Okay, so they may not change your life, but they will change the way you ride. Endurance riding is tough (hey, if it was easy, everyone would do it!) but there are products and gadgets out there that can make our ride a little more comfortable. The following are some things that I use when training and competing and think pretty highly of.
Kerrits Flow Rise Performance Riding Tight
It seems like an elusive unicorn: riding pants that are comfortable, durable, attractive and reasonably priced. Kerrits to the rescue! Their Flow Rise Performance Tight fits all of the requirements http://kerrits.com/womens/kneepatch/flow-rise-performance-riding-tight. No seams in the wrong places and comfortable enough to feel like a second skin, these tights perform well. They also come in a multitude of colours to fit your personality.
Chafing. An endurance rider’s worst enemy. Knixwear, a Canadian! company has the answer to our prayers https://www.knixwear.com/collections/womens-athletic-underwear. Their line of athletic underwear comes in a number of fits, colours and sizes. They are seamless so no chafing and are invisible under tight breeches. They are made with a moisture wicking fabric to keep you feeling dry and anti-microbial technology to help combat odor. I personally cannot ride in anything else!
Garmin Forerunner 310XT
Although Garmin discontinued this particular model of their GPS watch, it is still possible to find it online, such as on Amazon http://www.amazon.ca/Garmin-Forerunner-310XT-Waterproof-Running/dp/B0025VKW5K. This watch is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about damaging it as you are sponging off your horse or riding in the rain! It can track a number of items from the time, average page, current speed, distance travelled, and even a map of where you rode. It is also possible to purchase the accompanying heart rate monitor (although I still haven’t figured out how to successfully attach it to my horse yet), and have the heart rate show on the watch. You can connect the watch to your computer and upload all of your tracked data, making it easy to keep logs and see trends.
Tipperary Sportage Helmet
You wouldn’t get in a car without putting on your seatbelt, so why get on a horse without a helmet? Tipperary has a proven record of creating helmets that look good and feel great. They have lots of ventilation to keep your head cool, are ASTM-SEI certified, come further down the head more than traditional helmets for increased protect and they come in a number of colours. http://phoenixperformance.com/tipperary/?product=sportage-8500
Tucker Stirrups with Cone
On my first distance ride of 25 miles, I noticed that about 15 miles in, my feet were going numb. After asking around, the solution was to ride in a stirrup with a wider foot bed. After doing some research, I chose the Tucker Ergo Balance Trail Glide Stirrup. They are lightweight and have a thick rubber-spongy cushion. What sets these apart from other stirrups is the angled cone, which really helps out the knees and ankles from getting sore. I have used angled stirrups previously on my western saddle, and boy, did those ever work. I can ride for hours without feeling it in my knees. http://www.tuckersaddlery.com/shop/stirrups-tucker/ergo-balance-trail-glide-stirrups/
If you would like to me to test and review a product, feel free to give me suggestions!