One of the other fun finds from AETA that I haven’t mentioned yet was a glove brand called I-Quip. They didn’t actually have a booth there, but when I was introduced to 3* event rider Taryn Nolte (who is, coincidentally, sponsored by Winston Equestrian USA) she had some of these gloves with her. Turns out her company, Tarypen Equestrian, is currently the only US rep for I-Quip, a company based in the UK.
Some of the first words out of her mouth were “full custom”. Every eventer out there should know what I mean when I say that I immediately perked up upon hearing those words. Taryn pulled several different models of I-Quip gloves out of her bag, each one just as lovely and buttery soft as the last. No doubt they were beautiful, but what’s the longevity like? Then she pulled out her own pair that have been used for multiple horses a day for a couple years and they looked barely broken in. I did a little digging and it turns out there are tons of people out there with 5+ year old gloves! Beautiful, custom, and high quality? I needed to know more.
She went on to talk about how great the feel is with these, which I can attest to myself. The gloves truly felt like a second skin. They were lightweight but still looked tough, and the workmanship was impeccable. Some things just ooze quality and these gloves are one of those things. Another great feature for eventers or those of us in warm climates: the gloves are super grippy when wet. And since they’re made from natural hide, not synthetic, they’re still breathable when it’s hot.
For all of you out there who don’t really care about a custom option or prefer plain black, don’t worry, they also have a standard lower-budget “off the rack” black glove called the Signature that is newly available this year as well (rumor has it that Luxe EQ will be carrying these, so keep an eye out!). It has a little touch of I-Quip’s trademark green on the cuff, but all the visible parts are plain black. For those of you who DO like custom, hold on to your hats because things are about to get fun.
For the US market, Tarypen and I-Quip are focusing on a few of their core models; mainly the Luxury Eventer, the Show Jumper, the Working Eventer, and the Center Line. My personal favorite (and the ones I ordered for myself – spoiler alert) are the Luxury Eventer, so we’ll start there.
The Luxury Eventer is a full leather model with reinforced index and little fingers and a top wrist strap closure. You can customize absolutely everything about these gloves. Stitching color, piping color, finger reinforcement color, front color, palm color, bling… you name it, they can do it.
Just look at all the colors for the palm and back. I’m sure none of you will guess what I ordered. 😉
The Show Jumper model is very similar to the Luxury Eventer, coming a bit higher on the wrist and featuring a slightly different cut, but also full customizable.
For those that prefer a cloth back, or something a little more all-around, there is the Working Eventer model. It still has the same hide on the palm as the other models, but has a knit back and a strap closure on the underside of the wrist.
The Working Eventer still has tons of customization options as well, but at a lower price tag than the full hide models.
The Center Line dressage glove is another full hide model but true to their dressage intentions they’re usually white, although you can also get them in ivory, light pink or other light colors with either a matching or contrasting palm. They have a bit more of a traditional, subdued style while still looking super classy.
Aside from just having a ton of color customization options, I-Quip can also make a fully custom size from your hand tracing, for those who have difficulties fitting into standard sizing. All of the gloves are hand-cut and each piece of leather is hand-picked to assure the highest quality. These are not your standard, mass produced, “disposable” gloves made in a random factory in who-knows-where, made out of who-knows-what, with your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine quality control, and an often questionable work force. These are works of art that experts are picking, cutting, and making in the UK specifically for you.
If you, like myself, are tired of gloves that are uncomfortable, hot, slippery, or ill-fitting, or if you’re just frustrated at having to buy a new pair every year (or if you just like having Really Nice Things) I would definitely recommend taking a look at I-Quip. I’ve never seen anything like them before. Obviously I was impressed with them since I already ordered some for myself!
Want to get your hands on some of these bad boys without waiting for them to be made and shipped from England? Check out the shop on Tarypen’s facebook page to see what she has in stock! Interested in ordering your own pair? Drop them a facebook message or give them a call at (215) 779-0272.