The break in time was about a week, and not once did I get a blister anywhere.

FUNCTION

The Orions have so many useful, purposeful features. Most importantly, they work well for riding. But no detail was left unattended in the design of these boots. There is a lot to cover here!

The hardware is high quality and durable–EGO 7s have the same zippers as Tucci boots so you know you can count on them to last a while.

The inner calf panel interested me, although I wasn’t quite sure what to think about it initially. Turns out, it’s about as grippy as regular (good) leather but it doesn’t abrade my saddle’s flaps. And considering I just got a new-to-me Devoucoux, I am glad the panels are there.

The stretch panel has a slight sheen to it, but it is so subtle that I don’t find it noticeably distracting. The stretch panel also seems extremely durable and not super stretchy. Like you know how the elastic gussets in paddock boots get all wavy and useless after a lot of wear? This will not be happening to the EGO 7 stretch panel–it’s a different type of material that has some stretch, just enough for a little bit more of a custom-looking fit.

The spur rests look like none I have ever seen and give the option of three or four different places to wear your spur. Eli appreciates I can wear my spur quite low with these boots without it slipping down too far.

As far as features that ensure a good fit, the elastic zipper guards, padded heel guards, and thin insoles all add to the comfort of these boots. Honestly, I am surprised more boot makers don’t have the elastic zipper guards–it makes them so much easier to snap over the zipper pull keepers at the top of tall boots.

Last, these boots have the right type of grippy outsoles for staying put on the stirrup iron treads. The soles in general are on the harder side, which I now know is a necessity for me after my experience with Parlanti soles. I don’t really want a sneaker feel for my tall boots.

STYLE

I think in my previous look at these boots back in November, I may have said I probably wouldn’t show in them … well, I did show in them. Polished up, these are perfect for all 3 rings. There is also a dress boot version for all y’all DQs. The toe cap, slim ankles, slightly tapered, rounded toe, softly-contoured Spanish top, and unique spur rests give these boots a stylish but contemporary look that works for showing or schooling.

COST

These boots are without a doubt worth the $499 that most people in America would be paying for them — I know most people prefer to try on boots before buying them rather than ordering from overseas and hoping for the best. But if you are willing to risk it, the Euro hasn’t bounced back all the way yet, so you may save a bit if you choose to order from Germany like I did. Even at $499, I think they are a budget-friendly tall boot and a well-fitted option when stacked up against more expensive custom brands.

Without reservations, I highly recommend these boots. They are already holding up much, much better than many other tall boots that I have tried. Added bonus–they should be out in brown soon!