I think horse people are really picky about their “stuff”. We are typically conscious of how much this sport costs, and when we’re choosing between a new pair of breeches or a couple of lessons, we get pretty critical of our gear. We are also abusive. Change from riding pants to jeans in the middle of summer to haul some hay? NOPE. Those pants better hold up.

I am more abusive than most (I think). My saddle pads get washed every once in a while on the highest setting my washer can give me. My tack rarely gets a deep clean. My schooling clothes, including pants, go in the washer and dryer. My gloves also go in the washing machine… So what has lasted me? (and what hasn’t)

Piper Knit Breeches by SmartPak – Mid Rise Knee Patch & Full Seat

Have no doubt about these, the silicone patches are STICKY. Sometimes, I find the full seat just a bit too much (especially when I am trying to get out of my car). However, the material on them is like yoga pants (in the best way). I do prefer wearing a belt with them (as I do with all the piper pants), but I don’t feel like I get “saggy butt” in these. If you were disappointed with the original pipers, I would give these a try.

My navy blue pair of the knits

As for the piper line, I have the originals. I find the material too stiff and the cut of the waist a bit odd. I still wear them, but rarely. I, for a while, was IN LOVE with the classics with the side zip. I mean, they looked like the tailored sportsmans and they stayed up on me! Then… every pair I owned started to disintegrate. Stitching that was there when I put them on, magically dissolved by the end of my ride. I had ridden in each pair for about an hour, once a week for a year, and they fell apart.

I can honestly say that I will never buy them again. Smartpak offered me a 50% coupon on my next pair of piper breeches, and they allowed me to apply the coupon to the knit breeches (which had just come out). Otherwise, I am not sure I would have ever tried another pair of pipers. Of course, if I could afford to ride in the Romfh Sarafina’s everyday, I totally would, but at $150+ per pant.. I will ride in my pipers for now.

Piper Holes
Yes, those are holes at my crotch and in the euroseat… And these devloped in one day

Matte One-K Helmet

After I fell off in my Samshield…


I was reluctant to spend that kind of money on a helmet again. I am a strong safety advocate. I always ride in a helmet. So while I didn’t want to spend $500+ on a helmet, I was willing to do it if that was all that fit me well. Luckily, the husband (then fiance) lived near a Dover store at the time, so I tried on a bunch of helmets. IRH, Ovation, GPA, One-K, Samshield, Charles Owen, etc etc etc. The One-K fit my head like the samshield but was deeper and, somehow, even more comfortable or less than half the price. SOLD!

Since then, it has taken abuse through wind, rain, and dust. And, to me at least, it still looks as good as the day I bought it (with the use of a damp towel). Its comfortable in the winter and nice and cool in the summer. The only problem? I really want on in Navy too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Heritage Premier Show Gloves

Now, I know most people are HUGE Roeckl glove fans. They swear by them. I was convinced of trying them over a new pair of the Heritage gloves a couple of years ago. Never again.


The heritage gloves are soft, comfortable, and breathable. They fit well and the flexibility across the knuckles is a really nice feature. They also last. While the Roeckls fell apart on me after a new months, my current heritage gloves are pushing a year. A year of sweat, heat, rain, washing, etc. etc. They also come in both brown and navy, which I think are fun

What are your staples, and have you tried any hyped products that have left you disappointed?


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  1. Centered in the Saddle

    The original Pipers do not like to stay up over my bum. I’ll have to give the mid-rise ones a try because I do like the fabric and so far mine have held up pretty well!

  2. KC Scott

    I solely ride in Pipers because they’re the only breeches that come in long sizes and fit me decently. I like the grip ones until the little silicone things start falling off and then there’s a weird pattern on your rear end. But until I can find another brand that as sizes for tall people with thunder thighs, that’s what I’ve got to ride in.

    Second the OneK! I bought one to replace my Charles Owen and LOVE it!

  3. Grey Flannel Horses

    SSG Digital gloves. I have a really cute pair of Roeckls but they don’t grip nearly as well as the SSG’s. And I love my Pikeur fullseats (bought from Germany at was less $$). They wear and wash so well. And I’m really picky about reins. I have really small hands so thinner reins are better for me. And I like the kind with hand stops so that I’m conscious of when my reins are too long.

    1. Emily

      Iโ€™ll have to try that trick with the Pikeurs! I used to have the pink and black SSG gloves and always loved them.

  4. nadsnovik

    I love when people post about things they love The Pipers get a lot of blogged about time, which is helpful. My trainer just got the winter Pipers and raves about them. So, it may be time for me to try out Knit Pipers!
    I also love that you have some products that aren’t the norm of what people blog about. Helpful in looking forward when making a purchase!

    1. Emily

      I have the winter pipers. Theyโ€™re… interesting lol. Super warm and look great, but I had an issue with them really stretching out.

    1. Emily

      Great minds think alike ?

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