Case of the Dying Stubben

Let’s recognize something first off- I am not a tack ho. I will invest in quality pieces, and then typically use them until they die. My grooming box still has my maiden name on it, written in permanent marker, and I’ve had it since middle school. When it comes to most things, I’m of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality.

This bridle

This bridle

So I have had a horse sized Stubben bridle that also dates back to middle school. It’s been fit to countless horses, as is indicated by the indentations made by buckles all up and down the leather. It’s my everyday bridle, and my show bridle. The rein stops are molded to my hands, and I love it.

This bridle

This bridle

Sadly though, I think it’s reached retirement age.

No matter how much I clean the thing, the ‘shine’ has really gone out of it. On days with any kind of humidity (and let’s be real, this is North Carolina- there’s pretty much always some humidity, and in the summertime you drown in it), the reins start to flake away in my hands. A swears the thing is going to disintegrate any day now.

This bridle

This bridle

But I’m loathe to part with it and buy some cheap bandaid of a bridle, after using this supple piece of German leatherwork for more than a decade. If I were to replace it, and I probably need to, I want to find a similarly well made piece of tack with nice leather. Picking up new bridles, my hands have a hard time imagining how the often inflexible leather will feel after conditioning- how much difference will it make to the product I see before me?

So I’m reaching out to you, dear friends- edumacate me. What brands are out there that you recommend? If you know of a bridle that fits these requirements, where should I look and what should I expect to feel leather-wise once it arrives?

  • Black, high quality leather
  • Flash or Optional Flash Bridle
  • Leather reins or rubber lined reins
  • Anatomic Fit
  • Does not cost arm, leg, and promise of first born child to acquire

Help a non-tack ho out!

Say no to mud

This year Foster has spent his time perfecting one skill in particular- that is, the art of mud makeup. Most days I come out to the barn with a silent prayer that my horse will not take 30 minutes to groom, and instead find him caked in every way possible. The mud eyebrows in particular kill us both. My 5’4″ self cannot reach said eyebrows without going into stretch mode and getting a mouthful of dirt, or having to drag in a mounting block and insist he let me scrub them, much to his derision.

Mud eyebrows

Mud eyebrows

 

I’ve stopped bothering to clean my bridle unless I have a lesson this winter, since the leftover dust and dirt that I missed (and try though I might, I always miss something) transfers itself to the once-gleaming black leather.

Seriously, horse? That's disgusting.

Seriously, horse? That’s disgusting.

So I decided to go on a little shopping spree. The target? Neck attachments. Though they won’t help with the muddy face, covering the neck will mean no more neck scrubbing and combing the mud clumps out of his mane, only to mount and see that he’s worked the mud in at the scalp level. And of course since I have only high-necked blankets to begin with, that means new blankets as well.

Pig.

Pig.

The first addition is a Weatherbeeta Original Medium Blanket that I snagged for a pretty good deal. At 220 grams polyfill, I’m hoping it will be useful in the coming months, since my current Medium blanket is really more like a heavy in actual fill. Foster gets to try on his snazzy new digs tonight, and I hope the 78″ will be a good fit.

530937_ls

 

Since he has also recently been turned out with his halter on, that too needs replacing. What once was a green nylon breakaway halter is now a brown headpiece that looks like it will shatter it’s so caked in mud. So, thank you Dover for having great deals on halters this month.

Leather halter for $25? Yes, please.

Leather halter for $25? Yes, please.

Not to be left out of the swag hunt, I also couldn’t help picking up some winter full seats, since I am both lacking in winter jods and apparently also in self control. No matter. Hopefully as a result of my lighter wallet, I’ll be decreasing time at the barn grooming and increasing blood flow to a good chunk of my body. Post-Christmas deals for the win. Goodbye mud! (I hope)