Review: Millbrook Stirrup Leathers

I bought a pair of these stirrup leathers not long after they first “came out and were a thing” – I say it like that because are they still a big “thing”?

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made by pravins, sold by millbrook (in NA)

I was intrigued by the width for more then one reason – the added stability is always a bonus, but also because I hated the feel of normal stirrup leathers under my leg. That feeling of a thin(width) but still bulky thickness of most normal stirrups leathers were not enjoyable.

So once these popped up on my radar, I had to try them. The problem is is that I am too damn cheap to buy things that we don’t carry in the store. Honestly. If you see me buying something that IS NOT at the store – it’s because it is on a mega deal or we can’t get it in.

So what did I do? Made the boss order them in of course. LOL.

Out of the box these things are ugly. They are STIFFFFFFFF. They come curled up in a pair and to uncurl them is a hassle. It’s leather, it shouldn’t be THAT stiff. And I swear I used half a bottle of oil on them to supple them up and make them more pliable.

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The first ride in them was a bit uncomfortable. They felt bulky because of how stiff they were and they did not lay very nicely on my saddle. But after that first initial ride they wore in and I no longer noticed them.

They do what they are supposed to in terms of keeping your leg steady. My leg was never unsteady, but when my horse has a bobble, I could feel how much of a difference they did make. I haven’t ridden in anything else since I bought them so at this point it is a bit hard to say how much they’ve actually helped.

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when we used to jump

I am now riding in them with a longer leg since I am in a Dressage saddle vs. the jump saddle I WAS in…that should attest to the fact that their recommended size guide is a bit off. They would probably be okay for someone with a normal leg length vs. their height but my upper body is long, whereas my legs are shorter.

Pro’s

  • The added width adds stability.
  • They have a sleek feel under the leg.
  • They are holding up really well.
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you can see the weird color here, which has never been helped by oil

Con’s

  • They are $$$.
  • The color has faded weirdly in spots.
  • Size guide is a bit off.
  • You cannot run your stirrups up.
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saving my butt a bit in a deep spot. I miss jumping

Overall, I do like this leathers. They do have some faults, and I would suggest NOT buying them at regular price, but if you are looking for a different feel under you leg and some added stability – go for it…when they are on sale.

The most important thing for me is that they are lasting, even with my abuse and constantly sliding my Freejumps off of them before and after every ride. I don’t think a normal leather would allow for that and stay in one piece.

In the end, I’m going to give these about a 3.75 out of 5.

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5 things that work for me

To add to the post from the other week about the 5 Things That Didn’t Work For Me, I should add some positivity up in here and write about 5 Things I absolutely LOVE!

1- SSG Technical Gloves

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Yes, these gloves aren’t the “prettiest”, but I really don’t care. The gloves aren’t the most important part of the outfit anyways! I think they look kind of neat personally.

The most important thing about these gloves is that they LAST. I have had the same pair for probably 4 years, and other than the fact that I lost one, I would still be using them. A couple of my fingers have popped through, but for schooling it doesn’t really concern me. I can just throw these in the wash and call it good.

SSG has definitely been my favorite brand of gloves because they fit my hands well, which is why they last so long. I have tried at least 3-4 other brands and none of them last. The ones that people always rave about? They died in 4-6 months which was not okay by me.

2 – Kask Helmets

My head is giant. HUGE. Literally the biggest sizes that most helmet makers even make…IF they make them that big! Finding a helmet has always been a giant pain in the rear. So when a different helmet pops up on my radar and comes in my size I am instantly interested.

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the one i currently have

I first came across this 1-2 years ago when they started popping up on Instagram and Facebook and was instantly in love with them. The problem was finding one to try on without having to buy one and return it because I am cheap and not buying things at full price…

When the boss decided to finally bring them in I put my name down for one in my massively huge size and thank god it fit.

Their “self-adapting adjusting system” in the back of the helmet gives a more secure feeling to the overall fit of the helmet unlike a “normal” helmet system. I’ve yet to have any compression of the foam in the inside and after several months of wearing it, the liner still isn’t gross or anything. I will be real here – the liner is a bonus but I cannot ever remember to take it home, clean it and then remember to bring it back to the barn!

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the one i want

3 – Freejump Stirrups

Safety stirrups that aren’t the gross old metal irons with the rubber band on the outer branch? Yes please !

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Again, I spend WAY too much time on the interwebz looking at stuff….which is bad for my wallet. When I saw these, I knew I needed them. They looked neat, they had great tread, the foot bed was wide and the added safety branch was neat.

So of course I ordered them. And got a hella good deal on them through Divoza.

They’ve made a world of difference in the knee/ankle pain that I used to get while riding, primarily in just my right leg. I can’t remember the last time I had any pain since I switched to these babies. They are also the grippiest stirrups I have ever used/seen in my life which I like. Not so much of a big deal anymore now that I’m not really jumping, but when someone wants to bronc, it does come in handy.

4 – Romfh Isabella Breeches

Switching to primarily Dressage, while boring at times, has meant that I needed to shop for new EVERYTHING. YAY! More shopping ! I quickly found out that getting away with only having knee patch breeches just was NOT going to work.

