'completing' my tack - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-04-2020, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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'completing' my tack

Hi, as most people know I am a new rider with some friends and acquaintances that work in the horse industry/train horses/are good riders. One of my friend bought 2 new (top) horses and I will be allowed to ride them. Because we will not have enough saddles to ride all the horses at the same time the idea was to revive my old Kieffer saddle. It's 70 years old, it's family heritage and it will need to be checked by a saddle maker (to refill the cushions and make sure it is still safe.) We will also have the saddle made so it fits a particular horse.

Besides that I will need to buy:
  • -stirrups.What do you think about jointed stirrups???
  • -girth (leather with wool?? What kind should I buy??)
  • -stirrpup leathers (what do you guys think about stability stirrup leathers?)
  • -saddle deck (should I buy a thick one? One with wool? One that's suitable to ride in the rain?)
I don't want cheap materials, I want to invest and buy good durable things that will last me long. I have done some research and I will listen to the advice of my equestrian shop, BUT since a lot of people on this forum have years of expierence and know alot about tack I was wondering if you would want to give me some advice.

My needs:

  • -Durable material
  • -Safety (safety stirrups)
  • -Makes riding more easy (All the help I can get I will take, I am a recreational rider)
  • -Comfortable for the horse (very important!)
  • -I would like if it fits the style of the saddle but ease of use trumps these needs (!)
  • -Quality
  • -Versatile (multi functional)
  • -Suitable for women (stirrups and other gear)

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-04-2020, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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These are some of the stirrup options I looked at. Any thoughts on these?
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-04-2020, 02:30 PM
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You did not say, but I assume this Keiffer is a dressage saddle?



I do not like stirrups that are not made of heavy metal . So, if those are not made of solid metal, do not buy them.


I have a pair of jointed stirrups, and they seem to help a bit with calf and knee issues, but you are young and I assume will not be in the saddle for hours on end. Don't spend hundreds of $'s on the brand name ones.


Leathers? some really like the Cashel ones, because they are easier to shorten/lengthen from the saddle. I find any ones of good quality leather are fine. Thick ones can feel bunhced up under the thigh, tho. The thinner ones that are stitched are nice but very pricey.


Girth? I really like the mohair dressage girths. really.


What is a 'saddle deck'? Do you mean the pad that goes under the saddle?
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-04-2020, 03:10 PM
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So...my real feelings on what you propose with your saddle...
Your saddle is a family heirloom.
The horses do not belong to you, you will just be allowed to ride them if, if your saddle can be used.
Your friends want to customize that heirloom to fit one of these horses at I bet a pretty good price...sounds like you are expected to pay for.
You are referring to a large amount of money to spend to correct some issues the saddle has do to age and the leather is old and been sitting, it has not been in continuous use...
So, no to using that heirloom on a horse that is not yours.
No to investing all that $$$ cause it is going to be considerable.

I would instead purchase a used saddle in your size that is comfortable for you, in good condition and will fit the horses well with maybe a modest saddle pad needed and leave the family heirloom alone.
If this was "your" horse it would be different, but you don't own and you never know what tomorrow could bring in friendship. For that reason I would not allow the use of that special family heirloom irreplaceable.
When you purchase this saddle it remains your property and make sure it is marked permanently with your name/initials so you can identify it...again, friendships can & do change.

As for stirrups...
Lately I've seen pictures of and read articles on those composite things breaking and the rider being injured, sometimes badly.
If you feel you need to ride with peacock stirrups then buy them and a extra set of rubber-bands.
If you just want a "English" stirrup them buy fillis pad stirrup with a white pad.
If you want a stirrup that has a wider footbed for more comfort if you trailride for hours over varied terrain, then look at stirrups that endurance riders use or trail riders use.
I would not mix true western stirrups though on the English saddle as the safety bars may not release you properly if you fell and got hung up.
I'm also not into spending oodles of money when the standard riding saddle accompaniments work well and are safe to use.
If you bought a used saddle, often it comes with leathers and stirrups on it..
If you bought a new saddle then those items are extra but you can buy affordable not need to spend top-dollar unneeded spent.

I thought you had had the saddle evaluated already for bringing back into safe daily use condition and it was very costly....
Remember too it probably will not be just you using said saddle, and although you may take really good care of others tack...not everyone reciprocates that way and this is your heirloom you refer to being put out there.
Honestly, I would look for a used saddle local or a entry level new...
For what I imagine a leatherworker will charge for the work needing done, plus someone to re-flock for saddle fit you could buy a Wintec with adjustable gullet that would fit many a horse.
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/w...ocked/E006280/
https://www.statelinetack.com/search...rt=bestselling
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/s...air/SLT733293/
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/t...irons/E022781/
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/t...rrups/E028761/


There are so many variations, choices and prices for any of these I quickly gave links to...
Other places I would do some searching if wanting "new" is www.doversaddlery.com , www.chicksaddlery.com , www.jeffersequine.com and then of course are the hundreds of places you can find with a computer search.
The places I listed are all trusted tack shops with good reputations and customer service to assist you.
Look local in trade-papers, local tack shop, feed stores and put up flyers of what you are seeking and see what you find if you will buy used .
Facebook has thousands of tack groups all over the world...
There are local/regional groups everywhere.
I just would not do what you comment about with a treasured heirloom on a animal that is not mine and I will not have total control over who is using it, just would not happen to my treasured saddle.
...
jmo..
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-04-2020, 11:26 PM
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What @horselovinguy said! Nobody will take care of your stuff like you do. I have a saddle with a lot of silver on it. Let a neighbor girl use it for a horse show. Came back missing conchos and how they accomplished that I don't know. I trail ride in that saddle, used it hard and never lost a bit of silver off of it. They did buy some new to replace the lost ones but of course they didn't match.

