Equine specific brands v.s. general athletic wear - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-31-2014, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Equine specific brands v.s. general athletic wear

Is there really any difference between, say a Kerrits fleece pullover and a Columbia or Underarmour fleece pullover? I'm looking to get some winter riding gear, as well as professionalize my entire riding wardrobe without paying outrageous prices. Anyone know of cheaper kerrits, irideon, Goode rider shirts that won't break the bank? It doesn't have to be equine specific brands. I'm currently searching eBay and it's hard to find the shirts!

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post #2 of 18 Old 08-31-2014, 10:42 PM
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All my riding shirts have come from various "big box" stores.. sometimes the exercise dept, more often the boys dept as they are half the price of women's shirts!

I am a cheapskate at heart and refuse to pay big money just for a label.
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-31-2014, 11:10 PM
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Yes, the difference comes out to about $20-30 dollars per item, sometimes more.

IOW, no, there is no real difference other than that some brands are "horse brands". Some items will have nice little features like extra pockets with zippers and such, but they're not really deal-breakers.

You do not need to wear "riding clothes" to ride. As long as you're comfortable, wear whatever brand of whatever you want. Sometimes I wear the leggings I wear at the gym or dance practice to ride, sometimes I wear jeans, sometimes I wear breeches. I usually am wearing whatever shirt I grabbed that matches the bottoms - in the summertime, that means it's almost always a t-shirt or tanktop from Walmart.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 03:58 AM
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Let me preface this by saying I don't really know squat about riding specific apparel. However, almost every activity is chock full of specialized gear and apparel, some of which is a lot different from general purpose stuff, and some of which is just about the same, but with labels added to make it more expensive.

My advice is to figure out which items are essential for you and where getting the real deal really matters. For those things, bite the bullet and get the best gear you can afford, then do what you can with the rest.

A couple of years ago I bought a canoe and recently took my first trip in many years to the BWCAW in Minnesota. I bought one specialized bit of gear, which was an excellent quality Bending Branches canoe paddle. That is, quite obviously, essential gear for canoeing, and it was money well spent despite being ridiculously expensive. For everything else on that trip, I used gear I already owned, or made things myself.

The trick, I think, is for you to figure out which things are your canoe paddles.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RegularJoe View Post

The trick, I think, is for you to figure out which things are your canoe paddles.
Nothing to add, I just wanted to say that this is a great piece of advice. I feel like it could be used as metaphorical advice for other things in life too.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 07:54 AM
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Apart from my boots and my jods.. anything goes for the rest of it! Jods I pay a bit more for, and the last pair I bought were 130.. they're still going strong after 4 years.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 08:09 AM
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Sometimes there is a difference and sometimes not. Breeches have seems designed not to rub you or your saddle. From the waste down I only use equine specific clothing. My tops may or may not be, but I have found that even good quality tops are really just as expensive. I like my
Clothing to last and look good so I picky I am all for shopping used or eBay
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 08:59 AM
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I shop goodwill or other consignment stores for winter riding clothes and barn clothes in general. Amazing how little underarmour costs at goodwill versus a sports store.

Second hand stores are a good place to go for riding jeans. And in 'horsey' areas you can even find breeches.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! I already ride in breeches. They help me out a lot, but In the summer I usually wear a tank top, or just a regular tee shirt. Being in Texas I get soooo hot and sweat like a maniac. I'd like find things that are not only cooler, but just a little nicer, or more presentable. Luckily winter isn't too big a deal here, but I need a fleece something because the jacket I normally wear is a wind breaker type and is way too loud. I don't see myself buying any of the equine brand stuff...it's just too expensive and I'm sure I'll find similar items for much cheaper.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-01-2014, 10:55 AM
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Boots should be specific to horse riding (either english or western), but the rest is kind of variable. Most breeches are designed with material that can stand up to the rubbing the saddle causes, and are designed so that there aren't seams on the inside of your leg that will rub you or the saddle. For that reason I don't think there's really any substitute for breeches. Several years ago I rode mostly in these lightweight cotton pants that were not designed for riding. I enjoyed them, but they did have a seam to rub on the saddle. They also weren't designed to take the friction of riding, and the crotches rubbed giant holes in both pairs within a month of each other about a year or two after I bought them. Since then, it's either been regular jeans or equine designed breeches. But, riding definitely does shorten the lifespan of my jeans as well...

As far as everything else goes? Unless I'm showing or something, anything goes. My formal show shirts are equine brands, but the polos I wear to schooling shows are not. I wear normal tshirts and tank tops for everyday riding. I have one nice Ariat quilted type jacket that I LOVE, and I wear it for activities other than riding. The material isn't stretchy, but even though the jacket is fitted it has give in all the right places for riding. There are a lot of little features that make it great for riding, but I also survive with normal, everyday fleeces and jackets.
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