Eventing Gear Reviews Please :)
Hey guys! So I am going to do eventing with my gelding, I moved to an eventing barn recently (dressage lessons going great!) and I hope to compete in a couple two phases and maybe a horse trial this summer. So far we are loving it and I know its something we/I are going to do for a long time.
Right now I'm riding in my close contact saddle, and its hard to do dressage in it. I'm not really wanting to have two saddles (the one I have + a dressage saddle) so I was looking at eventing/all purpose saddles. I saw this one, and liked the look of it. Any one have any experience with HDRs or this saddle specifically? Does it look like a good starter eventer saddle? Could I do all three phases in it, at least for a while? I'm really doing mostly local stuff, for now.
"Made to withstand the rigors of eventing, this HDR saddle features specially designed flaps and wool flocked panels. Accommodates adjustments in stirrup length for optimum balance on the flat or over fences. A beautiful, functional and high performance saddle at an affordable price"
Henri de Rivel Wool Flocked Event Saddle | Dover Saddlery
Next up, boots. So, I know people recommend Woof boots a lot, but I was just looking at others to see what was out there, and I found these.
Eskadron® Cross Country Front Horse Boots | Dover Saddlery
I know they are a little pricey, but when it comes to his legs I want them to be well protected and I'd be willing to spend money for that. Does anyone have them? If you don't, do they look any good? Would you buy them? I'm new to this so I'm not really sure what to look for.
Next, this bridle. My trainer recommended I get a figure 8 bridle, so I was looking for sort of a middle of the pack one, this was the only one I could find that was a complete bridle, not just the noseband, and was under $200. Does anyone have it? I think it looks pretty nice, has rubber reins and the fleece on the nose. Is the fleece on the nose a good thing? I know it looks pretty snazzy :)
Joseph Sterling® Comfort Plus Jumper Bridle with Figure 8 in Hunt / Jumper at Schneider Saddlery
Alright, breastplates. I was looking around and I found this one on SmartPak that I really like. Its elastic, is elastic good? Or should I be looking for all leather? Any way, here it is, I just saw it and I thought it might be a good thing to have haha :)
Harwich Elastic Breastplate by SmartPak - Breastplates from SmartPak Equine
So, I think thats it for tack, the major stuff at least, I'm going to need to win the lottery, haha! Who knew switching disciplines would require such a major shopping spree!
So, last thing, what vest would you recommend? I have tried on a Tippererary before and I thought it was super comfy, but they aren't certified? I'm assuming whatever I get needs to be certified? What other ones are good?
Thanks for any and all advice, I'm really having fun on this new adventure we've taken up!
Subbing, because I want to get into jumping.
For the boots, the Eskadrons have always seemed over-priced to me. I'm a fan of the Premier Equine Air-Cooled eventing boots. They keep the heat out and don't retain water.
Premier Equine Air Cooled Eventing Boots - Front Boots from SmartPak Equine
I love my Airowear vest. Above all, make sure your vest is certified.
The saddle will be fine for all phases to start off with.
Eskadron do make good quality boots. The ones you have picked will be fine. Although I do agree with Equiniphile about the Premier Equine boots. They are really good quality ones :)
Why did your trainer recommend the figure 8/grackle? Does your horse cross it's jaw as a bit evasion? if not then the noseband is not going to do anything and you would be better off keeping your current bridle.
Elastic breastplates are fine, just make sure whatever you buy is fitted correctly. Too tight and you will impeede the horses movement - too looses and if something happens and you need it, it won't be able to do it's job.
