Recently while cinching Jim up in his western saddle, I looked at him and wondered if there was a better cinch for him than just the straight cinch. After speaking with my trainer, we came across the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief cinch. Available in synthetic or leather and then a felt, neoprene or fleece liner, I chose a black leather cinch with white fleece for Jim. Then I eagerly awaited the mail.
The cinch arrived in good time and unboxing it, I was surprised with a hat that had come along with it! Pretty cool plus! The fleece is very soft and the leather is supply and smells great. It has a roller buckle on one end and comes with a good diagram of how to use it.
I rode Jim in it the next day and he loved it! After walking him around a bit, it fell right in place. He definitely enjoys having the fleece on his skin instead of neoprene rubbing. It also looks sharp. I absolutely love the shape of this cinch and Jim enjoys it too! He rode very nicely in it and it frees up his elbows and shoulder very well.
The only downside is a small negative to the fleece. I rode in an 85 degree + day in the northeast. It was very humid and Jim had sweat a lot. After riding, I made sure to rest the cinch upside down off from the saddle to dry out the fleece since it did get quite wet. However, Total Saddle Fit does sell replacement liners so if I ever want to switch out the fleece, I can without losing the cinch! That is a nice feature I’m sure I’ll use sometime in the future.
Total Saddle Fit has these cinches for western, dressage and English saddles. The two English versions are even sold at Dover Saddlery. It was a bit expensive ($130 without the fleece, $169 with the fleece), but the quality is there and I’ve already recommended it to a number of friends! I can’t wait to log some more miles in this cinch.
(Disclaimer: I purchased this cinch with my own funds.)
It’s January and it’s time to sit down and collect our goals for the year. Most equestrians only have to focus on their personal goals and what they’d like their year to look like. In the case of being 1/2 of an equestrian couple, it’s a team effort.
Decisions such as what classes are we doing this year are broken down into “which ones can one person enter and which ones can the other?” Is one of us ready to move up a division and the other one stay in the same or are we both moving up? And it varies by show series. Some show series have certain classes while others don’t. Will I be the one to take Jim into the in hand classes or will my husband? Will he take him into Western Halter while I take him into English Halter? It goes on and on.
That’s on top of our usual personal goals and where we would like to see our riding this year. Luckily, him and I see very eye to eye on one thing with Jim: dressage. He tried dressage with Jim last year after I was ranting and raving about loving it. Now he’s just as hooked. Having dressage (both traditional and western) as one of our goals actually makes life easier since we can perform different tests. The trick is not performing more than allowed since some show series have rules on how many tests one horse can do at a single show.
Beside dressage this year, we set our eyes on one thing: our first overnight show. We took our budget from smaller shows last year and compiled it to focus on one, big September show – the New England Pinto Horse Association show in September. It will be the first time we have gone to a multi-day show where we don’t have to show off of our trailer. We set aside our vacation days from work for before and after so the horse show hangover won’t be so bad! And with it being in September, we have plenty of time to perfect our rides and train for it. Luckily we have trainers with us who support us in this goal and are ready to help us get there!
The show season begins early for us this year with a dressage show kick off in March (and maybe even a show before that!) I know we are ready and going to have so much fun this year because I can’t imagine anything more fun in the world than showing alongside my best friend and my horse.
It’s not hard to find the matches to your riding socks in your drawer with the Dreamer & Schemers riding socks. I have fallen head over tail in love with these socks!
(Screecher decided he wanted to be in the photo.)
I bought my first pair of Dreamer & Schemers a few months ago after I had followed their Instagram for a contest. Their vibrant colors and trendy designs caught me immediately. The designs were totally me and they had something for everyone – whether you like unicorns, jumper designs, avocados, sushi, etc. The list went on and on. I have even gotten my friends hooked on them!
Along with being very fun designs with a personality of their own, the D&S socks feel great. They have a nice black sock bottom that’s smooth and comfortable in your boots. At the top is a stretchy black band that helps keep your socks up. They’re quality.
(Doesn’t the black horse look like Jim?)
The socks fit up to a 16″ calf. I run about a 16″ and although they do get a bit snug over breeches, they do fit. I tend to be that weird short person who hates ankle bunching with the bottom of my breeches so I tend to wear my socks under my breeches with my half chaps. (P.S.- If anyone has a solution to this, PLEASE hit me up on my contact info on the blog or comment below!)
The socks usually run about $17 although she runs sales pretty consistently. Right now they’re $15 with a buy 3, get 1 free deal. She also works with companies to do custom socks so if you go by the View Halloo site or some of your friendly tack shops or bloggers, you might find some limited editions!
The socks are stylish, comfortable and a good buy for the price. I’ve already gotten a few friends hooked on them! (And some of them don’t even ride English!)
(Disclaimer: I bought these socks myself!)
Recently I went on the search for a new everyday saddle pad for Jim and I. He sweats a lot (black and New England in the summer do not mix well) and I was looking for something that had a lot of moisture wicking, but would be stylish, stay in place and fit my saddle.
During my search, I came across the Professional’s Choice VenTECH Jump Pad. Retailing at $39.95, it wasn’t a bad price. Attached to my western saddle is a Professional’s Choice VenTECH cinch so I knew I really liked the VenTECH technology that the company puts in their products.
I ordered it in red since I decided red would be Jim’s new color. I ordered it on Horse.com with a $5 gift certificate off my next purchase on the site. When it arrived, I was so happy. Along with a wonderful underside which is entirely moisture wicking and VenTECH, the pad features D-ring attachments at the top and the usual girth holder at the bottom. Around the girl is reinforced and the pad just feels well made. It’s also shaped very nicely for a typical close contact saddle.
Overall, it’s a great pad and I would definitely consider ordering more colors. For the quality and the price point (I can’t exactly afford a Mattes!) it’s a well-made, gorgeous pad that does a great job.
(I did not in any way receive compensation for this review, I purchased the product myself and the opinion is entirely my own.)