Rider Review: Strip Hair

Last year I went searching for another shedding/ grooming tool that wouldn’t be so abrasive. When I came across the Strip Hair product line I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. It is unlike any other tool I have used as it is made of a flexible rubber. I was hopeful that this tool would be better received and more useful on sensitive horses or on sensitive areas.

Price: $48 for the kit (some retailers sell individually)

1-StripHair-Large-1024x877 Review: I have to admit that initially I wasn’t a fan of this tool. I tried it out on my saddle pads first and was not impressed. It is a self proclaimed jack of all trades type of tool… but unless your horse is a yak I find that it is a bit hard to get satisfying results when using this as a shedding tool. It did essentially nothing for cleaning up my saddle pads but I do rather like it as a grooming tool now that I live in a land of sensitive mares.

@striphair Hard at work on the baby horses yak coat

A post shared by Hillary M. (@equestrianathart) on

Not only did this tool keep Luna from wanting to kill me when I was grooming her – she is a delicate flower – it also helped with hard to reach or soft spots (legs, throat, nooks and crannys). My primary comparison is the SleekEZ tool which is probably one of my favorite shedding/ grooming tools around for both dogs and horses. While I still think that the SleekEZ is superior in removing caked mud or dead hair the Strip Hair will be my tool of choice for my more sensitive horses. Instead of shying away Luna was actually leaning into me running this tool across her. Annie and Houston don’t seem to be quite as opinionated about it but it did work just fine on both of them as well. striphair

Bottom Line: If you could buy just one of these at or under $15 I would say give it a try. I personally wouldn’t pay more than that and I think the kit is a bit unnecessary. I won’t be replacing my SleekEZ with the Strip Hair but they are both useful and will each maintain a spot in my grooming bag.

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Majyk Equipe ARTi-LAGE Tech Dressage Boots

I have now had my Majyk Equipe ARTi-LAGE Technology Sport/Dressage Boots for about 3 months. I have to say that I love them so much that it regularly crosses my mind to buy another pair. I already have arguably too many sets of boots though so I have been holding out.

ME blue Price: $89.95/pair from Riding Warehouse or save $40 if you buy 2+ pairs for $69.95/pair or $140 for a set of fronts and hinds.

img_1863.jpgReview: I have used a variety of sport boots. From your cheap Woof Wear Boots all the way to Valena or DSB brand and everything in between. I have owned so many I can’t keep track to be honest and none of them were really nice enough to keep me loyal to a brand or particular model.ME inside

Enter the Majyk Equipe sport boots. These boots are a game changer and honestly I expect nothing less from ME at this point. The fit is exceptional and they clean up like new (regardless of how frequently you clean them). I honestly find myself riding in them more often than not. No more fleece/wool lined boots for me. These boots hold up to all conditions and I know that will they protect my horses legs in daily work. If you have a horse that interferes or maybe just like to ride with a little bit of protection these are the boots for you. The technology that ME has invested in really pays off. From the outer binding to the double elastic there is nothing I don’t like about these boots.

Bottom Line: If you have been looking for an all purpose sport boot look no further. I really held off on these boots and I can confidently say now that whether you like bright or more traditional color accents there is most likely a Majyk Equipe boot for you. Annie tends to be rough on boots and herself and these boots have held up great. Definitely check them out if you are in the market – you won’t regret it!

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Do or Do Knot Rope Halters

I have now had my Do or Do Knot Rope Halters for a few months and I have to say that I love them. When Houston was a young twerp he lived in a rope halter as I felt that it gave me a bit more leverage without being as harsh as a chain. I hated having to tie it though and always went back to a normal halter. I started looking around last fall for a more convenient rope halter and found this brand among all of the other crazy priced options.

Price: $16 to $40 (basic no hardware all the way to a wrapped noseband, side pull rings, a crown snap, and a breakaway tab)

img_0292-1.jpgReview: When I saw the Do or Do Knot had rope halters with snaps AND breakaway tabs I knew I wanted one. Houston still sometimes needs a little extra reminder that he is not a big goofy dog on the end of a leash. I also was really intrigued by the option to be able to use the halter as a side pull. Lindsey, the creator, offers great customer service and worked with me to get the right sizing for each of my horses. Bonus is that the crown of these halters is somewhat adjustable so I can make my black halter work for Luna as well as Annie.

