Meet Our Breeds: Pony of the Americas

We continue our Meet Our Breeds series this week with Max, who is a Pony of the Americas. The Meet Our Breeds series is designed to help you meet the many horses and ponies of different shapes and sizes who model our tack in our online shop.

The Pony of the Americas is one of the relatively few breeds that originated here in the United States. According to the Pony of Americas Club Inc., the POA traces its roots to a Shetland stallion crossed with an Appaloosa/Arab mare. Breeder Les Boomhower was fascinated with the idea of a pony with the spotted pattern of the Appaloosa.

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Here, Max models our turnout halter with camouflage overlay. Starts at just $55

POAs vary in physical appearance, similarly to Appaloosas; they may have a blanket coat pattern or a full-spotted leopard pattern. They also have the mottled skin on their nose characteristic of Appaloosas. POAs range in height from 11.2 hands to 14 hands high. Their physical structure is often akin to a small Quarter Horse with some marks of Arabians.

The POA is known as an excellent children’s and family horse due to its size and temperament. Most of them are used for Western riding disciplines, but are sometimes found in driving harness or under English tack.

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Our halter bridles are great for trail riders, and come in bright colors for added safety. This variety starts at $70.

Max is one of the horses at the Asbury University Equine Center in central Kentucky, where he helps prepare students for careers in the equine industry or for veterinary school. Two Horse Tack appreciates Asbury’s generosity in letting us photograph their horses with our products!

Congratulations to Jayden and Smokey!

Two Horse Tack is pleased to extend congratulations to Jayden and Smokey, winners of our December/January tack giveaway! Jayden and Smokey have won a custom-made buckle nose safety halter in their choice of size and color. Besides having a European style flair, the buckle nose safety halter makes it easy and safe for a beginner rider or green horse to safely switch from halter to bridle, and back again.

Although we didn’t realize it when Jayden’s email address was randomly selected as the winner in our system, Smokey is exactly the kind of horse who deserves a comfortable, brand new halter. Smokey is a 20-year-old neglect case and was being cared for on and off by boarders at the barn where he’d been left. When Jayden moved in, she tells us she instantly fell in love with him.

After Jayden started caring for Smokey, he was dealt some more bad luck–he was kicked by a pasturemate, tearing his esophagus and creating an infection in his throat.

“It gained so much pressure that he had a high fever, wouldn’t eat, and could barely move his head, as his entire body was so swollen,” said Jayden. “We were about to put him down when his neck literally popped. He can’t eat hay as a fistula has formed where the tear was, but he’s now fully healed and is my competition horse!”

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Jayden and Smokey have been competing in entry level eventing, and plan to move up to beginner novice soon. What a transformation! We think they look great, and look forward to following their journey on Instagram.

Didn’t win our December/January giveaway? We’re running another through the end of February for a Sidepull Bitless Headstall. Always wanted to try the freedom of a bitless bridle? This could be your chance. Fully adjustable at the chin, cheeks, throat, and noseband, our bitless bridles may be more comfortable for super sensitive horses. Enter to win and you’ll get a $5 off coupon for your next purchase.

Powering transformations

As the new year moves forward, many of us are reviewing our training goals with our horses for 2017. Trainer Sienna Hawk of Longmont, Colo. has a particularly large task in front of her with Tucker. Sienna and Tucker are preparing for the Equine Comeback Challenge, which gives them 120 days to turn Tucker from a green rescue horse to a horse with a solid start on his next career.

Tucker came to Sienna from Harmony Equine Center after he was seized as part of a rescue situation by the New Mexico state veterinarian’s office. He’s a 4-year-old Quarter Horse and is excelling at his training in Western tack so far despite his young age.

Tucker is still learning to find his feet and collect himself, but Sienna said despite his history he is incredibly friendly with people. He’ll soon meet cows for the first time and may even have a propensity for jumping, too.

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Sienna and Tucker hard at work

This is Sienna’s second year participating in the Equine Comeback Challenge, and it sounds like she’s really an up-and-coming young trainer in her local area.

“Over one summer, I began teaching children’s lessons and loved it! After a while the lessons expanded to teaching adults as well, and then I transitioned into training just the horses,” she said. “I really enjoy the one-on-one time spent working with a horse, both on the ground and under saddle. You can learn so much from each one that comes along, and being able to help them through difficult areas in their training is one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever felt.”

Sienna has worked with young horses of several different breeds. She has two personal horses, a Paint named Jet who has done everything working cows, to trail riding, to agility,
jumping, and even endurance. Her other horse is a Miniature named Bron who is mostly a farm pet but is learning to drive. Sienna tells us she has really found her true love in Mustangs.

