Equine

Favorite Things – Summer

If you follow me on IG (@thelazyottb), you know that my grown up job is at the farm. I ride, teach, and manage the farm where Eli lives… we also show often, where I take on the roll of groom. All this means when it comes to picking out day to day attire I feel like I’m pretty well versed in what looks professional, holds up, is comfortable, and doesn’t break the bank.

Shirts

My absolute favorite shirts are the Kastel Denmark 1/4 zip sun shirts. In 3/4 of my #ROOTD posts in my stories, you’ll see I’m rocking one of their shirts. The price on their website is $75USD however I am pretty good at shopping clearance, so can typically get them for around $50. I usually wear a small, but typically size up to a medium.

What I Love: The shirts are super light weight, and the mesh undersides help keep me super cool even on the most humid of days. I rarely get sunburnt at horse shows, since I opt for the long sleeve version. The collar helps keep my outfit looking professional, but the variety of color combinations are super fun. The sleeve cuffs have a bit of elastic in them which helps them stay down around my wrists no matter what I’m doing. They don’t easily hold dirt or stains, and lesson horse drool wipes right off. They pass the “toss in the wash with everything else” test, and hold up perfectly even when washed with jeans.

What I Don’t: The lightweight material can be a bit of a catch 22 and easily shows lumps, even when I’m wearing a t-shirt bra. I do wear a cotton tank top underneath them, to smooth everything out, which makes it a little thicker, but I haven’t overheated or been uncomfortable even with the extra layer underneath.

Breeches

Breeches were a huge thing for me when I first started my job… I couldn’t afford the nice TS breeches like everybody else at the farm, and when I finally did score a nice hand me down pair, they fit like garbage. I went through several pairs of Kerrits tights and Dublin’s, since that was what I could afford from our local feed store, but they wore like crap.

I then bought a pair of SmartPak’s Piper breeches when they were on clearance… I paid $34 for them and had low expectations for a breech at that price point. If you want them new, expect to pay around $75-$80, which is still reasonable. They have another level up in quality, called the Hadley, which I wear for show breeches and also love, but at about $100-$120 it’s a steep price for my budget to have several pairs.

I’m about 5’4 and 110lbs, usually about a 2 in jeans, and wear a 26 regular comfortably in both styles.

The Piper’s quickly surpassed my expectations, and I have since added approximately a dozen pairs to my wardrobe. I throw a pair in my cart anytime I make an order. Don’t tell Brad…

What I love: First off, the price point is spectacular… and they always have a few pairs floating around on clearance if you aren’t super picky about color. I have high, mid, and low rise in front and side zip, and all fit well while also being flattering to my shape. They wear like iron and I’m never worried about ruining them, regardless of what I might be doing that day. It doesn’t matter if I’m packing the trailer for a show, stacking hay, or teaching a million lessons, they hold up. I literally wear them from 630 in the morning until I shower at 9pm. My first pair is almost a year old, still look brand new and have held their shape.

What I Don’t: If I’m being super picky, the full seats can be a little restrictive in the saddle. I find myself spending the first five minutes of my ride trying to get them to stretch out, especially around my knees.

Riding Boots

I am EXTREMELY picky about my footwear since I am on my feet constantly. It can make or break how my day goes, and it’s hard to have a consistently good attitude when your feet feel awful.

That being said, I don’t have the budget to invest in lovely custom boots because… horse trainer. I snatched up a pair of Ariat Heritage Contour field boots a few years ago, for about $250, and have yet to be disappointed.

I’m about a 7 in a regular shoe/boot and I sized down to a 6.5, regular calf, regular height. I could probably have gotten away with a slim but I like having room to layer in the winter.

What I Love: These boots had almost 0 break in period. I took them out of the box and immediately began wearing them 12 hours a day and my feet felt great. (I made the mistake of deviating to a pair of Treadsteps for my show boots and HATED them immediately because they will. not. break. in.) They look great and have held up to all the day to day abuse. I wear them in all conditions and my feet stay happy. They clean up beautifully with some leather cleaner, no matter how disgusting I get. They are thin enough that I can get a good feel of my horse, but not too thin that they wear quickly.

What I Don’t: The laces do NOT hold up… not even a little. Both Ashley and I have these boots and both of our laces break constantly. They do sell replacement laces and while it’s fairly simple to replace them, it’s still a pain in my ass. I found this great tutorial from Kelly over at the Hunky Hanoverian and it saved my bacon.

Work Boots

When I’m not riding, or I want to give my Ariat’s a break, I turn to my Dublin River II boots. I bought them on sale for about $170, and while it was a bit of a splurge, I needed something a little bit more sturdy than my Nikes (plus when I’m setting courses my Nikes fill with sand).

Again, I’m a 7 in sneakers and these are a 7 as well. The foot is a little big, but wanted room to layer this winter.

What I Love: They are mad comfy, with some space around the calves to allow for air flow that I don’t get with my Ariats. They are completely waterproof which is nice when I’m slogging through puddles and mud in turnout. I usually grab them when I’m wearing jeans, and are fashion forward enough that I can get away with wearing them to the grocery store without many odd looks. They are rugged and clean up easily. Similar to my Ariat’s, there wasn’t any break in period, and they provide considerably more back support than sneakers.

What I Don’t: They are a bit warmer than wearing sneakers/socks, so on the super humid/hot days, I’ll choose my Nikes or else I get gross leg sweat. I’ll probably change my mind on that this winter.

Helmets

I had been a life long Charles Owen fan for as long as I can remember, however after my last serious crash I had to replace my helmet, and settled on a OneK Defender. I have a small, oddly shaped head and often times wearing my CO for extended periods of time would give me a huge headache, especially with my hair up. When I tried on the OneK in the tack store, it was instantly more comfortable. The price point is about $250, which in comparison to Samshield or GPA is certainly on the lower end.

What I Love: This helmet is super well ventilated, which is so helpful when it’s 100% humidity and your young horse decides it’s a good time to need some extra help. I rarely ever overheat, or feel like I get extra flushed/sweaty. It provides as streamlined of a profile as you can probably get when wearing a brain bucket, and I don’t get the “mushroom head” effect I did when I wore a CO. My hair fits neatly underneath and I can wear it from lesson to ride to lesson to turn out to feeding to ride with total comfort. The chin strap is comfortable and easily adjusted.

What I Don’t: There’s literally nothing I don’t like about this helmet…

Accessories

Ahh, my favorite part of getting dressed in the morning. The majority of the riders in our barn are hunter riders, which means I enjoy getting their blood pumping with my bling and other colorful details. I’m notorious for blingy western belts and crocodile print spur straps.

Belts

I typically scour my local Tractor Supply for blingy western belts on clearance, usually between $15-$20, and it adds a super fun pop to my outfits.

If I need to be a bit more pulled together, I have a big collection of C4 belts. One of my clients is a rep, so we get them slightly discounted, which means my collection is enormous. I still get to have a ton of fun with colors and prints, but it’s a touch more subtle and usually only costs about $20 per belt.

Socks

Honestly, when it comes to socks I usually steal Brad’s dress socks, or purchase tall socks from WalMart. I do have several pairs of Noble Outfitters but other than cost, I don’t see a huge difference in how my feet feel, or how they wear.

So there you have it! A round up of my favorite things this summer.

What are your favorite essentials this summer?