Happy Holidays from Heels Down! As 2019 nears to a close, we’ve asked our editorial team to highlight some of their favorite brands and products that made a difference in their rides this year. We’re sharing our honest, tried-and-true reviews of some gift-worthy items with you, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
This is part one of our two-part holiday gift guide. Stay tuned for more soon.
Oaklyn Tack: Terra Girth
“We’re more mindful of how our consumer choices affect the environment in so many ways. Gone are plastic shopping bags, in are paper drinking straws. Finally, here’s an equestrian company that is taking sustainability to the next level. When I first tried the Oaklyn Tack Terra Girth, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work for my sensitive horse. But these girths, made out of all recycled materials, come with all the bells and whistles I needed for the hunter ring. The removable fleece lining is gorgeous and soft. The Terra Girth has a significant stretch to it, and is designed to last with heavy-duty stainless steel buckles and moisture-wicking materials. It’s now my favorite, and No. 1 girth to use in the show ring.” – Justine Griffin
“Doug and I use our Hylofit on all our horses who run cross-country. It connects wirelessly from the device on the girth to an app on our phones. It’s a great tool to have when we gallop. Heart health is so important and the Hylofit makes it easy to track the physical state of our competition horses.” – Jess Payne
“I can’t say enough about Ecogold. I have one of their western and jumper pads and they are my favorite pads ever. I use them exclusively! Not only are they non-slip, with the security of the pad you feel so much more. I will not ride unless I can use my Ecogold!”- Ellie Woznica
Greenhawk: Elation Breeches
“Greenhawk makes some of my favorite breeches and riding tights ever – the quality is great and the price is even better. But by far, the Platinum Chelsea Breech is my favorite. I’m a tall rider with a long leg, and there’s nothing ‘petite’ about my frame. So more often than not, breeches aren’t super flattering on me. That’s not the case with the Platinum Chelsea. They come in so many beautiful color combinations. I get compliments on my plum-colored pair everywhere I go.” – Justine Griffin
“We use Flair strips on all our eventing horses. Flair strips are drug-free strips that help keep our horses at their optimum health. It makes breathing easier and helps them recover faster. It reduces fatigue, and overall just makes competing easier on the horse. Flair strips are a vital part of our program – just like how we put boots on the horses every time for cross-country, it’s the same with using Flair.” – Jess Payne
“As riders who really care about our horses, we want to give them the best and keep them feeling their best. A Luxury Equine Massage from Unbridled Equine provides top-notch massage services that are customized to each horse’s needs. Massage can benefit your horse by improving muscle health and athletic performance. This tailored massage includes treatments such as therapeutic and deep tissue massage, trigger-point release, acupressure, myofascial release, kinesiology tape, essential oils, MagnaWave therapy. The best part is that Unbridled Equine is available at most major shows and can travel to you. This is the perfect gift for your own horse or a trainer gift (nobody tell my trainer).” – Becky Shipps
“Our barn manager, Courtney Carson, easily clips more than 100 horses a year. She needs a reliable pair of clippers to do so. We love our Wahl clippers – both the Km10 and the MiniArco to keep our horses show ready. The MiniArco is our new favorite, as it’s easy to bring along to shows and it’s great for last-minute clean ups around the muzzle and ears. We love Wahl clippers so much, Doug even uses them on himself. One time he forgot his electric shaver, so he had to use the MiniArco on his face. It worked so well that he now keeps one in his toiletry bag all the time!” – Jess Payne