Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping … especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? While browsing for gear is fun, sometimes it’s just overwhelming to search through all of the products that are available for you and your horse. Companies featured in my posts have very generously provided me with their products, so that I may try them out and share my own experiences with all of you! Of course, every horse and rider is a unique individual, so each product may perform differently for you and your horse then it does for me—after all, different things work for different people (and horses!), and that is all part of the variety of life! This column is meant only for me to recount my personal journey, and share my own and my horse’s experiences with all of the exciting products featured. While I make no recommendations, I hope that you have fun and find entertainment while reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences might help give you factors to consider when you are on your own quest for new gear!
With the arrival of Spring comes spending more and more time out at the barn and in the saddle. In my neck of the woods, that equates to sloshing around in the mud and trying to feign ignorance to the seemingly continuous rain showers. Somewhat annoying? Sure. But after making it through another Winter season of snow, ice and Polar Vortexes, no way are a few rain showers going to keep me from riding. That doesn’t mean that I actually enjoy getting wet, by any means. Best case scenario for me is usually grabbing a jacket, gritting my teeth, and just going for it. Of course, one point of unhappiness for me remains the fact that going out for a ride in the rain means that my saddle is going to get some water spritzed on it. Which I’ve never really been able to come up with a solution to help me avoid.
I first became familiar with the All Weather Rider by Asmar Equestrian a couple of years ago, and was intrigued by the concept of a longer length jacket made for riding in a range of conditions. When I attended the AETA’s (American Equestrian Trade Association) trade show back in January, I had to stop in my tracks when I was in the process of walking past Asmar Equestrian’s booth (I think it was a little awestruck at the rows of lovely pieces of riding apparel in bright colors…what I can I say, I’m a total sucker for colors). So many colors…so very many lovely colors! By stopping at the booth, I had the chance to get my first up close look at the All Weather Rider (or the AWR as I like to call it), and even was able to try one on. While it looked totally chic with my street clothes (right down to the sleek looking logo on the left sleeve), I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to take it with me to the saddle.
Well, I did in fact get my chance to try out the All Weather Rider. The jacket comes in two weights–the original fleece-lined verision, and a lightweight version (that does not have the fleece lining). I had the opportunity to try out the lightweight version of the All Weather Rider, in a vibrant shade called ‘Tangerine’. The AWR is also available in a number of other bright and attractive colors; some of my favorites include Cobalt, Scarlet, Magenta, Plaid (Black or Brown) and Coal (which is a charcoal grey accented with pink). Ok, so there are a lot of great colors. The jacket itself is made out of a soft shell material, and the garment itself feels of a very nice quality. The lightweight version of the All Weather Rider is quite well suited to wear during the rainy Spring season.
I pulled the All Weather Rider on after I tacked up go for a ride; but before mounting up, I took a minute to make a few adjustments, in order to reveal the front and back skirts of the jacket. The back skirt simply unzips, while the front skirt unsnaps from the interior of the jack and zips up. Simply use the main double zipper on the All Weather Rider, and pull both parts upwards so that you are able to expose the front skirt. The ends of the sleeves also unzip to provide a little extra room at the end of your sleeves, as well as three pockets–two regular side zipper pockets, and a small zipper pocket on the left chest for storage, in case you need to stow away your phone or a chapstick. The hood is able to be unzipped and removed, but I personally like to leave it attached to the jacket. The complete transformation process to change the All Weather Rider into “riding mode” really only takes a minute (or two at most), and is easy.
Once I mounted up, I took a moment to adjust the front and back skirts to drape nicely over the saddle. After warming up and starting on some flatwork, I couldn’t help but notice that the nice subtle stretch that the fabric had to it. Not once did I feel constricted while trotting along; the only thing that I felt was true freedom of movement. Both the front and the back skirt stayed in place nicely as I rode – I felt no interference, and did not feel either one catch on the saddle or hinder my movement. The additional cuff inside the sleeves also functioned well to keep wind from blowing up them to give me a chill. Not only was my saddle protected against the elements on a day full of clouds and scattered showers–I also looked great the entire time. I can also say that the All Weather Rider, specifically in Tangerine, will be a staple once Fall arrives, and I’m hacking out during hunting season. The bright colors are not only stylish, but they also include reflective piping along the back for safety.
While the All Weather Rider does function well in the saddle, I also find myself wearing it out on the town–out to the feed store, shopping at the mall, dining out, and even to the office–with the skirts zipped back into place, of course. Rain or shine, the AWR looks simply smashing when worn out and about. Even while out in a steady rain, I stayed perfectly dry while raindrops beaded up and rolled off of the soft shell material of the jacket. While using the hood, I found that it works well and stays up for the most part (unless the wind is pretty gusty). What surprised me was the number of my “non-horsey” friends and acquaintances that commented on the All Weather Rider when they saw me wearing it – usually they were of the theme that the jacket looked very stylish, the color was very attractive, and it looked like it would keep me nice and dry. Of those points, I could only agree with all of them.
The All Weather Rider is truly a lifestyle piece; instead of having a separate barn coat and casual coat, I can easily wear it to the barn to ride in, and then when I leave for other activities afterwards. I like that it was designed to be functional for equestrians, but then can converts into a fashionable staple piece for every day life. It is, however an investment piece – the retail price for the All Weather Rider lightweight version is $320. While it is certainly an investment, I still feel inclined to add another to my collection of gear for a few reasons. I like that I only am buying one high quality, signature type piece instead of two separate jackets, so that I will certainly be wearing it for years to come. But more than that, I like that it was specifically designed with a front and back skirt that allows it to conveniently drape over my saddle – it is unique, and I’ve never seen another jacket quite like it. Even though it comes with a bit of a steep price tag, the All Weather Rider is a true blend of fashion and function for the equestrian who wants to look great at the barn and everywhere else their travels take them.
Take a look at the video below to see a demo of how the All Weather Rider transforms:
Go High Fashion in the Ring (and around town). Go Asmar Equestrian. Go Eventing.