Review: Fuller Fillies Puppi Jodhpur

Think of your closet. You know those pants I’m thinking of? We all have them. They’re our fat pants. Our wearable comfort blanket. When you’re not feeling 100%, or you feel bloated, those are the pants you reach for.

These are the the breeches equivalent of my fat pants.

I’m on my fourth pair.

I bought my first pair of Puppi Jods in 2010. I recently had to toss them because I wore holes in the butt. I sold 2 pairs that I had in tan because I never wear tan breeches unless I’m showing. I have one pair left. It might be time to order more!

Quality: The fabric is outstanding. It is nice and thick, so it hides flaws, but isn’t overly hot. My first pair lasted 4 years of regular use, washing, and drying. I was not gentle. My second pair was purchased only a few months after that, and they’re still going strong. Both are black. They have faded a tiny bit, but what black material, when exposed to constant desert sun, wouldn’t?

Fit: I love them! I like breeches that come all the way up to my natural waist, and these do. They are jodhpurs, so they are wider at the bottom of the leg and come with a strap for over your boots. After many many trips through the dryer, mine have gotten narrower. It has never been an issue for me, though. They fit fine under paddock boots and half chaps or tall boots. I gather them at the outside of my calf and fold over the extra material.

Price: SmartPak charges $74.95 US. You can also order them on the Fuller Fillies website along with many other offerings for riding pants.

Verdict: Everyone needs a pair. They’re comfy, they’re flattering, and they last!

AlexHueyBlue

Here I am rocking my Puppi Jods. They’re very flattering.

Top-Swing by Bette&Court, helmet-Tipperary, visor-Equivisor, Boots&Half Chaps-Ariat

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Posted in equestrian fashion, equitation, Fuller Fillies, horseback riding, hunter/jumper, plus size fashion, plus size riders, sun protection | Leave a comment

Review: Bradley Plus Soft Shell Breeches by Smartpak

I bet you thought I had a raving review for everything, didn’t you?

Not these.

Once upon a time I had 3 pairs of Bradley Soft Shell Breeches. It was a late night impulse purchase under the influence of alcohol. Damn you, SmartPak, for allowing me to save my credit card information!

Luckily, they don’t sell them anymore. BUT, they show up on resale groups a lot, so this is still relevant.

Quality: The fabric is OK. It pills rather quickly, and it holds tight to dirt like nobody’s business.

Fit: These don’t fit me at all. I sold 2 of my pairs, and still have one pair left. The waist is really big on me, and the legs are tight. I’m pretty curvy. I’ve got an hourglass type figure. I suppose if you had proportionally smaller legs and carried most of your weight in your midsection, these would work well. I can barely get them over my booty, and when I sit, the front comes almost up to my boobs. It isn’t pretty. I wore them to ride today, and my husband said “Those aren’t your most flattering breeches.”

Price: They are only available used now. I sold my very lightly used pairs for $30 to $35 a piece. Don’t let someone rip you off, especially since they are something that may or may not work.

Verdict: Unless you have the aforementioned body type with a thick middle and thin legs, pass. You’re much better off going with the super stretchy Piper breeches, or something from Fuller Fillies like the Puppi Jodhpur. I will share my review of those soon.

For posterity, here are the Bradleys in action. You can see the bunching around my midsection, and the dirt on the thigh, even though I did nothing messy before I got on.

AlexHueyAwesome

Top-Swing by Bette&Court

 

Posted in equestrian fashion, equitation, Fuller Fillies, horseback riding, hunter/jumper, plus size fashion, plus size riders, sun protection | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Review: Piper Plus Breeches by SmartPak

These are hands down my favorite breeches. I have 3 pairs, and I will continue to buy more of them.

They are made by SmartPak, so they are only available through them. They come in many colors, and they come in a knee patch style as well as a full seat style.

They are great because they have neat little details, like contrasting piping on the pockets, contrasting belt loops, and contrasting stitching on the knee patch or full seat.

PiperFront

 

Front Detail

PiperBack

 

Back Detail (sorry, I didn’t realize how much pet hair was on them when I took the photo!)

PiperPatch

 

Stitching around the knee patch

Currently I have a grey pair with light gray piping, a navy blue pair with teal piping, and a dark gray pair with salmon pink piping.

Huey1

 

Here you can see the teal detail on the rear pockets of my navy blue pair. Maybe. Well, here’s a pair in action.

The fabric is really great. It is heavy, but not hot. It is very stretchy, so you will probably want to go down a size when you order them. As a fluffy girl, I don’t like thin cotton breeches because they don’t hide flaws or cellulite. These breeches are heavy enough that they don’t show anything. They are very flattering. Everything you wish to keep a secret, will stay secret.