Another thing that I think is awesome is that you can choose from a variety of colors and size options to get the halter that works best for you. Additionally these halters are made with a really high quality rope that is smooth and comfortable for your horse.

img_2469Bottom Line: If you like rope halters but prefer the convenience and safety of a traditional halter you should check out Do or Do Knot. My halters have been very abused and hose off great. Not fancy but for a rope halter I think they are a great option!

Do you guys have halter types and brands you really prefer?

 

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Lund 3 Point Breastplate

lundlogoI think by this point most bloggers or blog readers are familiar with the new guy on the block tack wise. Lund Saddlery has been gaining awareness with their awesome giveaways and quality affordable tack. The Lund 3 point breastplate is no different.

dscf7538

Price: $175 CDN (approx. $130 USD depending on conversion rates)

Review: I normally don’t like hunt/3pt style breastplates but this breastplate made strides to change that. As with all of the other Lund products I have seen the materials are the same. The long lasting sedgwick leather, thick navy elastic, and stainless steel hardware make this traditional piece of tack a convenient staple for daily use. The snaps at each point are much appreciated and the fact that all of their breastplates include a running attachment and dee savers is a big plus. Those points alone sell it but when you add in the fancy stitching and soft Italian leather padding this breastplate is the clear winner.

The only other navy breastplates that I have been able to find with navy elastic are the Antares elastic breastplate ($270) and the SmartPak Harwich elastic breastplate ($100 – currently on sale) which actually doesn’t have a wither pad so you don’t even get the nice oh sh*t strap benefit of a breastplate with that model. In my experience with all three brands of tack the Lund is a much better value for your money than the Antares and the quality is well above the Smartpak line.

For size comparisons and another opinion a fellow boarder actually used the breastplate for a few weeks and was also impressed. Annie is a cob in most pieces of tack but she is more refined than a lot of cobs that I know. I wanted to see how the breastplate would suit a thicker breed so enter Quincy the paint. This breastplate fit both horses very well!dscf7571

Bottom Line: If you have been looking for a nice breastplate and don’t like the style of a 5pt or bridge breastplate this is the one for you. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this brand for those in the market.

Make sure to enter this months drawing for a chance to win a breastplate of your own!

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Lund Saddlery Flash Bridle & Reins

lundlogoI have now had my Lund Saddlery flash bridle for a number of months and wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

Price: Bridle – $200 CDN (approx $150 USD) | Reins $90 CDN (approx. $68 USD)

(dependent on the exchange rate)Review: Just like my 5 point breastplate the details on this bridle are fantastic. The stitching is tight and looks crisp (what you see is really what you get). In addition to looking nice the padded mono crown of this bridle adds a more modern touch to a very classic looking piece of tack. The quality of leather is what you would expect from sedgwick and I really feel like this thing will survive anything. I have been very unkind to this bridle (seriously everything short of just hosing it off) and it still doesn’t seem worse for the wear. A quick wipe with a damp sponge and she is ready for action! Sizing wise Annie is in a cob which is fairly standard for her as she is in a size 2 CWD bridle and also wore a cob SmartPak bridle that was actually almost too big for her.

At our last horse show Bear somehow lost his collar and since then has been wearing the flash from this bridle. Maybe Lund will start making dog collars???

The reins are more than worth the money – fancy stitched + rubber?! Beautiful. These reins initially took some getting used to as I am more accustomed to the NunnFiner soft grip. Now that I have been using these daily for a few months I love them. They have just the right amount of give and remain grippy even if they are wet or sweaty.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for an affordable quality bridle that will survive just about any kind of abuse you can think of this is the bridle for you. Lucky for you all this months giveaway is this very bridle!

November Lund Giveaway!

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Lund Saddlery 5 Point Breastplate

img_3516-1

lundlogoA couple months ago I was given a breastplate and some other items to review by Lund Saddlery. When I was contacted and told the goal was to provide quality tack at affordable prices I thought whats not to like!

