The tack and equipment at AETA is generally a little boring to me. A lot of it seems like exactly the same stuff over and over, and when I go looking for something new and exciting there isn’t much to be found that I actually like, because I’m picky. I did find a few pretty neat things this time though, even if I liked some more than others.
First and foremost – the new Majyk Equipe boots. Y’all know I’m a big fan of their XC boots, and I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the new line of open front and ankle boots to come out. AETA was their debut, and I was not disappointed. I fell truly, madly, and deeply in love with their new stud closure leather boots.
I’m not usually even drawn to a leather boot but these are wow. The breathable hyperfoam lining (which is removeable), the gorgeous leather, the pretty elastic, the stud closures… it was a swoon moment. For those of you who like the classic aesthetics of a boot like Equifit but (like me) hate the fit and heat retention of memory foam lining and don’t want fake leather, these are the pièce de résistance. I can’t wait to get my hands on them. The price was reasonable too, I want to say retail was like $180 for fronts and $130 for hinds? Excellent price point for leather. I think I spent so much time in the ME booth caressing these boots that I could basically be a rep now.
They also have a new brown leather buckle strap equitation type boot
A stud closure boot with a hard plastic shell
Plus a new incarnation of their previous velcro closure open front and hind ankle, with a new and improved strike guard material called ARX, which is a dilatant foam. All dilatant foams basically are full of molecules that are soft in their every day state so that they move with the horse’s leg, but at the moment of impact the molecules change their composition and harden to form a protective wall. After impact, they return to normal. The idea is that this kind of material doesn’t interfere with natural movement, but provides exceptional protection when needed. Pretty neat concept.
Another boot and equipment company that I saw was eQuick, who had jump boots, XC boots, and girths. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan but they definitely have a different look to them. The strike zone areas are filled with a blue liquid gel.
Their XC boots have a “quick release” tab… basically you pull the orange stick out and the velcro tabs fall off the boot, so it just drops right off the horse’s leg. Neat idea, I just didn’t love the execution since all I could picture was my disaster of a self losing the orange stick thingy and all the straps. Perhaps people more organized than myself would have good luck with them.
Another item with that caught my eye was the Invictus half pad. I’ve heard a little about it but never seen one before. It’s interesting because it uses D3O (another type of dilatant foam)… it’s thinner like a Thinline pad, but when you squish it down it feels almost like a Supracor. I stood in the booth and watched the video about it a few times, it was a little mesmerizing. Something I’d definitely be interested to try, at least.
Other cool things in the Frantisi booth were the Acavello gel bit guards-they definitely feel different from the traditional rubber ones and are super stretchy and squishy…
and the Acavello Opera stirrups, which are kind of interesting looking but I didn’t really learn much about how they work. The price point is definitely lower than I’m used to seeing for these “space age” type of stirrups though-they retail around $130.
At Schockemohle we found those awesome neoprene lined ear bonnets for those who have horses sensitive to noise. Well… and those who do sports in which it’s actually legal to use them. It’s called the Silent bonnet and comes in several colors.
Schockemohle also had a very CROC bridle, if you’re really into that kind of thing.
Nunn Finer is offering several bridles now with the slightly tapered noseband and browband design, including a hunter version. So for all the hunter riders out there that liked the general shape of the D’yon bridle but thought it was too jumpery, your bridle has arrived.
Or you can go completely the opposite direction and buy a pretty rainbow bit from Lorenzini, if you happen to ride a unicorn.
Tomorrow: the CLOTHES.