Better late than never, right? This summer was brutal and busy to say the least—I spent half of it traveling for work and the other half melting in the high heat and humidity that refused to go away. Even with reduced riding time, A few favorite things came out of Summer 2018.
Epona Tiger’s Tongue Horse Groomer
After a thread on the Chronicle of the Horse forums had people list their all time favorite products and a few people mentioned this thing, a friend of mine insisted I get one on our SmartPak trip that weekend. For a $5 grooming stone/curry/sponge thing, it does a great job on sweat marks and dried on mud. Plus, it is one of the few scrubby-esque things that Ax doesn’t hate. A review is to come on this, but if you need any convincing before then, check out $900 Facebook Pony’s thoughts.
ACE Equestrian Belts
My ACE Equestrian belt obsession ran from one season into the next and is still going. I donned the black on black style all summer (and featured it in my ROOTD post) and recently picked up the new fall collection’s chocolate and olive colors, so I don’t really see this stretchy belt love slowing down. They are just so comfy to ride in and were perfect for long summer days of horse show coverage.
I’ll be honest, this is what kept Ax going this summer, like it or not. At the ripe age of 18, Ax’s arthritis finally reared its ugly head in the form of some hind end stiffness, and after making sure everything else was in order, we decided to put him on Equioxx. The difference in his comfort and overall way of going is amazing.
Samshield Miss Shield
If you saw my haul from AETA, then you know that the rose gold version of this beauty made the five hour drive home with me. Even on the trade show sale, it was a splurge for sure, but one that I have zero regrets about. A review will be coming soon, but in short, I freaking love this thing and quite literally tossed a few (older and time to be retired) helmets in the trash now that I have it.
Arc De Triomphe Imperial Figure 8 Bridle
When your friend is going to a tack shop sale and sends you a “You need this bridle because it is perfect and super on sale!” text, you Venmo the money over ASAP. My old figure-8 was bought used, abused, and missing half a cheek piece, so it was safe to say that an upgrade was needed. Plus, once I sold the rubber reins that came with it, it was cheaper than what I paid for the used one!
It’s not yours until your name is on it—after three years of owning my saddle, I finally took off the old owner’s name plate and put my own on. I ended up purchasing SmartPak’s Bridle Plate for it, since I wanted something smaller than their normal saddle plates, and found some tiny screws at The Home Depot. While I was there, I picked up a few more plates for the above bridle and another that was missing one.
Tucker Tweed James River Carry All
Another item that come from my trip to AETA, this bag hasn’t left my side since I purchased it. It really does carry all things—it is the perfect size my work laptop and a change of clothes for the barn afterward and has toted my camera to more than one portrait session this summer.
This little app has been great for tracking how long my rides are and to get a general idea of how long I work Ax at each gait. I just turn it on once I mount up and pop it into my pocket until I hop off. Though I wouldn’t say it is 100% correct with all of it’s data, it is pretty helpful to have all of your ride’s cataloged in one place.
Speaking of photo sessions, I dipped a toe into portraiture this summer and decided to take on the challenge after a few successful shoots. I am super looking forward to some fall horse and rider shoots now that the foliage arrived and can’t wait to expand my photography skills. You can peek at the portfolio here and follow along with all of my photography at Terisé M. Cole Photography on Facebook or @terisemcolephotography on Instagram. And if you’re from New England, contact me through any platform to book a shoot!