Millbrook Leathers & The Stirrup Leather Revolution

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I confess I was not familiar with Millbrook Leathers until a junior rider at my barn was talking about Millbrook Stirrup Leathers on her social media. The website states that these much wider stirrup leathers provide better leg stability and give you a smoother ride. If you have been following my online riding diary you know that as a re-rider (someone who is coming back after much, much, much time off), you need all the extra leg stability you can get! I was pretty much willing to try anything to potentially make my long road ahead easier.

Do the leathers provide more leg stability? Honestly, I am not sure. My leg definitely feels more secure, but I can’t promise that is from the stirrup leathers alone.  I do know that I really like how they feel around my calves. I feel like I have something extra and substantial to grip and wrap my leg around. The ride does feels smoother to me and I really can’t explain it better than using those exact words. I read that your weight is better distributed due to the wider stirrup leathers and maybe that is in fact what makes it feel smoother. That also may be why my right ankle doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I had injured it years ago and it has always been sore after a few days of riding, but I haven’t noticed it since I started using these leathers TEN weeks ago.

I can also tell you that when I rode in another saddle, one that did not have the Millbrook Leathers, it felt all wrong. Sort of like when you ride for weeks in tall boots and then go back to half-chaps. Or maybe I am just weird with things like that? In fact, when I went to put my right foot in the stirrup after mounting in my friend’s saddle, the leather was  twisted! I had been riding in my Millbrook Leathers for about 7 weeks at that point and totally forgot that twisting was even a possibility because with the Millbrook Stirrup Leathers twisting is virtually impossible.

Bottom line is, I am not sure what is going on, whether I feel more secure in the saddle because I am riding more OR if it is because of the leathers, or a combination of both, but regardless, I am keeping the leathers! I really did NOT like how it felt when I did not have them a few weeks ago when borrowing the saddle.

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Things you should know: 1). I think they run large. I took the advice on the website and measured my previous leathers. I was sort of in the middle of the sizing so I went the shorter route (on the recommendation of the MB owner) and I am glad that I did. They fit perfectly and I have many inches of lengthening to spare. 2). It will take about 2 rides for the leathers to settle and flatten at the buckle. The first ride I was sort of concerned because you feel the buckle rubbing your inner thigh. I promise that goes away after 1 full ride. 3. Check with your trainer. My previous trainer was visiting me one day and she could not get over the look. However, if you look at the picture of my leg in the saddle, you can’t even see the wider part of the stirrup. Regardless, if you are a junior equitation rider you may want to double-check with your trainer because the stirrups are non-returnable if used, due to stretching.

Speaking of stretching, I have not had any stretching issues. These leathers are so much more substantial than my previous leathers that I cannot imagine having to replace them for many years. If you are on the fence about making the transition or have any questions, I really encourage you to reach out to Millbrook Leathers directly because their customer service was very helpful. Let me know if you join the stirrup revolution too. I’d love to hear what you think!

Join the revolution HERE.

Use code GLAM at checkout to get 10% off!!

Meet C&C Signature

C&C Signature (“C&C”) is an equestrian company based out of Virginia that has two divisions, Filly Finery (custom-made fly bonnets, embroidered goods, vinyl decals and other similar accessories) and Cheval Classique (tack and leather goods). Owners Chloe and Carly began C&C officially in 2016, but have been working on the concept and designs since 2014. Chloe and Carly strive to bring you A-circuit quality and classical style, with modern trends, at a price point affordable for every rider.

If you need a new bridle, look no further. In fact, even if you don’t need a new bridle but you are tired of changing out bits, or cleaning your everyday bridle for the show ring, then seriously, you need to keep reading this review.  YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER BRIDLE FOR THIS PRICE. My previous bridle was more than double this price and there is no difference (to my eyes) in the quality or stitching. I promise you I will always look to C&C first for leather tack going forward. In fact, Chloe is in desperate need of a new leather halter and I plan to purchase this one !

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Chloe has been using the Cheval Classique fancy stitch traditional bridle with removable flash, as pictured herein. When I first opened the package, I was blown away by how nice the bridle was. Truly, the bridle is so reasonably priced that I just wasn’t expecting to find such attention to detail with an obvious emphasis on the horse’s comfort.  The leather is gorgeous and soft and the fancy stitching on the browband and noseband is beautiful. There is ample padding where your horse appreciates it most: crownpiece, browband, noseband, and noseband buckle guard. The crownpiece is anatomically contoured and there are ear cut outs to help with the release of pressure from your horse’s head, neck and poll. I appreciated that the leather was already dark (2 colors to choose from; I chose Havana) and I didn’t have to soak it in warm neatsfoot oil like I did my last bridle. I also liked how supple it was – I put it together in record time (for me). I am the worst at swapping bits out – seriously it takes me forever to work the leather. This leather, however, is like butter. I am not sure that is something that most people comment on normally, but I imagine that Chloe, my horse, appreciates the softness since it is wrapped all around her pretty face.

