Blinged Out

You might have noticed that Gus had some major bling during dressage at Poplar.

Well, I decided that being he has a fancy dressage saddle and is now a fancy dressage horse, he needed a fancy dressage bridle to match! So off on a search I went. I originally wanted the Schockemohle Picasso bridle but, much to my dismay, I found that it was no longer being made and the only ones I could find left in cob were brown. This would have been fine a few months ago but now my dressage saddle is black. A brown bridle simply won’t do. Eventually I found the Schockemohle Den Haag which was almost exactly the same except with a flat (instead of rolled) flash and a different brown band.

I ordered it from a shop in Europe so I was understandably a bit nervous about getting it on time and getting it at all! There was actually a whole thing with the post office because they tried to deliver it while I was at work and when I went to get it they said it wasn’t there! Panic moment. I asked them to look again and thankfully they found it.

I’m really pleased with how the rolled leather looks on Gus. He’s got a very refined face and I think it emphasizes all the right places. I also LOVE the bling. Yes, it’s a lot but you can barely tell that Gus has a star and stripe anymore so it’s not competing with any markings. Plus, Gus is fabulous. He needs a bridle that will show that fabulousness off. I am not the only one who thinks that either as we received a lot of compliments on it at the show. Even the judge told us we had a fantastic turnout.

This is the most expensive bridle I’ve ever purchased but I’m happy with everything about it. The leather is really nice, even the rolled bits which I was afraid would be too stiff. It even came with rolled/rubber reins which helps complete the look. The only negative about the bridle is that it is a very BIG cob. I had to add holes to the throat latch for poor Gus and it is still a little big and if I wanted to actually use the flash I’d need to add some more holes there as well (but I keep it really loose and only ride it in because I like the look). This isn’t an official review post but, all in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Schockemohle bridle.

Winter Blues

Can they be called winter blues if it’s 70 degrees and sunny out? I’m not convinced but I have no other adjective for what I’m feeling right now so let’s just roll with it. Things are just off. I know 90% of what I’m feeling is due to work and the other 10% is my normal winter and short day glumness but it doesn’t make things any easier to deal with. So I’m trying to focus on the positive.

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Like, that I am getting a fancy new helmet and it is arriving today… and not the reasons behind why I am getting a new helmet (suffice it to say, the story is gross and I never want to think about it again let alone write about it here).

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Or the fact that, while I am in love with my new saddle, it now means I have to spend a lot of money on new saddle pads, a new girth, new stirrup leathers, and a black bridle. I love buying new things. I don’t love paying the bills!

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I sent my entry for Poplar in this morning and I am so excited to get showing again. It feels like forever since we ran at Chatt Hills and I know that Gus and I are in a much better spot training wise so this should be fun. Plus, Hillary will be there and blogger meet ups are always a blast.

In reality, I have lots of fun things going on so hopefully I’ll snap out of this funk soon. Things at work aren’t great right now but all I can do is take it one day at a time and go visit my pony. At least he doesn’t expect anything from me  but carrots and kisses!

Review: Lund Five Point Breastplate

Five Point Breastplate by Lund Saddlery

With how impressed I was with the quality of Lund’s figure 8 bridle (more detailed review of that will be forthcoming) I was really excited to get the opportunity to try Lund’s new five point breastplate. I have a Voltaire five point but even with it being a small/medium, it’s too big on Gus so Lund sent me the cobb size to try.

The first thing I thought when pulling it out of the box was: this is what you expect a five point breastplate to look like. It is substantial in a good way. The Voltaire is a very dainty breastplate but the Lund five point has thick solid elastic but doesn’t overpower the horse once it’s on. I wasn’t at all worried about anything breaking while out on course.

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Again, I was very impressed with the quality. The craftsmanship is wonderful and I loved all the fancy stitching and big fluffy sheepskin pads. I’ll admit to being a little worried that Gus, the sweatiest horse I’ve ever worked with, would ruin them within one ride but so far they are holding up.


And speaking of keeping things cleaned… I LOVE that basically every strap is able to come completely off and completely unbuckles. It makes my life a lot easier and is actually one of my biggest pet peeves with the Voltaire. I can’t add a clip to the girth strap of the Voltaire because that buckle does not fully come apart. Not only does Lund’s girth strap buckle come undone, but it comes with a clip.

It’s the little things.