Up first is the 5 point breastplate.

Price: $160 USD (this will fluctuate with exchange rates) or $210 CAD – I personally find this to be a steal of a price for what it is

Review: As a full disclosure I was not expecting to love this tack so much. I am spoiled and have to admit that I am normally a french leather kind of gal. I have agonized over not purchasing tack from other well known brands that provide Sedgwick solely because for the money it just didn’t seem like a good investment. 5 Star I am looking at you and your Rolex booth.img_2902

Finally with Lund I have found a brand that carries nice Sedgwick that doesn’t have a shiny film over it at a reasonable price to boot!

dscf7556That said this breastplate is made of leather that is much nicer than I have encountered at anywhere near the price- the use of Italian leather for the padding is a really nice touch and who doesn’t love navy (don’t answer that because I might judge you). As Amanda mentioned it isn’t as buttery as french leather but I bet this stuff would survive an apocalypse.

img_2354 It is oh so fluffy and might make you want to pet it. Lund thinks of everything and even provides matching dee savers.dscf7541 Every point of this breastplate that can has a swiveling snap for convenience and despite all the abuse I could muster (including hosing it down, not cleaning it for a disgusting period of time, and other offenses) I have seen no signs of rust or chipping to the coating. img_2347The detail of the stitching, perfect thickness of padding, and the quality of the materials if very evident. I tried to find a flaw in the craftsmanship and drew a blank. I have never owned a 5 point before now because I just didn’t like what was available for the money. They were all either bulky, the wrong color, or ridiculously over priced. If you want a 5 point, like navy, and appreciate good quality then this is the breastplate for you.

Lucky for you the Lund October Monthly Draw is for this lovely hunk of leather. You know you want it! Click here to enter the free drawing.

Continue Reading

Rider Review: If The Bonnet Fits

This has been a long time coming but I think that it is safe to say now that I have a bonnet problem… I shared this new addiction of mine earlier in the summer. Well… Since then I have added 2 more bonnets to the family and I am constantly scheming up new ones…

For the sake of full disclosure I do not have experience with other custom bonnets. I randomly decided I wanted to try one and Sierra had a lovely premade bonnet in colors that I wanted. A small fee added onto that and I had custom ears. YES PLEASE! I have seen all sorts of off the rack varieties (varying price and quality) but after The $900 FB Pony started talking about If The Bonnet Fits I knew that it had to be on the up and up. Price: Somewhere between $45-$75 would be my guess depending on the number of rows, custom embroidery, and materials used (I prefer mercerized wool). There are plenty of bonnets for less and you could even spend more (WHY?!) and get a De La Coeur bonnet… I like money too much to spend $125 on a hat for my horse. Sorry not sorry. Overall really great pricing for what you are getting.

Review: I personally don’t think that these bonnets can be beat. They are well made, priced fairly, and fit really well. They can be sized custom as well if needed – Annie is a special bird and has to have a custom length bonnet with big ears. Additionally the customer service can’t be beat. The timing can vary depending on the volume of orders but Sierra communicates any delays and is always very accommodating – she even offered to expedite shipping of bonnets to a show for me!

img_1946-1.jpgETA: Since this post I have had 2 more bonnets made and have others in the works. Bottom Line: If you like bonnets, good customer service, and reasonable prices you need to check out If The Bonnet Fits. I am sure that I will continue to grow my collection in the future!

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Sun Horse Shampoo

sunhorseshampoo

A couple weeks ago I got two bottles of SunHorse Shampoo. I had been eyeing this brand but as my most favorite retailer Riding Warehouse doesn’t sell this stuff it wasn’t as easy to casually throw into the shopping cart.

Price: $9.50/bottle or $18/ two bottles – I think this is pretty reasonable for an 8oz bottle of shampoo regardless but when you consider how far a bottle goes it is a great bang for your buck. I usually don’t like very concentrated shampoos but this stuff is an exception.

