Tack advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-15-2009, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Mexico
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Tack advice

Okay so first off I love the feel of nice rubber reins. Feels so nice in the hands. I was at a tack shop and found the nice ones that are bendy, strong, and soft so I flipped the tag over. 150 ... er no way! I see a lot of the cheap rubber reins where the rubber doesn't go down very far so when you're galloping, in two point, and approaching a fence you're pretty much right at the leather part in your hand/rein position. The cheap ones are also pretty stiff and course to feel.
So any good online stores to buy the soft, supple, rubber coated reins where the rubber goes most of the way down and will be in good condition for years?

Have you tried those interchangeable gullet systems for saddles? Do you find they really do provide a good fit for a rang of horses?

And question number three. At the same tack store I sat my butt in my first ever dressage saddle. One word to describe it heaven! It was so comfy and secure I must have one. What are some good brands to buy from that cost at most 700?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-15-2009, 09:04 AM
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Unfortunately, high quality rubber reins aren't cheap. I have a pair of black Arc De Triomphe rubber reins and they were $100.00.....but they are super nice. I know what you mean about the cheaper ones being stiff and unyielding. Not sure if $100.00 is out of your price range or not.

As far as the interchangeable gullet systems, I have 2 saddles with that system....a Bates Innova and a Bates Caprilli Close Contact, and I like them both. While the interchangeable gullet will not make the saddles fit every horse, every time, they do offer flexibility in fitting between horses or as a horse changes shape with work/maturity.

As far as dressage saddle opinions, that can be very subjective....everyone likes different brands for different reasons. Take your time and shop around. The Bates Innova was just under $3,000.00, but for $700.00 you may be able to find something used that is nice and fits both you and your horse well.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-15-2009, 11:01 AM
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For rubber reins, Bit of Britain has the really gummy, flexible, soft ones for only $87. I think that's the kind you're talking about - Nunn Finer Soft Grip Rein

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post #4 of 9 Old 12-15-2009, 06:14 PM
Green Broke
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Yep, I was one of those people that thought it was crazy to spend a lot on rubber reins.... until I rode in the good ones. And the bad ones. I've had a few pairs of cheap (but very cutely colored!) reins and they're pretty stiff and gross. Plus, they MELT over time. Maybe it's just too hot where I live (I hear it's fairly common though) but after about a year the rubber breaks down, gets goopy, and melts together. I made a mistake of riding with the good ones (the kind i have has quite a bit of rubber so no issues when i jump) and it was heaven in my hands! i've had a pair for, oh 3 years? (and i ride several horses a day in this bridle) still in excellent condition. What you pay is what you get with these.

I have yet to use anything with an interchangable gullet system but every saddler, saddle dealer or tack vendor I've talked to absolutely hates them. The Antares dealor I talked to explained it like this... the length of the gullet (which is hard) of a saddle is actually quite short. Attached to that is the panel, which is soft, full of foam or wool so it's flexible. With an interchangable gullet, the gullet 'arms' are very long and inflexible so they actually rub and interfere with the movement of the horse's shoulders. Ok, I confess, I dont' remember if I got all the details right on that explanation... but something to do wtih the fact that the changable gullet is hard where the saddle should be soft and it hurts the horse.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-15-2009, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for the replies. And Upnover that's a very good point and you explained it well. I didn't have a clue at to how the interchangeable gullet thing worked. :)

As for the dressage saddle yeah the one I sat in was 1k. I don't want to spend that much when the most I'd do with it would be trail rides and the occasional eventing. I want something that comfortable, fits the horse well, but I'm not going to have a spazz attack about using it for every day riding. If that makes sense lol.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-17-2009, 04:33 PM
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Marrissa, I can fully understand your concern about using an expensive saddle for everyday riding but a well made, quality saddle is the right one for that purpose. The better made saddle will hold up while an inexpensive saddle typically will not. It is also the reason that those expensive saddles still sell for good money when they are 10 years old or even older.

To get a quality saddle in your price range, seriously consider a used one. They will be great for your purpose. In fact a better saddle is just as important, maybe even more so, for trail riding since you will spend considerably more time on the trail then in any other type of riding (except for endurance).

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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post #7 of 9 Old 12-17-2009, 04:40 PM
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For evening, you are better off with a C/C saddle. You can do lower levels, all three phases with one saddle.

Inter changable gullets, do just that, change the gullet, not the whole channel.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-30-2009, 10:44 AM
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What size dressage saddle are you looking for? Tree width? I might have something that you'd be interested in.

I had an awesome pair of black rubber reins that I paid about $70 for. They were either Tory or Treadstone. Too bad I just sold them!

Smart people listen. Not so smart people think they do not need to hear what others have to say.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-30-2009, 02:34 PM
Green Broke
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For $700 and under Dressage saddles, you're going to want to go used. There are not any leather saddles that retail under that price I can recommend. If you don't mind synthetic, you might look at Thorowgood or Wintec.

For reins, just stick with a quality brand, like Bobby's, Stubben, Courbette, Arc de T, Ovation, some HDR, some Perri's Leather, etc. If it says "Made in India" or "Made in Pakistan" on the tag, or just "Imported" in the item description online, pass on it. Tory leather is decent and so is Treadstone, though I think Treadstone is "assembled in India" using English leather.
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