AEC Trade Fair Tour Part 3: Style and Safety

C4 Belts show the AECs some love! Photo by Lindsey Kahn C4 Belts show the AECs some love! Photo by Lindsey Kahn

To anyone visiting the Texas Rose Horse Park during the 2014 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, do not — I repeat, DO NOT — miss the trade fair in the large indoor arena. From big-name EN sponsors to independent or family-owned vendors, this year’s trade fair hosts a variety of shopping options for you to ogle, fondle, drool over, try on and take home with you after the show.

I am spending much of my time in the trade fair impulse buying working at the Smart Tie booth, so allow me to take you on a multi-part tour of the many companies and products gathered at the AECs!

Can I have one of each, please? Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Can I have one of each, please? Photo by Lindsey Kahn

When it comes to style, C4 Belts are where it’s at. From their ridiculous amount of color customization options and lifetime guarantee, to the company’s charitable giving and earth-friendly design, it’s no wonder that riders everywhere have become obsessed with these amazing belts. What better way to show off your colors AND support a great cause? I nabbed a gray belt and a sky blue belt yesterday and am tempted to go back to find my favorite color combinations, red with a black buckle!

Chinch LOVES these shirts. Photo via EN's Instagram

Chinch LOVES these shirts. Photo via EN’s Instagram

Okay, how hilarious are these T-shirts? Chinch made an executive decision, and forced me to raid Exceptional Equestrian‘s stock of these shirts, which are soft and lightweight and basically the best thing ever. Want to show people why they don’t want to mess with equestrians (or, alternately, why they might like messing around with equestrians)? You know you want to. The power of Chinch compels you.

Breeches for days! Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Breeches for days! Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Unff. I’m a sucker for breeches. The vendors along the outside edge of the arena have awesome selections of riding clothes, such as Ovation, Noble OutfittersFITS and more. The beautiful designs on Animals to Wear shirts and jackets are always popular, and the huge VTO Saddlery booth has some unbeatable deals on sale breeches and tops.

The Bridle Suite of Texas is another mobile store featuring popular brands of clothing. Whether you’re looking for high-quality yet affordable riding gear or something fashionable and fun to wear any day, the AEC trade fair has a wide variety of options to choose from.

Gorgeous browbands by HPF Designs. Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Gorgeous browbands by HPF Designs. Photo by Lindsey Kahn

In addition to the many riding fashion options, the Trade Fair is also host to many companies that are devoted to outfitting your horse with high-quality customized tack. Take HPF Designs, based in Kaufman, Texas. They offer custom browband designs with hand-dyed, cut, vegetable-tanned leather in a variety of colors and shapes. The colorful beadwork is stunning, offering everything from simple and classic to bright and bold.

Devoucoux, represent! Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Devoucoux, represent! Photo by Lindsey Kahn.

If you’re looking for an investment that’ll bring you countless years of happy rides and happy horses, Devoucoux and CWD are happy to help. The technology and comfort of these saddles are world-renowned, and just check out that custom orange piping in the back — how cool is that?

Ride Safe, y'all. Photo by Lindsey Kahn

Ride Safe, y’all. Photo by Lindsey Kahn

From helmets to air vests and everything in between, the Trade Fair features several vendors specializing in safety gear. You can find Point Two air vests, Kan Teq protective riding vests, Charles Owen helmets, a contest featuring Ride Safe LLC medical bracelets and much more. Whether you’re just researching your next purchase or are ready to make a purchase, this is a great place to find your essential safety gear.

Stay tuned for Part 4: Dogs of the AECs!

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