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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved my mare to an endurance farm and I am looking to get some tack for her. Because I am new to this, I have no idea what all to get. I asked my trainer where she got her bridles and she had them custom made and I didn't even bother to ask the price :shock:. Because we are just starting out in endurance, I will try and find a used saddle of course but I am also looking for inexpensive but durable breast collars, bridles, reins, etc. Oh, I'd also like to find as much as I can in purple. I have a slight addiction to purple and yeah...it's going to be our race colors haha. I'm 5'4" with short legs and I would like to find a saddle without a horn and something that would keep in the saddle well/comfortable. All of this is optional as this will be my first set of endurance tack which will mainly be used to train her in as it will be awhile before we make it out to any competitions. Thanks!
 

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I'm a complete endurance newbie as well. Been "stalking" the endurance world for a good year now but have yet to compete- next month will be my first race!

If I had to recommend endurance tack (bridles, breast collars, reins, etc etc) in whatever color combo you want, I'd have to suggest www.thedistancedepot.com
Great site for other endurance necessities as well.

I got this custom biothane bridle/halter (bit is detachable using clips, which I find very handy!) from them with comfy matching black/red reins and I am in LOVE with it. I find the price very well worth it.


As far as saddles, others who are more experienced could probably give you better advice on this as I'm not 100% knowledgeable on the different brands (although I slowly find that I am becoming a tack hoarder :shock:). From what I've seen, the majority of endurance saddles do not have a horn.

I have a Specialized Eurolight Saddle and find it very comfortable. Specialized is a bit pricey in my opinion and a used one may not be easy to find. But they are out there if you look and I loooooove mine.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you are just trying to get into endurance, the saddle you are riding in now may be just fine for the time being. As long as it fits correctly, I don't see why you can't condition and compete in whatever saddle you are using now for the time being, especially if you are aiming for a limited distance ride. I rushed into getting an endurance saddle because they are so darn comfortable! :lol:
 

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All our horses go in Taylored Tack. Its a bit more expensive than some others, but its hand-made by Mandy (who is a friend of mine) and is top quality. It will last you forever and there are tons of colors and patterns to choose from.

a friend's horse in purple (and the white tack is mandy's too):



my mare:
 

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Disclaimer- not an expert:) I have to second Phantom with the TT, I have not raced yet but have probably put 30 miles on my tack and it is fabulous. Not only is it gorgeous, but very well made. I have royal with fire dance overlay. On the saddle, I purchased a used endurance big horn on eBay and love it, It was $300 shipped and included a nice reinsman pad.
These pictures aren't the best


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I have a Zilco snap-on headstall and a breastplate. They serve me well and are super easy to clean, always come out looking new and shiny. I get my tack from Riding Warehouse. They have great prices, free shipping over $50, and the best customer service. I believe the breastplate was about $90 and the headstall was around $30.

If you're on a tight budget, you can always try looking at used tack places, or even ask at your new barn if anyone has tack lying around that you could purchase. The beauty of good quality synthetic materials is that they'll clean up nicely even if they have been sitting for a while.

From what I've heard, the most important thing about your saddle is that it fits your horse really well. You don't necessarily need a saddle made specifically for endurance. I crewed at Tevis last year and saw everything from older, simple English saddles, to specialized, custom saddles.
 

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If you're on a tight budget and just wanting to get some beta tack to get started, check out www.twohorsetack.com
I have a breastplate from them and have been happy with it for the very low price. Not as nice or fancy as Taylored Tack (which is lovely), but a cheap starting point anyway... I think you can get $5 off coupons on their facebook page.

I also like my padded Zilco breastplate for my sensitive horse.

As for saddles, use what you have to get started. As long as it fits the horse, you can do 25 mile LDs in most tack. I ride in a Wintec dressage saddle with a sheepskin cover and padded endurance stirrups.
 

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I love Taylored Tack, but at the time it was a bit out of my budget range. Plus when Zilco was bringing in stainless steel, the brass stuff was all discounted so I picked up what pieces I could and got them for almost half off their original prices. I have the snap on headstalls, excellent because I much rather tie using their rope halters, and padded breastcollars with fleece tubing over their wither straps. I use my poly rope reins though. I like the soft feel in my hands, but I also wear gloves. I don't find flat reins very comfortable in my hands (unless they are of the softer rope kind).

