Tredsteps are by far my favorite brand of half chaps yet. I've seen just about every model of Ariats fall apart and Grand Prixs too in a fraction of the life span of the Tredsteps. I've had mine for about 2 years now which is just about a miracle.
Pros: Since you can get an exact measurement size instead of s/m/l you're pretty much guarenteed of a good fit. Excellent quality, VERY durable. Look great.
Cons: if the buttons get any amount of sand in them they get stuck and can be very hard to unbutton. Plus, with the buttons being set in the elastic the elastic stretches out over time and the buttons just pop off. I took my current pair to a boot repair store, got a little reinforcement leather under the buttons for $10, hasn't been a problem since.
Paddock Boots: It makes me sad that Ariats are the most comfortable boots out there because their quality has gone to crap. Granted, I'm very VERY hard on my boots but I (nor can ANY trainer at my barn) cannot get more then a year or a year and a half out of my COBALTS. The heritages would last like, a month.
Unfortunately I have yet to find a better pair that look and feel as good.
Helmets: Are you planning on showing? Helmets fit people differently and I really feel that it's important to go try them on and see 1) what's best for your head shape and 2) what looks the best on you (mainly important if you're interested in showing).
SSV- Heard a lot of great things about them. Even seen some on the A circuit.
Elite Ultra - i almost bought this. heard it's comfortable. don't see many.
Charles Owens- Becoming the more popular brand on the A circuit. CO's have a few models and they're made to fit different head shapes. These look TEEEERRIBLE on me. Humorously bad. The Wellingtons? Look fabulous. Night and day difference. Great quality helmet, very comfortable once you get the right one.
Ahh, and breeches. Some people collect halters, saddlepads... I collect breeches.
(don't worry, I wear them all until they fall apart!) What kind do you want, show breeches? schooling tights? Summer/winter? Price range?