And by “stuff” I quite literally mean STUFF – mostly clothing. I took quite a few new items with me to Chatt… a helmet, a show coat, some shirts, etc. Nothing like trial by fire, ya know? Or really trial by poaching, as was the case with the first weekend, since I was literally drenched in sweat for 3 days straight. It did, however, provide the perfect opportunity to test out the new items in some literally disgusting weather.
First, the real winner of these two weeks was the Alessandro Albanese Motionlite coat. Admittedly, I’ve been on the fence about this purchase for a long time. I’ve seen them a lot, tried them on, pined after them, felt like I couldn’t really justify it, blah blah blah. Look… just buy it. I’m not kidding. That coat is so light, and so stretchy, and so comfortable. It’s made really well, with so many great details like easily changeable buttons, and a zipper under the buttons so that there’s no boob gapping. You don’t always get details like that at this low of a price point.
Any time even the barest hint of a breeze picked up, I could feel it THROUGH the coat. It was so pleasant to wear that during week 2 I didn’t even realize I’d kept it on between dressage and SJ until I was tacking back up. It’s worth every single penny I spent on it and then some, and now I kind of want it in every single color they make. This thing is the absolute best value on the market for show coats, hands down, if you live in a place that gets even remotely hot. Also, it looks fantastic. 110% would recommend, with no hesitation.
The other totally brand new thing that I took with me is the TraumaVoid EQ3 MIPS helmet. This is another item that I’ve wanted for a while, and mine arrived the day before we left for Chatt. I had time to try it on, but that’s about it. Luckily it fits me quite well. It’s got a slightly higher profile on the top of the head than, say, my Speed Air, but it’s definitely less bulbous-looking on me than the OneK was. The MIPS technology is quite neat, it’s easy to see it and see how it works since it sits just underneath the removeable liner. The navy color is gorgeous (says the diehard navy lover…) and I like the leather-like material on the brim.
It has two rows of vents, which was definitely appreciated, although IMO it’s not quite as cool as my Samshield or Speed Air. Definitely cooler than my Charles Owen, though, so I’d call it middle-of-the-road as far as airflow. Considering how well the helmet is performing in various safety tests, it seems like a fair enough trade. Overall I’m really happy with this helmet and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, if it fits you well.
I took a couple of new show shirts with me, too. Well, one brand new, one I’d worn a couple times. The RJ Classics Paige is one I’ve talked about on here before. It’s pretty. It was the natural choice for that one time I dared to go into the dressage ring at a rated show without a coat (look, I was “raised” by a h/j trainer who made us wear coats no matter what the temp, so it’s ingrained in me). This was before I had really become acquainted with just how great the coat is, otherwise I would have just worn it.
But I like that this shirt is color-blocked, so it’s not just one big blob of white. That’s my least favorite part of the waived coats thing… I do not want to look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow man. No thank you.
The shirt did fine, although I have to say the material on the back leaves a bit to be desired in extreme heat/humidity. It’s stretchy and comfortable, but it’s not the most breathable material in the world. For showjumping I busted out the new Dover knit show shirt (stupid Dover website is not cooperating with me today so I can’t link to it, sorry), which seems like their version of a Le Fash, and I thought it felt a little cooler even under the show coat.
I did feel like the collar on the Dover shirt came weirdly high… like… I don’t need a cradle for that second or third chin, thanks. But it was comfortable and pretty and as a supporting cast member in my line up of show shirts it does just great. If I had paid full price for it I would like it less, but at $40 I’m pretty satisfied. I did learn that neither of these shirts are anywhere near as cool or breathable as my Winston shirt, so it will remain the hot weather go-to.
I also wore my B Vertigo silicone full seat breeches for the second and third times. These are really cute, with little rhinestone details on the pockets. It’s enough to be different but not so much that it’s gaudy. I like the material of these, and I like the fact that there is enough silicone to give you a little bit more grip, but not so much that you’re STUCK in the saddle (a problem I had with the Pikeur silicone seats). These are the only type of full seats I have any interest in wearing during hot weather… covering your entire ass with suede in the summer sounds freaking terrible, no thank you. I’ll cover it with little well-spaced dots of silicone instead.
I have to be honest though, I don’t think I like the B Vertigo breeches as much as their cheaper counterpart, the Horze Grand Prix. I have a pair of those in full seat in purple and a pair in knee patch in brown and I actually quite like them. The material is basically the same, the Horze ones just have no frills whatsoever. They’re plain and boring, but the lower leg is closer-fitting, the waist fits a curvier shape a bit better, and they’re almost half the price. I got several of my barnmates to buy a pair of those breeches from a vendor at the show and everyone loved them. The Horze ones are the better value, IMO. I want some in white.
My only real loser of the trip was my Roma ice boots, who’s zipper completely busted and fell apart. I had to duct tape that leg closed so I could ice Henry’s legs. So I guess those things are going in the trash and I get to buy new ice boots. I really like that same suspender style that you fill with actual ice, so I was looking at the Jack’s brand, which seem to have a much sturdier zipper than the Roma ones did.
Anyone have these, or have another brand that you like?