As I’ve written before, I’m a product junkie, horse and human! Here are a few items I’ve been loving this year.
I was late to the party on the custom ear bonnet trend, but I finally bought one for Oh So this spring in our cross-country colors. I can’t say it’s something I needed for showing, but it does spice up our simple black and white dressage outfit and makes us look cool on cross-country! I’m not huge of glitter, so I went with a shimmery white thread on the red trim.
I’ve used the bonnet a few times so far, and it washes easily by hand and comes nice and clean. The thread is quite soft and the ears are made of a stretchy fabric that is custom fit to your horse’s ear size.
They have every color combination imaginable, and you can get logos stitched on too. They range from $85-$110. Now the fun is picking out one for when Thomas is ready to show!
I’d never heard of this European brand before, so while ordering from EquestrianCollections.com, I added this saddle soap to my cart. It’s a liquid with a mild sweet scent. It absorbs quickly as advertised and is made from natural ingredients.
I like to wipe my boots and bridles off after riding, and this has made for a good daily cleaner. It doesn’t soap up too much, which I appreciate for a quick wipe down of my bridles. The soap retails for $11.
Officinalis Dry Shampoo
I’m always down to try another dry shampoo. I love using them on days when I’m just grooming or when my horse’s are just a little damp under the saddle.
Officinalis has several versions of their dry shampoo, including Blueberry and Blackberry for dark coated horses, Chamomile for grey horses and stains or for horses that need a skin-soothing topical, Lavender with soothing and antibacterial properties, Rose for chestnuts and bays, and Sage, another for itchy, flaky skin that can help repel insects.
I love the scents, and they leave my horses as clean as they can be without a bath! They retail for $16.
A co-worker turned me on to this alternative for guarding against blanket rubs. Living out for the first time this winter, Oh So has a narrow chest and shoulders and Thomas has a wide chest and shoulders, and the both got blanket rubs with Weatherbeeta and Rambo blankets, and with the traditional stretchy shoulder guards.
I was skeptical that these would stay in place with just the small tab that the chest buckle goes through, but lo and behold, these things shifted less than my other should guards that attach under the chest and belly!
Oh So and Thomas already had mild shoulder rubs when I tried these halfway through winter, but the rubs definitely did not get any worse, so I think they’re a keeper!
They’re easily washable and less prone to getting soiled than the other brands. While they’re not made of a breathable fabric, I’m wondering if I might try them under my fly sheets on days it’s not deathly hot. They retail for about $13, which is also cheaper than the stretchy ones!
I’ve tried a lot of sun shirts over the last couple of years, and Kastel’s Charlotte Signature shirts are my absolute favorite. While they’re quite pricey at $75 each, I’ve never paid that price because I monitor their site for summer clearance sales. They’ll also put some products on Ebay where you can get a shirt for $25-$35.
The fabric actually feels cooling, and dries quickly, and the mesh under the sleeves is great for ventilation. I’m a huge fan of color blocking too, so I love the color combinations they have. I’m waiting for the above shirt to go on sale because I’ve had a hard time finding a true red and black technical fabric shirt for cross-country!
They feature antibacterial odor reduction in the fabric, and I definitely smell less when I drive home from the barn!
I wear these on assignment and for riding as long as it’s not 90 degrees and humid. At that point, any type of long sleeve shirt is too much for me!
My only nitpick is that I purchased a short sleeve version for the first time this year, and it didn’t fit as true to size as the long sleeved ones. In fact, the cuffs on the sleeves fit me quite tight. I would recommend sizing up in the short sleeve version. I love the full zip version too, but it looks like they might be phasing those out. Sad face!