Of course, in order to preserve some semblance of honor for the wallet, I find solace in sharing with other tack whores the awesome things I stumble across.
Sometimes that backfires.
One of my favorite fellow 'hos, Me, mentioned that she had something to sell in case I knew of anyone looking. What was it? Oh, just the very breastcollar I've been drooling over for the past two years or so but never gotten around to justifying the cost of. (In case you were wondering, yes, I actually do exercise lots of restraint. You cannot imagine how well Cuna would be dressed if I didn't.)
In a few frenzied facebook messages, I agreed to buy it. When it FINALLY arrived yesterday (after a whole two days in transit), I pranced around the house modelling it because I thought it was so pretty.
Which brings us to the real test: can Cuna wear it? My taste is 180 degrees from what looks good on Cuna. I love big, thick nosebands, fancy padded monocrowns, super pretty detailing and lots of contrast stitching.
Cuna looks stupid in all of that. Give him a simple raised workmanlike bridle with no fluff and he looks like a million bucks.
|Cuna is captivated by this problem|
The first fun thing was figuring out how in the world to put it on. I've always had a simple hunting breastcollar, and Steph is very particular about making sure everything is unsnapped before taking the girth off so that if something goes wrong, the breastcollar isn't holding a very expensive saddle on a loose, panicking horse.
So yeah. Um, without a wither strap, this makes tacking up straight amusing since there isn't a clip on the part that connects to the girth. I put the saddle on. I girthed up one side. I slid the breastcollar on the girth, then dropped the pretty elastic on the ground and quickly did up the other side, then put the breastcollar on. Stupid plan. Will try something else next time.
At any rate, I eventually got everything put together. The breastcollar passed test #1: glove holding. I always hang my helmet up near the cross ties with my gloves inside. After Cuna is tacked up, I put my gloves in the breastcollar while I put my hair up and helmet on.
Efficiency of use: check.
|Sexy body shot|
Next, I checked out how I thought it looked on Cuna. Remember, this breastcollar is pretty and this is the horse that really can't do pretty, especially near his face.
He's held his deep chestnut color really well this summer and the havana/blue doesn't look out of place on him.
The details are subtle enough that I can appreciate them without totally drawing attention to themselves in motion.
The elastic straps are a hair on the short side, especially since they'll need to attach to the actual saddle dees instead of my dee savers. Otherwise, there is a chance they'll slide down and THAT my friends, would make me BATTY.
As if I'm not already.
That said, I'm a big fan of clip anyways, and I think the extra inch or two that the clips will add will give us plenty of length.
I put on his chocolate fly bonnet because I thought it would complement the rich brown in the breastcollar.
The cream doesn't match the blue and the scallops are just TOO MUCH when combined with the prettiness that is the breastcollar. Functional? Yes. Attractive? Not now.
So we try again. This time, no bonnet.
I like it much better. I am intentionally using my new bridle because it has nickel hardware. No brass with this beauty.
You might notice that Cuna is also in some of his new fluffy boots. For the first time in several weeks, he was actually sound in boots. Win!
|He can totally do it|
I only rode lightly today. It was smokey, plus the arena project is super dusty, plus I'd dropped my stirrups and my thighs were screaming at me. Besides, the breastcollar was super clean, despite being lightly used, and I didn't want to gunk it up if I didn't think Cuna could pull it off.
Conclusion: I think as long as it's the only "pretty" thing I put on him, we're good to go. It's just too much for him with the bonnet. That said, he looks smashing in my t-boots and they also have the accented elastic. He can do detail work, just not on his face.
I feel the need to add in some relevant details that will make this post work as a tack review, so here goes:
MSRP: Listed on the fivestartack.com website for $200. Currently available through their sale page for around $130
What I paid: less than that
General description: elastic breastcollar suitable for jumping, dressage, hacking, or just general use. Quality leather on all points of attachment. The strap that goes between the legs is nicely padded. No grab strap on this model--I believe if you buy the non-sale version of this on the official website, it now comes standard with one.
Pros: Super pretty and distinctive looking. Good, strong elastic. I've always steered clear of elastic strap goods because I thought they would stretch too easily and make themselves useless. Not so with this piece. The stitching is well done, the details well thought out.
Cons: It seems like it would be hard to clean. I've never had elastic before, so this is a whole new world for me. The lack of a grab strap means I'm unlikely to take it XC. That said, I bet you money I can round one up on short order if I change my mind.