Before I got these, I think I tried on EVERY SINGLE pair of full seats we had in the store…that was a lot of work. The waist bands were too thin, they sat funny, I couldn’t swing my leg over a saddle in them, they looked terrible. These were the last ones to be tried on because they were also some of the most expensive ones in the store – of course. Which also means that they were the ones that fit the best 🙄

I really like the silicone “full seat”. I didn’t like the pattern on it to start but it definitely grew on me and I’m glad for the pattern because it keeps the silicone from being too grippy.

These have also been wearing like iron so for the price they are well worth it.

5 – Ogilvy Saddle Pads

I may not like their half pads, but I have a slight obsession with their saddles pads. Add in that they are made in Canada and I am an even bigger fan.

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these aren’t even all of them

Luna has huge, long withers, and most pads, specially dressage pads, do not have enough wither relief. Most dressage pads actually don’t have any shape to them really. There are some that have a little bit of shape, but not nearly enough for my needs. But the Ogilvy’s have so much shape to them.

They also come in pretty colors and I always order myself a new one when I do an order at work. Pony likes them, I like them, they don’t do anything word so A+.

I have too many things, and really like those too many things, so writing this post was actually harder than I thought it would be. Like way harder. Which is why its taken me a couple of weeks to write.  That and I have had zero time to do anything!

So what are you guy’s favorite things?!

Blog Hop : 5 things that didn’t work for me

May As Well Event wrote a post earlier this and it gave me some motivation to finally write something up that wasn’t just pictures!

1.) Total Saddle Fit Dressage Girths

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The Shoulder Relief Girth™ actually changes the position and angle of the billets to prevent the saddle from interfering with the shoulder

Their website makes a lot of claims about changing the billing angle, girth grooves, forward girth grooves, improving saddle fit etc. etc.

While the thought behind this girth is great – yes let’s improve the billet angle and give the horse more freedom through their shoulders – the actual execution is not quite there. The leather is pretty meh. The forwardness of the front of the girth is a bit too extreme. If you read past the bold words – it’s actually only to enhance the already fitting saddle.

I did use the long version for my jump saddle. And that did work for a time on Luna. The leather got gross and old-looking quickly and it compressed like crazy. I did try the short version. My horse tried to kill me and was EXTREMELY obvious in her dislike of this girth.

2) Ego7 boots

When these boots first came out, I was like semi-excited, but not super excited, for them. They had neat features – like the multiple spur rests for instance. So when the boss ordered them in for the store I was excited to try them out. So I did.

I didn’t like them. At all.

The biggest reason was the fact that after handling them for all of 5 seconds to get them on, my hands were BLACK from the dye coming off of them. That was a huge turn off for me. None of my other boots have ever bled like that from handle them – after time there is some transfer onto saddle pads but not much.

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after putting them on one customer

But then, in came the pair that pretty much disintegrated with only a few months of use. The zippers broke, the spur rests came out, the snaps broke. And this wasn’t the only pair that was like this.  I am glad the ended up not fitting me very well !

3) Ogilvy Half Pads. 

If you have seen my saddle pad collection, or noticed my social media posts, you may have noticed 99% of my saddle pads are Ogilvy. LOVE THEM. They are awesome. But you couldn’t get me to ever use an other half pad from them again. The only time I did try one, I borrowed it from a friend.

The quality isn’t an issue at all. Like all of the other Ogilvy products, they are very well made (in Canada !). I just hated they way that they felt under my saddle. I felt like I was on some weird cloud/plush couch thing that bounced and that I was 10 feet above my horse. Not fun. Plus it killed my back.

Back to its owner it went.

4) Lornzini Stirrup Irons

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When these first came out, they were all the rage. Everyone was asking for them in the store, people were writing about them on their blogs – they were just kind of everywhere. But like most “popular” things, they now seem to be shoved to the back burner. So I was super curious to try them. Good thing I know people who have a lot of tack !

I popped them on my saddle and got on and instantly hated them. I don’t even think I finished my ride with stirrups I hated them that much. They felt tippy, like they are when they are on a flat surface. I was so unbalanced with my feet in them. Plus the paint is notorious for chipping.  Off my saddle they went!

5) Certain Saddle Fitters.

This isn’t a piece of equipment, but it does have to do with equipment so it counts right?

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If you’ve seen my posts about my saddle fitting saga, you would see that it mostly did not work out. Until very recently.

I’ve found that people want to try to distract you with gossip, what courses they took a million years ago, or mumbo jumbo. Maybe they don’t do that with all their clients, or maybe they do and it just goes over people’s heads, I don’t know, but it didn’t work with me.

The lumps left on my horses back, or her bucking, or her just overall angriness putting on a different saddle were clear signs that the saddles didn’t fit. Not to mention how terrible she felt under saddle. Just because you are a professional, doesn’t mean you know best. Brushing my concerns to the side like they are nothing royally pisses me off. Buh-bye !

Kudos to my current saddle fitter who is legit the best and is extremely knowledgeable on not just saddle fitting ! You are truly one in a million !

 

This post was actually tougher to write then I thought it would be. Working at a tack store I either hear all the reviews or try things myself, which means I try a literal boat load of stuff. I can’t say that I have actually tried much that I hate  really disliked. Not much sticks out in my mind, and I am a very picky person! I suppose this is almost a mini-review of things I didn’t really want to spend the time writing about.

Most of these things weren’t quality issues, just things I didn’t dislike. Everyone doesn’t have to like everything! Or like something because someone else said they should – so don’t forget that !