“I fell in love with Mustangs early in life, and now I’m totally hooked on them! Working at so many different barns, I met many Mustangs and always enjoyed time spent with them,” she said. “What I really love about them is their diversity. There are so many colors, sizes, builds, personalities, and attitudes. Each one is so unique! Mustangs are like working with a different animal too, they have a different way of communicating and learning. But once you bond with one, it is such a strong and meaningful relationship.”

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We’re proud to support Tucker and Sienna as they work towards their big finale at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in early March. Sienna tells us Two Horse products are a great option for her work with Tucker because of their durability.

“When I first found Two Horse Tack I got so excited,” she said. “My barn color is blue, so I was thrilled to be able to order any piece of tack to match! The beta biothane is so easy to use, and it doesn’t fade or have to be broken in. The first bridle I ordered a couple years ago is still the same vibrant blue that came out of the box! I use beta biothane every day in my training and riding. It’s the perfect equipment for a busy trainer!”

Luckily for Sienna and Tucker, beta holds up well to sweat and sun, so even with their busy training schedule, Tucker’s Western bridle with his snap-on blue browband will stay smooth and pliable.

Love Tucker’s bridle? You can get your own, in your very own colors! And follow his journey at the Hawk Horsemanship Facebook page.

Congratulations to Erin!

Congratulations to Erin, winner of our November tack giveaway for a Western breastcollar with camouflage overlay! Erin tells us she and her horse, Minute, are getting ready for a long-distance ride in 2017. Minute is an off-track Thoroughbred and the two of them ride with Erin’s daughter, who has an off-track Standardbred. Sounds like a fantastic pair!

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If you’re jealous of Erin’s good luck, there’s still time to enter the December tack giveaway. This month, we’re giving one lucky entrant their very own buckle nose halter in their choice of color and size.

The buckle nose halter has the advantage of being trendy, as it’s a throwback to the European style of turnout halter, as well as safe. With buckles at the nose and the headstall, this halter allows a novice rider to put on a bridle without totally dropping the horse. Also great for green horses!

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Also: You’ll get a $5 off coupon for entering our giveaway, which you may find useful in some last-minute Christmas shopping.

Rein and bridle hardware: Here’s what you need to know

There’s no question we provide a wide variety of bit end options when you’re ordering a bridle or set of reins. Once in a while, we’ll get questions about the styles of hardware we offer on the bit ends of our bridle headstalls or the bit ends of our reins.

The photos below give a good demonstration of your options. All our tack comes standard with stainless steel hardware, which is guaranteed not to rust, although you can request brass hardware.

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Many people are familiar with the scissor snaps and quick change snaps, both of which makes for easy on and off if you have to switch equipment frequently. Roller buckles have a rolling piece around the bottom that keeps the strap moving through the buckle as you fasten and unfasten.

Conway buckles are designed to be easy to work with, too, although people may be less familiar with them. To adjust, pull the strap to the desired spot through both sides of the buckle and tighten to drop the hole onto the prong. Pull both ends to tighten, or push them together to loosen. See a video here.

Chicago screws and leather ties are popular with our Western riders and provide a solid, reliable attachment. They can be easily turned with a screwdriver into the slot. Just make sure you tighten them every now and then for safety, and never glue them!

Leather ties provide a traditional look for Western riders, as well as being an extra safety feature. Also called water loops, the ties are attached to one side of each rein and are looped through the ring of the bit and tied back to the rein. Besides their aesthetic value, the ties also provide a breakaway option if a horse steps on the rein, so the tie will snap instead of doing damage to the rein. Quarter Horse News has a great article with instructions on the different type of knots you can use to tie these.

Christmas ordering deadlines for our international customers!

The holiday shopping rush is upon us, and already we’re getting questions about deadlines to place orders in time for Christmas delivery. Here in the United States, your tack order needs to be in Dec. 21 to guarantee it arrives at your doorstep in time to make it under the tree.

If you live outside the United States, the deadlines are different. We ship our products using the U.S. Postal Service, so we’re subject to their outlines for estimated delivery times. Take a look at the order deadlines for your country below. Note, this is the time your order needs to be in so our tack makers can construct your items and get them to the post office in time.

For delivery to Central and South America, place your order by December 7

For delivery to Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Carribbean, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East, place your order by December 12

For Canadian delivery, place your order by December 14

Don’t forget to include measurements of your horse’s current tack in the Order Notes section if you’re requesting a custom size or if you think your horse may fall between sizes.

