clothing · winter

In Search Of: Winter Breeches

Please send help, blogosphere!

I only own one pair of winter breeches. In past years, that has been sufficient for Vermont, but this winter has been so mild that I’m riding a LOT more than I usually do, and the years of wear & tear on this pair is getting to be too much.

let’s just say the breeches have outlasted literally everything else I’m wearing in this photo except the boots.

I have some fairly specific things that I know I do and do not like in winter breeches. I will have to order these online and test them out, so they need to be returnable. (I don’t have time to play the tack swap game!)

My current breeches are Devon-Aire Fleece Full Seats. They are fleece-lined with a suede full seat. They are great, but they are getting quite thin and they have a hole in one knee from a spectacular ice wipeout last winter. I would replace them with the same brand, but the last time I tried that, buying a pair on clearance that were the same size and type on spec, they did not work AT ALL. They were seemingly way too small, and the fit had totally changed. I may end up ordering some of the same kind again, just to make sure that I wasn’t way off base, but…ugh.

So please help! Send your ideas and suggestions!

Here’s what I know I like/need:

– They must be real breeches, not tights. NO pull-ons with elastic waistbands; proper zippers & buttons only. I used to have a pair of the winter Tuff Rider pull ons that I hated with the fire of a thousand suns. They all end up feeling like diapers.
– They must be realistically winter breeches. I live in Vermont y’all and ride down to 10 degrees. None of this “oh well they were warm in Texas in the 40s so they should be fine!”
– Ideally they should either run a bit long in the leg or have a tall option. While I rarely need a tall, I am almost always more comfortable in the tall version of jeans and breeches.
– Also in sizing, I recently learned that sometimes breeches aren’t made over a 34? Fuck that. I usually run 30-32 depending on the breeches, which means my ass fits but there’s gapping at the waist, but otherwise it’s just a no go.
– Ideally they should have a full seat option.
– They really really should be below $100.

Help? Anyone?


When do you get rid of breeches?

Every time another horse blogger posts photos of their beautiful breeches collection, I admit to a pang of jealousy. I can’t remember the last time I bought new breeches. I have 5 pairs that I have been stretching and stretching for at least 5 years now. 3 of them fit poorly, 1 of them I disliked almost immediately after buying, and that one remaining pair? Well, I love them. But I think they are done.

They’re On Course Cotton Naturals, and they are the most comfortable breeches I’ve ever worn. Ever. I love them. I would buy them again in a heartbeat, or at least I would if I could justify spending money on myself when Tristan is flinging new bills at me left, right, and center.

I can’t throw them away, though. In fact, I rode in them on Sunday for our trail ride. I love them that much.

I think it’s time, though. Here’s what they look like now.

Yeah. I know. And you also can’t see the hole over the right knee patch. Here’s a close up of the wear pattern on the inside of the thighs.

The elastic is just shot, and it gets exponentially worse whenever I wear them. And yes, that is a huge hole you see in the crotch.
I’m finally tossing them today, but I am very sad that I’m now relegated to not liking a single pair of the breeches I own.
How long do you wear your breeches for? Are you just as bad as me?

clothing · fashion

Explain to Me: Equestrian Socks?

I came up through the horse world in a slightly atypical way. I was not your typical barn rat. Not for lack of desire, but rather lack of opportunity. It’s a meandering sort of story I will explain at another time.

Sometimes, that means that I don’t get things that other people take for granted.

Lately, here’s one I’ve been wondering about: equestrian socks. The long thin ones that presumably you wear with breeches.

You know, like these.
I have literally never worn a pair of them in my life. I own two pairs, both acquired through holiday Yankee swaps. 
All my breeches go down to my ankle. I have long-ish legs, so I vary between a long or a regular in breeches, and buy appropriate to brand. (Not that I’ve bought breeches in 5 years, which is another post.) I wear ankle-length athletic socks under those. Then I put on my tall boots or half chaps.
I actually love cute socks, but I’ve never been able to figure out how and why to wear these. Why add another layer? How are you supposed to wear them?
Someone, please, shine some light under this rock I’m currently inhabiting…

blog hop · clothing · stupid human tricks

Blog Hop: Horse Clothes

I am so very far behind in this blog hop that I totally missed the official code for it, but I was folding laundry the other day and thought “self, you have a really embarrassing number of horse-related shirts, and you need to share that with the internet.”

Aside: does anyone else mentally separate clothes into work clothes, barn clothes, civilian clothes? I think I wear non-work, non-barn clothes mayyyybe once a week. Possibly I need a life.

Fancy technical shirts for riding on days when I need to dress up. On the left, from the Bromont CCI3*, which I’ve blogged about before here; on the right, from my old barn.

Get it? I ride a mustang? There are a surprisingly number of mustang-the-car themed shirts and other gimmicky things that I feel tempted to own.

The two left I got at an Equine Affaire; the right suits my mood sometimes…

One of my all-time favorites, a gift from a dear friend, and a discontinued design on Threadless. The ponies have, from left to right, a stick of dynamite and a six shooter on their butts.

Remember when Life is Good made equestrian t-shirts? This is still a favorite of mine. I deeply regret not getting the eventing & dressage ones when they still made them. (If you can’t read, it says “Hold Your Horses” and the little stick figure is giving the horse a hug.)

Sorry this picture came out so poorly, but: Rolex! I picked this up for, no joke, $12 at the clearance tent on the way out after showjumping. It’s a men’s small, and has only fairly recently shrunk with washing to look not ridiculous on me. It was the only t-shirt I saw all that weekend in my colors (gray & black) and I had to have it.

Volunteering t-shirts! Left and right are Vermont Dressage Days from different years (so in love with the new one I got this year, on the right!). Center is King Oak; for all the many times I’ve volunteered for them I usually take pens. This is the only t-shirt I ever took.

College stuff. I went to college in Vermont. T-shirts would not cut it. LL Bean quarter zip fleece on the left, LL bean insulated jacket on the right. These are both approaching 12 years old and I wear them constantly and I am probably going to have a small breakdown when they finally wear out. I should call up my old coach and have her put me on the next order…
I think I am missing one of the other My Little Pony t-shirts, but you get the idea.