Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HK 101: Leather or Synthetic Tack?

The new-to-us Wintec Western Saddle
(yes the stirrups are upside down in the pic)
I always, always use leather halters on my horses. It's very important if they are out in the field, or in their stall, or in cross-ties and they get hung-up that they are able to escape so they don't break their necks/backs/legs etc.

When it comes to tack, I'm more on the synthetic side. All my bridles are leather but for around-the-farm purposes I much prefer synthetic saddles. They are much easier to care for, and are much less stingy about humidity or temperature.

I bought my Thoroughgood Griffen A/P saddle for around $500 on consignment, and it is a wonderful saddle for schooling! Very comfortable, and has the neat ability to move the stoppers around under the flap so you can "change" it from an A/P to a dressage, etc.

To get the full western set-up will probably be a little less, but we're going to use an english bridle since this is just around the yard sort of riding (or I could just take the nose-band off and pretend it's a head-stall). I'm going to get some Tapaderos, which are stirrup covers which prevent your foot from slipping through; that way our relatives can ride in sneakers when they come up for trail-rides!

Nothing beats a well worn beautiful leather jumping saddle for serious competition, but if you're just riding around at home, taking lessons or showing in schooling shows, why spend the money or deal with the upkeep?

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