Domestic customers: remember that now through Christmas, all orders are automatically upgraded to rush shipping at NO additional charge. What better reason to start shopping?

Just in time for Christmas–FREE upgrade to rush shipping!

Still putting off your Christmas shopping? Yeah, we are too. Luckily, if you’ve got horse people on your list, you’ve still got time to make sure you can get them a great piece of custom, colorful tack well ahead of Christmas.

Starting this week, we’re offering a free upgrade to rush shipping for the price of standard! (Normally, you have the choice between 3-9 day priority shipping and rush, which gets your order to your door in 2-6 days.) No promo code required, and the upgrade is automatic.

Still need some time to mull it over? No problem. Our tack typically ships 1-2 days after you place your order and in most cases, will arrive on rush within 2-3 days. Pretty quick for custom work, right? Shop now!

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Don’t miss our Black Friday deals!

The turkey has been cooked, the pumpkin pie eaten, and it’s time to get Christmas shopping.

This weekend only (Friday through Monday), get a free t-shirt with this gorgeous design, courtesy of Summer Frost Designs, with a purchase of $125 or more. Use promo code BFRIDAY16. Or, purchase the tee separately for $25.

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(The watermark will not appear on the actual t-shirt.)

Enter code BFRIDAY16 at checkout, and the t-shirt will pop up in your cart. Click “Edit” to specify style and size. Please note, shirts will ship separately from tack, but no worries: it will be at your door in plenty of time for Christmas.

Also this weekend, get $5 off a purchase of $50 or more with promo code 5OFF50. Got your eye on a new tack set? This is the time to get it! But don’t wait–these promo codes expire at midnight on Tuesday.

Make sure you don’t miss a single sale by signing up for our newsletter here.

What’s that? Explaining lunge lines

(also known as longe lines, depending upon your sense of phonetic spelling)

 

If you grew up riding in the English style, you are probably familiar with the lunge line, but if you came to horses through trail riding or Western disciplines, it may be something of a foreign concept.

Lunging sends horses in a circle around their handler, who holds the excess line and sometimes a lunge whip. The whip does not typically touch the horse, but is carried in the right hand, trailing behind the horse to create noise that lets the horse know he needs to keep moving.

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Lunging horses has lots of different applications; it can be a controlled setting to work a horse lightly back from an injury, or provide a chance for someone on the ground to watch a horse at work to look for lameness. Lunging is also a way of letting a horse blow off some steam before beginning a ride, and it can also be a good way to help a horse build condition or muscle (especially if you’re also using side reins or other equipment). We’ve also found it a good way to teach horses voice commands, which can transfer nicely to other groundwork or riding.

Many English riders also begin their riding instruction riding a lunged horse, because it enables them to focus on their legs and position before they need to worry about also directing the horse around the arena.

No matter how you use lunging, there are a few important things to remember. If you’re lunging for more than a couple of minutes, it’s considered good practice to send the horse in both directions before finishing up for the day. That’s because turning in a circle unevenly stretches and loads the two sides of a horse’s body. It’s also important not to lunge too often or for too long at a time to avoid stress-related injury. Another good way to avoid putting too much strain on the horse is to avoid making the circle he travels in too small. Circles measuring 20-30 meters in diameter are considered a good size.

While lunging your horse, don’t wrap the line around your hand. If the horse should spook, you’ll end up losing some skin on your palms. Instead, loop excess line and grab the loop around the center.

Two Horse Tack offers all the equipment you need to get your horse lunging. Our lunge lines come in lengths from 10 to 40 feet in your choice of 14 colors. Our lunging cavesson includes hardware sewn into the noseband, giving you all kinds of options for line placement. Cavessons are available in sizes mini to draft, in matching colors to our lines.

Shop now!

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New Product Alert: Stylish Nylon Turnout Halters

Want to make your horse’s turnout a little more glamorous? We’ve got you covered.

We’ve just added biothane glitter turnout halters to our shop! This halter is perfect for everyday use because biothane is industry tested for strength, even in the most rugged conditions. It’s also waterproof and fade-proof—just dunk in a bucket of soapy water after the horse has taken a roll in the mud and air dry.

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Our glitter biothane halters are here!

The glitter biothane halter is adjustable at the nose and crown and comes with reinforced holes.

Our glitter biothane halter is available in your choice of five colors (light blue, dark blue, green, purple) and no-rust stainless steel hardware comes standard.

Order yours today!

Note: At this time the glitter biothane halter is only available in horse size. Sorry for any inconvenience!