The first few weeks that I had the bridle at the barn, I had so many compliments and questions about it. People inquired about it and when I told them the price, they were blown away. In fact, my trainer purchased the same bridle for her new prospect! You can scoop this bridle AND the reins for $140. Yes, that price includes the reins. You can choose between leather or rubber. I chose the rubber reins because I had been contemplating buying a pair for rainy jumper days anyway. Like the bridle, the reins were super nice, with fancy raised leather stitching at the base and built-in leather martingale stoppers. I honestly haven’t owned a pair of rubber reins with fancy stitching before so I was super impressed. It really is the little things!

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As mentioned, there is a clear focus on the horse in C&C’s bridle designs with the extra padding and anatomical monocrown with ear cutouts. Additionally, the leather goes through a more natural process for tanning, without the use of chromium and other harsh chemicals. The rider shouldn’t feel left out, however, because the affordability of these leather goods, without loss in overall quality, is a major win and something you don’t often find in the equestrian world. I LOVE that this bridle is from a small company and I look forward to continue to support C&C.

To browse more C&C, click HERE.

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Rubber reins, yet still so fancy!

 

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Winter Woods (Limited Ed.)

Hey friends! There is a sale at Mrs. Conns going on right NOW on their limited edition Winter Woods bath sponge. If you have been living in your stall for years and you don’t know what a Mrs. Conns bath day sponge is, it is a shampoo infused palm sized sponge that not only is packed with special ingredients that leave you clean, sparkling, and soft, BUT THEY SMELL GREAT TOO!! Each sponge smells unique and addresses a different equine coat/skin condition.  This sale sponge smells like “fresh winter woods” and contains an extra gentle whitening component. I hope I get one of these in my Christmas stocking because there is nothing worse than a bay with a dirty sock or two, in my opinion. The sale sponge is currently $8. Andrea has gotten about 4-5 uses from one sponge, so it is a pretty good deal. Like previously mentioned, there are multiple other sponges and smells to choose from, so you might as well buy some for your barn-mates too! All sponges are made without harsh soaps, detergents or parabens. Hurry before they are gone!

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Splish Splash Vetericyn Bath

My minion, Andrea, has used the new FoamCare Shampoo from Vetericyn a few times now after receiving it as a surprise in the August subscription of A Horse Box. I have been known to use the Vetericyn Wound and Skincare line when I have pesky scratches (I know, gross, but these are mainly due from owner care error) but this was the first time I had heard of the shampoo. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy spa days and baths, but I don’t trust Andrea with the hose. How would you like it if someone else determined your optimal shower temperature?? The FoamSpray shampoo means less hose action and less water dripping under my belly, so a total win for me. The shampoo sprays directly onto the coat with no mess. Andrea sprayed my entire left side first and then took a curry comb and scrubbed the foam into my coat. She then repeated the same thing on the other side, but this time used less shampoo than she did the first time. A little goes a longer way than you think, although she did seem like she was having fun squirting me with what appeared to look like white silly string. Rinsing was easy and less painful for us both, however, I will say that Andrea ended the whole process drier than I usually like to get her.

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The FoamCare Shampoo comes in a generous 32 ounce spray bottle which will probably last me all show season. They also make a medicated version for a few dollars more which treats a ton of different skin conditions, like scratches, rain rot, dry skin, etc.

BUY REGULAR VERSION HERE; FREE SHIPPING

BUY MEDICATED VERSION HERE; FREE SHIPPING

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Kiss My (Horse)

It is true that my tail has always been lacking in the thickness department. Of course, my constant swatting of Andrea’s face isn’t helping the breakage, but I am not giving that up anytime soon.  Some negative people (Morgan) like to also point out that my tail is sun-bleached, but I like the whole ombre’ effect. It is very low maintenance.

I’ve been using Kiss my Horse Detangler and Shine Spray for about a year now. I swear that even those pesky negative people (Morgan) have commented about my tail appearing to be thicker and “so much better”.  As previously mentioned, I do a lot of tail swishing and swatting, and so not only does my tail break easily, it is also quite tangled. The spray helps with both problems. Not to mention it smells amazing and truthfully is probably the main reason Andrea uses it, so she can smell it. Lord knows she never cared about my poor tail before! The product also doubles as a shine spray and you can see it does make my tail shiny! xx Chloe

Priced at $21, but use code “Horseglam10” at checkout for 10% off.

For more info on my favorite tail product, click HERE.

 

 

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