When going to fit the five point on Gus, I had a bit of a frustrating time. Everything but the elastic fit on the very smallest hole but the elastic just wasn’t roomy enough. I have come to the conclusion that Gus is probably just always going to be a hard horse to fit and that this is not Lund’s fault at all. I was able to get a decent fit while tacking up but due to my saddle not being a great fit on Gus, it kept sliding back and pulled the breastplate pretty tight. Again, not Lund’s fault and you can’t fault it for doing it’s job!

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Even being a bit high on the chest and a bit tight, Gus didn’t seem to mind and jumped around our XC schooling with no issues. I actually had more than one compliment on how pretty it was (and how pretty the bridle and breastplate looked together) and my trainer wanted to steal it. I think in the looks department, this gets an A+.

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After riding in the five point a handful of times, I really only have one complaint which is that having the extra leather under my boot really bothers me. On a short ride I don’t notice it too much but on longer rides it really does dig into my calf. I am hoping that this will become less noticeable as the leather continues to be broken in and softened.

Final Thoughts

This breastplateretails  for around $160 USD. For that you get big fluffy sheepskin, beautiful navy elastic, good solid leather that starts great and gets better as its oiled, and that perfect eventer look.

Tack Review: Majyk Equipe Color Elite X Country Boot

Color Elite X Country Boots by Majyk Equipe

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As a somewhat side note before I get into the main review, how amazing is that slogan? I hadn’t seen it before doing this review and I LOVE it. I want it on everything. Does Majyk Equipe sell that on a hat? Because if so, I need it.

Anyway…

Review

This review is going to be a little bit hard to write and not because I don’t have lots to say about the product, but because the boots are just so pretty and I want to share all the pictures!

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I was stoked when I heard that these boot were coming out. First, I had heard great things about the Majyk Equipe boots in general and second, because ORANGE. Yes, finally a company that makes something cool in my XC color (without having to do a super complicated and expensive custom order). That alone was enough to make me salivate.

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Since I couldn’t go to Rolex this year, I waited for what felt like forever to actually get my hands on them but was finally able to put in a pre order at Four Star Eventing Gear. I don’t remember exactly what I paid for them since I was able to get a preorder discount  but they currently cost $99.95 for the fronts and $115.95 for the hinds over at Riding Warehouse(and we know they always have fun sales going on that can bring that price down).

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I’ve touched a little bit on the prettiness of the boot but lets go into more detail. They are super pretty. The orange (can’t speak for the other colors) is very bright but not in a neon way and really pops against the black. I got several compliments on the boots while XC schooling the other day.

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The best part is that, so far, they have cleaned up after every use and nothing has dulled the orange underlying or muddied it. It’s my biggest pet peeve with all my orange stuff, once it gets muddy it doesn’t stay pretty. But not these. That “forever clean” coating they boast really seems to work! Can they just sell me a bottle of that? I need to coat everything I own.

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The construction of these boots is really nice as well. I didn’t find any loose threads or areas where I thought they might come apart quickly, so far, so good. They are also thick. The outer coating is harder (but not hard) plastic while the inner lining is a perforated foam that allows the heat to escape. I was a little worried this wouldn’t work but so far I haven’t seen any extra heat in Gus’ legs.

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If I had any complaints about these boots is that I’d really love to have double locking velcro like the woof boots. While I’ll secure these with black eelectrical tape out on course, I’d love to have just a little bit extra. Of course, I haven’t had an issue with the velcro so far so this is just me being picky.

Final Thoughts

While I still haven’t had these boots long (a few months), I have been very pleased with them. I have worn them trail riding, racing, jumping over all manner of things and never once have they failed to keep Gus’ legs free from (new) nicks and scraps. I even put them on over an older but not completely healed scab and when I took them off three hours later, it looked exactly the same, and hadn’t pulled the scab off. We’ll see how well they hold up over a more intense season next spring but so far I’m impressed.

 

An Unofficial Review

If you follow me on Instagram (@laurenhaggerty come say hi!), you may have noticed that this showed up on my doorstep the other day:

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You all know I was in the hunt for a second bridle for the GusGus and after hearing bits and pieces of how nice Lund Saddlery’s stuff was, I figured I’d wait around until they officially debuted their line. But I had no idea when that was. What if it was next year sometime? Did I really want to wait that long? (Clue: No (and if you know where that is from, you deserve a cookie!)).

So I Facebooked them, explained my dilemma, and, much to my amazement, was told they had exactly what I wanted in stock. Sold!

And you guys, it’s everything they claim it is. Right out of the box the leather was so soft and supple. Way nicer than anything I have and much nicer than the other bridle I own in that price range. Plus, the shipping was fast and the customer service top notch.

The only bad thing I can see is that it’s so pretty I didn’t want to put it on Gus!