The Gloves took some time to put on, but boy did they work well. No complaints. I wouldn't tape for every ride (and I will continue to train mostly barefoot when I can), but they get an A+ for competition.
I got a new cantle bag from Griffin's to hold my spare boots. That's what the leg strap of the blanket caught on during the early-morning near-death experience, but that's user error. I'm happy with the bag - between the length of my saddle pad and the way I tied it to the crupper D, it doesn't rub her loins, which was my only real concern. It's very plain, shaped like a mini duffel bag, about 18" long and 6" wide. And it was only $20!
The last NEDA ride I did, I got a scoop for a completion award. I took it at Washoe, but I only used it once - the weather was cool enough that I didn't need it. But it works well.
EDIT Damn, I'm so tired I forgot to put this in the original post. My rope halter? The paracord one from Mrs. Mom? Gets an A with bonus points. The woven padding on the crown WORKS - Dixie had no rubs from her near-death experience. And the paracord ties tight but unties easily. When we got home Sunday, I was sure I'd have to yank it over her ears or maybe cut it off, but a little fingernail action got it untied like normal. I don't remember how much it cost - under $50 - and it was money well spent.
The rest of my gear was the normal stuff I detailed in the Gear tab at the top of the page.
The Kerrits breeches (pretty sure I have these) get an A+. Very comfortable, and when I fell and gashed my knee, the breeches didn't tear. I didn't overheat in the afternoon, and I didn't get hypothermia at 6 am.
My seamless microfiber panties felt like tiny knives digging into my thighs at the thigh holes. F. F MINUS! They're great for LD or shorter distances! They didn't bug me at all the first loop! But the second loop was pretty painful, and the last loop was awful. My riding buddy L suggested bike shorts, so I'll try those or commando next.
My Ann Kratchovil custom blue and purple fringed half chaps were outstanding. I am still kind of embarrassed about them - the last thing in the world I need in order to ride is half chaps, what with the western fenders and all, but I fell hard for them when I saw her booth at the convention. In fact I spent my "custom breastcollar" fund on half chaps instead. No regrets. They really tie my shocking blue and purple look together, IMHO. I may spray paint my helmet metallic purple just to cement my "worst-dressed rider" award.
My shirt rocked. It's a New Balance longsleeved running T with a zip neck I found at Sierra Trading Post (but can't find online again, so maybe it's gone forever!) High tech fabric that works. Same with my underlayer, my New Balance built in real bra tank top. I love that thing so much I went back and bought another, and when they die I will weep bitter bitter tears.
I rode in my cheap "barefoot" shoes, and they were very comfortable. When I got off and led Dixie down one waterfall of fist-sized rocks, it sucked, but the rest of the time they were great. And it wasn't like "ow ow I can't do this," it's just that I knew I was walking on jagged rocks.
My Wal-mart knock-off Camelbak gets a passing grade. I suppose. I misaligned the threads at 5:45 am and when I put it on it exploded ice-cold electrolyted water down my back. Later, on the trail, when I went to drink from it, there was a kink in the tube and I couldn't drink til we slowed down long enough for me to unzip the backpack part and yank on the tube and unkink it. And it has a pitiful flow rate. But it kept me hydrated - 2 liters per loop means happy kidneys.
I ate a powerbar thing and some almonds on the trail, and an apple and a quarter pound of ham at lunch. I really wasn't hungry - most people aren't, on ride day - but you gotta try.
Wool socks and Costco gloves, as always. Except for losing that glove, they were up to my usual standards.
One day Real Soon Now I will do another tab of my gear. But for now, it's time to pack again. Tomorrow Dixie goes to the vet for a tooth floating so you'll get real content! And camping this weekend :D
EDIT forgot the halter review!!