Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s grooming season!

The weather is staring to turn (hopefully) and with spring rains comes spring mud. Sounds like it’s the perfect time to pick up a grooming halter!

This month’s tack giveaway is for a beta biothane grooming halter, 199-aquawhich has all the durability of our turnout halters with the cheek and chin pieces removed, allowing you to more easily use a curry or brush to get that stubborn mud off. It’s also great if you need to clip your horse’s face and would rather not hold the halter out of the way while juggling the clippers.

If your horse also needs a quick bath while wearing our grooming halter, it’s no problem–our beta tack is waterproof and crack-proof and comes with no-rust stainless steel hardware (brass also available). As you can see, you can get any color you’d like, and bling options are also available!

Get a $5 gift card just for entering the contest

Meet Our Breeds: Solitaire and Commanche the Appaloosas

This week in our Meet Our Breeds series, we introduce you to Solitaire and Commanche, our Appaloosa models.

The Appaloosa is a breed based on a coat pattern. The breed was originally developed by the Nez Perce people of the Pacific Northwest. The tribe lost most of its horses in war, threatening the breed’s future until it was revived in the 1930s.

Commanche

Commanche

Today, the Appaloosa is the state horse of Idaho. The breed’s body type is influenced by Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Arabian blood. Solid horses may be included in the registry if they can be blood typed to verify Appaloosa parentage.

In addition to their unique coat colors, most Appaloosas have striped hooves, mottled skin, or white sclera around their eyes. More than 700,000 Appaloosas have been registered with the Appaloosa Horse Club since its foundation in 1938.

Solitaire

Solitaire

We are lucky enough to have two Appaloosa models on our website. Solitaire is one of the many fantastic equine teachers in the Asbury University’s equine program. Asbury offers undergraduate degrees in equine science, and also has its own riding program.

Commanche hails from Easy Riders Ranch in Georgetown, Ky. He is one of nine horses who provide riding lessons, riding by the hour, and rides at birthday parties.

Keep your head screwed on!

No matter what type of riding you do, safety is paramount. That’s why we found this recent article from Horse Talk New Zealand detailing changes in one organization’s guidelines for post-fall concussions.

Officials with British Eventing recently announced that all riders competing in its sanctioned events will be suspended for 21 days after suffering a concussion. The reason is that our understanding of concussions is changing–rather than seeing it as an injury with immediate symptoms, we’re now learning that concussion symptoms can show up hours or even days after the fall. Symptoms of more mild concussions may also take more time to dissipate than originally thought.

Bottom line–take care after a fall, especially if you hit your head. Be alert to potential symptoms, even after you wipe the grass stains off your breeches.

Congratulations to Ruby!

ruby headshotCongratulations to Ruby (aka Winteruby) and her owner Cerella, winners of our February tack giveaway!

Ruby and Cerella have been working together for three years, two of which they’ve spent eventing in the beginner novice level, a great accomplishment since Ruby was very green when they started.

Ruby also does hunter/jumpers and dressage (training level). She loves giving rides to kids.

Cerella tells us that Ruby’s ninth birthday is coming up in March, so their prize will be a sort of early present. Ruby will be getting our beta biothane English bridle, which is a perfect fit for her and ruby body shotCerella. Ruby is working to conquer her fear of water, and a beta bridle is just the thing. Beta is waterproof, so Ruby can splash all she likes without her bridle drying or cracking.

Learn more about our English bridle here.

Meet Our Breeds: Captain the Haflinger

We continue our ‘Meet Our Breeds’ series with Captain, a Haflinger who is one of the tack models for our website.

Haflingers are commonly recognized for their sturdy but modest frames and their double mane (mane that grows on both sides of the neck) of “blond” hair, but they’re more than just a pretty face. The breed is thought to have its roots in the Middle Ages, but was officially developed in Italy and Austria in the late 1800s. People found their stockiness useful for pack horses in the World Wars, but after WWII, the Haflinger population dipped to dangerous lows. The studbook was closed in the 1940s and the population grew steadily in Europe through the 1950s and 1970s. Image

These days, Haflingers are both driven and ridden under saddle in endurance, dressage, and vaulting events. They’re an excellent size and build for therapeutic riding programs, too. The breed is recognized for the intelligence and relaxed attitude that is common with draft-type breeds. Their calm disposition can almost be deceptive, according to some experts, who say they allow people to think they’re more experienced than they really are.

