We sometimes get questions from customers about how to add holes to beta biothane halters or bridles that are just a little bit loose. We work really hard to offer a range of sizes from mini horse to draft horse with everything in between, so hopefully your gear will fit your horse perfectly. Sometimes though, it needs a slight adjustment on one strap to work for an individual head shape, without the need to size the whole piece down.
With a leather item, you can just pull out your leather hole punch and add what you need. Well, the same applies to beta! A leather whole punch will work on beta too.
Similarly, our friend Pecan recently reminded us that leatherworking tools can also be used to add nameplates to beta biothane pieces. We don’t sell nameplates at Two Horse Tack as of this writing, but one can easily be added if you pick one up from another shop.
Show us your gear in action! Post pics of your horse or pony modeling at our Facebook page.
Most of what we sell in our shop is tack made from beta biothane, but recently we’ve added a new type of beta. If you’re trying to decide which type is best for you, we may be able to help.
Our Standard Beta Biothane is one generation removed from biothane, which you may be familiar with as one of the original synthetic materials that became popular for horse tack years ago. Biothane, which we use only for color overlays, often has a shiny finish to it and can sometimes be a bit stiffer than leather.
Beta biothane, which is the primary material we carry, is a coated nylon material. It has more of a matte finish to its color and is soft and pliable. People like this material because of the wide variety of colors and shades it comes in. It’s waterproof and fadeproof, which makes it much easier to care for than conventional leather.
There are a variety of different types of biothane and beta biothane material. For industrial purposes, many of their names include a number that indicate different varieties. We’ve recently begun offering products made from 580 beta biothane, which we’re calling Better Than Leather. We think this subtype of beta biothane is even closer to having the feel and flexibility of leather.
Those of us familiar with both materials generally find Better Than Leather to be more akin to freshly-oiled, high quality leather — the surface of the material has a soft sheen to it and it’s slightly softer and more pliable in terms of its flexibility. We offer all our halter, bridle, and breastcollar designs in Better Than Leather as well as our usual beta biothane. Better Than Leather is available only in brown and black, and is a great choice for someone who wants a traditional look with the perks of an unconventional material.
We’ve added a few new Western breastcollar designs to our shop in recent weeks, and at first glance they may look a little similar.
This is our Western tripping collar:
Our tripping collar is our first contoured, shape synthetic piece. In fact, we think it may be the first contoured synthetic breastcollar on the market. This took many weeks of fine-tuning by our tackmakers and shop owner to figure out just how to shape the material for best fit.
The tripping collar is made from urethane, which allows for the shaping, and is lined with neoprene for comfort and strength. It starts at $95.
This design is wider and runs across the horse’s chest with various attachment points on the saddle. It’s great for more high intensity work.
This one is our standard Western breastcollar design, in two different broader widths:
These are our standard Western breastcollar designs in 1.5 inch and 2 inch widths. Typically, our Western and English breastcollars are 1 inch wide, which is appropriate for most horses. Both these options start at $30.
Like our standard Western breastcollar, these attach to the saddle on either side and also to the girth between the front legs. These can improve stability for a saddle that slips back, but some people just prefer the wider width for the way it looks.
We’ve had customers ask us for years to add padding to our products. While beta biothane is pretty smooth and gentle on most horses’ skin, some people prefer another soft layer on the insides of their halters and bridles, and we totally get that.
Neoprene padding is a synthetic, waterproof material with a softer texture than our conventional beta biothane (though it’s fairy comparable to our 580 beta in terms of smoothness). This is available on any design, on the product’s regular page, for around a $10 upcharge. Black neoprene is the only color we have available for this right now. As you can see with the turquoise turnout halter above, this can be a great contrast to a bright beta, especially if you also choose black stitching.
Leather padding is the option you see above, with our beta biothane turnout halter. Our leather padded items have their own product pages because we offer several colors of leather padding, and it’s difficult to show too many different option combinations on a single product page. The leather we’ve used for padding is not the usual thick, sometimes-stiff leather that you’d use for a standard leather turnout — it’s much more soft and flexible, and has a light sheen to it, giving the colors a metallic appearance.
We offer leather padding options in blue, pink, red, purple, silver, and turquoise. As you can see from the photo above, when the item is on the horse, this produces just a thin outline of dramatic color around the edges of the halter or bridle, which means it’s great to pair with a traditional black or brown, but could also work as an accent color to a bright beta biothane.
Of course, leather is going to be less resistant to a dunk in a water bucket at the end of the day than neoprene or beta biothane, but this leather is soft enough that it’s not going to dry out and crack quickly and should hold up just fine to regular use. It will perform best if you wipe it down with a sponge and simple leather soap.
In the end, there’s really no wrong answer between the two padding options — just comes down to what qualities are most important to you and your horse!
Shop our line of leather padded items here and add neoprene to any of your favorite products on the product page. Don’t see the option to add neoprene padding? Send us a note at 2horsetack at g mail
Please note: We cannot add padding to items that already have an overlay option, like reflective or two-color items. This makes them too thick to use in a practical way.
One of our most enduring bestsellers through the years has been our sidepull. No matter if it comes in our traditional beta biothane, in our Almost Leather beta, nylon, or leather, that’s the design that attracts people across lots of disciplines and breeds.
One thing we’ve noticed through the years is that you can have a lot of different horse head shapes within the same size. For example, our standard Horse Size will fit a Quarter Horse, a Tennessee Walker, and a Morgan, but between and within those breeds you could be looking at relatively different proportions for brow width, face length, and nose width. (That’s just one of the reasons we leave a box to fill in horse’s height, approximate weight, and breed at checkout — so our tackmakers can estimate what your horse’s head shape is most likely to be.)