Review: I am pretty picky about the products that I use on my creatures. As evidenced by the fact that I created my own coat spray! That said I really like this shampoo. I have used it on the horses, the dogs, and I will admit to even washing my own hair with it in a pinch at the barn. I have been known to do this with Herbal Horse Shampoo but I usually don’t stray to other brands because of the ingredients. This shampoo is made from natural ingredients which is another big plus in my book. Luckily for me this product goes really far (the bucket above was just a dollop) and cleanses without being drying or leaving residue. Perfect for all of the creatures and occasionally the human too! The scents are refreshing but not overwhelming for those of you that are sensitive to strong aromas. Most of all Annie’s coat is nice and soft after a bath and she dries shiny and fresh. Bottom Line: This shampoo is a good value for your dollar. I personally don’t recommend using shampoo every bath but I would have no issue using this stuff on a more regular basis as from my experience it would not leave a residue or dry out the coat. Perfect for the quick bath or a show as it definitely helps to clean up the chromey bits too!

What is your favorite shampoo?

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Millbrook Stirrup Leathers

millbrooklogoA few weeks ago I received a pair of Millbrook Stirrup Leathers to review. Now that I have been able to put a decent amount of rides in with them both over fences and on the flat I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you.

IMG_1666Price: $149 (my CWD leathers run about $180) – this is a reasonable price for the quality and design and $30 cheaper than my previous leathers

Review: My initial thoughts after receiving these leathers is that I love the design and finishing touches. The button at the end of these leathers is classy while still not drawing too much attention. I was worried that they would feel bulky but after the first ride they laid flat at the stirrup bar.IMG_1753

As someone that suffers from chronic knee pain/foot numbness and/or shin bruising when riding I can definitely say that these leathers are a new favorite. My stirrups do have an offset opening for the leathers but when comparing these leathers to my standard CWD leathers I can notice a big difference in how the leathers lay against my shin bone. An added bonus is that your leathers don’t get twisted due to the way they are designed.

These stirrup leathers come in both black and brown (I need to use some neatsfoot to continue to darken mine) and there are also a handful of different sizes with a handy size chart if you are unsure what length you would need. IMG_2027Bottom Line: You should buy these stirrup leathers. I was skeptical at first but now I am solidly in the Millbrook camp. If you suffer from rubs or bruising from your current leathers or just do not like the feeling of the way a traditional leather lays against your shin I would encourage you to give these stirrup leathers a try.

Tune back in for information on a possible giveaway!

Continue Reading

Rider Review: Winston Equestrian Paris Tech Shirt

logo-colorEarlier this year I won an awesome contest that Luxe Eq and Winston Equestrian paired up to host. A few weeks later I found myself the proud owner of the nicest show shirt I own and will probably ever own. I was given some options and ended up landing on the Paris Tech Show Shirt and wanted to share my thoughts now that I have had it for a few months.

Price: $189

logo-2Review:

woman_shirt_paristech_001The Winston Paris Tech shirt is a “stretchy textured cotton” which makes it not only comfortable but also somehow not see-through. Megan @ LuxeEq held my hand through the selection process  (she is the bomb guys!) but I probably should have sized up – in the future I will do so.

img_9248 As a junior I tended to lean towards a more fitted style but now that I have a bit more shape I find that I am definitely more comfortable if I have a little breathing room. If you like a fitted style or are of a more slender build and struggle with shirts looking boxy on you then I would urge you to try this or another Winston shirt out. For size comparison I was given a size 38 Paris Tech. I usually wear a 36 RJ classics or a small (tighter)/medium (just right) in the Talent Yarn and Kastel show shirts.

img_9887While I was fully mobile, comfortable, and crisp looking in this shirt I would recommend anyone that feels like they are between sizes to go up because of the French sizing. Apparently the shirt looks good though as I have been given multiple compliments from those around me when I wear it at shows. Amanda at The $900 Facebook Pony did a review of another model Winston shirt (among other things) if you are wanting other opinions!

Bottom Line: If you are searching for a nice shirt with a bigger budget the Winston line is something to consider and probably can’t be beat. These shirts offer the benefit of staying comfortable but sticking to a more classic look. Happy shopping friends!

Continue Reading