The horse tack you select for your horse is
one of the most important
decisions you have to make. Ill fitting or misusing horse tack can have
If you show your horse you will likely have
more items in your tack box
than if you didn't. You may want to figure out some sort of checklist
or organization system as you buy more and more items. Examples of some
tack items that you may have in your tack
you are involved in showing your horse, you may have duplicates of
any or all of the above items. You will likely need certain items to be
used specifically for showing. Yes there is somewhat of an added
expense when you make the choice to show your horse. However, there are
ways control the expenses incurred with horse showing (which we will
discuss a little further down).
Knowing where to go and how to pick out the right horse tack for your
needs is also very important.
Where will you be showing and what kind of show is it?
Is this piece of horse tack going to be used sufficiently
in the future?
Where are you planning on buying your horse tack?
How can I make sure this will fit my horse and I?
In the long run your horse tack cost will add up. When you make choices
about which saddle to buy or bridle to use, make sure you choose wisely
to make the most of the money you spend. Remember just because it is
pretty or shiny, doesn't mean it is the best choice for you.
WHERE you choose to buy your horse tack is an
important question to answer. There are many sources, both online and
off, for you to consider when on the search for a new piece of horse
tack. Generally a great offline resource would be the local tack
shops. Hopefully you have access to one in your area with
helpful and friendly staff ready to answer your questions.
I tend to use our local shop as a first choice when shopping for a new
piece of tack. However, sometimes this may be the more expensive way to
go. There are other options for shopping in which you can find some
discount tack. Don't rule out local public tack sales or auctions,
online searches for used tack, or checking for a used
tack department at the tack
If you are considering trying a new brand of tack or a new piece of
equipment that you have not yet used with your horse, check for
information on that particular item. Searching for tack reviews can be
very helpful in determining how to use a new piece of equipment and if
it is appropriate for you.
Being an informed shopper and answering the questions above will get
you started on a smart selection process. If you are new to horses and
horse shows this may seem like a foreign language. It is our hope that
we can help answer some of the more important questions to help you
through this process.
Check out our product reviews for Dover
Saddlery and join in the discussion by submitting your own!
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Riding your dream horse will likely
require you to use a saddle.
Finding and choosing
a saddle is not only an important decision, it can be a
saddles come in many shapes and sizes; you first must ask
yourself, which particular saddle will meet your needs. The saddle you
select for show is different than the saddle you select for exercising
your horse at home or trail riding.
are specific saddles built for specific
events. For example, a western pleasure saddle is built differently
than a barrel racing saddle. Yet they can both be considered western
saddles. Also, a dressage saddle is built differently than a close
contact saddle, and they can both be classified as english saddles.
Along with the different types
of saddles, there are also different sizes and fits for each
saddle. Ensuring a proper fit for your horse can prevent larger
problems in the future.
Another highly recommended piece of horse
tack if you intend on riding
your horse. A horse
bridle consists of different pieces connected together. The
three main pieces in a bridle are a headstall, bit, and reins.
Headstalls vary in type according to their purpose in riding. There are
large differences comparing english and western headstalls. Headstalls
generally consist of similar elements including a crown piece and cheek
pieces on either side. Varying components include a throatlatch (is
common, but not always found on some western headstalls), noseband, and
Reins are typically longer and kept split for western style riding or
shorter and fastened together for english style riding. Although the
easiest part of the bridle to shop for, I would recommend finding a
secure and sturdy set of reins.
Bits are quite complicated to select when putting your bridle together.
There are many theories about which bits work best for different horses
and styles of riding. I recommend consulting a professional when
selecting a bit for your horse.
In cooler weather, a horse
blanket can help keep your horse warm and comfortable. There
are blankets for turnout or for the stable. If you have a horse that
spends a large amount of time outdoors, a turnout blanket may help keep
him/her warm when the temperatures drop. Usually a when your horse
grows a winter coat it is sufficient to keep them warm through most of
Use of blankets both inside and out can be more of a personal
preference. If you have a horse you intend on showing at some point
during the colder months of the year, stable blankets are more commonly
used to prevent a horse from fully growing a winter coat. However, a
horse lacking a winter coat during the colder months will need to be
maintained with a suitable stable blanket at all times.
This is another item of your horse tack that will need to be properly
fitted to prevent discomfort and possible rubbing off of your horse's
Nylon, leather, or breakaway. A halter is
important for leading your
horse around safely. You will likely have an everyday use halter for
your horse. This is another piece of horse tack that is largely chosen
by personal preference. The more common halters I've seen are nylon or
rope halters. Some may choose to use leather as well.
If you show your horse in-hand, you will need a horse show halter.
Typically, a show halter is made of leather with silver plating.
Finding and fitting one is relatively
Most halters are also