Charles Owen Knows Gloves

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Most horse owners/riders own at least one pair of gloves. In fact, many have multiple pairs in the tack room. Still others choose to work and ride without protection for their hands. Regardless of any one opinion concerning the use of gloves, it’s hard to dispute that there are more than enough choices.

When we tried this collection of 40 gloves, we considered if the glove was suitable for only everyday riding or for showing or for both. We want a glove to offer an adequate sense of feel when we ride. Most of the gloves we tried did, which made us take the question to a higher level and single out gloves offering exceptional sensitivity and closeness of contact.

Durability is a big issue, but none of the gloves in this trial showed signs of abnormal wear. However, some were definitely better suited for heavy use and for people who are hard on their gloves. The Geier gloves were all extraordinarily durable gloves.

We considered the cut of the glove during our trials, especially if it was unique. The Cashel Comfort glove is specifically designed for women’s hands, cut with longer, thinner fingers. The Grand Prix Curved Finger Gloves have the fingers cut and sewn in a curve to follow the natural shape of your fingers, which we felt did make a difference when we gripped the reins.

During the hot summer days, we looked for gloves that were the coolest and most breathable. Good grip, especially, on a wet, sweaty horse is of primary concern.

And, of course, we took price into consideration. Cheaper gloves often feel cheap, lacking durability and fit. On the other hand, you can’t just reach for a high price tag and figure you’re getting the best value.

The popular Good Hands gloves were comfortable and durable, but we’d stick to purchasing them when they’re on sale. The T-de-T from Beval is a popular choice, but we felt it was a bit pricey in comparison to other gloves.

Care, Fit And Sizing
Consider care when you make your glove choice. If you just want to toss them in the washing machine, consider a synthetic or washable leather glove, although it’s pretty easy to clean leather gloves, too, if you simply wash them while wearing them. On the other hand, we’ve had leather riding gloves go years without washing or cleaning them with no noticeable ill effects.

We made notes in our chart when a glove ran small, large or true to size. Beware of gloves labeled “one size fits all.” It’s simply not true.

To find your glove size measure around your hand at the base of your fingers, at the knuckles, excluding the thumb. Basically, you’re measuring around the knuckles, front and back in a circle, to get your glove measurement and size.

We also found that fit ran pretty consistent with each manufacturer. The SSG sizing is based on whole sizes, which means in-between sizes may have to make some minor compromises in fit. Often it was that the fingers and/or hand were slightly too short. On the other hand, the Grand Prix, Cashel and Charles Owen gloves offered fits with more length for riders with longer fingers and hands. When choosing a glove, consider how you’re going to use it. Decide how much dexterity you need to have in the glove vs. how durable it is.

Bottom Line
Our hands-down favorite glove was the Charles Owen Sandringham at $48. It’s the kind of glove that you won’t mind spending money on, but you’ll also be sure to never misplace them — especially since you’ll usually be wearing them.

They offer a super close feel without being wimpy. When asked what she liked best about the Sandringham, one of our testers stated: ”Everything! They are as close to perfection as you can get.”

The Best Buy category was the toughest contest, but the Grand Prix Goatskin comes out on top at $19. Other top values include the SSG Lycrochet Ultraflex at $17.95 and the the Thornhill Leather Cotton Back, also at $17.95.

Also With This Article
Click here to view ”Choose Your Gloves Wisely.”
Click here to view ”Why Wear Gloves'”
Click here to view ”40 Glove Choices For Everyday Schooling, Barn Work And Shows.”
Click here to view ”Glove Picks By Category.”

Contact You Local Tack Store Or: Beval Saddlery, www.beval.com, 800/524-0136; Cashel Co., www.cashelcompany.com, 800/333-2202; Charles Owen & Co., United Kingdom, 0044-0-1978-317777 www.charlesowen.co.uk; Frantisi Inc. 905/738-1954; Geier Glove Co., www.geierglove.com, 360/736-5883; Miller’s, www.millerharness.com, 800/553-7655; SSG/Fargo Trading, www.ssgridinggloves.com, 800/561-8017; Thornhill, www.thornhillusa.com, 800/445-2289; Trophy Glove Co. 800/323-2928; Watson Gloves, www.watsongloves.com, 800/663-9509.