Here it is! The May Blog! And it’s still May!!!
I got my first piece of new derby gear: my badass 100% custom saddle bags, complete with neon accents!!!!! I’ve used other bag models from the company the derby recommends before and they were alright, just not as sturdy as I’d like. HorseBums, a small woman owned business from Virginia USA made my amazing bags to my specifications. The owner is an extremely talented seamstress who makes stunning, super fun and functional saddle bags. I couldn’t be happier, keep reading or pop onto my sponsors page for more details and a link to her webpage!
Raven and I tried out the new bags the first morning we had them. They were full of towels and random stuff because I'm nowhere near complete on my gear shopping. The bags performed beautifully walk, trot and gallop up the mountain. Even though it's may we got to test rain and SNOW too!
In my adventures horse packing in the wilderness, you can imagine I’ve used a variety of saddle bags. Some of my must-have things are:
Protection for the horse! Some saddle bags are small enough they sit on the skirt (back) of the saddle and/or saddle pad. Many saddle bags, especially large ones as we will be needing for the Derby, hang off and the back edge of the bag can rub the horse. The heavier the stuff in your bags, the more likely this is to happen. This is the biggest reason I wanted bags from Horse Bums! She lines the bottom of all her bags with a protective layer of fleece. This fleece not only protects the horse but adds a little cushion and insulation for your gear too.
Only zippers or clips. I HATE buckles, you can’t manipulate buckles easily from the saddle, and if your hands are cold, you’re toast, that buckle may as well be a padlock.
Nylon or canvas. Leather bags look beautiful and are durable, but they are HEAVY, miserable when wet, and require a good bit of maintenance (oiling, etc.) to keep in good shape. Nylon and canvas are also easier to patch/repair than leather and don’t need special tools.
Secure stuff-it spots. Sometimes you just need somewhere to shove your scarf or gloves while you’re doing something. If they fall off the horse it wastes a lot of time/energy to dismount and pick them up. Even worse you don’t see them fall and you either must back track for a wayward glove or you just give up and mourn your missing hand cover.
Nothing that jingles or jangles. I can’t stand random jingly noises for hours on end…it’s a personal preference thing. I’m out there to hear the sounds of nature and the hoofbeats beneath me.
Lots of loops, holes or strings to attach the bags to the saddle. Every saddle is different so the bags need to be really adaptable to different saddles.
This is particularly important since I don’t know the configuration of the saddles we will be using in Patagonia
Secure. I need bags that aren’t going to flop around. Have you ever hiked with a wonky backpack? It’s no fun having something flopping around behind you. I don’t like it and I want to make my horses happy too.
Horse Bums was able to check all my boxes, make the bags crazy fun AND add some more functional features I hadn’t even thought of! Unfortunately for you my bags were one of her last totally custom orders. Although you can’t order my bags, never fear, you can still order her standard bag designs in your own fun colors and accents. Her bag designs will fit the needs of almost any normal trail rider. If you’re interested, get your orders in ASAP because she’s now up to a 12 week wait! Let her know Brenda (Bea) sent you www.horsebums.com
I can’t wait to ride with these bags all summer!
I officially have my very first piece of Gaucho Derby specific gear! What’s next? I still need tons of gear. If you’re interested in sponsoring me and/or donating any piece of gear contact with me I can let you know how to help firstname.lastname@example.org
I've added an (incomplete, but working on it) list of gear I need and what's already been sponsored/donated.
Thank you everyone for following me on this crazy adventure! I love when you drop me a line and ask questions. If there's anything you'd like me to write about PLEASE let me know!