Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Product and Gear Review from Fort Valley

I was able to put several things into use for realz at this ride that I'd only been using in practice prior. And, because nothing can ever go as planned, I did use a couple things *for the first time ever* at this ride - very blasphemous to the usual endurance rider motto of "nothing new on race/ride day!"

Equine Aid

Well, I FINALLY got to put this stuff to the test. Numerous bloggers have had contests for this stuff over the past several months. I never outright won a contest, but Equine Aid did send me a small sample to try despite not winning! A rather wonderful thing to do, in my opinion.

I had two packets of the stuff to try and had been awaiting my ride to use it. I never stall my horses unless its some requirement for rehab of an injury. They're turned out 24/7 on 20 or 40 acres depending upon if we close off the top pasture, so not an ideal situation with which to test the product.

I set up a tub of water for Q with the Equine Aid and a bucket of regular water at the ride. This little mare doesn't drink a lot in camp and never has. I hoped to rectify this considering we had 50 miles to complete!

Unfortunately, for Q at least, this product just didn't cut it. She actually stayed away from the tub with the Equine Aid until it was her only option. As soon as she was presented with a bucket of "clean" water she went back to it as her first option. I guess if its not a muddy puddle or stream in the woods, this little mare just isn't interested. Bummer because I still need to figure out how to get her to drink better in camp!

Wearing the boots here.
Dublin Pinnacle boots
I've lusted after some sort of fall riding boot (I have a boot obsession) for awhile. At the No Frills ride in April Jen had these on. I'd previously seen them worn in some of Karen Chaton's photos of endurance friends on Facebook and thought, If these ladies who ride 1000s of miles in a season are wearing these boots they've got to be pretty kickass. Seeing them in person on Jen had me completely convinced I needed them!

The $200 price tag wasn't too steep either. They were reputed to be waterproof, too. Sounded great to me! A perfect fall/spring boot at the barn.

I finally bought them (for $178 instead of $200 thankyouverymuch) in September. The smallest size they make is a 6 and they're still big on me! I had to get an insole to help out with the little bit of roominess in these boots. Perfect for thicker socks though, I reckon!

I. Love. Them.

I'd tested them a little here and there during the month prior to the ride, but I really got to test that waterproof claim out on the ride when we crossed that stream that I had to walk across! My feet were only wet from the water that sloshed OVER my boot top. Other than that? Dry! I'd call that a success.

Kerrits Flo-rise Performance riding tight
A rider at the Ride Between the Rivers ride this year was wearing a pair of these at dinner. I was smitten right then and there. They looked SO comfortable and breathable and happy. The perfect summer riding tight around here. She couldn't recall which ones they were when I asked other than "Kerrits".

I set to searching the internet to try to figure out which ones they were and decided they were likely the Flo-rise tight. Shopping with Saiph at the end of September I FOUND THEM. And they were really affordable at ~$55. I was very excited.

They're SO COMFORTABLE. I could probably sleep in them. I tend to walk around town in my riding stuff as is, so its sort of bad that I now have a part of tights I don't want to take ever.

Equipedic Pad
Well, this was a bit of a last minute ohshitIneedapad decision.Catherine had a spare and it was similar to my Toklat pad in that it had inserts along the horse's spine.

It worked wonderfully. No weird rubbing. No back soreness. Nothing. Just as if we'd ridden with the pad we were used to! I'm definitely filing this information away for next time I go shopping for a pad.

Sponge leash
As opposed to the retractable dog leash I had been using (the size that a toy-sized dog would have).

A sponge leash?! you ask. Yes. This was my first time dealing with something non-retractable. It got caught under my knee a lot as we moved out and I constantly had to fix it. Not the end of the world, no, but definitely annoying. I may have to find a different place on my saddle for it in the future.

Well, I elyted Q. And honestly, I'm not sure it made a huge difference. Granted, this was a cooler temp ride, so I'll have to try this again in hotter weather.

Mary is the queen of elyting and her horses drink like camels all the time. I've never witnessed horses who drink so well! I figured I had to try.

Next season I'm going to use the same mixture she does and see how things go.

Overall, not a bad go of it for some first timers!

Boots, pad, and tights featured in this photo.
Go, Q, Go!

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