What do you use, and why?
Hello. I have a four year old arab in training under saddle and I don't even know what discipline I plan on doing with him, let alone what kind of tack to get. I figure I will choose my tack off the individual characteristics, not the discipline. So I was wondering, what do you guys choose, and why? Feel free to include boots, etc.
Well I'd say i have very basic gear. I have a jerry bethune barrel saddle (that i have tl sell for a smaller size :() a simple light oil and blue ostrich bridle / breast collar with silver dots. My reins are braided blue and black nylon with knots and very adjustable. My pad is a navajo blue/black /tan teskeys pad and a right now a simple snaffle.
I have kind of two sets of tack. I have my trail riding set, which is my Aussie saddle, red/black lumberjack plaid saddle pad that I made, red/black lumberjack plaid polos, red nylon bridle, leather nose Little S hackamore, and I'm getting a pair of red/black braided nylon reins like those BarrelracingArabian uses. Then I have my English set, which will be my schooling and showing set. It consists of my older medium oil Stubben Siegfried saddle, red saddle pad, dark oil English bridle (I need to replace this with one that closer matches my saddle and is better quality), and eggbutt French link snaffle. I need a set of red SMBs and a full cheek French link snaffle for my English set, as well as replacing my bridle (the one I have is a crappy made-in-India thing that won't soften up no matter how much I oil it).
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Just for regular work I have a old junky western saddles that's dark leather with white buck stitching (ick), and a hunter green wool felt pad, felt cinch. Usally use black english bridle with the noseband removed, with a plain dee ring snaffle. As she doesn't neck reins overly well.
Or I have my Elan sidesaddle, a chafless girth, and my english bridle again. No pad because they seem to bunch up under than saddle too easily and it fits well enough without one.
Thinking of changing her bit, because she doesn't seem to like the action of a single or double jointed snaffle, and not sure what to try yet.
I use an all-purpose, black Kieffer Genf saddle. For everyday use, I have three cotton saddle pads - a plum one, a dark blue with a red lining one and a navy with sheepskin padding one. As for the girth, I have a black cushion web one by Aerborn - that's a very good girth brand for English saddles. I also use a rather nice, black Cavallo bridle with a little-S hackamore headpiece attached (with black, synthetic leather, padded noseband) and black all-leather reins.
For show purposes, I have a dark yellow with khaki lining saddle pad and a golden, metallic browband.
I also use a rope halter, which is black with dark green flecks, and a black lead line, and, for ground-driving - a dark brown leather surcingle with tan padding, and dark brown long lines.
Forgot a few pieces of tack when I posted last night. Lol.
For my Aussie saddle, I have a neoprene western cinch that my best friend gave me because it was too big for her narrow Arab. Whoever had my Aussie saddle before me had it re-rigged western, which I do not like because it adds too much bulk under the flap when it's done up and digs into my leg. So, I'm switching it back to traditional Aussie rigging (or maybe even the Tackleberry system from the Australian Stock Saddle Company, if I can afford it).
For my Stubben, I have a matching leather girth.
The reins for my English setup are dark oil leather with lacing.
As far as halters go, I have a red with black flecks rope halter that is too small in the nose now (and is adjusted as big as it will go) and a red draft-size nylon halter that fits perfectly. Our lead rope is red with black flecks, as well.
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I have a few sets, one for trail riding. I use my corriente saddle with a smart cinch, impact gel pad or my esp, maroon smb's if necessary, two ear bridle with rawhide covering on the ears, copper comfort snaffle, leather split reins, or my cotton trail reins depending on the terrain and a thick, dark oil breast collar.
-For the trail I like having reliable gear that's going to last, the bling isn't necessary for me and I'd rather not ruin it. We do a lot of water riding and rough riding through out the year. Snow can destroy a nice bling bridle. I tend to use my roping corriente now for trail riding because it's comfy, but HEAVY. I am upgrading to a lighter wade soon and can't wait.
My gaming / play / bling sets, esp or gel pad, silver royal zebra set, or the back in black set, my dakota barrel saddle, smart cinch, copper comfort snaffle, zebra pad, lime green smb boots, and neon pink and green gaming reins.
-For gaming, showing and "showing off" :P I like using the bling, what cowgirl doesn't? For the fun shows, the neon always pops with the zebra and he's a buckskin so it all goes together. It's always fun to get all dressed up and to compete.
Overall I'd say stick with namebrands, MOST but not all offbrands are usually cheap. You just have to know what you're buying, I try to check anything out at some point in the store before buying online so I don't get screwed. I normally do not buy tack off of Ebay either, people claim so much, you pay a lot and don't get what you thought you were. Corriente saddles are the one brand I moved to for saddles and LOVE them.
Picture of my saddle, and also a picture of one of my bling sets, NOT my horse.
I make rope and braided tack and sell it, and pretty much only ride my own brand :) I can't wait to get my newest set made (in between my other orders!) - By this spring, the only "outside" tack I'll be using will be my saddle and pad :D
I really like having all rope and braided tack because it's strong and low-maintenance. I don't want to worry about leather, especially since I'm doing endurance and things get wet and messy a lot. Now, I can throw all my tack in the tub or even washing machine if I really want to! Plus, I can design my own tack to be exactly what I want, including colors and styles.
You can check out my work at J Bar N Ranch :)
I have a few sets;
inexpensive synthetic "supra" saddle. fits a few of the narrow thoroughbreds. also a nice leather english bridle and a cotton pad.
wintec synthetic. my first saddle. I've beaten the snot out of it. now just using it to start colts, doesnt mater much if they have a melt down in it.
assortment of leather bridles, all fitted with snaffles of varios sorts and braided reins, also a side pull.
kimberly stock. This poor saddle has done endurance, mountain riding, started colts, etc. Probably 2000+ miles and still going strong.
big horn model 806 hornless leather endurance. love, love, love.
ordering a biothane bridle/reins/breastcollar.
I have leather western and aussie breast collars, neoprene, mohair, felt and synthetic cinches. mohair wins by far.
I have proffessional choice gel pad, wool, navajo style blankets and felt ones.
I used to teach lessons, so I still have a lot of my old tack from that. IMHO, your horse should be comfortable with Western tack and all purpose English tack.
Otherwise, pick the tack that you prefer. Horses don't care what the saddle looks like, they are just concerned that it doesn't hurt when you ride.
Hard to imagine NOT knowing what you want your horse to do!!!
I have big plans this year for my youngest horses--my mare is finished and we just enjoy her.
1) teach hobbling
2) train to lay down
3) lunging over cavaletti
1) lunge over cavaletti to prep for low jumping
2) train to drive
3) finish as a trail horse
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