Every day tack setup
It’s fun to try new stuff and experiment with the latest goodies, but I’m curious to know what your every day tack setup is like.
For me, it’s nearly identical for my two horses.
My jumping/hacking equipment includes:
- Ainsley Pro National XC saddle: this is a super-forward flap saddle that I love, love, love. The spring tree has a nice flex to it, which means it fits nearly every horse I’ve put it on. It feels very secure, and I’m very comfortable in it, which is why I use it for hacking down the road or going on trail rides.
- HDR Advantage chafeless girth/no-name leather girth: The HDR is Gina’s; the other girth is Moe’s. Both are very basic, bare-bones leather girths that are several years old. The no-name girth is from National Bridle Shop in Lewisburg, TN, and was a pre-Pony Club Rally purchase. (I assume I bought it because I didn’t want to tweeze the hairs out of my old nylon girth.) The HDR was a purchase for a giant Oldenburg (long-time readers will remember Colter); it happens to fit Gina, so I’ve kept it.
- HDR Pro 5 point elastic breastplate: I acquired this last year after taking it as a trade for some riding lessons I taught. I use it on Gina; it’s far too big for dainty Moe!
- HDR stirrup leathers: these are ancient, but the stitching is in good condition and the leather is sound thanks to regular care.
- Horze Toulouse AP pad: I snatched this up on super sale last year in a lovely navy/orange combination that Horze doesn’t sell any more. The pad itself is nice, and I appreciate that it’s long enough for my forward flap saddle to sit on.
- N.E.W. Cross Country Boot ‘Lite’: these certainly live up to their name; they’re very lightweight while still being sturdy enough to offer protection. I typically put these on only for jumping work, not hacking.
My dressage equipment is pretty basic, too:
- King’s Sandringham dressage saddle: when I’m not gleefully riding in saddles from work that cost more than both horses put together, I’m in the no-frills King’s I received as an engagement present. Like the Ainsley, it has a spring tree that makes it work for most horses it’s been on. It doesn’t have a lot in the way of thigh or knee blocks, and the seat isn’t terribly deep; I kind of like it that way.
- Wembley leather dressage girth: like my other girths, this is a solidly serviceable piece of equipment. Miraculously, the horses can share it, which makes my life easier.
- Schockemoehle Champion dressage pad: I love everything about this saddle pad: its soft grey color, its pretty silver piping, the fabulous texture, the moisture-wicking. It’s amazing, and if they weren’t hideously expensive, I would own several. As it is, I own one, and I use it constantly.
- Schockemoehle Colorado stirrup leathers: these are amazingly soft and supple and required zero break-in time. Bonus: they’re pretty inexpensive.
- Horze synthetic leather dressage boots: these are similar to Horze’s Memphis boots, but are an older model that I bought on super clearance. Neither horse interferes or clips themselves or does anything to merit wearing a boot, but these make me feel super fancy.
All the time:
- SmartPak Plymouth bridle: Gina can usually be found in the dressage bridle, sans flash, while Moe has the plain raised bridle. The dressage bridle is quite nice; the hunter bridle is hideous and plasticky, but it has served its purpose since 2012. (Plus, it was only $35.) Sometimes Gina goes in the PS of Sweden Flat Out Revolution (also sans flash), mostly when I feel like my saddle and bridle should both be brown.
- Bits: Gina goes in this oval mouth loose ring bit (and more recently, a baucher I bought from Hillary!), while Moe usually goes in a french link eggbutt (although I recently swapped it out for a copper mouth roller d-ring, just for fun).
- Fillis stirrup irons: I have freakishly flexible ankles, so regular ol’ Fillis irons have always been okay for me. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to try some newfangled MDCs, though.
I have a very hard time resisting gadgets and gewgaws and the latest styles, especially since I started working at a tack store! It’s rare that a day passes and I don’t covet a pretty dressage bridle for Moe or a colorful saddle pad for Gina. I usually end up reminding myself that I have everything I need, and that I survived for years on three saddle pads, one girth, one bridle, one bit, and one saddle!
So, tell me: what’s your every day tack setup look like? Do you have some things you especially love? Wish you could replace?