I have once again added to my For Sale page. This time I’ve added my custom-made caramel chaps! They’re a great pair and will last forever. They’re also a pretty hot color right now! Let me know if you have questions or an offer on anything on the page and I’ll do what I can! My Ariat Boots are also currently listed on eBAy
I have really, really been enjoying the last couple of warm days. Monday, I finally go to ride outside and it was glorious! The horses, especially Milo who wouldn’t stop running for a good 20 minutes, loved being outside. Yesterday, Todd and I went for lunch at one of our favorite spots and sat outside, then I felt it was definitely necessary to go for a jog when I got home. Oh jeez, when will I ever not die while attempting to run? Someday…and someday my show pants will fit again!
This morning we were greeted with the office door being jammed. Jammed as in it took five guys about an hour to finally get it open. It’s now sitting ajar without a lock or handle, slightly beaten up. Did it really keep me from doing my work? No. Did it give me enough of an excuse to meander around the lab and not do any work? Yes. It also gave me time to order a pair of chap inserts…finally.
The mangled door...
Facing the facts is hard, especially when the facts are a: I am not going to lose weight as fast as I imagine I could (I just don’t have the drive, motivation, or will power) b: I have to come up with a solution to be able to squeeze into my show clothes. My solution for chaps, is the chap inserts, which I bought today. They cost $57.00 with shipping, not bad considering the alternative of getting new chaps. However, I haven’t spent that much money outside of horse bills in a long time. It really freaked me out. I’ve become so driven to save money for showing and riding…and well just keeping my horses, I’ve forgotten that it is OK and in fact normal to spend money on occasion. Oh and I also have a job so I can earn back what I just spent. The fear of spending is fun-crippling and ridiculous in someways and good in others. I know I can save but now that I’ve bought one thing, I want to buy so much more!
The other day, I sorted through a pile of show clothes deciding what I needed for this year and which outfits I want to wear. I know I will need to buy a few new pieces and I am really looking forward to it! But knowing buying show clothes can be daunting, I came up with a game plan. I recommend taking the time to go through what you have, and what you need the most before attempting the huge task of finding the right clothes. Here are some tips to get you started filling in your wardrobe or if you are just starting out and on a budget!
- Consider what level you will be showing at (there’s no need to spend the money on world class outfits to show at the local level)
- Do some research on how to measure for important things like, hats, jackets, chaps, show pants, and field boots. with the help of a friend measure yourself and record the measurements on a piece of paper you can carry with you to horse fairs, tack shops, and to set beside you while using the internet!
- Instead of purchasing a number of basic necessities in various colors, choose just one color such as black, chocolate, or tan for a hat, chaps, and show pants. This will allow you to invest a little extra money into quality rather than quantity. A quality hat and chaps are important because they are items that you will be able to use for years.
- Stick to a solid color saddle blanket. It’s cheaper and can be used with many shirts.
- Picking your tops will be easy! eBay has a number of very reasonable show shirts that can be used for western classes.
- If you want to spend a bit of extra money on something nice and/or sparkly, I recommend looking for an all-day jacket. It’s a piece that is suitable for both halter classes as well as riding classes!
- When looking for English attire stick to what is basic and classic. A black or navy hunt coat (well tailored!), a white hunt shirt, and tan breeches. Most of these items can be found at a number of price levels.
- Field boots and hunt caps can be tricky but can be found used for a better price. If you’re looking for field boots remember boot black and a good leather conditioning can go a long way to help sprucing a boot up. Just be careful not to show in rubber boots or boots where the calf is way, way too big (it looks sloppy). The hunt cap should fit well and the velvet should not be discolored or saggy (as they get that way when they’re old).
- Remember that most things like shirts and jackets can be tailored inexpensively for a more custom look and crystals can be added to show shirts!
One last tip, don’t feel pressured to have to buy something at a horse fair or tack shop. Sometimes the ‘sales’ really aren’t that great. Do try a lot of things on and check out quality so if you purchase things online, you have a better idea of fit and what to expect. Also, don’t be afraid to check out some non-horsey stores for jackets and shirts. I have a shomanship jacket I bought at Marshall’s for $15.00…added a few crystals and ta-da showmanship jacket! Good Luck!
Because all of my chaps are on the tight side this year, I decided to invest in a pair of chap inserts rather than buy new chaps or have mine altered. This plan was going to give me a cheap fix to make all my chaps fit…except one pair. I have a pair of really lovely turquoise chaps made of ultrasuede but the zipper is plastic. The chap, zipper standard is a YKK #10 brass zipper. I decided I would just put new zippers on myself. This proved to be a more difficult task than I expected. Between shortening a set of zippers I already had hanging out in a box of scraps and sewing them in straight and correctly, I became a master of ripping seams. It was difficult, my workmanship is a little off, and it took forever but I saved some money. It was worth it to me!
Chap Inserts are a great way to give you some extra leg room without permanent alterations.
Tomorrow, I will be off to Equine Affaire. Although I really don’t have any money to spend, I plan to take a list of things I need, see if there’s any good deals, and check out products I’ve only ever seen online. I’m hoping to take plenty of pictures and get some good ideas. I’m also going to be looking for chap inserts! you can buy them here for a pretty decent price but I’m wondering if there will be anything similar at horse fair. I’ve recently tried on all my show clothes for the season and my chaps are pretty tight. Since they are way too expensive to replace, I think I will give the chap inserts a try. They cost around $50.00 but all you will need is one pair, as they are not a permanent fix; they can be switched between all your pairs of chaps. Oh! One other great feature is you can buy them in a variety of colors.