Saddles-gotta get what fits...but it's gotta fit for a long ride. It can't leave hot spots because that tends to turn into trouble spots. I've seen all kinds out there and it just has to be what works for your horse and what you can stick to when going along at speed and your horse decides to teleport :)
 

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I too love Taylored Tack both my sets have 100s of miles on them and will be ordering a set for my daughter in a couple months.

Any saddle will work as long as it fits both you and the horse very well, and is comfortable for you both over distance.
 

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Zilco is great - I have some of their stuff for racing (Standardbreds). I also love Two Horse Tack which is all beta biothane (she has leather too) and does all sorts of custom colors and combinations. Two Horse Tack there's also a caption contest on their site now, that if you enter you get $5 off your next order :)

I trail ride my Arab gelding in their stuff and love it. Walsh is also good (have some of that too) and use it for my bigger horses and for standardbred racing as well. It's a little thicker material-wise and I haven't found it in as many colors, but you can get it at Big Dee online and it's pretty reasonably priced there too.
 

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when using a breast plate, how wide should I be looking for? i see those sites have them but dont' say how wide they are. is this just something everyone knows or ?? and wouldn't something too thin cut into the shoulder when a horse is really working uphill?
 

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Hey, I'm Australian and I always rode endurance in an English All-Purpose saddle that fitted my horse really well and I was very comfortable in. I didn't see the need to get myself a different saddle. If I competed again now I'd still do it in my English AP - my new saddle is even better for that sort of thing than the one I had before because it is cut to allow the horse a lot of freedom in shoulder movement, and because technology has improved to make (properly fitted) saddles even more comfortable for horse and rider.

Do get your saddle professionally fitted to your horse if you haven't yet - super important for this discipline. And consider getting out of your saddle and walking with your horse at intervals during your rides - you're going to have walking breaks anyway and it's good to get the weight off your horse's back, and for you to stretch your legs. (Some not-so-bright competitors used to think my horse had broken down when I did that, but she enjoyed her little recovery breaks and did extremely well with her ride times and end-ride recovery ratings. I never saw the point of sitting on my horse at a walk during an endurance ride.)

I totally agree with TrailDustMelody's saddle comments. Quite a few Australian riders compete at endurance in Australian stock saddles because it's comfortable for them and their horses. Your horse's comfort is more important than any other thing, so make sure your gear fits and you don't use a super-heavy saddle.

Breast plates - yes, choose a wide, smooth one. Mine was 6-7cm wide. You can also get different styles, that cross over the chest for example, and some horses are more comfortable in those. Maybe you could borrow different styles and test-ride to see what your horse is most comfortable in. An overtight girth is really not good when doing endurance - there are elastic-inset girths these days that some horses find really comfortable.

Happy riding! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all so much!!!! Sorry I'm just getting back to messaging but it's been crazy lately. Y'all all have had such awesome suggestions and I can't thank you enough. I'll keep you all updated what I go with. And saddles are going to be the biggest difficulty for me. Endurance in the states, especially the south east, is not as common as South Africa for example (which is where my trainers are from ha!). I am finding many saddles but I'm not sure what size I am as they run kinda small compared to my size on English saddles. I also went riding in a saddle this weekend that wasn't bad but I'm insanely sore. I didn't sit well in the saddle and was sliding around everywhere. My mare being 4 was also bouncing around so I am surprised I didn't fall off. It was also a very narrow seat and I was having to grip to stay on with my groin which was not pleasant for 2 hours! I want something that sits wide at the thighs without a horn and that can hug me in the seat. Possibly having knee rolls.

Again thank you all so much! I can't believe the response I got from everyone. It's greatly appreciated and again, I'll keep y'all updated =]
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I love my aussie because it is not as narrow as some saddles and the deep seat is not only comfy but with the pollys in the front it helps to hold you in really well.
 

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Thank you all so much!!!! Sorry I'm just getting back to messaging but it's been crazy lately. Y'all all have had such awesome suggestions and I can't thank you enough. I'll keep you all updated what I go with. And saddles are going to be the biggest difficulty for me. Endurance in the states, especially the south east, is not as common as South Africa for example (which is where my trainers are from ha!). I am finding many saddles but I'm not sure what size I am as they run kinda small compared to my size on English saddles. I also went riding in a saddle this weekend that wasn't bad but I'm insanely sore. I didn't sit well in the saddle and was sliding around everywhere. My mare being 4 was also bouncing around so I am surprised I didn't fall off. It was also a very narrow seat and I was having to grip to stay on with my groin which was not pleasant for 2 hours! I want something that sits wide at the thighs without a horn and that can hug me in the seat. Possibly having knee rolls.

