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claireauriga 08-22-2008 11:46 AM

Riding hats and boots!
As a very early birthday present (I don't turn twenty until October), my parents are going to buy me a riding hat so that I no longer have to use one from the stables where I ride. Dad and I went looking at them today.

This hat was the one I was going to go for - it's only 50. Unfortunately, it conforms to EN 1384, not BS EN 1384. The two standards are technically the same, but some hats tested in Germany or Italy are passed when they would fail in Britain. That means that I might not be allowed to wear this hat at different stables, because of their insurance requirements. As I don't know where I'll be riding when at uni, it's important my hat can be used everywhere!

They have some skull caps for around 50-60, and I could wear one of these with a silk ... but I'm not a fan of the look xD

The velvet covered hats make me look about nine years old.

This hat is absolutely gorgeous. It's got a lovely surface, it looks great, it fits great. It's also 105 in my size. All you're paying for is the nicer looking hat, really. It's beautiful, but I don't think I can justify spending twice as much just on a hat.

They also have one that looks pretty much like a cycling helmet; vents, flimsy plastic shell, same sort of padding inside (aside from the actual protective stuff). It conforms to BS EN 1384 and is very light, but it just ... doesn't feel as though it's protecting your head as much, you know? It's the cheapest of the lot at 35.99 (special offer).

I really don't know what to do. I'm taking a friend to her riding lesson on Sunday so I'm going to talk to the instructors about what they would recommend, standards-wise. If they say 'get BS EN 1384', then I'm stuck between a skull cap and silk ... or spending a ridiculous amount of money on a hat. I'm not sure where all the independent tack shops are around us, but at the ones I have been to, the only other nice peaked hats they have are all the super-expensive ones. What would you do? Pay the extra to look nice, or get a skull cap because it doesn't matter how you look anyway?

I also took a look at boots. I was planning on buying a pair of nice synthetic leather tall boots - about 40 - but all the adult tall boots are way too huge around the calf! I've got skinny legs; you could fit two of them down all the boots I tried! The only ones that fit are a youth rider pair that are made of rubber. They're comfy, they fit well ... but they're not nice shiny posh ones. Still, for 25, you can't really go wrong!

Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do, when you want nice riding gear that fits but aren't in a position to be spending a fortune on it? There's plenty of nice stuff out there that I can afford, but it simply doesn't fit me!

~*~anebel~*~ 08-22-2008 11:56 AM

I have an IRH. It's not one of the fancy ones with the stripe and it was about $100CAD. I love it to bits. I recommend going to a tack shop because different helmet brands fit differently. Some are rounder and some are more oval shaped.

For riding boots, splurge and go semi custom. I have had my semi custom Petrie dress boots for almost three years and they have at least 5 more left in them. They last forever and fit perfectly.
I also have some equi-comfort tall boots that were cheap, but not nearly as good quality. They are good for just kicking around, but have nice holes in them. They fit well for being non customs.

claireauriga 08-22-2008 12:07 PM

I'm afraid I don't know those brands - I'm looking for what's available in the UK, and I want to be able to try it on rather than buying over the internet, because, as you said, different hats fit in different ways. I'm going to get the addresses of the other tack shops in our area, and go take a look, but really its aesthetics that's bothering me. I want a peaked hat, not a skullcap with/without a silk, just because they look nicer.

I've got no idea where to go for customised boots. And they sound far more expensive than I'm ready to pay. I'm going to be going down to riding once per week; I won't be competing, I'm not ready to pay more than 50. I have a difficult-to-fit foot, though the rubber boots fitted great, but it's the size of the calf that's proving difficult right now >< My feet are too large (European size 40) for there to be many kids sizes that fit and adult boots are just made for legs so much bigger than mine ...

moomoo 08-22-2008 01:32 PM

With the boots, I would get jod boots and half chaps :) they are more comfy an fit better (I have huge feet and thin legs :lol: )

If you want leather, then boots and gaiters (treadstep ones are good because they do EVERY size! they have all different heights and widths for your legs)

With the hat, I have a skull and silk, but it was as expensive as a peaked one. A peaked hat keeps the sun out of your eyes, but in the UK you don't need to worry about it :roll: Go to a few places and find the cheapest peak hat you can :) Champions are for circle headed people and charles owen are more oval shape :) hope that helped ? :?

claireauriga 08-22-2008 01:46 PM

It's very helpful, thank you :)

I ride in fleece-lined mucker boots and half chaps at the moment; it's an incredibly comfy combination! So I was looking for something a little smarter-looking when it comes to boots ... I'm not a fan of jod boots (and I tried on five pairs and none fit me, typically xD).

The Champion hats fit my head better than the Charles Owen ones did, so I guess I have a rounder head xD The Harry Hall was the cheapest peak hat, but I'm not going to get it if it won't be accepted wherever I want to ride. Choosing between peaked and skull is all about vanity in this case ...

What's your opinion on Countrywide? I don't know many of the local tack shops (I'll get info from my stables) and Countrywide is the place with the biggest range of stock near me, though they weren't so helpful today. They do seem quite a bit cheaper than the independent tack shops ...

moomoo 08-22-2008 02:00 PM

if its just vanity get a peaked hat 8) . I usually just go to robinsons for most things ( but it would be pretty far for you to travel! I don't think we have a countrywide round here, and most little tack shops are a rip off but you do find the odd good offer :) you could always decide what hat you want from a tack shop then buy it online to get a good deal :)

claireauriga 08-22-2008 02:11 PM

That's an excellent idea! I can already see the Ventair available for much less than 105 ...

I definitely want to fit it in person, as fit's the most important thing for your safety, but once I know the size and style ...

Thank you xD

moomoo 08-22-2008 02:14 PM

You're welcome :) I'm an experienced cheapskate :wink: :lol:

claireauriga 08-25-2008 10:46 AM

Well, hat problem is solved. I got a Champion Ventair jockey skull for 62.99 and bought the plain black lycra silk to go over it - it has mesh over the vent ^^ Looks great, didn't cost the earth, and I had it properly fitted. I'm sitting here admiring it now.

Pinto Pony 08-25-2008 07:07 PM

As for the boots I also recommend ankle boots and chaps. I have these and love them!!! I have had them about 3 years now and they still polish up pretty well.

I preferred the lace up style as I have a narrow foot plus if I wear thicker socks in winter there is more flexibility for fit.

I love these close contact chaps, my sister had a pair and I tried them once and bought myself a pair. They come in different heights and widths, look great and give you a great steady lower leg.

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