Help! First horse & I know very little about tack
Hey guys :)
So I'm buying my first horse and I'm trying to shop for tack for her. I want to buy a saddle, bridle, girth, stirrups, and leathers, and although I've been riding a while but when it comes to picking tack I really have no idea what I'm doing. Help??
Saddles - I found three within what I want to spend that look good:
1. HDR Advantage Close Contact (cheap, but I can't test-ride a used one)
2. M Toulouse Candice Close Contact (test-ride available)
3. Bates Caprilli Close Contact (on sale, test-ride available)
Bridles - I can't decide... which do you like better? Would the first one look weird if I had a lighter brown saddle?
1. Plain bridle
2. "Fancy Stitch" bridle
A few additional questions:
Thank you so much, if you can answer any of my questions at all that would be so helpful!!
You have linked the same bridle twice ;)
The best way to know the size of halter or bridle is to measure your horse's head.
How to Measure for a Bridle | Dover Saddlery
Basic measurements that you need are noseband, throatlatch, bit to bit.
As for saddles, always go for the one you can test ride first. You have to ensure that it fits. Plus I've heard that M Toulouse and Bates are great brands.
If you go to Dover store, they can help you pick out a good girth or you can talk with them about what you're looking for and they'll help you out.
Just remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to stirrup leathers. Always check for good reviews, they aren't all the same quality! But if the saddles comes with leathers, then you should be good to go.
As for a bridle, it's a hit and miss. Find one that is affordable but good quality, you can oil it and condition to improve its suppleness but again.. review review review!
For halter/bridle sizing: What Skys said. Also how tall is the horse and what breed? That might help some people have some suggestions for sizing.
You haven't chosen any cheap, unknown brands. Those are all respectable. Before looking at any saddle, watch the 9 Schleese videos:
the best saddle will be the one that fits your horse and puts you in a good position. Buy from a store or individual that will let you try it.
Also, since you're on a budget, you should really consider buying a used saddle. You can get a brand/maker that is even better than the ones you've listed for the same price. As long and the tree is sound and the flocking is soft and smooth, you can get some really good saddles used.
It sounds like you and I like to ride the same types of things: flatwork for discipline and technique, trails because that's where I find happiness, and some jumping to feel alive. I like an All Purpose saddle with a jumping emphasis - more forward flap. I know lots of people who like doing trails with a jumping saddle / CC saddle. Flatwork gets a little awkward with a jumping saddle, but I've seen it done. If you're not showing or competing or doing anything too serious, get what feels good.
congratulations. She has the most adorable expression about her. She has that look that makes it hard to believe she could ever be naughty.
(I added to my OP.. had a bad habit where I post a little and then keep editing as I think of more things lol, sorry!)
But the main difference is the regular dee bit is a consistent size, it doesn't taper off as much as the hunter dee where it starts out a bit thicker and goes thinner. Also the metal may be slightly different. Some metals are heavier than others, some have copper in them, some are silver, etc. But I cannot tell from this bit.
As I said in a different thread, the same kind of bit from different brands or a different model, are all a little bit different. And it's that little difference which your horse may prefer or despise. You just have to trial and error it :P
Just some examples of what you can get used from reputable sellers. Browse through some of these to see what makers and models you can get for the same price as the new ones you listed:
UsedSaddleCrofton*::*English Saddles Adult
Galloping Grape English Saddle, New Saddle, Used English Saddles, English Saddles
Your excitement made me smile! My daughter who rides English way more than I do said, I choose HDR for a saddle 100%. ...... and your new horse is adorable! congrats!!
The main difference in these bits is the size. Along the straight bar that sits next to the mouthpiece, a huinter dee measures about 4", whereas a regular (racing) dee measures about 3". Of course there are the other variables that you mention as well, Sky.
I'd try to find out what the horse is ridden in now - bridle and bit sizes, noseband type, saddle width - to give you an idea. And I'd stick with an AP saddle. CCs with foam or fibre panels can be awkward to fit.
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