Friday, May 18, 2012

New Horse, New Tack

Why is that?  Why is it every horse you get in your life is shaped totally different requiring that you buy new tack?  Or, at least have major modifications made.  Winston is all set on the dressage front.  My saddle tree was reduced almost two sizes from a medium-wide to somewhere between medium and medium-narrow.  My dressage bridle fit him, but I did have to invest in a different bit.  He didn't like the $$$ KK Ultra at all. 

This week I worked on the Western tack.  My trail saddle is also way too wide for Winston.  When we rode on the trail last month, his saddle pad would slip out from underneath the saddle.  I ordered a Western pad liner and inserts to pad the front before we went on vacation but they were on back order and didn't arrive until after we left.  While we were at Alisal, I used two saddle pads and the saddle worked well.  There wasn't any slipping at all.  I used Jackson's saddle pad on top and one that had been for Strider, our OTTB underneath.  While I loved Jackson's saddle pad on Jackson, the colors just aren't the best for Winston.  Jackson's lovely grey color looked great with clear bold colors.  Winston is kind of a roan-ish red and the bright colors looked garish.

Strider's pad is a rust color and looked great with Strider's chestnut coat.  It also looked good on Winston who definitely has more red than brown in his coat (mama was a chestnut). 

Today, I tried riding him around the block with the Western liner pad plus Strider's saddle pad. 
Western liner pad with two shims on each side, at the front.
When we started...

When we finished.  Didn't work so hot -- even just around the block.
So, Brett and I went back to the tack store so I could get a pad that is thick enough to double up with Strider's pad and looks good on Winston.  I found one that is almost identical to this one.  Yes!

I had bought him a new bridle earlier in the week.  When we were at Alisal, a Chicago screw came undone on the headstall and we were suddenly walking along with his headstall and bit no longer attached.  The headstall piece was flopping against his face and the bit only stayed in his mouth because he held on to it and I kept some contact.  I SOOO dislike Chicago screws.  They come undone unless you use nail polish on the screws -- and then you can't get them undone without pliers if you need to change bits.  Fortunately, Winston was calm as a cucumber when it happened -- on our last ride of the trip.  But I vowed to get him a bridle with no Chicago screws.  And I did.  I think its pretty Appy appropriate too.

I love the silver buckles and rawhide detail.

Brett got a new bridle for Flash too.  Does anybody like Chicago screws??

Tomorrow, we are going to try another ride around the block.  My toes tolerated being in my boot pretty well and only hurt a little bit.  We're getting there.


  1. I don't envy you buying new gear. Nothing is cheap. Glad your toes are better!

  2. When I was about 15, I had a bridle fall apart in the middle of a parade because of Chicago screws. We had a 6-horse hitch of Percherons breathing down our necks and no where to go. I wound up slipping the crown of the bridle in my horse's mouth with the brow-band over her nose, the reins tied to the ends of the cheek pieces and we rode out that way. When I finally made it home alive, I threw out every piece of tack I owned that used Chicago screws and I haven't used any since.

    Your new bridle is very pretty. Especially those leather ties and sturdy buckles:)

  3. The answer to your question is simple...

    ...horses are insatiable shoppers and love spending money!

  4. As a newbie rider who has only ridden school horses, I confess, I know nothing about tack. Actually, what I don't know about horses could fill a football stadium. Two probably.

    You have a couple of fine looking horses there.

  5. Good boy Winston for not taking advantage when your bridle fell apart! I had to look up "Chicago screws" - now I know what one is! I've never used one. Our bridles are all English or driving, and they have "pig ear" fastenings.

  6. I am thinking I won't get a horse now.

    Just kidding. I swear I could smell the leather of the saddles and tack as I read this post. You are that good.


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