Captain has seen it all though, as a member of Asbury University’s equine studies program. The nearby private college in Asbury, Ky. graciously allows us to use some of their teaching equids to model our equipment from time to time, and it’s always an honor to photograph this guy.

Fits like a glove

If you’re like us, you hate having to buy something without being able to try it on and just like humans, horses don’t always conform to standard sizes, which makes tack buying a challenge. 

Cori western bridleLots of customers have emailed us, inquiring how to best take measurements of their hard-to-fit horse to decide what size tack to order. We’ve found that everyone measures a little differently though, and even an inch or two goes a long way in changing the parameters we use to custom make your order. 

Often, we can determine how best to make your tack based on your horse’s estimated height, weight, and breed, which you can enter in your order notes at check-out. If you’re still concerned about a perfect fit, you can use our new trial program! Put down a deposit, and we’ll send you one of our stock items in a standard size. Try it on your horse to decide what size he needs, then send it back with our return shipping label. What could be easier?

Learn more about our demo program here.

Meet Our Breeds: Jack the Mule

You’ve probably read that we make tack for all disciplines and all breeds–we probably should say that we work with more than one species, too.

Jack is hard at work

Jack is hard at work posing for the camera

Meet Jack, the model for our mule bridle.

Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, and their body build seems to largely depend on that of their dam. Contrary to popular belief, not all mules are incapable of reproducing–while mule stallions are infertile, there have been limited cases of female mules becoming pregnant and delivering foals.

Mules are an ancient creature, having been bred in Egypt at least as early as 3000 B.C. Because of their structure and toughness, they have long been used as draft or pack animals in various cultures and made several appearances in the Bible, and later proliferating in Asia and Europe throughout history. Mules made landfall in America along with Christopher Columbus and came to Mexico a decade after the fall of the Aztecs. Here, they have proven excellent farm animals in addition to their use as pulling or pack creatures. Mules have marched into war and pulled commercial freight.

Today, mules excel at a variety of disciplines under saddle, including roping, trail riding, barrel racing, driving, cutting, and racing.

Many mule owners report that mules are highly intelligent, sensitive, and quick to learn. They are often praised for their common sense and quiet temperament in new situations, and contrary to the old adage, are not inherently stubborn.

Jack is one of the equids in Asbury University’s equine studies program in nearby Wilmore, Ky. The college’s program offers majors in equine management and equine facilitated therapies.

Your turn: what do you love best about your mule?

Who wants a free bridle?

487357_182072481924342_803353413_nIt’s time for our February tack giveaway. This month we’re giving away our English bridle to one lucky entrant. This bridle comes in 3/4-inch beta biothane with a one-piece removable noseband that threads through the cheekpiece. It converts easily into a Western bridle.

Like all our beta pieces, our beta English bridle won’t crack, mold, or fade no matter the weather, and can be cleaned with soap and water.

So, what’re you waiting for? Enter on our website today. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a $5 coupon just for entering.

Congratulations to Samson!

Congratulations to Samson, the winner of our most recent tack giveaway of his own Australian Barcoo Outrider bridle!

Samson2

Samson and Jocelyn

Samson is a 15-year-old Nokota gelding. He and his human Jocelyn enjoy eventing and are currently competing at the beginner novice level. Samson is a kind-hearted soul who loves cookies and kisses. He is a former therapy horse and was used in riding camps earlier in his career, but these days he just loves jumping out in the open. Jocelyn and Samson have been riding together for two years, but Jocelyn has been in the saddle since the age of four.

Enjoy the bridle, Samson, and best of luck this eventing season!Samson

Our next tack giveaway is for an English bridle. Our 3/4-inch beta biothane English bridles come with stainless steel, no-rust hardware and comes with a removable noseband that threads into the cheek pieces. It easily converts into a Western bridle. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is fill out the form on our website and automatically receive a $5 gift card just for entering!