Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tack Review: Circuit Raised Halter

Sometimes when you open up a can of Tack Ho, you just get more than you bargained for... Or rather, my brain goes into a mode of "buy it! Buy it now!!" and it's really (really, really) hard to turn it off.

Clearly all the Thermal Prep has gone to my head as, I'm still brandishing my Visa around like someone is about to take it away (sidenote: someone should probably take it away).

I think I mentioned it, but Prair snapped her halter a couple weeks ago and since it is literally the third time she has ripped this particular halter to shreds I started looking for a new one.  I don't have an easy tack repair place that's close, and after I took in my reins (that broke last October at the show..) I was told they would be $170 to repair or $160 to replace.  Bah. 

Deflated from that particular experience I figured I would eventually gather up the energy to (once again) repair Prair's big black halter, but perhaps I should procure a replacement in the meantime.  

I have a problem in that I love big, padded, squishy halters - and I love them for everyday.  I am definitely of the mindset of "if you have something nice, use it" which is great for making sure that I actually wear my grandmother's pearls, but maybe less pragmatic in the the world of horses, and mud and breaking things...

Regardless, even though I started with a search for a good 'ol turnout halter, I quickly ended up perusing full leather replacements and after clicking back and forth and back and forth between different sites, and different models - I settled on the Circuit Plain Raised Padded Halter (not to be confused with the Circuit Padded Halter, or the Circuit Double Raised Padded Halter, both of which were contenders).  At $99.99 it came in just under the mental $100 barrier and it looked both polished, and workmanlike for everyday use.
I have relatively limited experience with Circuit's leather goods, but I do recall a girth of theirs that I had for YEARS and seemed to be a pretty darn good value.  

That said, I was impressed with the halter when it arrived.  It was a touch stiff (to be expected), but the padding was soft, the stitching was beautiful and even, the color was rich and the raised portions on the nose and crown looked lovely.

After a few cursory passes with my CWD conditioner, it softened up nicely, although it's possible that CWD stuff would make cardboard buttery soft...

I'm still waiting to affix the nameplate to the cheek before it gets taken to the barn (no rush since the new barn not only took the broken halter in for repairs, but had it back on Prair's hook in 2 days with only a $10 bill to show for it!!

All in all, I think the Circuit looks better than some $200 leather halters I have seen and worked with.  It's a great value for what it is. If I were looking for a show halter I'd consider the fancy stitch version, but I like the more plan look of the simple raised...

In terms of size, it runs a bit small.  with the nose on the last hole and the crown all the way out, it's still a tad small on Prair.  Her big black halter is huge and loosey goosey, so it's definitely a study in contrasts, but where I notice the size the most is in a (rather) short piece between the noseband and throatlatch, and a rather short/tight throatlatch.  Prair usually fits very nicely into standard Horse Size for halters and bridles, so if a horse was between sizes, I would definitely order up.  Other than that, nothing bad to say.

I'll post a pic of Prair in her new head gear after our next trip to the barn.


  1. If you need help brandishing your visa you can buy me some stuff ;) j/k... not really but yes. :P

  2. Yay for new things!
    Lovely headcollars, I ADORE the fancy stitched version in choc/hunter - gorgeous.
    Wishing you well wear with it, :D

  3. Love it! I've been too scared to use my "nice" halter much, because his regular turnout halter looks so awful after a year and a half of use it's a bit scary.

  4. Oooh, very pretty! Fancy stitching isn't my thing, so I love how classy it looks even without that. I'm sure it looks smashing on Prair!

  5. Im glad you like it! I have been keeping my eye on this one so its good to know you approve!

  6. I have a circuit bridle that is strangely nice, too. Glad the halters are similar.

  7. I agree about using nice things. :) When I finally have a horse, the FIRST THING I'm going to buy is a really nice leather halter with a nameplate, and that sucker is gonna get used every day. Can't wait.

  8. Ooh purdy! Someday I'll dress my lady nicely, and uh very cool they got your halter fixed for super cheap?!


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