Meet Our Breeds: Norway the Andalusian

SONY DSCWe continue our Meet Our Breeds series this week with Norway the Andalusian stallion. He is one of our most popular models, as the striking gray showing off the red and yellow English bridle that so often catches attention on social media.

The Andalusian has a royal history, as one of the breeds sought after by Spanish and Portuguese royalty after tracing its origins to the Iberian Peninsula.

The stout nature of the horse gave it the strength for high level dressage as well as durability for use by cavalries, which was a popular outlet for them through the 1700s.

As with so many breeds, Andalusian numbers dwindled in the early 1900s. In the United States, low numbers were partly due to tight import restrictions, which were in place until the 1960s, but the breed has since spread. According to one 2010 study, there were around 185,000 registered Andalusians across the world.

Andalusians are typically around 15.0 hands with thick, wavy manes and tails, with slightly convex faces, with compact yet substantial frames.

Andalusians are closely related to Lusitanio horses, and also had influence on the gene pools of the Lippizzaner, Friesian, Oldenburg, Hanoverian, and Holstein.

The breed is used for both driving and riding. Although it’s primarily known for its affinity for classical dressage, Andalusians are also involved with bull fighting, show jumping, and even western pleasure.

Two Horse Tack takes pride in fitting tack to all breeds and sizes of horse. To ensure a custom fit, include your horse’s height, weight, age, and breed (as well as any measurements you may have from current tack) in the Order Notes section at checkout.

New Product Alert: We’re ready for the racetrack!

In case you haven’t heard, Two Horse Tack is now ready for the racetrack. We’re based in central Kentucky, where horse racing is a big part of the local scene, and had long noticed that most horses on the track were wearing either nylon or leather bridles and breastcollars in a rainbow of colors. We’ve been thinking for years that beta biothane would combine the best of both worlds for racing horsemen.

That’s why we’re proud to announce that we now offer beta biothane bridles for Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Quarter Horse and Arabian racehorses. Like nylon, beta biothane is stronger than leather and resists molding and fading. Like leather, it’s soft and pliable against horses’ skin. A quick scrub with a soapy sponge and a trip under the hose is all it takes to clean a beta biothane racing bridle, which saves times for grooms and stable staff after a workout.

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 12.15.54 AM.png

Our racing bridles are available for Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, Quarter Horses, and Arabians and include in-between sizes for hard-to-fit horses.

Also, we offer our bridles in your choice of two-color combinations, so no matter what your barn’s colors are, we’ve got options to match.

Order your racing bridle today.

 

In Memory of Sampson

We’re happy to get emails from satisfied customers from time to time, but this one was bittersweet. We got these great pictures of Sampson the registered Saddlebred modeling his set of Two Horse Tack in the show ring.

DSC03403.jpg

Sampson and his family showed in Western gear but practiced in English from time to time. Blue was his signature color, and as you can see, it really brings out the golden color of his coat.

Sampson’s tack sparkled a little more thanks to some bling on his reins. If you’re really a glitter fanatic, you can get an entire set of tack with bling, but we also enjoy the balanced look Sampson has going here with just a little bit of shine. Our bling tack is also rugged enough to hold up to everyday use, with each rhinestone riveted into place for maximum durability.

Sadly, his people told us Sampson passed away in 2014, but we are proud we were able to help him stand out in the show ring during his time there. Our condolences go out the humans who loved him. It looks like he brought them lots of joy in their time together, which is the greatest gift of all.

Meet Our Breeds: Norwegian Fjord

From time to time, we’re proud to say we get happy notes from customers whose horses love Two Horse Tack. We were fascinated by a recent photo we got from MacKenzie, who was showing off her new lime green halter and lead on her mount, Ichabod.

fjordIchabod is 1/4 Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred and 3/4 Norwegian Fjord. If you haven’t seen a Norwegian Fjord before, they probably look like the rocker dudes of the equine world.

