Hi I’m Molly Ashe. I have been riding since I was a little kid, in fact I showed in the small pony division at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show when I was 5! Not saying it was a good idea, but I did live to tell about it!! In my many years of competitive show jumping I have tried pretty much every possible article of clothing, tack and product ever created. I am very particular about what goes on the horses and equally as particular with what I use for my attire when riding. If you aren’t comfortable on your horse then you aren’t communicating what you mean to be communicating to the horse and guaranteed they are not comfortable either. I am very fortunate to have many sponsors providing me with most of my top 5 absolute staples to maximize my success while riding. I do not endorse any product I don’t 100 percent believe to be the best available item available in it’s class. So here we go….
Safety- I admit I used to ride with out a helmet regularly, but I do not get on a horse without my Samshield Ms Shield helmet since becoming a mother. Samshield is the only helmet I have found that actually fits my head snugly but doesn’t leave a giant red lump across my forehead and an enormous headache at the end of the ride. I am pretty much on a horse all day every day, so for me this is very important. I also have fallen more times than I care to admit and have not had my Samshield come off or misplace during the fall. I believe in this product so much that my daughter rides in a Samshield as well.
Comfort- I love Animo! I find Animo fits me the best and the company is always working to be ahead of the market in the materials they use. The britches are so comfortable and fit the same pair after pair, which has never been the case with other brands. I wear the same size in every style they have and all fit perfectly. I personally prefer the traditional look when it comes to attire, Blue, Grey or Green coats, fitted britches and tailored coats. There are many riders these days who prefer to shake it up when it comes to their show attire and I think Animo caters to both needs better than most. They also have beautiful sweaters, belts and jeans for non show days.
Comfort- Saddles and tack I am very fortunate to have the support of CWD when it comes to saddles and tack that I use on my horses. I have never been a big believer in the no half pad theory when saddling a horse. I can’t grasp the concept of a half pad causing more discomfort to the horse than the saddle directly on their back. The horses back bends up and down and side to side when flatting and jumping so I believe they should have the freedom to do this. CWD saddles have mastered both horse and rider being comfortable in their saddles. I have 3 different styles from CWD and I can not think of one time since I started riding in their saddles that I have had a vet say saddle fit is a problem. Believe me when I tell you I have ridden many different shapes and sizes during this time. I also love the bridles, girths and breastplates from cwd.
EquiFit Horse Care Products
Horse Care Products- I have absolutely zero tolerance for skin problems and boot rubs with my horses. There just is really never an excuse for this is proper care is taken and boots fit correctly. For me Equifit is the leader in the boot department and their products for preventing a problem and for correcting a problem are unparalleled. The company always listens to us when we provide feedback, they send us test products before they market them and they are amazing to work with if they don’t already have the solution manufactured.
Lucky Braids Shampoo, Whitener and quick braid. Ruthann, owner of Lucky Braids, has worked in the industry since I was a kid. She developed these products without all the harmful ingredients that most products include and the results are proof that she has made great products. The shampoo doesn’t strip their coats with the frequent bathing show horses no doubt receive. The Whitener is amazing for removing those unsightly spots that grey horses seem to develop over night! I cringe when I see somebody spraying manure stains with alcohol, and marvel as to why they can’t understand the permanent yellow tint their horse has developed.
I hope you all have enjoyed my top 5 staples and hope that you will give some of them a try if you haven’t already. They have been with me through much of my success in this sport. My love for horses has always been with me since I was a little girl and has only grown stronger year after year. They truly are amazing animals. They are so generous and kind and I will always make it my priority to provide them with the best possible life while they are with me. I feel it is the very least I can do for all that they do for me.