Generally, this isn’t a problem and as long as the appropriate size is chosen for the horse, our more conventional English or Western bridles will work just fine.
We did notice that in some cases though, the sidepull might fail to sit quite “right” on a horse’s head. Part of the difficulty is that third strap between the traditional noseband and throatlatch — horses’ skulls can be fairly different widths between the jawbones there — but it was also the width of the brow in proportion to the cheek lengths. This could sometimes cause poorly-fitting sidepulls to sit with the cheekpieces sitting too close to the horse’s eye.
This was as frustrating to us as it was to you, and we’re happy to announce we’ve workshopped this with some of our best tackmakers and found a solution. By making small adjustments to the standard strap lengths and proportions within each size (mini to draft available), we were able to correct the angle of the noseband, which keeps those side straps where they should be. These slight changes seem to have made this headstall work better for all our customers. The horses who were already comfortable in our sidepulls should still achieve the perfect fit.
Right now, our sidepulls start at just $20 for nylon and $48 for beta biothane, so what are you waiting for? Pick one up today.
Days are long for Marte Solhaug — she’s up at 5:30 a.m. and feeding hungry Thoroughbreds at the racetrack and she doesn’t finish until 5 p.m. each day.
Solhaug, 24, started riding as a child, playing around on borrowed ponies before getting her own and dabbling in show jumping and dressage. When she had outgrown ponies and needed a larger horse, she became fascinated with Thoroughbreds and acquired one.
“It might not have been the best decision at that point for a 13-year-old girl, but I figured it out,” she joked.
A native of Norway, Solhaug spent her first week on the racetrack at the age of 14 and was instantly hooked on horse racing. She attended Ridskolan Stromsholm (the Stromsholm Riding Academy) in Sweden, giving her a chance to perfect her equine education while remaining on track academically.
Two years into high school, Solhaug got her National Steeplechase Association rider’s license and rode her first race. She took a job in Australia working with 2-year-olds and young horses, then spent six months with international racing operation Darley. Seeing horses at different life stages and in different contexts gave Solhaug a unique perspective on raising them. When she was ready to work in the States, that international background made her a hot commodity.
“The first day I was here I got a job with Jimmy Corrigan,” she said. “Two months later I was an assistant trainer for Jimmy and I got to saddle my first winner [a horse called Elmor] at Turfway Park. I saddled my first stakes horse the same year at Churchill Downs, and another one at Ellis Park in the summer finished second.”
Solhaug said one of her best moments thus far in her career was saddling Impeached ahead of a win at Churchill Downs in June 2015.
“It was a childhood dream come true,” she said. “Getting to saddle out a horse at a track like that, where all the greatest horses have run.”
Solhaug is a jill of all trades for Corrigan — she gallops horses on the track, walks them after exercise to cool down. She handles communication for Corrigan between veterinarians, farriers, and owners. She enters horses in races and deals with the paperwork in the track’s racing office — and that’s all before lunch. Then, she’s off to Corrigan’s farm in Central Kentucky, exercising young horses, cleaning stalls, checking on mares, and whatever else needs to be done. Then, it’s back to the track to feed the racehorses. During foaling season, she’ll jump in to help mares deliver their babies, and in the fall she puts the first training on young yearlings.
“i’ve been v fortunate to try out everything,” she said. “It’s incredible watching babies when they’re born, then two years old starting on the racetrack. Then we had one go to the Thoroughbred Makeover [for retired racehorses] and he did really well there. It’s the job of the lifetime.”
In future, Solhaug wants to continue in a dual role like this one — enjoying the buzz of the racetrack and the relaxation of the farm. It’s the variety that keeps her going through the long work days — that, and her devotion to the animals.
“I love the horses,” she said. “I love knowing they’re always there when I come in in the morning. A horse won’t judge you. He’ll love you for who you are.”
“Without question, the super grip is my favorite part of these reins. With and without gloves in dry and wet conditions, it lives up to it’s namesake and provides superior grip. When you’ve got a horse like Q who tends to lean into the bridle and go heavily on the forehand as her first and most favorite evasion, having a secure grip is critical!”
Everyone loves our super grip reins — the perfect mix of color and safety.
Liz Stout at the In Omnia Paratus blog recently reviewed our reins with super grip overlay. Check out the rest of her thoughts here.
On this #ThrowbackThursday, we’re taking a look back to last summer, when we sponsored the Two Horse Tango, a competitive mounted orienteering ride we sponsored in Central Kentucky.
Our course took us through Versailles State Park, the site of 26 miles of trail and some fascinating Civil War history.
Read an account of the Two Horse Tango CMO from Jacke Reynolds, our friend over at the Endurance Granny blog.
There is no end to the color combinations customers can choose with our overlay and base color options. We’ve always thought Griffin’s choice to do the light blue overlay on a teal base was one of the most dimensional we’ve seen.
Our buckle nose halters are great to ensure a perfect fit on your horse (or donkey) for maximum comfort during turnout. We also learned, through the Pony Express blog, that they can easily take on a grazing muzzle, should spring or summer pastures become too rich.
“When Jacke contacted me I had just decided to try something for donkey weight loss, which is his very own greenguard grazing muzzle. I needed a second halter for him but wasn’t sure where to go since he’s a weird size. Two Horse Tack was the perfect solution as I was able to give them his custom measurements.”
Get your own buckle nose halter here.