First things first, May and I had our best ride in a LONG TIME last night. I am not quite sure why. I am not even sure if she was that good. But it was the first time in a long time that I felt really secure and comfortable in the saddle and May felt super relaxed and like energy was just flowing forward without tension. Hard to explain, and possibly all in my head. But I’ll take it!
On top the topic of this post – 5 items that I bought that, looking back on it, I probably should’ve passed on. If some of these are your favorite items, let me know! The tricky part of finding riding gear is how much of it is about the preferences of you and your horse.
1. Ogilvy Half Pad
Yes – I have one of these. You can see it picking out in the picture below. (gosh my eq here…)
Anyway, this pad makes the following claims on its website:
The MemoryFoam acts as a buffer that fills any voids between the saddle and the horse, stabilizes the saddle, and provides shock-absorption for the backs of both horse and rider. This half pad will have your saddle fitting perfectly on every horse, even with custom made saddles….
A SECRET NO LONGER: as good for the rider’s back as for the horse’s back!
- V-Shape: special protection for the withers and the back.
- Maximum breathability, moisture wicking
- Superior Shock absorption
- No rubbing, no friction
- Distributes pressure
- Anti-microbial and anti-fungal
- Stain resistant
- Improved saddle fit
- Quick dry.
That’s… a lot. BUT I originally bought this pad for my old horse because he was just a lot more sensitive. He also made my back hurt like no other horse I have ever ridden. Now that I am a bit more educated, I really think his conformation didn’t work for my conformation and that it had nothing to do with saddles and half pads (I owned a devoucoux monoflap with him with short, forward flaps. Dream saddle for me. Would never work for May.)
Final thoughts, no, this pad will not made any saddle magically fit your horse. What a terrible claim to make. It worked great for my sensitive fellow, but just makes my saddle less stable on May’s back. (please do not smooth out what little withers she had, I need those). I should probably sell it, but it has some sentimental value. As a result, it sits at home, in a climate controlled room. Just in case I end up with another sensitive horse with withers.
2. Tailored Sportsman Icefill Shirt
This was not a cheap sunshirt. It retails for $65, and I think it was the first ice fill shirt I ever bought. It is also, by far, the warmest one. Seriously, I wear this as a layer over my underarmour in the winter because it helps wick moisture away to avoid the chills. The material also clings in a weird way. (that’s probably why I really only have pics of me wearing vests over this shirt. Warm and not super flattering).
The thing is though? Other people LOVE these shirts. 97% of Smartpak reviewers recommend this product. (Granted 100% would recommend the Kastel shirt, but that only has 5 reviews). Maybe try it… but you’re better off with the Kastel one. 😉
3. Majyk Equipe XC Boots
This is probably the most controversial thing I have ever said on my blog hahaha. These just didn’t work for May. They spin, they gather dirt, mud, etc, and I really just prefer my Prof Choice ones. Maybe it’s just the conformation of her legs, short and wide with big “joints”. I have no idea, but I was never able to get them to work. (Below you can see how the front right one spun)
Now, I just use them for Dressage schools and conditioning rides. Looking back at photos, these actually never even made it to a XC school. Go figure.
4. “Premium” Helmets
I have two premium helmets that I retired before they technically needed to be replaced. First, the Samshield.
This was not a bad helmet, and I really loved it when I first got it. It breathed a lot better than my old GPA, and it fit my head better. However, after the below fall, I don’t think I hit my head. I went helmet shopping anyway, and realized that the OneK fit me MUCH better and felt more solid on my head.
Before the Samshield though, was the worst helmet purchase I ever made.
The GPA Speedair helmet. Everyone remember this helmet flying off the heads of Eq riders in the early 2010s? I do. And it would’ve come flying off my head too if I ever fell in it. I still love the look of it (sorry, not sorry), but there is no way I would event in it.
5. Herm Sprenger Spring Stirrups
See them in that above picture? I don’t know what I was thinking. I had ridden in them before buying them and HATED them. My friend swore by them and told me I just needed to get used to them. SO I bought a pair. I never liked them, and apparently, neither did my eq. It looks like I only used them for a few months before getting rid of them again. And that is why I buy things used!
I replaced them in October of 2014 with the MDC stirrups (couldn’t find them used), and I recommend these to everyone I meet. They are stable, comfortable, and don’t bother my bum ankle.
I know I talk a lot about the things I ADORE, but I hadn’t really done reviews on these other items. How about you? What products did you drop $$ on that ended up not working for you?