August 14, 2014

Blog Hop: Equestrian Wardrobe

I love blog hops and now Equestrian At Heart has taken over, so I am looking forward to some new topics. Go ahead and shoot over to her site and get acquainted with her too :)

She posts:

I want to know about what you ride in and why? Show us your Equestrian Fashion choices and tell us why you wear them!

I scavenged what pictures I could off my phone to show off my lovely wardrobe. I dislike shopping, so I rarely ever go and most of my riding apparel is either scrounged up from my regular closet or was a gift. But here goes:

I grew up riding miles and miles of trails in the summer with my Aunt and Uncle. I wore whatever was comfortable and I believe that ended up being cotton breeches and a t shirt. I wore knee high black rubber riding boots (stylish - I know!) to prevent ticks as well as for those afternoons when we inevitably ended up in the creek. A helmet was also mandatory.

As I got older and branched out on my own I basically just stuck with that except I exchanged the rubber boots for Ariat riding shoes. They no longer make them anymore and I still have mine in good working condition after many miles and 5 years of use, but have switched footgear options out.

Endurance is all about color and comfort and so I go with anything that matches Gem's red and black and is comfortable. Currently my set up includes a brown Troxel Sierra helmet which is always, always on my head. I never ride without it although I do run with Gem without it on. It is comfortable enough and I honestly doubt any helmet is really very cooling, but it works. It is not flattering to my head/face shape one bit, but until it is ready to be replaced I'm sticking with it.

Moving on down my shirt is generally whatever t-shirt I have at hand and don't mind getting stained with Gem grime. On conditioning rides I don't care the color or the make. In the winter I am usually wearing at least 3 layers - t shirt, long sleeve shirt, fleece vest. Up north in the arctic I would ride to -5 Fahrenheit and so would usually also add a fleece coat to the mix.

For actual endurance rides, I must match and I have my favorite Irideon red and black t shirt that is some awesome tech fabric. It is cool, comfortable and lightweight. Unfortunately, it is also no longer available. When it comes time to retire it (or if I ever have time to venture into multi day rides) I won't be buying actual riding shirts, but instead will gravitate to running/hiking gear. It holds up well and is very comfortable. The only issue with tech material is that it smells. Quickly and permanently.

Moving farther down the line:  I keep my cotton breeches for conditioning. I think they are Tuff Rider brand with suede knee patches and used to be beige. Now they are a mixture of beige, brown, black and green. They are 5 years old as well and are starting to disintegrate. Little runs by the knee patches have turned into big holes. They are ok for conditioning, but I rode 15 miles in them once and nearly cried from the chafing.

My mostest favoritest piece of clothing used to be my Irideon Issentials tights in black with a small red pin stripe. They were amazingly comfortable, didn't chafe at all anywhere and matched! But then I had a bit of a problem at Biltmore and they were ruined. (Actually in the TMI category they weren't really ruined at Biltmore, just sort of gross, but then they got left in the laundry pile outside the laundry room by the hubs and the dog came by and ate out the crotch so they had to be pitched) I can still buy the Issentials, but they don't have the red and black anymore. I don't really need them until October, so I am weighing my options.

The whole get up was so nice, comfy and pretty. Please ignore chubby Gemmie. This was over a year ago.

And last, but not least I use Just Chaps neoprene mesh half chaps. I have a review on the blog here somewhere. They are comfortable, but seem flimsy and after not that many rides they are already showing signs of wear. I doubt I would shell out $75 for them again. My original half chaps are pictured above - Ovation leather and suede and they have lasted many years and many miles. I think they cost like $35 too. The knee patches are pulling off the rest of the chap, but I think I can find someone to restitch it for me. I will go back to these in the future.

Shoe wise I began in ariats of some sort. They are tennis shoe style and again no longer available. They are pretty comfy, but after awhile I ditched them for my Brooks Glycerin running shoes and won't go back. The Brooks are just plain comfy and are nice when I get off to run some miles.

Irideone tights, Just Chaps, Brooks running shoes

And that's just about it. I always wear my Garmin (when I remember it) and if I am out for a long time or it is particularly hot out I will throw my Camelbak on as well for hydration. Nothing fancy, but it is all comfortable and works well.

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