Norwegian Fjords trace their lineage back to just after the Ice Age, when it’s believed they were domesticated in Norway. The Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry’s website indicates the horses were selectively bred for at least 2,000 years, based on findings at Viking burial sites.

Norwegian Fjords are believed to have arrived in America by 1888, though it took another 80 years for a large number of the breeding stock in the United States to be imported.

As you can see in this photo of Ichabod, most Fjords are some variety of dun with a dorsal stripe and upright mane of a light color with dark tips.

The stout and distinctively-colored Fjord is heavy enough for plowing fields and pulling timber but small enough to be a good riding horse. The Fjord excels at mountain riding due to its sure-footed nature, and are also used often in combined driving.

Two Horse Tack is proud to outfit Ichabod and all other breeds. Even if your horse is tough-to-fit, we can help with our wide range of sizes and custom sizing. If you’re concerned about getting the perfect fit, include your horse’s breed, age, height and weight in the order notes at checkout!

Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

horse-mailbox-300x300

Tack shopping is fun, but you don’t always have time to check around to all your favorite sites and products to see what’s on sale and what coupons are available. That’s why you should sign up for our weekly newsletter. Receive an alert when we stock new products, when your favorite products are on sale, and get a reminder when we post a new tack giveaway! You’ll also get exclusive promo codes for when you place your next order.

Signing up is easy–just fill out the form here.

Win versatility with a free halter bridle!

copy

It’s time for another tack giveaway, and just in time for the end of summer, we’re giving away a quick-change halter bridle!

The quick-change style allows you to go from trailer to trail in just a few seconds. It’s also kind of a three-in-one because you get a halter, Western headstall, and English bridle all in one. The version we’re giving away also comes with reflective Day-Glo to keep you and your horse visible and safe even in low light–important as the days get shorter.

The bridles with reflective overlays are just as durable and waterproof as our plain beta biothane pieces, and won’t fade or crack after exposure to sun, rain, or sweat.

The winner of our giveaway will get to choose the size of the bridle that works for their horse in a range from mini to draft. Like all our pieces, we can customize the size for tough-to-fit horses. See our sizing guide here.

Enter the contest here. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get $5 off your next order.

More from the choosy champion Magic

We posted a few months back about Magic, top obedience show dog, who uses our Two Horse Tack dog collars and leashes in his training. We were happy to recently get a photo of her modeling our equipment with pride, along with a note from her person, Pat:
IMG_2187Magic is seven years old, and my second Australian Shepherd teammate for AKC, UKC, and the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) Obedience and Rally.   She is also my teaching partner for many rookie Obedience and Rally classes.  She has her own opinion of how things should be, which occasionally puts us at loggerheads in the ring, and I can never quite know if Dr. Jekyll, or Ms. Hyde, will appear when her leash is removed on the start line!  
For all the times she frustrates me, she equally makes me laugh at how serious I take competitive dog sports – after all, she’s a dog, not a toaster!  So far, she and I have earned 37 separate titles in competition – seven of which she was the first dog ever to earn.  She’s earned three separate Invitations for the yearly ASCA National Obedience Finals in Open Obedience, actually claiming the National Championship at Bryan, TX in 2013.  
The lovely trophy included a beautiful hand-tooled leather leash, complete with Texas Stars….but unfortunately, I have  a contact allergy to leather.  When I saw the photos on line of a collar for a smaller dog featuring Texas Stars, I ordered one for Magic, in lovely Texas bluebonnet blue – to commemorate her National Championship.  As she has the typically full Aussie coat, you’d never see the collar (she’s wearing her purple collar that matches the 4ft leash in the picture).  Magic swims in both collars, works livestock in these collars, prances about the neighborhood in these collars, and because they are both beautiful and durable, they are the collars we have chosen to bear her ID tags when traveling across country for shows, or family trips.”
We’re so glad we can help such an accomplished pair stay in training!
Love Magic’s gear? Get your dog his or her own set here.

