Equestrian Socks – who needs them?

How I fell in love with a product I didn’t know I need

My favorite perfume, an old hand bag, a rock my grandma found on the beach long ago and now… equestrian socks? All under the header “Things I don’t want to live without.

A little joy goes a long way. And it can come in surprising packages. Not long ago, I got an email from Ben at Sox Trot, a US company that has been manufacturing fun socks right here in the US for 35 years. And a bit of fun is just what the doctor ordered: When Ben asked if I wanted to try their socks and possibly write a review, I didn’t think twice after seeing the unusual and wonderful designs on their web shop.

sox

When the socks arrived shortly after, I opened the envelope to find 2 pairs of socks with horse designs that would make any horse loveresse’s heart beat faster: a fun spin on a classic design a la Hermes and a design playing on an ‘open range’ theme with a Western flair. The minimalist packaging – a small card stock wrap – the soft feel of the material (Nylon & spandex) and the fun design were promising first indicators of a lovely product.383481210

What I liked:

  • The socks are just right for a knee hi: Pull on easy, stay in place, no pinching or cutting off blood circulation, soft – yet strong – feel.
  • Maintains shape
  • Easily washed by hand (ideal travel sock!)
  • Smile on my face, every time I look at my sock
  • No funny smell (like cheap, China-made socks often have)
  • Many designs plus solid colors available
  • Do not bulk up under your riding breeches or make your boot feel tight
  • Lovely for any occasion – don’t hide them under your riding boots!

What I didn’t like:

What’s not to like? For someone, who values quality and ‘made in USA’ along with tasteful, fun design – this product is a winner! Especially since it not only comes in equestrian designs, but also in a large variety of other designs – from cheery, tongue-in-cheek to traditional plaid and solid colors. I am about to order a half dozen to take along on a trip to Europe. These wonderful fun socks take up no space at all. Oh, I should get some more for my daughter, daughters-in-law, friend for her birthday, stocking stuffers…

What a sweet, affordable pleasure!

Now back to horses….

SReinhold_sm

 

Stefanie Reinhold

 

Making a come-back: The cavalry saddle blanket

For those of dissatisfied with the form and function of many popular (and expensive) modern saddle pads, here some of yesterday’s news: The good old Cavalry Saddle Blanket beats many a pad when it comes to providing protection for the horse’s back from impact and friction and a comfortable ride for the rider, minimizing the jarring micro-movements that can be so hard on our vertical spines. For those riders with back problems, this is good news!

In my recent blog about the advantages of the cavalry saddle blanket (see below), I mentioned several of the unique features of this proven and tested low-tech accessory:

  • minimizes friction to the horse’s back
  • provides rider with a comfortable ride
  • sustainable, made from natural materials
  • foldable, meaning you can always put a clean side on the horse
  • multi-purpose (use as cool down blanket or sleep under the stars)
  • washable!

Those who read my recent post saw a picture of myself and my horse Yankee, enjoying the comforts of a cavalry saddle blanket. Now I am happy to be able to share some reader images with you, that were generously provided by Warren Matha.

The images show Warren E. Matha, member of the US Cavalry at Ft. Riley in 1942. You can see, that the make and fold of the saddle blanket is the same as shown in my image. It’s a felted wool blanket (much softer than a wool felt pad) that is folded 6 times and folded “six corners to the rear and near“, as Warren explains.

Enjoy these very personal and historic images and please feel free to email me with questions about this type of saddle blanket (stef@reinholdshorsewellness.com).

Warren E. Matha, US Cavalry, Ft. Riley, 1942
Warren E. Matha, US Cavalry, Ft. Riley, 1942, on a ride
Brig. General Harry D. Chamberlin