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.
Ichabod 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!
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.
For those of us who grew up riding in the English disciplines, lunge lines (or “longe lines” depending upon your spelling preference) are pretty commonplace. But for many trail or Western riders, the lines and their usefulness may be a little foreign.
Lunge lines are typically 20 – 30 feet long (though we offer them in a range of lengths from 10 to 40 feet) with a snap at one end and either a rubber stopper or hand loop on the other. Horses can be taught to circle their handler at the end of the lunge line while wearing either a halter or bridle at various gaits and can even jump small items that are open on the sides. Some people use lunging to allow a horse to get out feisty behavior like bolting, diving, and bucking on a windy day or after a long layoff, which can be useful ahead of a horse show performance or a ride at home. Others use lunging to help bring a horse back up to fitness without the weight of a rider, or can even to help scope out whether a horse is lame. (Often lamenesses are emphasized as the horse moves around a curve.)
Depending upon how you use the lunge line, you may prefer a lunging cavesson with loops around the noseband. This gives you options for where to clip or weave the lunge line. (Our lunging cavesson can be added underneath any bridle and is made from durable beta biothane.)
No matter how you use a lunge line, it’s important to choose a length that’s safe for what you’re doing. A stiff or lame horse may benefit from a longer line that allows him to make a larger circle around the handler. Also keep in mind that you should switch directions to avoid placing too much stress on left or right front legs. One more consideration–don’t lunge too long. Stress injuries are caused by repeated force in one spot, and continuous turning in a circle can create that kind of stress after large number of repetitions.
Wondering how to teach your horse to work on a lunge line? Equusite has a great step-by-step troubleshooting guide to help. One thing that we’ve found helpful: vocal cues that help the horse learn what kind of transition you want from him. Those cues can also help you break through barriers under saddle.
Two Horse Tack customers, rejoice! A brand new website is in the works to make your ordering process quicker and easier. Our upgraded interface should be in the works by Thursday morning, and we’d encourage you to give it a test ride–let us know what you love and what you want to see in the next update.
One thing we really focused on with this new and improved site is ease of custom ordering. There are a lot of choices to make when putting in an order for one of our pieces–color, size, hardware, bit end styles on bridles, and matching extras. Our hope is that this new layout will make it more quicker and easier to be sure you design tack you’ll love.
Check it out: www.twohorsetack.com
In our work with different breeds, we’ve seen some pretty amazing manes and forelocks … but we have to admit, when we got a look at Scout, we became sure hers takes the cake.
Meet Scout and her person, Laura, who are aspiring endurance riders who met us through Green Bean Endurance, which is an online community where current and aspiring endurance riders can meet and learn more about the sport. Scout, whose registered name is Katrina May, is a 15-year-old Morgan. Scout and Laura have only been together for a few months after finding each other on an online message board advertising Morgans for sale.
When it comes to that fabulous forelock, Laura says she’s always had an appreciation for fantastic hair, and when it comes to a ‘do like this one, she believes that ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it!’ And it would seem Scout agrees.
The pair are currently trail riding and Laura is hopeful that they will dabble in endurance riding, where she hopes the Morgan sturdiness and Scout’s small size will ben an asset. They’re still getting to know each other, so there are a lot of question marks about Scout’s greatest strengths and biggest challenges under saddle, but Laura said they did have a great “bonding moment” recently when Scout needed some medication.
“Well, I haven’t had too many moments – we are still bonding. And she is very independent. But she had a sinus infection recently and she put her head in my arms while she got a shot. It was a connection moment when she seemed to look to me for comfort and safety. It made me happy,” Laura told us.
Laura and Scout have been test driving our traditional halter bridle in eye-catching green and royal blue. Laura told us she likes the colors and appreciated how perfectly-sized the bridle was to Scout’s head, which has been a little hard to fit. The cob size ended up working best for Scout, but our tack makers can adjust any of our sizes (which range from mini horse to draft) to fit a particular horse if we have the horse’s breed, age, and size.
We also think the beta biothane will be a great option for Laura and Scout if and when they begin their endurance career–beta is a favorite among endurance riders since it’s both light and gentle on sensitive skin for long rides. Thinking about making a switch from leather? Order a free sample kit to see what you think.
This week on our blog, we’re beginning a series helping our customers and readers get to know the many and various horses and ponies who model our tack over at www.twohorsetack.com. Since our tack fits a wide variety of sizes and breeds of horse, we’ve developed a portfolio of different models to show off our products. We’re fortunate to be based in central Kentucky, where there are a wide variety of breeds available to wear colorful tack, and we’re also thankful that our models’ owners have been so gracious to let us photograph them over the years.
Meet Flash, a 22-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter gelding. Flash and his human Marissa have been together for 12 years. Like many youngsters, Marissa tells us she grew up dreaming of owning a horse and bought Flash with money she saved up from petsitting in her neighborhood when she and Flash were both 10 years old. She found him in an online sale ad.
In twelve years, Flash has carried not just Marissa but her friends and family members, and even one of her professors at Asbury University in central Kentucky. He’s mostly a trail horse, but Marissa introduced him to ranch and cow work–which was initially a little intimidating for Flash.
“When working cows for the first time he was so nervous, but once he realized that if he pushed towards the cows they would move away from him he had a blast,” Marissa told us. “He loves having a job and always strives to do his best in whatever he does.”
Marissa thinks of Flash as Mr. Reliable, her right hand man, who will put up with just about anything–even as he has begun losing his eyesight due to cataracts.
“Scary obstacles are now our biggest challenge,” she said. “Him trusting me with new scary obstacles is very hard for him sometimes but he pushes through.”
Missouri Foxtrotters are a breed that many people may not have heard of, and Marissa says they’re a blast to work with, and extremely versatile.
“They have, in my opinion, the smoothest gait to ride out on the trails all day that actually covers ground,” she said.
See Flash’s work in action on our online shop.