Meet The Model: Pixie Sidesaddle Event Horse

This week, we’re continuing our Meet The Model series, in which we introduce our customers to the many different breeds who show off our tack at its finest on our website.

With her sweet blue eyes, it’s easy to see why Pixie became a tack model. The AQHA-registered 14-year-old goes by Shy Lopin Asset in the show ring, where she and her human Samantha are used to turning heads. They event–sidesaddle!

150 Solid HUNT BRIDLE Pixie-black

Pixie shows off her hunt bridle

“I want to bring back sidesaddle riding as an accepted form of riding in a variety of disciplines,” said Samantha.

Samantha and Pixie found each other six years ago through Craigslist. Samantha learned to ride when she was young and fell out of it for several years. Pixie is her very first horse, and Samantha has been taking full advantage of Pixie’s smarts and versatility. Together, they’ve experimented in jumping, barrel racing, and driving, and are taking on the eventing world.

Samantha said her biggest challenge with Pixie is teaching her to be a “good equine citizen” despite being a bit of a green rider still herself. It sounds to us like they’re off to a great start–they took home a ribbon at their first event while riding aside against astride competitors!

Their next goal is to move up to the Beginner Novice level, and we wish them lots of luck.

In this shot, Pixie is modeling our hunt bridle, which comes in 3/4″-width beta biothane with a 1-inch wide cavesson. It’s fully adjustable at the cheeks, bit ends, throatlatch, and noseband. Available in your choice of 14 colors! Want one of your own? Pick it up today–they start at $60!

 

Dressage for a cause!

We really enjoyed these photos from customer Robin Scarborough, who took her horse to an upper level classical freestyle class at the recent Potomac Valley Dressage Association Ride For Life. Robin and her horse used our bridle, long lines, and breastcollar at their show, and went with a nice bling option over a white base. We think it looks great on a dark bay!

The PVDA Ride for Life is a benefit event for the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, and has raised over $580,000 in its 12 years so far, according to its website. Two Horse Tack is proud to outfit Robin in her efforts, and we think the pair looks fantastic!

 

Robin3 Robin2 Robin1

11 States In 33 Days On Horseback? No Problem!

We were excited to get this note from Lindsay, one of our loyal customers and a trail/endurance rider. Lindsay and her horse hit the road this summer with her parents and her husband. The trip took 33 days and spanned over 5,000 miles!

Mow and I travelled around the country this spring and were so thankful to have our Two Horse Tack bridle, reins, and breastcollar along for the journey.  We drove 5,674 miles and rode in 11 different states.  I had plenty of things to worry about on this long trip but my tack was definitely not one of them!  Rain or shine, heat or cold, this tack is amazing.  Mow never had a rub mark, the beta biothane is so easy to clean, and the super grip on the reins is extremely soft on my hands.  Thank you Two Horse Tack for helping make my adventure a success!”

Sounds like the vacation of a lifetime to us.

Lindsay is part of the Green Bean Endurance program, which is an online education and support community for endurance riders of all levels. As you can see below, Lindsay and Mow are kitted out in bright green beta biothane that’s from our special Green Bean line of tack. Our tack line is designed for endurance and trail riders, who need their gear to be light but strong and able to stand up to all types of weather. Check it out here.

Hitting the trail in Kansas

Hitting the trail in Kansas

Lindsay on the road in Kentucky

Lindsay on the road in Kentucky

Mow and Lindsay in Missouri

Mow and Lindsay in Missouri

A beautiful scene in Oklahoma

A beautiful scene in Oklahoma

Two Horse Tack in the wide open reaches of Texas

Two Horse Tack in the wide open reaches of Texas

Careful on that Utah cliff, guys!

Careful on that Utah cliff, guys!

All smiles in Arkansas

All smiles in Arkansas

One more beautiful view for Mow and Lindsay in Colorado

One more beautiful view for Mow and Lindsay in Colorado