Sunday, March 25, 2012

Season of Spending: Tack!

In this episode, your hero continues to spiral into depression due to her bank account slowly approaching the red, day by day.. but has two new bridles to show off, so she manages the depression by smelling the new leather smell.

horse people, you know what i'm talking aboutttttt!

The headstall and bit were actually gifted to me (best friend eveeerrrr), so I just bought the chin strap and reins for this simple, basic snaffle bridle.

I think having a simple snaffle is a must in every tack room. It's just a "go-to" piece of equipment, new horse that you don't know much about - snaffle. "bringing it back to basics" day - snaffle. & for a lot of people, everyday use - snaffle.

The headstall is pretty plain jane and once my winter classes finish up I think it may become my test-run headstall for attempting to bling out my own tack. Obviously a blog post will follow with results! I'm thinking really tame though (as I tend to get ideas of grandeur-craft projects in my head that only end up making me sad and disappointed). I'm thinking of swapping out the conchos that are already there for something with a bit more pizzax and maybe doing some conchos along the browband, nothing too fancy.


Next up - my new favourite bridle. It's an "Outlaw collection" Weaver headstall. I'm obsessed with weaver - they get me, tack wise. They really do. I paired it with nice thick 5/8" X 7" Reinsman reins.

The bit is a Reinsman 3" Dee 5" Mouth, Offset Dee 7/16" 3 piece with copper roller.
From the Tag: "Designed to apply pressure to a horse's lips on the opposite side of the face to help him turn. mouthpiece breaks over the bars at an angle to contact new nerves and add some tongue for better control. Copper adds a sweet and sour taste for moisture and will also act as a pacifier for horses that chew on the bit."

The story behind this headstall is that last summer I was riding my boy in an Argentine snaffle***, (so a broken mouth piece with shanks). Now, if you frequent horse forums like I do, this style of bit is pretty controversial... a lot of people love them, a lot of people absolutely despise them. 
*Note - this is not the same bit as a Tom Thumb - which is, by my standards, the most hated bit (that is in regular use) in the world at the moment .
**He is wearing that particular bit in my header images

Anyways, he was going fine with it but then I was starting to have issues with his turning, and we realized he was shying away from the leverage, and basically wasn't ready for it. Now, whether or not it was the bit, or the rider, or the horse - my philosophy on bits is that whatever they go happily, comfortably and successfully in, is the bit for them. (Obviously this is a very simplified statement, a horse could go well in a bit that straddles the harsher side of things with soft hands, etc. etc. but you get my point) 

So, towards the end of summer, around the same time I decided I was going to buy that damn horse one day, I decided that I was also going to find the best bit for him. Then, as the story goes, he went away to winter pasture and I was left with a big 'ol void in my heart and a lot of time to research bits on my hands.

Earlier this year I rode at my old trainers in a bit VERY similar to this, but with copper rings, instead of rollers. I really liked the feel and design behind it. I couldn't find that exact bit, and found a couple that I toyed around with until I found this particular bit, and decided to choke back the slightly high price, ($94.95) and go for it.

It's a decently mild bit, but the 3 piece with the combination of the D cheek pieces adds some control, tongue pressure and applies pressure to slightly different nerves than a single jointed bit that has the "crackerjack effect". Of course, it doesn't have leverage, which he was evading, and the sweet iron/roller combo helps with salivation and pacification. I'm hoping this is the bit he ends up really liking, but if not, we'll continue searching... and i'll continue buying. (Of course)

However, I think this will work as a really good "back to basics" bit for me and my boy come spring.

So, this is how my riding closet is decorated at the moment. See?! such intelligent buys! Decorative and functional!!

Until next time - happy spending.
What bits do you have that you love/hate?! Let me know!


  1. Haha, looks like our house! Bridles decorating every door. Now you just need to fill the laundry room with blankets and saddle pads, and place saddles randomly around the living room!

    I am with you on the Weaver stuff! My split reins are Weaver and I love them. The leather was slow to break in but so worth the effort. Great feel, beautiful drape, all that good stuff. The type of leather that lasts a lifetime.

  2. Sounds like my perfect house! My most beloved bridle has weaver split reins and I absolutely love them. Unfortunately the store was out of the weaver reins I wanted so I went with similiar reinsman. They feel pretty good, a bit softer than the weavers, but some style of thickness and weight, so we'll see how I like them in the long run.