Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Everyday Tack: Dressage

Two good newses: I did more than walk Mo on a loose rein, and I finally got a picture of him decked out in his dressage school outfit. I'm not going to go through Red's outfit, because it's all the same stuff as last week but the same dressage saddle/girth/pad.

I don't know why he's standing weird behind.
Probably because I just dropped the reins and walked away
and didn't bother setting him up?

Man, my horse is stinking cute.

Anyway, the bridle is the same Antares figure-8 that he jumps in. The bit, too, is the same. He's so green right now that I'm certainly not going to change the bit for jumping, not when we don't have a problem that needs fixing. If he needs a different jumping bit down the road, that's fine. It works for now.

My saddle is a Karl Neidersuss. It's brown and I could not possibly love it more. It fits my horses, it fits me, M loves the way I sit in it, so I feel very lucky that I found it used at such a good price--several hundred dollars below market value. It's in really good shape, too. I find that I condition it a lot, but that's okay. I don't mind spending time on that sort of thing. The leathers are verrrrryyyyyy olllllld Crosby leathers. My mom and I each got our Crosby saddles about 20 years ago, and these leathers were original to her saddle. The miraculous thing is, they're fine, except for the mold I found on them the other day. I'll be replacing them with the Beval leathers I got from Redwood Tack when they arrive.

Old pic with Fillis irons still on, ew.
I also think the leather looks better now after frequent conditioning.

The stirrups are Compositi Reflex, just regular old black, because that's what they had in stock at Riding Warehouse when I got them. I'm... not totally sure I'd go for a different color anyway. I can't decide how I feel about colorful irons. One second I love them (like SprinklerBandit's Lorenzinis) and the next second I'm seeing someone at an event who looks like they're just trying too hard and I don't know where I fit in. Anyway, I like them fine.

My half pad is some no-name Australian sheepskin thing I got on ETT for like $30. It has wither relief, which is good for the red horse. I like it. The only dressage pads I own are the Riding Warehouse branded ones, because they're so cheap. They're Tuffrider pads, so they won't last forever, but they'll do.

On his legs, he sports Valena boots up front and polos behind, because I found one pair of Valenas for an UNBELIEVABLE deal but haven't found a matching hind pair. And I'm not really looking, either. Polo wraps are fine. If it's wet out, I either put him in his jumping boots or leave his legs bare, depending on what we're going to be doing.

Finally, the girth. Like 900FBPony, I've gone through a few girths and haven't really settled on one yet. When I bought the saddle, I also bought a Total Saddle Fit girth. I didn't love it. It gaped in the front and the leather seemed like it was going to stretch. I think it actually DID stretch. So I sold that and found a used County Logic girth. The problem was that I didn't realize those ran so huge, and so it fit Mo wrong and caused rub marks on his elbows. So I sold THAT and found a Nunn Finer Passage girth for dirt cheap.

It's fine. It's not changing my life. It fits both my horses. If I'd thought about it more, I might have skipped it because it doesn't have the center ring, and I love a center ring. The leather is acceptable.

It's really really padded, which... kind of makes me think of orthopedic shoes. But that's fine, because if it keeps the little buggers comfortable, it works for me. It fits Red and Mo well, and hasn't caused any rubs or anything. I'll likely stick with it unless something fabulous pops up, but I'm not sure what IS fabulous in the world of brown short girths. If anyone has any insights, do let me know. Then again, maybe not--I think I'm done buying tack for awhile. Plus, no dressage judge is going to say, "Sorry you didn't win! It's because you don't have a fancy enough girth!"

So there we go, all the gear. Tack is fun, and I've enjoyed reading about what everyone else uses and why.

Oh, and one more thing: A picture of my horse standing normally to prove that he isn't neurologic, just ADD.


  1. Still swooning over all the fancy brown gear. <3 brown.

    When they come out with rainbow lorenzinis, I'll arm wrestle you for them.

    Or maybe a footrace, cuz I'd win for sure.

  2. That girth looks pretty comfy with the padding, and the brown is just smashing. Do they make brown fancy stirrup irons?

  3. love the brown dressage tack!

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