Monthly Archives: August 2015

Congratulations, Mechele!

It’s time to announce another tack giveaway winner! This time, our congratulations go out to Mechele and her two horses, Lina and Rose, who won a customized Australian barcoo bridle via the Green Bean Endurance blog.

Mechele and her two girls, both Arabians, do endurance, competitive trail, and pleasure trail riding. Lina (show name Evangelina Imdal) is 12 years old and preparing for her first competition this year. Rose (show name Bay Drellas Rose) is the veteran: she is 19 years old and has been competing with Mechele for the past two years.

We just love Mechele’s taste in tack for Rose so far–look at all these colors:

Mechele 1

The Australian barcoo bridle is a great option for trail riders. It’s crafted to hold up to all the wear and tear of the trail, including sun, rain, and sweat with ease–no fading, rusting, or cracking. Mechele can choose our specially-formulated Arab size option for her girls, helping ensure the perfect fit.

Keep an eye on the Green Bean Endurance blog for great posts about the world of endurance riding and life with horses…and look for more exclusive giveaways reserved specially for their readers, too!

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Congratulations to Michelle’s Herd!

Most of the time, our tack contests have been one by folks with just one or maybe two horses. This month, our giveaway item will be enjoyed by a herd of five, all different ages and breeds.unnamed

July’s tack giveaway winner is Michelle and her herd, which includes Stormy, Sasha, Maggie, Miley, and Breezy, who range in age from six to 18 years old. Represented in Michelle’s herd are: Arabian, Tennessee Walking Horse, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, and Pony of the Americas. The crew spends a lot of their time out on the trails, but the horses also provide a teaching hoof to Michelle’s children in local 4-H competitions. As we could tell from the photos she sent us, Michelle and her family are already big fans of colorful tack, so we’re glad we could add some more hues to their collection.

unnamed (1) Michelle and her horses have won a custom-size, custom color Australian barcoo bridle made from beta biothane. With all those horses, we’re guessing she will be glad that beta biothane is an easy-clean, maintenance-free material. All she’ll need to do is hose off the bridle after a long ride, and there’s no need to worry about the stainless steel hardware rusting.

Didn’t win any of our contests? You’ve got another chance–we’ve opened a new tack giveaway for the month of August! This month, we’re giving away a buckle nose halter made from beta biothane, which is rugged enough to stand up to everyday use, but also pretty stylish. The buckle nose format is popular in Europe, and we can see why–it really frames a horse’s face nicely. It’s also a great safety feature if you don’t want to leave a horse’s head loose while you’re taking a bridle on and off. So what are you waiting for? Click here to enter. Even if you don’t win you’ll get a $5 coupon go our shop!

Meet Our Breeds: Florida Cracker Horse

Traditionally, our “Meet Our Breeds” series has been limited to the many, many breeds who help us model Two Horse Tack for our online shop. But after a recent tack giveaway via Endurance Granny, we encountered a breed that was new to us. Our contest winner told us she was the owner of a Florida Cracker Horse, which we’ve since learned has its roots in Spanish stock.

James Levy with Ozzie, via the Florida Cracker Horse Association's website

James Levy with Ozzie, via the Florida Cracker Horse Association’s website

The Cracker Horse originated as the cattle breed of the same name–from Spanish stock brought over with the first explorers to Florida in the 1500s. According to the Florida Cracker Horse Association, the breed traces back to several influences from its time in Spain, including the North African Barb, Spanish Sorraia and Spanish Jennet (which is a gaited breed). That makes the Cracker Horse similar to the Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino, and Spanish Mustang.

When the first explorers left Florida to head back to Europe, they left some of their animals behind to make room for souvenirs in their ships, and the horses became feral in the area.

When they were retamed, it was by the cowboys in Florida working Spanish cattle. The Cracker Horse was quickly found to be a good size (between 13 and 15 hands) for cow work and had the advantage of a few extra gaits like the flatfoot walk and running walk along with the endurance needed to work cows all day. Their name came from the cracking sound that the cowboys’ whips made as they slung the whips through the air onto the ground, creating noise to chase cattle in the direction of their choice.

Jai Jai

Jai Jai

The breed suffered a big loss when the agricultural model in Florida changed; a parasite in the state’s cattle population in the 1930s caused many farmers to switch from the free-ranging model for raising their cows to a system of pens and fields, reducing the need for a horse to work the herd. Numbers dwindled and the breed almost vanished.

The Florida Cracker Horse Association was founded in 1989 to find the remaining Cracker Horses and preserve the breed. At that time, there were just about 30 of the Cracker Horses remaining; today there are over 800 horses registered with the Association.

Learn more about Cracker Horses here.

We were excited to meet Jai Jai and his human Aubrey. Like his ancestors, Jai Jai is hoping to put his stamina to good use–he is an aspiring endurance competitor. As the winner of our giveaway for an Australian barcoo bridle, we’re looking forward to seeing photos of Jai Jai carrying our lightweight tack into his first competition one day.

Congratulations to Aubrey and Jai Jai!

It’s the beginning of the month, which means that it’s time for us to announce some tack giveaway winners. Today’s congratulations goes out to Aubrey and her horse Jai Jai, who are the winners of an exclusive giveaway we did through the Endurance Granny blog (which, if you haven’t already checked it out, you absolutely should).

Jai Jai is a total goofball according to Aubrey, with a real knack for making everyone in the barn laugh–as you can see here.

Jai Jai looking for treats

Jai Jai is a 6-year-old Florida Cracker Horse, was wasn’t a breed we’d heard of before. Aubrey tells us there are only a few thousand of them left. Aubrey and Jai Jai are gearing up for a career in AERC endurance races, and she tells us it’s a learning curve–Jai Jai is still figuring out that he doesn’t need to get into a speed duel with the horses immediately around him in order to win.

“We just got a royal blue saddle pad and a blue bridle would be absolutely perfect to really stand out on those trails,” said Aubrey when we contacted her to let her know they’d won.

Jai Jai in a more serious moment

Jai Jai in a more serious moment

Aubrey and Jai Jai will get a custom-fitted Australian barcoo bridle made from beta biothane, which is gentle on sensitive skin without being heavy–the perfect material for trail riders or endurance riders like Aubrey. Aubrey will have her choice of royal or sky blue for their Aussie-style bridle, which allows a horse’s facial structure to shine through, unencumbered by a noseband. This style is also called an ‘outrider bridle.’

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Love this bridle? Get your own.