They’re also extremely comfortable. They are just as stretchy as a thinner pair of cotton breeches. They are hardy. I’ve had mine for a year now, and I get a lot of use out of them.

The knee patch version is $84.95, and the full seat version is $94.95. They aren’t the cheapest breeches, but they look nice than their cheaper counterparts, and they will also last longer. They also have some of the best color options for plus sizes around.

I wear an 18/20 in pants and I’m comfortable in a 40. The sizes for plus range from 38 to 46.

I highly recommend these breeches.

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Review: Fuller Fillies Field Boots

I was beginning to think I’d never find off-the-shelf tall boots to fit me. What most boot companies consider “wide,” I would consider pretty average or athletic. Maybe I’m off base, but who knows?

About a year and a half ago, I found myself considering showing again after a 7 or 8 year hiatus. I didn’t have anything. I was pretty panicked. Even after I ordered my Fuller Fillies Field Boots from SmartPak, I was terrified that they would arrive and I wouldn’t be able to zip them.

Having experienced the painful hunt for appropriate tall boots myself, and having worked in a tack shop trying to help other people find them, I know it can be heartbreaking.

I had them shipped to my husband’s office, and when they arrived I drove straight down there to see them. I was so excited. I put them on over my jeans and they zipped right up on the first try! I was ecstatic. I’m pretty sure I frolicked around the bank where he works with the boots still zipped over my jeans.

So, what follows, is an in-depth review of my experiences with my Fuller Fillies boots over the last year and a half.

Size: 9 UK/11 US Extra Wide Calf, Standard Height

Not only do they come in large calf sizes, but they offer a wide range of foot sizes and 3 different heights, so most anyone can find a combination that works. When measuring, I recommend going off of what is listed on the Fuller Fillies website, because I’ve seen different variations and theirs would be most accurate. Along with the size guide on their website, they also have an in-depth guide on how to measure.

Fit

I was a little off on my measurements if I’m honest. Had I the time to return them before my first show, I probably would have gone down a foot size and up in height. But I didn’t have time, and they still work fine for me.

I find that the foot runs a bit on the large size. It is also fairly wide. My foot is not particularly wide, so I have a lot of space in the footbed. I usually wear thick REI hiking socks with them and do ok.

They are not particularly tall on me, and they break down rather easily. I could tell when I put them on that they were going to end up being too short on me. I can get at least 2 fingers between the top of the boot in back and the back or my knee with my knee bent. But, it isn’t enough to really worry about. Just keep in mind that if you measure yourself and think they might be a bit on the short side, but you’re afraid the tall will be too tall, I’d still go with the tall. You can always wear a heel lift while you break them in.

The calf has ample space, and the large elastic gussets make them very adjustable. I’m actually right in between a wide and an extra wide on the calf. I could probably make do with either. The gussets don’t really have to stretch on my calves, and when I’m not all hot and sweaty, I can put my arm most of the way down inside them. But, from the outside, they really don’t look that big. I also know I’ve lost almost 20 lbs since I bought them.

 

Durability

I have been riding in my boots 3 or 4 times per week minimum for more than a year.

FFTallBoots

Here they are. Unadulterated and unclean. I’ve bathed horses in them, run around horse shows all day in them, shown in them, schooled in them, and fallen in them. As you may notice, the front one (the right boot) is missing its signature Fuller Fillies rivet with their logo. I did a cannonball off of my leased jumper/eq horse coming out of a two stride. I forgot to turn, he went left, I went right, and we parted ways. I landed on my knees and skidded through the dirt on my boot. The boot repair guys couldn’t put humpty dumpty back together.

When I need them to be shiny and pretty for the show ring, they clean up really well. They are a nice deep black and they take polish really well. I rarely clean them because I am lazy. They still clean up nicely when I need them to.

 

Quality

These boots are really nice. The leather is a great quality and nice and thick. The elastic across the back is still nice and stretchy, as are the field laces. The leather is hardy, and stands up to all I put my boots through. I am not nice to them. The zippers have taken a beating and still work great. I had about an inch of the inside stitching re-done from when I fell, but other than that they have taken everything I’ve thrown at them. They are comfortable, and I don’t feel that I look out of place in the sea of custom boots.

 

Break-In Period

I had a show coming up in a week and a half when I got my boots. I was afraid I would have to go through the painful process of breaking in new boots.

I didn’t.

The first day I rode in them I gave the inside of the calf a spritz of Sporty Haft-Spray to give me some grip until the leather on the breaks in, and off I went. I never had any pain or rubbing. They started to drop in the ankles immediately.

By the show, they looked like they were fully broken in.

I was very impressed. After a month or two, the inside of the boots developed a nice flat grippy area where I use my calf muscles.

