When it comes to clothes shopping, I’m much more of a thrift store junkie than a haute couture connoisseur. I just don’t have the patience to mall crawl, and spending more than $10 on everyday jeans that will just get covered in mud and manure just seems silly to me.
But when it comes to shopping for riding clothes and gear for my horses, give me the Internet or give me death. There’s just something satisfying about perusing fun products online and
depleting my bank account buying things with a single click. I’ve been known to buy more saddle pads and bridles than I need and to drop some big bucks on those comfortable and flattering high-end breeches to wear at shows. Call it a guilty pleasure. Perhaps an addiction.
Now that summer is right around the corner and many of us are spending every conceivable free moment with our horses, it’s time to highlight some awesome and affordable summer essentials for you and your horse!
1. Dark Jewel Designs Custom Browbands
Fully custom browbands including two interchangeable strands of beads. Photo courtesy of Dark Jewel Designs.
When I first heard of Dark Jewel Designs Browbands, I knew I had to have one (or two … or more …). Customers can order fully-customized browbands in their choice of size, leather color, and bead colors and styles. Each browband comes with two interchangeable strands of beads so you can change up your look. You can also order extra bead strands, matching stock pins and bracelets. All are very reasonably priced, with custom browband sets starting at $50.
In case those aren’t enough reason to check out this small equestrian business, customers can get 15% off their orders by using the code “SUMMERFUN15″ at checkout. This code is good through tomorrow, June 10, so don’t miss this deal on a one-of-a-kind custom creations.
2. Athletux Inspiration Gear
This comfy V-neck T-shirt offers words of inspiration for us all. Photo courtesy of Athletux.
Athletux is known for its PR and marketing services for top eventers, but did you know that they also offer a sleek and inspirational line of clothing? One thing I love about these shirts is that they sport meaningful sayings without appearing ostentatious, whether you want to remind yourself to follow your dreams or inspire greatness in others.
Comfortable and practical, the T-shirts are feminine and form-fitting, and the lightweight tank tops have a modern, more relaxed fit. Whether you wear yours at the barn, to the gym or out and about, you can make a meaningful statement with Athletux shirts.
3. Swanky Saddle Monograms
Tired of the same old name plates? Check out these gorgeous monograms from Swanky Saddle. Photo courtesy of Swanky Saddle Co.
Swanky Saddle Co. raises the bar for personalized gear. I’m in love with their line of monogram saddle plates — choose from one of their gorgeous designs to create a classy yet unique way to personalize your saddle. You can also create custom monograms for countless other items, such as bridles, belts, breeches, helmets, riding crops, tack trunks, saddle pads and much more.
4. Horse Quencher
Photo courtesy of Horse Quencher.
It’s one thing for us to bring an extra water bottle or Gatorade to the barn to stay hydrated on those hot days, but how do you ensure that your horse is drinking enough, too? My gelding in particular has always been picky about his water and has even fallen very ill a couple of times over the years due to dehydration.
Now, I never take him on a camping trip or to a show without Horse Quencher, which turns an ordinary bucket of water into a delicious drink that my horse eagerly slurps up. This all-natural product has truly been a life-saver and works especially well when paired with electrolytes for those extra hot or strenuous days.
The website offers Horse Quencher in various sizes, from single-serving bags to 20-pound buckets. You can also choose from four flavors (apple, butterscotch, peppermint and root beer).
5. Impulsion Clothing
This phrase is music to my ears, and now I can wear it with pride. Photo courtesy of Impulsion Clothing’s Facebook page.
Impulsion Clothing offers fun, sassy designs for eventers, from their famous “3, 2, 1… Have a Great Ride” shirts to (my personal favorite) their “Why Eventing? Because Bull Riding Lasts Only 8 Seconds” shirts. I mean, seriously. Look at this design and tell me that this isn’t true:
Perfection. Photo courtesy of Impulsion Clothing.
This company also can design and print custom shirts, so if your barn, show or club needs one-of-a-kind clothing from a small business with a track record of great customer service and affordable prices, be sure to check them out!
6. Ear Me Now Fly Bonnets
Protect your horse from bugs with lightweight, breathable and colorful fly bonnets. Photo courtesy of Ear Me Now Fly Bonnets.
So I’m a sucker for innovative small businesses that offer affordable and custom-made products. Ear Me Now Fly Bonnets is a company that I’ve been a fan of for years. Using ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) cotton bandanas, Ear Me Now Fly Bonnets come in countless fun patterns and in sizes from pony to draft to mule (yes, mule).
Whether you want a classic pattern or something a little more crazy, they carry it all. For instance, there are whole categories in the store devoted to animal prints, college logos and fun prints (which run the gamut from polka dots to sock monkeys and everything in between).
Thanks to Ear Me Now Fly Bonnets, my Batman obsession extends to my horse’s gear as well. Photo by Mary Zuhn.
I’ve ordered fly bonnets from Ear Me Now several times, whether it’s a fun design for my own horse or gifts for friends. I’ve always been pleased with their customer service, not to mention the pricing. Fly bonnets start at a mere $7.50, and there are so many fun patterns and options to choose from that it’s easy to order several bonnets without breaking the bank.
7. Denim Breeches from Tredstep Ireland
These sleek and stylish denim breeches come with contrasting knee patches in navy or red. Photo courtesy of SmartPak.
Remember when I said that I’m reluctant to spend more than $10 on jeans for fear of them getting grungy at the barn? Scratch that. When I saw the Tredstep Denim Knee Patch Breeches on SmartPak, I may have drooled a little. From the flattering, stretchy fit to the contrasting knee patch (red is my favorite color, but they also come in a classy navy), these breeches are both practical for schooling and also stylish enough to wear out and about when you’re not at the barn.
At less than $100, they are also one of the more affordable denim breeches out there. And (most importantly, or perhaps most practically) they come with pockets — four, to be exact. Tredstep Ireland also has a full seat version of these breeches, also available at SmartPak.
8. Tredstep Symphony Verde Men’s Knee Patch Breeches
Tredstep Ireland makes high-quality and innovative breeches for men, too. Photo courtesy of SmartPak.
In case there are any eventing dudes out there starting to feel left out, never fear! Even though the men’s section of many tack stores might leave male shoppers wanting, our friends at Tredstep Ireland come to the rescue with their effective blend of comfort and technology to help clothe riders worldwide.
The Tredstep Symphony Verde Breeches are great for schooling and shows, with a breathable and stretchy fabric infused with their awesome Schoeller Nanosphere technology that makes mud, sweat and coffee stains things of the past. The design also features padded knee patches and streamlined cuffs for a close contact fit under tall boots.
Guys can enjoy these state-of-the-art breeches for $149.95 at SmartPak, which I think is a pretty great deal considering the prices of some other brands and styles that might not offer the same level of fit and function.
What are some of your summer must-haves? Leave a comment below
to enable us. Go Shopping. Go Summer. Go Eventing.