Again thank you all so much! I can't believe the response I got from everyone. It's greatly appreciated and again, I'll keep y'all updated =]
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Are you riding with the Dinklemanns? They are SUCH nice people!! I used to do rides with them when we both lived in Texas.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are you riding with the Dinklemanns? They are SUCH nice people!! I used to do rides with them when we both lived in Texas.

Nancy
YES! Small world! Lori and Christo are amazing. They are so helpful and laid back. I wish I had found them sooner. I'm so excited I get to work with them.
 

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I also went riding in a saddle this weekend that wasn't bad but I'm insanely sore. I didn't sit well in the saddle and was sliding around everywhere...
Hey CajunQueen, I know this is about a saddle issue but I wanted to pick up on the soreness thing, which can become a problem with long times in any saddle, even the one that's comfortable for you and horse that you're going to find.

Getting off your horse at the walk and walking with it, in training or competition, makes for a better rest break for your horse and improves circulation in its back and your legs at the same time, without slowing your ride time. You'll feel and ride much better when you get back on. (I never saw the point of sitting on my horse's back at the walk when doing endurance...)

Skin chafing on you can be reduced by wearing natural fibre fabrics, not only for your underwear (and watch those seams...) but for your jodhpurs / riding pants. Synthetic riding pants are a killer. Cotton / lycra or cotton / spandex is good - absorbent fibre plus stretch. I've even heard of people wearing bicycling shorts under their pants!

Special non-perfumed talcum powders are available for "powdering up" your posterior and preventing painful friction sores, which can become a real problem in hot or humid weather. I think that's a better approach that developing calluses! ;-)

Happy riding!
 

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I want something that sits wide at the thighs without a horn and that can hug me in the seat. Possibly having knee rolls.
I ride in an Ascot Romana AP I've had for a year and it's the most comfortable saddle I ever had. It does all those things. It's a very secure deep seat, and built-out knees that hug you in, and it's cut to allow unrestricted shoulder movement for your horse. I ride a really wide horse and it's one of the saddles my fitter recommended for a horse like that. (Plus I have ridiculously long thigh bones so it was hard to find something for me that didn't have my knees at the saddle edge without impeding the horse's shoulder.) The horse is really happy and free in it, but then my fitter is a genius who totally tailored the gullet and stuffing to fit his exact contours! :) I like the wide contact area over the horse's back, which reduces pressure on the horse.
 

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Skin chafing on you can be reduced by wearing natural fibre fabrics, not only for your underwear (and watch those seams...) but for your jodhpurs / riding pants. Synthetic riding pants are a killer. Cotton / lycra or cotton / spandex is good - absorbent fibre plus stretch. I've even heard of people wearing bicycling shorts under their pants!

Special non-perfumed talcum powders are available for "powdering up" your posterior and preventing painful friction sores, which can become a real problem in hot or humid weather. I think that's a better approach that developing calluses! ;-)
Interesting that you have had good luck with cotton.. as I have had the exact opposite experience. I have found that cotton - esp underwear - is the death of me. I ride in nothing but synthetic now, which is seamless (underwear) or designed for riding so the seams are not on contact surfaces.

I second the liberal use of powder or something like Body Glide to help with chafes and rubs tho. Body glide is a must-have in my world.
 

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Interesting that you have had good luck with cotton.. as I have had the exact opposite experience. I have found that cotton - esp underwear - is the death of me. I ride in nothing but synthetic now, which is seamless (underwear) or designed for riding so the seams are not on contact surfaces.

I second the liberal use of powder or something like Body Glide to help with chafes and rubs tho. Body glide is a must-have in my world.
Hey PH13, what sort of synthetic are you comfortable in? Is it one of those specialised moisture-wicking, low-friction fabrics? I'd love to know what the label in your clothing says about the type(s) of fabric (names), so I can look out for that sort of thing. I guess I've never tried the new "specialist" synthetics as they weren't available here when I was competing (but I have a great breathable, waterproof outdoor jacket made with that kind of new synthetic).

My main problem is with any polyester in the mix - leaves me red raw. And people seem to love putting polyester into clothes because it's inexpensive. :-(

By the way, we tried bamboo socks and hemp shirts for general wear in the last couple of years and love these! :)
 
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