Here is a list of manufaturers that do BETA level 3 rated body protectors... Hvae a llok through them and you should find something you like :)
Eventing is awesome!! Be aware though, it's addicting!! :-)
I don't think you necessarily need to go out and buy a whole new saddle for eventing. I evented for years in just my close contact jumping saddle, all the way up to prelim, before I finally got a dressage saddle. That said, if you're in the market anyways, that saddle would probably work just fine. You'd have to sit in it though, I have a few friends who had HDR's in the past that put them in kind of a peculiar position, and ended up having to get a different saddle. They're not the greatest in terms of quality, I'd probably recommend going the used saddle route instead of buying new, you'd get more bang for your buck in terms of quality, but again, if it fits you and your horse and you're happy with it, that's all that matters!
The boots would definitely work, although I think they are fairly pricey as well. At the lower levels and just starting out, open fronts or regular splint boots are perfectly acceptable. Once you start getting more serious and moving up, then I'd invest in a good set of cross country boots. Woof boots, Dalmars, Nunn Finer, Premier Equine, there are so many different ones!
The figure eight bridle would be fine for eventing, pretty much any bridle would be just fine. You don't NEED a breastplate, if your saddle tends to slip back or you need to put a running martingale on it would be handy though. Depends on the horse. I would definitely go with elastic though if you decide to get one, much more comfortable and less restrictive for the horse.
As for vests, a certified vest isn't required, so you can shop around and find one you like. I just have the regular Tipperary one that isn't certified, it's light and comfortable. There are lots of options though! It being certified is a personal choice now since it isn't required, so it's up to you. Personally I don't feel the Tipps are any less protective that the others, but it's all about what you want.
One of the good thing about eventing, is that there's no "dress code" like there is in hunters or jumpers. You aren't going to get marked down or frowned upon for having the "wrong tack" or "wrong color", etc. Whatever tack that you currently have is usually more than sufficient, provided it's clean and in good repair, and is legal for eventing. I don't think a "shopping spree" is necessary at all, especially when someone is just starting out. But all the stuff you posted would be just fine for eventing:-)
Yay~a new eventer! Welcome!
For boots- I school with polos and bells in front and Woof boots in back.
I do xc and stadium in my Woof Boots and use Davis Boots in back. I LOVE my Woof boots to death and have them in many colors. I like how you can use them on front and back boots. I got mine from SmartPak I think.
My saddle is the M. Touluse Premia. It's super comfortable and about the only saddle that fit me. I got it from a local tack shop. It has moveable thigh blocks and knee rolls so I school dressage and jump in it. I use my Wintec Dressge saddle for dressage phases, though.
My bridle for xc and stadium is my Figure 8. Mine is a pony Beval that fits awesome and matches my saddle beautifully. I usually use this for dressage but I sometime use my Kvalkade dressge bridle (when I use the dressage saddle).
As for a breastplate, you could really use a hunt one, but I really like mine I have now. It doesn't have a brand stamp or sticker, so I don't know what brand it is. It fits my pony, so it's probably a cob size. Its all elastic and does it's job. My friend uses a 5 point and loves it, but I don't have a preference.
Have fun eventing!
Love the saddle. I think that's a great design for all phases. Deeper seats are preferred over close contact saddles for XC these days. I know I feel much more secure in one.
Don't know anything about those boots.
Any reason why your trainer is recommending a figure 8 bridle? I don't know what, if any, advantage that style would offer to you and your horse. What type of bridle is he in now?
Vest: Love my Airowear. Full protection and forget it's on. You can get it in colors if you order it from the UK.
I haven't used a breastplate yet. I have a hunter style one in my trailer, but it just seems to hang there on the wall. I just can't justify using it cantering around a BN course.
Oh yeah...welcome to eventing! You're gonna love it.
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As for vests, a little birdie told me they are going to start requiring certified vests with Equine Canada soon. The Tipp vest does not offer the protection that the CO/Airowear/Lami-Cell provide. However Tipp just came out with a new vest that is BETA 3 and ASTM certified. They were just launched at the Rolex and they are fabulous vests.
To me a vest is just as important as a helmet. You wouldn't go out in a helmet that wasn't certified would you? Vests are very much the same. If its not certified that means it is not going to protect you on the same level as a certified vest would.
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