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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Fuller Fillies Field Boot

12:47 PM Posted by Emily Suhr No comments
Ah yes, the Fuller Fillies Field Boot. The name alone strikes fear into the heart of men. Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. Here is what SmartPak has to say about these boots:

The Fuller Fillies Field Boot is made from full-hide leather with a broad elasticated, ruched section at the back allowing for a seamless look and feel. A supportive sole with stirrup placement grooves ensures that your foot is always perfectly positioned. Long YKK zipper and button closure at the back allow for easy off/on. Beautiful and fun details, including the new filly logo on the button. Elastic laces.
Image is from the SmartPak website

After reading the description that SmartPak provided, I was excited! Not only did these boots come in my size, but the reviews were good in general. There were a few rotten apples in there, but that's to be expected with tall boots and people of different shapes and sizes. After doing some searching, I found them for $250, almost $100 off SmartPak's price. I decided that this was a good deal and went ahead with the transaction.

Now, almost a full 2 years later, I'm ready to share my opinion of these tall boots.

- These boots have the classic look that a field boot should have.
- One word: zippers! I love the fake laces and the zipper in the back as it makes it considerably easier to get the boots on.
- The elastic paneling in the back is good for fit.
- They had my size, which tall boots never have. I'm a size 13, so non-custom tall boots were never an option!

- There is no tall option! I'm 6' tall and I need at least a 20.5" height before they drop. My current pair are now too short after they dropped and that's a huge minus!
- The zipper on my current pair pulls apart more often than not! This was problem right off the bat, so we had the zipper fixed, but now it's happening again. I'm not convinced I want to spend more money to fix these boots.
- The zipper was impossible to zip when I first got the boots and it's still difficult to zip.
- The leather is so easy to scratch and wrinkles very easily. I understand that leather does this at least a little, but it's to an extent that it just looks bad. Hardly anyone complained about this in the reviews, but it's been a big problem for me.
- The elastic paneling on the back is good for fit, but it gets dirty very easily and is hard to keep clean. It also looks very tacky and is not the kind of panel you'd expect on $330 tall boots. If I'm paying that much, I want the quality that other brands provide!
- They. Hurt. To. Break. In. I was nursing blisters for at least 6 months of consistently wearing these boots. Yes, there is a breaking-in period for all boots, but I thought 6 months was a little ridiculous!
- The leather is wearing and fading badly. Having no experience with other tall boots, is leather supposed to do that? Regardless, after only 2 years of riding twice a week, these boots have not held up. What kind of "quality" leather is that?

From a horse show last summer. Not even finished dropping and already a little too short.
And look at those wrinkles! Can you believe this was when they still looked good?
I apologize for not having any updated pictures, I'm currently on vacation so no barn for me. :(

All in all, these boots were a huge miss for me. To spend $250-$330 tall boots, especially from SmartPak, should mean that I'm getting a quality product. These boots are not what I would describe as "quality" to say the least. To anyone that is looking at these boots, please, spare yourself the pain and just invest in some slightly more expensive custom boots! I'm currently saving up for $400 custom Eiki boots to fit my extremely tall calves and size 13 feet. Not all custom boots have to break the bank! If custom boots aren't an option, definitely do your research and eventually you'll find boots that fit you. Good luck and happy (boot) hunting!

Your's truly,

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hoarders: Saddle Pad Edition

11:14 AM Posted by Emily Suhr 2 comments
I'll admit that I'm a fairly lighthearted and honest person, so I'll be completely honest with you in saying that it took me way too long to find an idea to start out this blog. I've got some cool ideas floating around in my head, but none of them are just right for a first post. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), I have a problem that I need to share that many other equestrians face.

I hoard saddle pads.

At the moment I have 6 saddle pads, 8 if you count half pads. I have a giant green "all-purpose" pad that is most definitely actually a Dressage pad and therefore doesn't fit my saddle, a green and black patterned pad that I hate, a plain white pad that irritates a horse's back like no other, another white pad that I would classify as a baby pad but actually really like, a navy baby pad that has gone missing, a pink saddle pad that I use in almost every lesson and desperately needs washed, and finally, two half pads, one of which I donated to the barn stash but I still count. That may not seem like a lot (okay, yes it does), but let me set a scene in your mind:
- I do not currently own or even lease a horse that needs that many saddle pads.
- My barn is very nice and has a wall of saddle pads for lesson students and clients that own horses as well!

The Majestic Wall of Saddle Pads
You can find almost any kind of saddle pad you want there, from baby pads to regular all-purpose pads. It's a saddle pad lover's dream!

So, why does a girl without a horse and access to a wall of saddle pads need so many? The simple answer is that I just don't. No one in their right mind needs to fill up half of a tack trunk that other people manage to share with two other people! Just with saddle pads!  Unfortunately for me, I don't plan on getting rid of any saddle pads soon. Even though I only ride in 3 of these 8 pads, I just can't force myself to give them up, even the ones that irritate my horse's back.

Can you guess which saddle is mine?
Some time in the future, I may update you if my saddle pad collection downsizes, and I will be sure to include pictures of the saddle pads in their new tack trunk. (they've been moved since this picture was taken) I'm starting to think my trainer needs to stage an intervention.

Your's truly,