I initially didn't think much had changed with my gear, but then I remembered I finally caved and bought a second helmet to keep at JT's barn. It's another OneK, but since it isn't playing double duty as a show helmet, I got navy and rose gold, shocking myself with the change from plain black.
I'm still wearing the Xtra Tuffs as well, but they're starting to wear right at the toe bend (there's gotta be a more technical term for that spot) and are no longer waterproof. I think I might join the croc cult next.
As far as show clothing goes, I have now tried out the AA MotionLite Show Coat and I LOVE it. It is comfy to wear, much cooler than any other coat I've worn, and it is just a really nice coat. I get soooo many compliments on the green on Ben.
|Best boy at Rocking Horse last December|
|Isn't his dark coat just so lovely with the green?|
Bridle is a Micklem with a Myler Baucher. We played around with him in Ben's HS Sensogan Eggbutt, but he seems to like the stability of the Baucher and leans on it a little bit less. The micklem keeps him from being too busy with his mouth without making him irritated by feeling constrained. The Micklem competition bridle was on sale, but only in cob, so that's what he got. He's very close to outgrowing it, fingers crossed he doesn't. The cob browband was definitely too small for him though and rubbed him the first day I put it on, so it got swapped out to Yoshi's old Equiture Aqua and Sapphire browband. I also CANNOT hold onto reins that don't have leather grips (and lets be real, I can barely hold onto them when they have grips), so I got a pair of Smart Pak web reins. So far so good on that front, I haven't used any of SmartPak leather products so far.
Saddle wise, he is going in JT's Forestier Boekelo with the B15 (slightly narrow) panels. I am taking full advantage of the ability to use her saddles until November or so when I think I'll look into a Tobias saddle for him. They've come recommended from a few different sources and are wool flocked, so would continue to be adjustable as he fills out. He's currently in one of JT's breastplates, or Ben's PS of Sweden Melbourne.
|Fluffy thinline, shimmable, but without shims for him|
I have fallen in love with the Lemieux saddle pads. They fit perfectly with the Forestier saddles, stay nicely up into the gullet over the withers, and have the elastic and velcro loops that attach to the D rings of the saddle. I have NO NEED to buy more saddle pads, so I only have two jump pads that I bought when they were on sale. I WILL NOT stalk the sales to see if more go on sale... I have an entire stack of pads in my closet that never even see a horse anymore...
That's it for Goggles other than his KL select bell boots. He went through a phase of standing and moving so closely behind that he was kicking himself and he wore the Silver Whinnys that Yoshi wore. However he seems to have outgrown(?) that phase ::knock on wood:: so I don't have to wrestle those on/off his legs anymore.
We've made a couple of changes in saddles. He is still in the Forestier Boekelo, but those changes they made last year seemed to make it work. He goes in that with the Mattes pad, no shims. I caved and bought him his own since Ms. GY started using hers again. With the thick fluffy thinline pad, the saddle is actually too narrow. But without a half pad at all, it is too close to the withers.
|Boekelo, mattes half pad, LeMeiux jump pad|
|Same bridle as last year, sans noseband because he's cuter that way and I hope that the less I screw with his tongue/mouth and home, the more likely he is to keep the tongue in for 4 minutes at a show.|
|Loose ring KK - I put this in while Goggles was using his HS Sensogan. He's pretty lovely in either, so I just haven't bothered to switch it back. Noseband was back on for the POP show we just did.|
Dressage wise, we ended up putting the exact panels that worked for him on the jump saddle into the dressage saddle, a Forestier Aachen. This one always LOOKED nice on him, but it made his back super sore. Which was weird because the jump saddle always looked worse but never made him sore. However, putting the jump panels onto it made it work. He wears it with a THICK pad, but no half pad. Our vet correctly identified the half pad was making it too narrow around his withers and shoulders and when we took it out one day during a riding assessment, he breathed a sigh of relief.
|Plain fillis irons... nothing fancy|
His girth is now the LeMieux GelTek Anatomic Girth. He seems to like it just fine, but he also liked the Collegiate Goggles now wears just fine. This was his show girth that got moved into daily use when Goggles got his Collegiate. So far I am really liking it as far as durability. It is the first leather LeMieux product we've had.
Ben's cross country bit set up has pretty much been settled as well, it's a two ring double jointed gag with a chain. It gives him just enough WOAH that if he starts to barrel down and pull between jumps I can half halt and he LISTENS.
|Best action shot I could find of the bit, but you can barely see the chain|
One fun little touch... I bought my first ever fun spur straps for our slightly longer roller ball spurs for XC.