Friday, April 1, 2011

Shopping Notes

As most of you are aware, I'm on a saddle hunt. Thankfully, it's much less mind-boggling this time around than it was last time, and no, it's not because my local tack store has improved and carries a decent selection of stuff I'm interested in. (They still don't.)

Instead, I've been more able to familiarize myself with Izzy's body so I know more what to look for. Stacey (over at The Jumping Percheron) is getting a Duett saddle for her lovely mare. Her horse is very, very wide. I know that a Duett won't work for Izzy because they use a hoop tree shaped like an upside down u. Izzy is wide and has big shoulders, but she couples that with reasonably high withers, which means she needs a more standard, upside down v shaped tree.

That means the top of the saddle must accommodate her high withers, then immediately flare out to make room for her wide barrel.

Another faucet of having large, sensitive shoulders is that Izzy needs a gullet that flares out towards the front.
This is a lovely saddle I looked at that will not work. Note how the panels remain parallel throughout the length of the saddle--no go. The back half would probably fit ok, but the front would pinch and Izzy would hate it.

Here is the saddle we're going to be trialing. Note the extra room around the withers in the front. It's very important to Izzy, so it's become very important to me.

All horses are different obviously, but these are just Izzy's personal preferences. I didn't just come up with this on my own--the gullet width was pointed out by a chiropractor and Izzy has since confirmed it. The shape I learned to look for by reading online about people who could do that. At first, I was in total awe that someone could recognize the shape of their horse. Now, I'm by no means an expert, but I'm starting to figure it out.

Enough about saddles! They will make our collective heads spin. In view of what Kate did over at Lucy's blog, I want to do a post on my hypothetical horsey shopping list.

First off, I am a total bridle nut. I guess if we keep with the tack whore analogy, you could say I have a headstall fetish.

So, Izzy needs a hunter bridle. Not just any bridle; an Arc de Triumph Tribute bridle. You might recognize it as the one that graced the front of the most recent smartpak catalog. So beautiful. Why does Izzy need a $400 bridle for a a class we don't do? Excellent question. Answer: because it's so pretty.

Next, she needs a Red Barn Matrix figure 8 bridle. Omg. Beautiful. Yes, we have a jumping bridle and no, there is no reason for her to go in a figure eight, but it's just so strikingly gorgeous on that horse.

Now that her head is covered, let's move to her legs. She needs a pair of Equifit T-Boots. I love the black/white contrast and the stud closure. Mmmm.

I want a pair of driving lines so we can do more effective ground work. It would be really great for those days when I want her to work but I don't feel healthy or strong enough to climb on, plus it would be a great mental challenge for both of us.

To go with our new dressage saddle, we need this girth. It will match our beautiful bridle and it's just plan fabulous. No idea how much it costs. It's probably best not to know.

Speaking of the dressage bridle, it's high time to actually get decent reins for it. I'm torn between fancy calfskin lined reins and my beloved pebble grip reins.

Yeah... so much pretty stuff. However, I'm currently enjoying an incredible amount of financial peace, so I'm not looking to break the bank any time soon.


  1. Hmm. I like the driving lines. I haven't long-lined Promise in quite a while, because my 2nd lunge line broke, and I haven't bothered to replace it. But I'm so picky about lunge lines, that these would be a good compromise, for just a couple dollars more. See what you've done? ;)

  2. Ooooo I love the T fit boots! GOOD CALL! Izzy would look super sexy in those.

    I hope that saddle works out for you. One thing I had no idea about before my first saddle shopping experience was how much the shoulder expands backwards when the horses legs move, which makes that extra room so important. I am sure Izzy appreciates that you have her ultimate comfort in mind while shopping :)

  3. Beautiful girth. I've been girth shopping too, and leathers shopping, and irons shopping, and dressage saddle bag shopping. Ugh, does it ever end?

  4. I hope the trial saddle works. I just paid $coughcoughchoke for an Ansur in the hopes that I won't have to deal with saddle fit issues anymore.

  5. I almost died when I saw the prices on some of those....even if I am rich I will NEVER spend that amount of money on any peice of tack...ever!
    I've been fine with anything under $100 thankyouverymuch lol

    I think making a list like this would be fun though

  6. The new Ansurs are wonderful...but as well I know, pricey.

    The saddle you've pictured looks really nice. Brand? Just curious.

    I think you need some magic moneybags so you can get everything you want. *lol*

  7. Oooooo, I am a HUGE Arc de Triomphe fan! I bought s Starman bridle off of ebay a few years ago but unfortunately it was a huge scam (total fake!) but the most convincing fake I have ever seen. It looked gorgeous, EXACTLY like the one I saw at Tackeria, but it started falling apart after two months of use. Fail! I've also ridden in an ACD saddle and now really, really want one.

    Why not get in touch with the folks at Trumbull Mountain? They can help you find a saddle that will fit Izzy perfectly, so you don't have to keep buying, selling, padding, etc. It would certainly make things easier (although tack shopping certainly is fun!).

  8. Ooops! Someone else was signed into Google on my comp - that last comment was me!


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