Well, we're cracking right along and I'm failing at pictures as we close in on the end of the year. Vana and I are prepped to do our 3rd and 4th level show in January at Great Southwest and then we're supposed to move up to PSG. I bought myself my shadbelly over Black Friday ($50 off whoop!).
I bought the following coat but in black:
That's the Romfh Silk Shell Bling Shadbelly if you would like a name and a link. As soon as Trainer said we were NOT hanging out at 3rd and 4th level and to get my double and my shad, I started shopping. Working Student/Groom made me (forced against pain of death really) to check them out at the last recognized shows. I really liked a few of them and the idea of customizing sounded good but I'm quite frugal by nature and $1500 for a coat didn't sound ideal. No matter how fun FEI is.
So I decided to check out the sub $500 coats and after a month of debating, I was down to either the Romfh or the Ovation as I had coats from them already and knew my size. I can always get a fancy grey shad when Jade goes FEI, right?
So I waited for Black Friday and hoped that the Asmar one would be on some crazy awesome sale, alas it was not and so I pulled the trigger on the Romfh. When it arrived it was WAY nicer than I thought it would be. I had hoped that it might have some pouches for weighs but it did not. Nevertheless, the leather(ish) lining has plenty of weight and the fabric is INSANE!! Like a similar feel to the Equiline ones, but wait for it...
I CAN MOVE MY ARMS!!!!
Like everywhere! Crossed over each other! People came to check out this magical coat that didn't act like a straightjacket! I rode both Vana and then Jade in my coat and it was a piece of cake. Best coat I've ever had on even doung pirouettes and other more flamboyant moves. The tails stayed nicely in place, the coat breathed excellently (I even forgot I had it one while I groomed and tacked up Jade hence me riding her in it), and I was so so pleased with my purchase. The length in the torso was perfect for me (maybe a touch large in the bust as I'm pretty flat there) but it moved nicely with me and didn't look frumpy at all. Some tailoring would ahve it looking like a million bucks but I'm going to wait until I reach my FEI fitness level before going nuts on that stuff. Durability will be TBD but honestly, it's a shad and I won't be using it except here and there so I expect it'll be wonderful in that area too.
The bling is nicely subtle and in a black crystal, not a clear one so it's a pleasant touch instead of 8 year old girl with pigtails and bows blingy (yes I'm jealous of you kids *waves cane). The crystals are in a tasteful row above the chest pocket and the edge of the collar. Technically the buttons are also blingy, but I didn't notice them shining and drawing attention to my midsection.