Step-daughter, son-in-law and grandson decided they were going to ride one day when they were here. Used my old saddle that has leather rosettes on it and they managed to pull some of those off and they were just riding in the corral. Plus I was none too happy that they just tossed everything back in the tack room instead of taking the time to put everything back in it's place.

Point is people just don't care when they are not the one that paid for it.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-05-2020, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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I read all of your replies and I will answer more extensively later. But yes, the idea was that I would pay for everything... My friend lets me ride and handle her (very) expensive horses and I am a horse n00b. She will also let me ride the top horses for free so it seemed logical that I would pay for the saddle. On the other hand I don't have the money (now) so I will have to save up for it and I am still hesitating about what to do. In a year or two I might be able to lease a horse from her... Maybe I should wait and make the saddle fit that horse... Or maybe I should indeed wait until I have my own horse but essentially that will for sure not happen in the next 5 or more (maybe 10) years.

Btw I also use my friend her tack... hmmm I will overthink everything for a month or more before I decide what to do. I am not going to impulsively buy all of those things.
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-05-2020, 01:30 PM
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Since you didn't specify your discipline, I'm going to assume dressage. To me, Kieffer=dressage LOL! If it were me personally, I'd head over to the Kieffer website and purchase the leathers, girth and stirrups from there. That way you get both quality and a complete package. In the States, LeMieux is a popular fancy saddle pad brand. I'm also absolutely drooling over the Equestrian Stockholm pad/fly veil/boot combinations--too awesome! These are two stores in EU that you could check out. I think Ooteman is free shipping too. So, if you are not dressage-y sorry.



www.ooteman.nl
www.equestrianstockholm.com
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-05-2020, 11:54 PM
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For stirrups, I prefer the regular Fillis irons, myself. Jointed can be good for those with joint issues, but I found that for some reason it was harder for me to ride correctly in them. It may have been that mine had too much give. They seem to be the kind of stirrups people either love or they hate. I did find that they were comfortable for trail riding, however.

One thing I will suggest is to forego peacock irons (the kind with the rubber band). They're really only meant for kids and can break under the weight of an adult, plus the hook that holds the rubber band can be dangerous in the event of a fall if the rider gets caught on it somehow.

For girths, I prefer a good quality leather girth. They are much easier to clean than anything with fleece/sheepskin, last forever, and I've never had issues with galling. I also like triple elastic that isn't too stretchy for the ends.

I've never tried the stability stirrup leathers, but I've liked my Dover Saddlery brand leathers, as well as my Ovation lined leathers. Lined leathers tend to not stretch as much as non-lined, but some have the safety concern of them not breaking in an emergency. I always like to leave the stirrup bar lock down so that they can be pulled off in such an event.


If by saddle deck, you mean saddle pad, I just use all purpose square pads. My favorites are PRI, Roma, Waldhausen, and Wilker's brand. I've been caught in the rain in them and they've held up great. PRI also makes a great trail pad with pockets in it. I have 4 that I absolutely love!
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-06-2020, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palfrey View Post
Since you didn't specify your discipline, I'm going to assume dressage. To me, Kieffer=dressage LOL! If it were me personally, I'd head over to the Kieffer website and purchase the leathers, girth and stirrups from there. That way you get both quality and a complete package. In the States, LeMieux is a popular fancy saddle pad brand. I'm also absolutely drooling over the Equestrian Stockholm pad/fly veil/boot combinations--too awesome! These are two stores in EU that you could check out. I think Ooteman is free shipping too. So, if you are not dressage-y sorry.



www.ooteman.nl
www.equestrianstockholm.com



ironically I ride western and I don't like riding in an english saddle but I really don't have 2000 or more dollars to spend on a saddle so I will indeed have to look into fixing the one I got for free or go second hand.
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-06-2020, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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@horselovinguy As usual your advice is really good. I will look into the wintec saddles.



I asked a saddle maker if they would take a look and they said they would do so for free but off course they expect me to let them handle and restitch my saddle after that so I was kinda ashamed to just ask without any concrete plans of what to do with the saddle... For now I only did what I could do myself (clean, oil, remove insects, kill insects that, check straps, attach some new straps here and there...) Now I think the next step is to indeed let them look at my saddle and give me a price. If they name a number that will buy me a second hand saddle... I might as well buy second hand. I don't know much about saddles but my grandpa was kinda tall and I am too (1m82), so it would be nice if I could ride in a good fit... :) I just thought that because it was really expensive it would automatically be a good saddle to sit in...
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