 

Overall Impression

These boots are incredible. They fit. They’re comfortable. The look nice. They last. At $329, the price is pretty great, especially when you compare them to other off-the-shelf boots. I love mine. You may need to make a few concessions with fit, but that will happen with any production boot.

 

I know I’ve beaten my boots up, so I will probably be ordering a size smaller on the foot and calf in a tall in the next few months to use for showing. I’ll write more about that when it happens.

 

ScoobyTrot

 

Scooby helps me model my awesome Fuller Fillies Field Boots, and they’re actually sort of clean!

(Top-SanSoleil, Breeches-Piper Plus by SmartPak)

Posted in equestrian fashion, equitation, field boots, Fuller Fillies, horseback riding, hunter/jumper, plus size fashion, plus size riders | 1 Comment

So you think you can wear Tailored Sportsmans…

You can!

While fads come and go, Tailored Sportsman breeches have been de rigeur on the rated circuits for a very long time. They are classic. They are well made. They only come up to size 36 in women’s.

They are, however, available in up to a size 42 in men’s!

I first got the idea when I inherited a pair of men’s breeches from my husband’s short-lived riding career. He loves being around the horses and helping around the barn, but the riding was a like, not a love. (There’s a difference between like and love. I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack…)

Yeah, I went there.

I may be curvy, but my husband’s TuffRider breeches fit me fine. That’s when it hit me, larger male riders are more accepted. Thus, lots of things are available in larger waist sizes.

The main difference besides the zipper direction, which nobody notices anyway, is the pockets. Men’s breeches do have back pockets, but nowadays lots of the fancy bedazzled women’s breeches have pockets anyway. I’ve never had a person look twice at the pockets of my breeches.

With a coat on, it’s barely noticeable.

MensBreechTS

 

Here I am wearing a pair of TS Men’s Supreme Hunter breeches in a size 40. You can barely notice the pockets. They’re a great 4-way stretch, so they accommodate my hips without issue.

The other great thing is, due to the dearth of male English riders, you can often find men’s breeches on clearance. I scored this pair for $60 brand new.

So that’s my secret for expanding the breech options.

If you score some awesome new breeches, post it in the comments!

Alex

 

 

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Resources and Support for the Plus Sized Rider

Every few months a discussion board post geared toward bad-mouthing plus sized riders comes up.  Some tack shops still don’t order anything above a size large, even if the manufacturer makes it in bigger sizes. It used to be you were out of luck if you needed breeches above a size 34.

Even though there is still discrimination, some fantastic resources have come about in the last few years.

This is a master list of online shops, manufacturers, resale groups, and support sites dealing with bigger riders. If you have something to add, let me know.

Shopping

Fuller Fillies is an awesome brand. SmartPak carries a lot of their stuff for the US market, but you can also order directly from their website.

Fuller Fillies UK Website

SmartPak Equine also has a great selection of their own brands, and some great national brands that come in a plus size.

SmartPak Plus Size Rider Section

Equestrian Collections  has their 1824 shop for plus sized riders.

Equestrian Collections 1824

HorseLoverz also carries quite a few things in plus, though it is mixed in with the rest of the inventory.

HorseLoverz

RJ Classics makes hunt coats, hunter shad bellies, and dressage coats in plus sizes.

RJ Classics Women’s Selection

Though there may be some other distributors out there, I find these companies to carry the largest selection of plus size apparel.

 

Resale

Here is a list of Facebook sales groups specializing in plus sizes (some may require a request to join):

Plus Sized Show Clothes covers both English and Western, but it’s a very inclusive group and I’ve seen some good items pass through there.

Fuller Fillies Pre-Loved UK is a group exclusively for the resale of Fuller Fillies branded items. One of the FF founders (Suz) is on the group, and sometimes she unloads old stock or one-off items on here.

Fuller Fillies Pre-Loved US & Canada is another group exclusively for Fuller Fillies resale. It is run by the same people who run the UK version, but it’s for North America. It doesn’t get quite as much traffic as the UK version, but it is a newer group.

The English Plus Size Ride Sales Page is a US-based group focusing solely on English items. It is tied in with a community group for plus sized riders and it gets some good items.

 

Community & Support

It’s nice to be able to commiserate with people who have been where you are. Here are a few Facebook groups and websites specializing in curvy riders:

The English Plus Sized Rider is a great group. Riders share photos and experiences, and the group is very supportive. It is here where I found enough interest to get this blog started.

EighteenHands is a Facebook group for plus sized equestrians. The owner, Lizzy, documents her experiences with her mare Willow. She also has an associated website http://www.eighteenhands.com, which lists tons of resources from where to shop, to barn recommendations for places who are size accepting.

