Monday, July 29, 2013

WEC - Tack review

The last show was also the first time the saddle and boots saw some heavy lifting.  That plus our style choice with the half pad warrants a discussion on tack in general.  So I give you a review of Prairie's full show outfit.


I'm thrilled.  The balance is in a great place, the seat is starting to break in and realistically I"m happy with how the leather is looking after a couple oilings and rides.  Also, I'm just happy to have the saddle back.  The adjustments that they made were well worth the wait... I guess that's worth something!

The Pad

We ended up going with the fleeceworks half pad (clearly) and I liked it more than expected.  For one thing, I love how my leg feels on the mare with it and how much closer everything seems. From an aesthetics standpoint I think it looks sharper than the full fleecey pads we were making work.

The rolled fleece showed evenly both in front and behind my saddle, but the quilted middle part of the pad certainly stayed out of sight, which to me meant we had an ok fit.

I did see other horses with half pads where the pads were distracting from the overall picture.  I don't *think* that was the case with Prair..  I'm sure there are differing opinions, but I think it looked understated on the big mare.  To me, this pad was less distracting than the poorly fitting full pads that I was constantly tugging around like a not-quite-large-enough-fitted-sheet.

The Boots!

The boots passed their first test with flying colors.  I had an insane shine on them the first day (clean boot with water, no soap! Then apply a thin layer of polish, blow dry aggressively (or use a heat gun), then buff.  Repeat 3-5 times, finish buffing with a pair of pantyhose).  They are still not as high as I would order custom boots, but they are higher (and tighter) than my Konigs.  The footbed was comfy to walk around in all day and I really like the overall silhouette.  Also, I was able to touch up my polish easily and restore the nice shine.  So far the Treadstep Da Vinci's get two thumbs up from me.

The Bridle & Martingale

I also really can't say enough as to how pleased I am with the Aramas bridle and matching martingale.  It's not the cheapest bridle on the market, but it still comes in under $300 and has broken in beautifully.  While I was holding Prair at the back gate at some point I realized that my reins have that lovely, heavy, supple, totally rich feeling of really nice leather that has softened with use.  The wide crank noseband is perfect for Prairie's giant face, and the color and hardware are rich but simple.  I'm thrilled with the purchase.  The matching martingale which we recently acquired is the same great leather and I expect will hold up similarly. 

Also worth noting is the FITS show shirt that I snapped up with my winnings from our May show.  I wasn't really shopping for it when we bought it (shocking, I know), but it's already my favorite shirt to wear.  It's light, it looks good, I can wash it at home and no wrinkles... and it has vents under the arms.  Plus I think it looks good!
This hair has *not* been in a helmet.
All in all, great equipment! I think Prair and I are playing "by the rules" for our turnout while still keeping the tack 'ho in me fully entertained. :)


  1. Glad to hear that you are loving your tack. I have an Aramas bridle that I am starting to think was "misplaced" in my move. It is one of the nicer bridles that I own and think it was just as soft as my Edgewood after use.

    Love FITS shirts. I don't have that one but the one that I do have is really awesome.

  2. I'm a fan of all the things. I tried on a FITS shirt, but it didn't fit me quite right. Story of my life, lol. Glad the cwd is working. LOVE those saddles. :)

  3. Love it when you find things you love!!! Ill have to check out those shirts!!

  4. I love the FITS shirt...feels and looks great. Congrats on all your show success! my old barn was at the show you went to and had tons of fun (and good prizes in the kids stuff).

  5. The color of your saddle really is lovely.

  6. Dont know if you have seen these but this is prob similar to the Clair Show Shirt and 25% off :) Plus you could prob add another coupon to it.


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