I just moved my mare to an endurance farm and I am looking to get some tack for her. Because I am new to this, I have no idea what all to get. I asked my trainer where she got her bridles and she had them custom made and I didn't even bother to ask the price . Because we are just starting out in endurance, I will try and find a used saddle of course but I am also looking for inexpensive but durable breast collars, bridles, reins, etc. Oh, I'd also like to find as much as I can in purple. I have a slight addiction to purple and yeah...it's going to be our race colors haha. I'm 5'4" with short legs and I would like to find a saddle without a horn and something that would keep in the saddle well/comfortable. All of this is optional as this will be my first set of endurance tack which will mainly be used to train her in as it will be awhile before we make it out to any competitions. Thanks!
I'm a complete endurance newbie as well. Been "stalking" the endurance world for a good year now but have yet to compete- next month will be my first race!
If I had to recommend endurance tack (bridles, breast collars, reins, etc etc) in whatever color combo you want, I'd have to suggest www.thedistancedepot.com
Great site for other endurance necessities as well.
I got this custom biothane bridle/halter (bit is detachable using clips, which I find very handy!) from them with comfy matching black/red reins and I am in LOVE with it. I find the price very well worth it.
As far as saddles, others who are more experienced could probably give you better advice on this as I'm not 100% knowledgeable on the different brands (although I slowly find that I am becoming a tack hoarder ). From what I've seen, the majority of endurance saddles do not have a horn.
I have a Specialized Eurolight Saddle and find it very comfortable. Specialized is a bit pricey in my opinion and a used one may not be easy to find. But they are out there if you look and I loooooove mine.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you are just trying to get into endurance, the saddle you are riding in now may be just fine for the time being. As long as it fits correctly, I don't see why you can't condition and compete in whatever saddle you are using now for the time being, especially if you are aiming for a limited distance ride. I rushed into getting an endurance saddle because they are so darn comfortable!
All our horses go in Taylored Tack. Its a bit more expensive than some others, but its hand-made by Mandy (who is a friend of mine) and is top quality. It will last you forever and there are tons of colors and patterns to choose from.
A friend's horse in purple (and the white tack is mandy's too):
Disclaimer- not an expert:) I have to second Phantom with the TT, I have not raced yet but have probably put 30 miles on my tack and it is fabulous. Not only is it gorgeous, but very well made. I have royal with fire dance overlay. On the saddle, I purchased a used endurance big horn on eBay and love it, It was $300 shipped and included a nice reinsman pad.
These pictures aren't the best Posted via Mobile Device
I have a Zilco snap-on headstall and a breastplate. They serve me well and are super easy to clean, always come out looking new and shiny. I get my tack from Riding Warehouse. They have great prices, free shipping over $50, and the best customer service. I believe the breastplate was about $90 and the headstall was around $30.
If you're on a tight budget, you can always try looking at used tack places, or even ask at your new barn if anyone has tack lying around that you could purchase. The beauty of good quality synthetic materials is that they'll clean up nicely even if they have been sitting for a while.
From what I've heard, the most important thing about your saddle is that it fits your horse really well. You don't necessarily need a saddle made specifically for endurance. I crewed at Tevis last year and saw everything from older, simple English saddles, to specialized, custom saddles.
If you're on a tight budget and just wanting to get some beta tack to get started, check out www.twohorsetack.com
I have a breastplate from them and have been happy with it for the very low price. Not as nice or fancy as Taylored Tack (which is lovely), but a cheap starting point anyway... I think you can get $5 off coupons on their facebook page.
I also like my padded Zilco breastplate for my sensitive horse.
As for saddles, use what you have to get started. As long as it fits the horse, you can do 25 mile LDs in most tack. I ride in a Wintec dressage saddle with a sheepskin cover and padded endurance stirrups.
I love Taylored Tack, but at the time it was a bit out of my budget range. Plus when Zilco was bringing in stainless steel, the brass stuff was all discounted so I picked up what pieces I could and got them for almost half off their original prices. I have the snap on headstalls, excellent because I much rather tie using their rope halters, and padded breastcollars with fleece tubing over their wither straps. I use my poly rope reins though. I like the soft feel in my hands, but I also wear gloves. I don't find flat reins very comfortable in my hands (unless they are of the softer rope kind).
Saddles-gotta get what fits...but it's gotta fit for a long ride. It can't leave hot spots because that tends to turn into trouble spots. I've seen all kinds out there and it just has to be what works for your horse and what you can stick to when going along at speed and your horse decides to teleport :)
Zilco is great - I have some of their stuff for racing (Standardbreds). I also love Two Horse Tack which is all beta biothane (she has leather too) and does all sorts of custom colors and combinations. Two Horse Tack there's also a caption contest on their site now, that if you enter you get $5 off your next order :)
I trail ride my Arab gelding in their stuff and love it. Walsh is also good (have some of that too) and use it for my bigger horses and for standardbred racing as well. It's a little thicker material-wise and I haven't found it in as many colors, but you can get it at Big Dee online and it's pretty reasonably priced there too.