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!

 

Tall Boot Comparison

Now that I am in a bit of a tall boot bind and down to one pair again, a pair I would prefer to keep nice for shows, I started thinking about my experience with a number of boot brands over the years.

The most telling aspect? Two of the three pairs of boots I have purchased more recently, from reputable brands, sucked. That’s just sad, but at least I know to rule them out during my search for a second pair. I also know now what brands I can count on, too.

Looks to me like I should stick with EGO 7s and DeNiros. Tucci does EGO 7s, so I can no doubt count on Tuccis, too.

Ariats
Pros: Gorgeous color, wide footbed
Cons: Ugly zipper, fell apart after one year, never could zip them up all the way

DeNiros
Pros: Excellent leather quality, durability, square toe, water resistant
Cons: After 4 years, they need full zipper replacement and have dropped a little too much. Not bad! The leather is still in great condition.

Effinghams
Pros: I didn’t buy them (“free” is always a nice benefit), durable (still in my closet)
Cons: They don’t seem to exist anymore

EGO 7s
Pros: Styling, price, quality, elastic zipper guards, heel guards, elastic panel that is not too stretchy, comfortable footbed, grippy soles
Cons: Haven’t found any yet. I’d buy these again at US retail at this point.

Parlantis
Pros: Comfortable right away, elastic zipper guard, squishy footbed
Cons: Looked 5 years old after 2 months, calf stretched too much, color wore off, and squishy footbed–while they were comfortable, they some how managed to create pressure on the balls of my feet while in the irons, which caused my feet to go numb rather quickly. I just need hard soles, I guess.

Vogels
Pros: Made to measure, simple and elegant for the time, durable (still in my closet)
Cons: Bitch to break in, no zippers or gussets (which is my fault, not Vogel’s), can’t wear them now because calf no longer fits (also my fault, lol)

After comparing all of these brands, quality and durability are worth the price, and in the long run would save me money. I don’t want tall boots that only last a year.  I plan on getting the zippers replaced on the DeNiros soon. They’d definitely suffice as a schooling pair!

Summer Riding Attire: 2017 Edition

Riding in the summer in Texas … not gonna lie, I sometimes skip riding in August altogether. Otherwise, Texans are the experts in hot-weather riding. Most often during the summer, I ride in the Kastel Denmark or EIS sun shirts and have found the Romfh Sarafina breeches to be THE BEST for summer riding in Texas. However, options abound and there are a few things I’ve got my eye on for withstanding the more mellow heat of the evenings (because everything melts in the middle of the day here).

Fior da Liso makes some of the nicest shirts available, anywhere. The ones I have (that I bought on super duper ebay overseas sale–these shirts are too expensive to pay retail), I wear to work. And some of the prints on the S/S 2017 collection are too cute for words, like the Paula shirt.

But what to wear to show for the summer? I won’t be showing this summer because I would die of heat exhaustion, but the Horseware Sara long-sleeve show shirt has a nice lace detail in the back that might provide a little extra air circulation.

Admittedly, I have no idea what kind of sports bra to wear with it! A nude one, I guess? Does anybody have this shirt?

Now, you can never have too many tee-shirts that say stuff on them. I found a few from EQUO that sum up my feelings exactly. Both are cover-ups that you can wear over a show shirt, and they can be taken off while wearing a helmet because of the extra-wide neck line. I love targeted design considerations like that.

There is nothing more accurate.

And while we are browsing the EQUO website, may I point out their schooling breeches? These look like yoga pants, but with sticky knees … unfortunately the price tag puts them well out of my comfort zone for buying just for schooling. I will merely admire them from afar.

But we all know by now how much I love the Romfh Sarafina breeches — thanks again to Carey! So when the Gabriella breeches came out, I knew I’d need them. Yes, need.

I got them in White Sand, so I can show in them, too, just in case, ya know?

They are low-rise, and have sticky knees, both pluses in my book. Can’t wait to see these in more colors!

So, as you can see in the above picture, I like cute socks. While browsing “funky socks” online, and narrowing it a bit to equestrian vendors, I ran across Inkstable socks. Corgi Inkstable socks, to be clear.

Um. I know some people that might need these. Any chance there will be a dachshund version?

Just one more accessory to go, people, and a bonus item that I really normally would never write about …

The accessory? A belt.

Ruespari belts look like the summer must-have equestrian belt from where I’m standing. They seem a bit pricey for being elastic, but that’s not unheard of in the equestrian world. The equestrian-style closures are really cute, though, so I couldn’t overlook these. I would happily accept one as a gift. *hint* (Actually, no, don’t spend like that. Very irresponsible. Said the horse owner.)

Okay. If you have made it this far, I have one last item to recommend for summer riding, and that item is underwear. Not something I feel very strongly about, except for this particular pair …

These Ex-Officio Sport Mesh briefs are pretty much my go-to for riding when it’s hot and humid out. Zero chafing. Quick-drying. Lightweight, and comfortable. More than I would normally pay for one pair of underwear, but I don’t regret having a couple pairs tucked away in a drawer for when I need them. These are worth the investment.

I shamelessly took pictures from vendors for this post. Happy shopping, right?!

 

 

For Sale

Not the horse, lol! I am selling a few riding-related items …

Lo-Ride breeches, black, 28, excellent condition

Goode Rider Legacy Breeches, beige, 28, good condition

And not pictured … 2 belts and an Aztec Diamond top that is size medium but fits like a small/petite small.

As for price … all reasonable offers entertained.

Black Backgrounds and Grey Tall Boots

Eli has adjusted to the presence of our new neighbors roaming around in the field of the adjacent property. Took him about two days to “get it” that the neighboring horses do not eat other horses.

When I arrived at the barn Tuesday evening, I was not expecting to ride because of the damp weather. However, the newly-leveled arena had great footing for the most part–a few slick spots that I could easily avoid but otherwise I had a very pleasant ride just before sunset and Eli focused on work rather than stuff outside the ring and apparently he saw no invisible lions in the dimming light.

I got to try out my new tall boots … I have made many immediate conclusions, but I will hold off on posting about them until I have ridden in them a number of times. The short version is I am pleasantly surprised. I got these boots primarily for schooling and I am not sure how long they will last, but if they go more than a year, then they’ll’ve beat the Ariats and I paid about the same price.

I also begged a talented young rider who has a good eye for photography and editing to give one of my snapshots of Eli the black background treatment, and I love it! I really like the contrast and how white Eli’s snip looks. Thank you, Rowan!