Purchasing a new harness
Well we're on the look out for a new harness that can (hopefully) fit both my mare Sour (34")and our to-be cart mare, a 36" mini. The one we have is getting older and really just dont fit right, so we're rebuying everything. Does anyone have any suggestions on makers? I believe our budget is $250 because it isnt a show harness, just for pleasure. I already have working bridles for both of them, as well as bits and reins. I just need the saddle, breeching, breastcollar, traces, etc.
The one that we have is for class B minis but I guess it just isnt made right...we use an easy entry cart but the traces are WAY too long even with the shafts at the point of Sour's shoulder. The breastcollar was also too large >.> What length do you generally want the traces to be for a miniature horse so that I don't mess up?
Also, how often are you supposed to buy new pads? I don't think ours have ever been replaced O_o
I don't know how good the quality is but state line tack has a nylon harness online for 110$, if I remember correctly
I'm really trying to advoid nylon because in my experience it chaffs easier and is much harder to fit. I already have leather reins and bridles too, so it would be nice to have a matching (or semi matching) set.
A BIG problem with buying a harness, off E-Bay is you never know the quality and you can't return it. Also the fit might be way off.
You buy a mini harness but it comes with a horse size bit, a warning that the fit may be off.
You put the harness on and the bridle is on the smallest holes and the breeching is on the largest, or vise-versa
There is not enough room for the noseband on the bridle.
There are not enough adjustments for the size of animal it is to fit.
I would suggest buying from somewhere that you can return it, like State Line or Dover’s, or used from somewhere you can try on the harness first, or from a reputable Amish person,
I agree Taffy. I HATE buying off of ebay and advoid it at all costs. Only thing I've bought off of there was a leadrope because I figured they couldnt screw that up too much xD it actually unraveled within two months though...>.>
I would love to buy one from a nice Amish maker, but they're unheard of down here in Houston. Actually, miniature horse harnesses are no where to be found at ANY of our tack shops (I've been to all of them that are within an hour of here) unless its a crappy $75-100 nylon way-too-big harness. For that reason I'm forced to buy online. And the problem with that is shipping O_o I bought a very nice $45 bridle from Rons Horse Harnesses in Canada and I'd love to get a harness from them , but it cost me $29 to ship the bridle here here! Imagine the price of shipping a whole harness.
I didn't know that Dovers and Stateline let you send harnesses back. Thats good information to know and I'll look there. I'm just so worried about quality...
Taffy, do you know how often you are supposed to change the pads?
I agree about quality, you need to check stitching as well as leather.
There are a lot of driving clubs in Texas, you might call them up and ask if you can put something in their newsletter about wanting a harness. http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/regn_southwest.asp
The national Mini and Shetland organization are having their convention in St Louis this weekend, I thought about going, to look at the vendors. But it is a long drive.
As far as pad replacement, are you talking about the fuzzy pads that go under the saddle and such? If you are, I would check the stitching where the leather/vinyl is attached and if it looks good hand wash it line dry it, then fluff it. If the stitching isn't the best I would brush it out and maybe sponge clean it.
I would say this needs to be done when the pad gets matted with sweat. I do not wash mine very often, I just brush mine out with a stiff brush. The breast collar pad needs to be cleaned more often than the saddle pad, there is a lot more friction with the breast collar than the saddle.
There are new style pads made out of vinyl that all they need to be is wiped off.
Thanks for that link! I'll check it out. I just looked on both Dover and Stateline. Dover doesn't carry harnesses, much less mini stuff- that I could see, and Stateline only has one that is suitable for minis and didn't give many measurements...I need to know crupper-to-saddle lengths because my mare has a short back and I also need to know trace lengths. Neither were provided. They are also out of stock right now.
I may be calling the 'pad' the wrong thing. It seems like one to me though. It is attached to the saddle by velcro. I suppose its vinyl? Its right under the saddle on this particular harness (pictured below) and it just seems like its been flattened a lot and doesn't stick well anymore. Excuse the breeching, we've adjusted it on him since seeing your thread on properly fitting it! xD This is the same harness that we use on my 34" mare, and he is 43". You can imagine the fitting issues...the traces are FAR too long, the breeching too low even on the highest notch, and the saddle seems a bit wide, too. Its a mess.
Since new harnesses don't come with pads though, I'll have to buy new ones. I'm going to get purple fuzzy pads if I can >:) I'm a bit confused though. Our breastcollar doesn't have a place for a pad. Do you buy them and they're just sort of like sleezies and wrap around it? Or do you have to buy breastcollars that are made to have a pad? I'd love that, as Sour sometimes gets hair worn down when driving (possibly another fitting problem?) and has really sensative skin. I'd like to make this as comfortable for her as possible!
Yes that is a pad. You can purchase a breast collar pad, just like a saddle pad. It attaches with velcro like the saddle pad it is just longer.
I use a longer pad now for my saddle too, it goes further down the sides of the saddle and possibly makes it more comfy.
If the velcro doesn't work anymore can you replace it yourself?
I think the Amish guy that I went to last had purple.
Here is a few photos of some pads.
Here is a photo of P with a breast collar pad that I am using for a saddle pad, in blue.
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