A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse is another Facebook page and blog documenting the owner’s experiences as a plus sized rider. Her blog is located at http://afatgirlafathorse.blogspot.com and she also has a page for resale.

There is also (of course I have to give it a plug!) a Facebook page associated with this blog located at The Plus Equestrian!

I hope you are enjoying this blog. I am certainly enjoying writing it, and I’m looking forward to sharing more insights.

Alex

Alex2

(Jacket-RJ Classics, Shirt-Bradley by SmartPak, Breeches-Bradley Plus by SmartPak, Boots-Fuller Fillies)

 

 

Posted in equestrian fashion, equitation, horse tack, horseback riding, hunter/jumper, plus size fashion, plus size riders, saddle, saddle pad | Leave a comment

The Great Saddle Pad Hunt

I don’t know about you, but I have a really difficult time finding saddle pads to fit my saddle.

As an ample-reared lady, I need some room in my saddle. I will cover my opinions on saddles for larger rear ends later.

I currently have an Ainsley ProNational Cross Country saddle. I know, I know, that is definitely not a saddle you would normally see at a rated show. I get that, but this is the only saddle I have ever found that gives enough room for my butt that I can sink back into it. I’ve had many others. I even had this saddle once before, but was pressured to sell it because it wasn’t the norm. That was a big mistake.

Some people think that the larger you are, the more padding you need. This just isn’t true, a proper fit with the right amount of padding will work just fine. Because I ride multiple horses, I have several pads that I mix and match to make the best setup for each horse.

My saddle is an 18″, but it is a long 18″. My previous saddle was an 18.5, and this one fits me better and seems larger. It also has a very forward flap. The flap makes it extra difficult, but my number one problem is finding square pads long enough to accommodate the seat.

I certainly don’t want to ride in a pad that is too short. That would create a pressure point on my horse’s back. Very few companies offer a good option.

Half pads are another issue. Not only is the length an issue, but also the width for the pads and back of the saddle.

Here are some options I currently have in my rotation:

DoverPads

Dover Rider’s Extra-Long Contoured Pad

This is a fantastic saddle pad. Not only is it long enough to fully cover the underside of my saddle and half pads, but it comes in both a contoured spine and straight spine model. Most of the horses I ride have pronounced withers, so I stick with the contoured version. At $35 dollars, it’s well worth it. I keep several around.

Another option for the base layer is a baby pad. Most baby pads are long enough to work, but they are usually just a square of material, so if your horse has withers it may not work. I do like the ThermoManager baby pads that SmartPak carries. They are kind of stretchy, so they will mold to fit a large-withered horse. I have a few, and especially in the summer, they are pretty handy.

 

DiamondWoolPad

The Diamond Wool Sure Seat Half Pad

Since it was introduced on the market many moons ago, the Beval Therapeutic Half pad in sheepskin and wool felt has been a staple of many people’s tack trunks. But, even in the largest size, you’d be hard-pressed to fit it under even a 17.5 inch saddle. This pad is nearly identical, only it is made for western saddles, so it even fits my cross country behemoth. I’m on my second one, in fact! I get them at State Line Tack, and they work very well for horses that need some wither relief.

 

ThinlineTrifecta2

The ThinLine Trifecta Cotton Half Pad

This pad is fantastic. It comes in white and black, and in multiple sizes. I have the large, and it is plenty long and plenty wide for my saddle. I had a large in the original ThinLine pad, which is just ThinLine material, and it barely fit under the saddle. It made me nervous because it had to be in exactly the right place to not cause pressure points. The trifecta is bigger. It is also shimmable, which is great. You can get front, middle, and back shims in the ThinLine material. I use this pad on everyone.

 

Mattes

The EA Mattes Sheepskin Half Pad

These are great. I think this is my third one. They come in jumping and dressage styles, but I have used them interchangeably. I believe this is actually a dressage model. This is a large, and it is plenty long and wide for my saddle. They make a rolled back model, but always get them without the roll in the back so I have the maximum amount of useable space. I like the open spine on these, too. The sheepskin has a gap to allow for clearance.

When I say I’m on my second or third one of something, it isn’t because the item broke down on me or was defective. I have a tendency to give things away or sell them the moment I don’t think I need them anymore, or I like to have multiples. That’s just me.

One pad I’ve been coveting lately is an Ogilvy. I’m about to pull the trigger, and I will definitely share my experiences with it.

MensBreechSaddlePads

Here, Benjamin Moore models the Dover square pad with the EA Mattes and ThinLine Trifecta. (Shirt-Swing by Bette & Court, Breeches-Patrol by TuffRider, Boots-Fuller Fillies)

Posted in equestrian fashion, equitation, horse tack, hunter/jumper, plus size fashion, saddle, saddle pad | 1 Comment