Product Reviews #2


Centaur & Roma PVC Ribbed Bell Boots

I have pretty much tried every bell boot on the market. The no-turns like Pro-Choice, etc., always tend to wear down quickly, turn anyways, and are hard to clean. The pull-ons ALWAYS come off same-day. The more-expensive rubber bell boots tend to crumble and fall apart on me within a week or two.

Centaur and Roma make almost identical PVC ribbed bell boots, so I alternate between them. Fiction is in bell boots 24/7.

    • Pros:
      • Cheap. $8-9 depending on where you buy from.
      • Easy to clean.
      • Last forever. One pair lasts me months.
      • Do not rub my sensitive TB.
      • Do the job.
    • Cons:
      • Can be a bit noisy while riding

These are my go-to boots and I keep multiple pairs in stock in case something happens. However, Fiction never loses them - I simply pull old ones off when they start to crack a bit. I don't usually ride in them, but I've started lately because the new shoes we have on Fiction are set back a fair bit and he pulled one while riding the other day. I highly, highly recommend these!

Horze Supreme Impact Dressage Brushing Boots

These are basically a cheaper alternative to the ME boots. Plus they come in black.

    • Pros:
      • Easy to clean - I just spray mine after every ride. They can also be thrown into the washer. They dry very quickly.
      • Do not seem to hold heat- Fiction's legs are nice and cool after workouts.
      • Solid construction.
      • Cheaper than alternatives.
      • Nice strike guard.
      • Hold up well.
      • Don't slide or twist.
    • Cons:
      • I don't like the double velcro. It takes longer to put them on and doesn't leave a very clean look.

While these aren't as breathable as the MEs (you can't see through the holes like you can with the MEs), they are definitely much more breathable than the fleece DSBs I was previously using. I'm definitely happy with my purchase and I recommend them to people looking for a slightly cheaper alternative to the MEs. Plus these come in black and a variety of sizes, unlike the MEs. I really like them (except for that darn double velcro, but I can deal).

Horze Spirit Dressage Saddle Pad

I'm cheap. I have two saddle pads because saddle pads are ABSURDLY expensive. It's also hard to find pads I like: not too thin, not too thick, and not too heavy.

    • Pros:
      • Not to thick, not too thin, not too heavy :)
      • Nice construction.
      • Cheapish - $24 or so.
      • Washes well.
      • Perfectly sized in the spine. Too often the pads are too long or too short.
    • Cons:
      • Not sure how well it is going to hold up. The fabric is OK - not the greatest.
      • It has decent withers room, but I would like a little more.
      • Large, ugly logo. I have an older version that doesn't have this, but the newer versions seem to.

If you're a saddle pad collector, this is definitely a cheap one that you can easily add. If you're more of a saddle pad snob (nothing wrong with that), then not sure if this is the pad for you. But it's cheap, works well, and has decent construction. I like it.


Year Four


There is something sustaining in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows--in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain--in the time when day follows day in dull unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine--it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the peremptory hunger of the soul is felt, and eye and ear are strained after some unlearned secret of our existence, which shall give to endurance the nature of satisfaction.”  - George Elliot, The Mill on the Floss

September 2015

We started off our fourth year together with little in terms of direction, but with determination to make some big changes.

October 2015

We continue to aimlessly wander. Lack of communication cuts away any progress. A failed clinic leads to more stress that I attempt to abate with a solid mantra of fun. Deep introspection reveals a complete disdain for my paltry riding and the way I've handled (and who I've trusted to handle) my horse's training.

November 2015

After a series of interesting events, I stumble across the stable of my dreams and put in my official 30 day notice at my barn. We focus on calm, stress-free rides with established goals. I sell the Albion and we finally make our move to the new stable.

December 2015

We start taking lessons with a new instructor that we both really mesh with. We pick up a new farrier. Our second lesson goes very well, with much improvement. I purchase a new dressage saddle.

January 2016

Our third lesson becomes our last lesson for the winter as our instructor heads down south for winter training. I manage to sell the Hastilow. We experience communication issues and Fiction refuses to follow directions.

February 2016

We take a lesson with a different instructor but ultimately decide to not continue under her tutelage. The new saddle arrives. We experiment with a PS of Sweden bridle and fail to understand the hype.

March 2016

Fiction gets his first ever body clip and we experiment with Aculife Equine patches. We head off to our first show of the season where Fiction performs like a complete tool in the arena but a saint in the warm-up. We jump a few things for fun and our Instructor finally returns. Fiction turns 8.

April 2016

We get in a last minute lesson before our second schooling show. Fiction is a gentleman in warm-up but a nutcase in the arena. We head off-property for a trail ride at Instructor's farm. Our third schooling show yields positive results but is far more exhausting than need be.

May 2016

Instructor hops on Fiction for the first time. I contemplate ending our relationship.

June 2016

We have a good lesson and some good rides. I haul by myself for the first time to our fourth schooling show. It's hot and Fiction performs admirably - our best tests to date. We pull Fiction's front shoes.

July 2016

I spend most of the month catching rides while Fiction adapts to being barefoot.

August 2016

After a vet assessment, Fiction gets shoes put back on. Fiction bucks me off for the first time. I visit the chiropractor and discover some issues with my neck. Fiction gets a few training rides.

September 2016

I spend most of the beginning of the month pet-sitting and vacationing, so little riding is accomplished. Fiction continues to get training rides. I see a big difference in how he responds to my leg and carries himself. There is still a disconnect between us - our relationship is more professional than a partnership, but it is workable and I no longer find myself dreading my rides.

See previous years here.


Many Stories to Tell


So I've been a bit busy lately but I have a few awesome posts coming up. Until then, here is a bit of a preview.

I did some traveling~
And met some cool people!