Thursday, July 28, 2011

A tack cunundrum.

I was told at camp by professionals a few things Steady and I need and since I know a few of my followers happen to be tack whores I figure who better to ask.  So now I need to prioritize and save for each of them. 

First Dorothy was adamant about me getting new stirrups.  For safety reasons.  They are small and not safe.  What are you stirrup suggestions?  I cannot spend a fortune considering it is not the only item that I need in the near future and I will probably get something better in the future but for now I would like nice and safe. 

Peter said running martingale.  I want a breast plate martingale combo.  Do you have a style that you like best as far as breatplates go?  A friend suggested an amish tack maker so I will most likely purchase from them but would like to know what style to go with.

I also need stirrup leathers.  Suggestions?

Peter said mouth strapped shut.  As of now I have a drop noseband that will work but eventually will buy a new bridle all together.  Considering I have a black saddle and my bridle is brown.  I am thinking something with a flash since Peter was not trilled with figure 8's


  1. Plain, heavy fillis style stirrups are about $30-$40. Heavy stirrups are easier to pick up when you lose one that the composites or other light weight ones. If you don't have knee, ankle or back problems I would stick with plain stirrups. I use a plain, simple breastplate with an attachment. You can spend a fortune or you can go for simple, check that the leather is good quality. I will spend money on good leathers, cheap ones are dangerous. Happy shopping.

  2. Fillis irons are easy to come by--as Barbara said, about $30 new, but you can find them used for less usually.

    Your friend was right--buy Amish. They make the Nunn Finer line of leatherwork, but you can buy direct for so much less.

    As for the mouth tied shut... try anything you want, but's it's all very much a matter of opinion. In such cases, Steady's is most important. Peter hates figure 8s. Jimmy Wofford hates flashes. Who do you want to piss off? Pick what works for you guys and then know why you use it. You'll be good as gold.
    In fact, I have found some of their stuff online:
    That's the seller. They currently have the breast collar and running attachment in black, so less then $100 total.


    For stirrup leathers, look for something nylon lined through the same retailer. The lining is important. Otherwise, they might randomly tear and you could go crashing off like I did last fall.

  3. I'm all about budget haha, and you can get nice-looking peacock or plain stirrup irons for $25 on I LOVE that site.

    I'm not a huge fan of martingales or strapping a horse's mouth shut, as what I have often seen is that it's something a horse and rider can work through with proper training, and I worked my mare through head-in-the-sky-tug-of-war without any. But I think a figure 8 is much kinder than a flash, as it's more anatomically correct, and flashes are hard to fit without pinching or asphyxiating the horse. Anyway, I personally like a plain French cavesson, but that's just me and I've never needed anything different than a French cavesson and plain snaffle, even galloping xc. It depends on opinions, and even though one trainer may say something it doesn't mean you HAVE to go with it and everything else they say. Pick and choose what works for Steady from different trainers. Keep the other options in mind, but do what works for the current situation and keep the others in mind for a different situation. The horse will be your best decider.

    As for stirrup leathers, nylon lined ones are nice and safe, BUT if you need to punch any holes in there for adjustment it's impossible. Also, if your saddle is leather, then nylon rubbing against it can damage it, same with synthetic webbers. I do agree that cheaper stirrup leathers are a risk not worth taking, especially when doing a lot of two-point and jumping. Stubben makes some nice leathers for $100, which is pretty cheap for nice leathers. I got a deal for those at my tack store for $40. Collegiate also make some nice 1/2 hole stirrup leathers for $60-$70, but I believe they only come in brown. But even the nicest leathers will become unsafe without proper care, and some cheaper ones can be just as safe with proper care as well!

  4. My two cents: I'm actually trying out some composite stirrups - they have a wider track than traditional fillis stirrups, they look really nice, and rumour has it, my feet won't fall asleep after two hours of riding if I use them.

    I would get a plain running martingale -- breastplates are just not that effective. If you need to keep the saddle from slipping, I recommend a polo breastcollar. I picked one up for $35 a few years ago and it is fantastic.

    On flashes -- I say no. If the horse's mouth is opening, it's opening for a reason. Generally because we are using our hands too much or there is a hole in our training. He is communicating and it's not fair to just strap the mouth shut and ignore the message. And hey, I've got Wofford on my side, he trumps all, LOL!

    As for stirrup leathers, you don't have to spend a ton of money. Just get sturdy leather, they don't have to be fancy to last a long time, just take care of them.


Steady and I love your feedback, so don't be shy!