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This is a discussion on Warning! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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        08-03-2008, 01:12 PM

    I had something happen to me that I want to warn others about. Maybe you already do it, but here is just a reminder.
    I changed bits and headstalls on Vida today. I keep each bit on its own headstall because I'm too lazy to take them apart. Anyway on with the story.
    We were on our way home from a ride. Just finished a good gallop across a hay meadow and I was turning to wait for hubby to catch up. Vida started throwing her head and prancing about. I looked down and her headstall had come apart and the bit was out of her mouth and hanging by her head. It's one of those single ear, no throat latch headstalls, so it was just hanging from her one ear. I jumped off as quick as I could since she was freaking out and I didn't have any hold on her.
    The Chicago screw (what I call them) had fallen out that held the bit on. Thank God she had a rope halter on so I rode her home with just the reins attached to the halter (she did great by the way). Moral of the story....Always check your tack before a ride. Make sure all the screws are tight, or better yet use some waxed thread to hold it together which is what I plan to do.
    It was a great ride other than that
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        08-03-2008, 02:21 PM
    That's very good advice. It's also a good idea to take along a piece of rope jic... last time I went out for a long trail ride, one of the girls had the same kind of headstall you had; the leather was worn and broke off at the snap. We managed to find a small piece of rope and wound it through the holes for the ride home, but especially for such a large group of riders, we were very ill prepared. Shame on me. I know better.
    Last year, the stirrup leathers on my son's saddle broke off. Would have been OK if it was me, but he couldn't handle it. Had to walk the horse back.
        08-03-2008, 02:40 PM
    Dang...glad you were not hurt
        08-03-2008, 03:30 PM
    Whew Vida, that was a close one. Glad everyone was okay.
    Yeah, I always check my tack before a ride. Something little that is loose could cause a big situation.
        08-03-2008, 04:00 PM
    Very good reminder for all of us! I do not trust bridles that have no throatlatch. More than once, a horse has shaken his head just right and the bridle completely came off. Save those for shows and the most trustworthy horses.

    For chicago screws, as long as you're not changing out the bit frequently, we dab some clear fingernail polish into the screw first. The screws then hold tight and we don't worry so much about them coming apart and losing one. You can also throw some chicago screws into your first aid kit, if you trial ride with one.
        08-03-2008, 04:42 PM
    Comes to show once again that when going on trails away from the barn with a halter under your bridle is always a good idea to have. I don't think I'll do without if I take my horses out to the mountains.

    Thank you for sharing that story.
        08-03-2008, 06:12 PM
    Thanks for the tip on the nail polish. My husband said they make some stuff called Lock Tite too that's suppose to do the same thing.
    I hadn't used the bit and headstall since spring. I don't know why I didn't check it before we left. That's what happens when I get in a hurry I guess
        08-09-2008, 10:26 AM
    Originally Posted by Vidaloco
    Thanks for the tip on the nail polish. My husband said they make some stuff called Lock Tite too that's suppose to do the same thing.
    I hadn't used the bit and headstall since spring. I don't know why I didn't check it before we left. That's what happens when I get in a hurry I guess
    The fingernail-polish trick helps.
    If you use LocTite.....do NOT use the red colored type. Ask for the Blue.
    If you use the Red, you'll not get the screw apart..... ever.

    FWIW, I use Chicago Screws a lot. But I always use them in pairs.....'cause sooner or later, one of them is going to un-screw itself.


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