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View Full Version : does tack have to match?



gallopinggal
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:30 PM
I feel very silly asking this but I plan on showing a bit this coming year at schooling shows and B rated shows. My saddle, girth, stirup leathers and martingale all match perfecto in medium brown but my bridle is black...I feel like it is super tacky (no pun intended)....is this bad?

Jumpthemoon16
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:34 PM
Schooling shows? Yeah, you'll probably get away with it. Higher rated? No.

bjd2013
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:39 PM
You can find a decent bridle that would probably match your tack at a local tack shop that would be under $50.00. It would look better if you have all matching tack.

AliCat518
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:40 PM
I wouldnt show hunters in a black bridle, but thats just me.

You can buy a cheap, but nice looking brown bridle from Dover for $35. I think I even got one on sale for $29.99.

KateKat
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:41 PM
Does anyone have a brown bridle you could borrow?

HenryisBlaisin'
Nov. 10, 2011, 04:52 PM
I only show local/schooling shows and I wouldn't enter the show ring with mismatched tack unless something broke and the mismatched piece was the only possible replacement. A bridle should cost less than one show worth of entry fees; I'd skip one show to pay for it rather than sacrifice turnout, because I firmly believe that proper turnout is symbolic of respect for the horse and the judge.

Smartpak's Plymouth line is, from what I hear, pretty nice, and well under $100 for a snaffle bridle. Good turnout doesn't have to be expensive!

Foxtrot's
Nov. 10, 2011, 05:42 PM
It shouldn't matter, but even for me I'd try to find even an el-cheapo bridle to go with the rest of the tack. Some brown tack is so dark it would not be that obvious, but when there is a huge difference I'm afraid I really notice.

Myself, I adore quality leather and would like to find a nice bridle...but most people are not that up close and testing the feel of the leather.

AliCat518
Nov. 10, 2011, 05:58 PM
Here's the cheap one I mentioned before.

http://www.doversaddlery.com/suffolk-fancy-snaffle-bridle/p/X1-1287/cn/79/

bluebuckets
Nov. 10, 2011, 06:28 PM
Black tack in hunters/eq/jumpers is kindof a no-no anyway, and since it doesn't match the rest of your tack, I would try to avoid using it. As some other posters mentioned, you can pick up a brown bridle at several locations for cheap. If it doesn't match exactly, oil it down.

Good luck at your show!

Lord Helpus
Nov. 10, 2011, 06:57 PM
The Dover one looks great for the price, but do not plan on darkening cheap leather. Most of it has been sealed and will not take oils or even leather dyes.

Ask me how I know this.:lol:

If you want to go up to $100, Schneiders has lovely bridles that look easily double the price.

PS: When the title said "non matching tack" I thought you were going to ask if you could put fancy stitched with plain or round raised with square raised. The answer to those questions is "yes" for schooling and local and B shows. And even for A shows if the color is exactly the same.

It is only at the AA level where it matters if the pieces of the bridle come from different places and the noseband clearly doesn't belong with the bridle, etc. It just takes away from "the look".

drmgncolor
Nov. 10, 2011, 07:34 PM
Does it have to match?

For me? Yes. But I am kind of OCD about matching stuff. :)

naters
Nov. 10, 2011, 08:26 PM
Go used. Check out the bits and barter board.

danceronice
Nov. 10, 2011, 08:29 PM
I'm not OCD about matchy-matchy tack (ie I'm not going to worry about shades of brown) but if everything is brown and then the bridle's black that would bug me. I'd just get a cheap brown bridle.

mroades
Nov. 10, 2011, 08:36 PM
I have shown at AA rated shows since 1977...and I have been judging since 1997..I HAVE NEVER, NOT ONCE noticed if someones tack doesn't match!
If it bothers you, match it, but I promise, most judges do not notice.
Now a bright orange bridle on a black horse, yes, that sends me...but it won't change your placing based on performance.

Foxtrot's
Nov. 10, 2011, 09:19 PM
You are so right. It should not matter. But if we are talking hunters, there is something about being beautifully turned out, looking your best that gives a level of 'look at me' confidence. Jumpers - not so much, of course, but looking the part is part of an athlete's positive thinking. There are the more casual types out there and they do ok, too, and more power to them. Personal choice as long as they don't query whether they didn't place higher because of ....

In the past several threads here questioning whether all the braiding and primping is just a money grab and part of the biz...or whether appearance gives the judge just a teeny bias.

snaffle635
Nov. 10, 2011, 09:26 PM
I have shown at AA rated shows since 1977...and I have been judging since 1997..I HAVE NEVER, NOT ONCE noticed if someones tack doesn't match!
If it bothers you, match it, but I promise, most judges do not notice.
Now a bright orange bridle on a black horse, yes, that sends me...but it won't change your placing based on performance.

Just wondering...would you notice if the bridle was black at an AA show? I think it would stick out, but maybe not?

Dewey
Nov. 10, 2011, 10:08 PM
I have shown at AA rated shows since 1977...and I have been judging since 1997..I HAVE NEVER, NOT ONCE noticed if someones tack doesn't match!
If it bothers you, match it, but I promise, most judges do not notice.
Now a bright orange bridle on a black horse, yes, that sends me...but it won't change your placing based on performance.

Hurrah! I love your post. Now please tell me the color of the rider's jacket doesn't matter either, and I will love you forever.

mroades
Nov. 10, 2011, 10:17 PM
well......I will say I am not a fan of the new very light tan jackets...other than that...

I will say that fit is SO much more important than color!

Dewey
Nov. 10, 2011, 10:28 PM
well......I will say I am not a fan of the new very light tan jackets...other than that...

I will say that fit is SO much more important than color!

That's good enough for me. Naturally, I have my preferences, too, but I find it hard to believe that one conservative color or another makes a bit of difference to the judge.

lucyeq
Nov. 10, 2011, 10:29 PM
I wouldn't go to a H/J show with black tack and I definitely wouldn't go with half black and half brown tack. Like other posters have said, it's worth the few extra bucks for proper turnout. Have fun!

fourmares
Nov. 10, 2011, 11:04 PM
If it doesn't matter to you, it doesn't matter. Having all matching tack will not help you find your spots or keep a rhythm. It will not keep you from ducking or give you good posture. If the rest of your leather is dark brown and your bridle is black it's pretty hard to tell on a galloping horse from across the ring... on the other hand, if having a non-matching bridle is going to make you feel uncomfortable then get a matching bridle.

Foxtrot's
Nov. 10, 2011, 11:33 PM
Medium brown tack but black bridle, and schooling and B shows. Meh.

VelvetsAB
Nov. 11, 2011, 04:33 AM
I've shown in schooling shows with a brown/black bridle with white padding under it. It has never once made a difference in how I placed at all.

The saddle I use (since it fits the horse) used to have holes in the flaps, under my leg. They have now been replaced with other panels, but don't exactly match. That still hasn't made a difference in my placings either.

Not wearing a show jacket and show shirt hasn't made a difference in my placings either....

pattnic
Nov. 11, 2011, 01:28 PM
Good grief.

No, your tack does not have to match is the simple answer.

That said, it does generally look better if it does. But even then, it's fine if your bridle is more havana than your oakbark saddle.

It is also a fact that there are many dark havana bridles out there that are so dark they look black.

Would I personally use a black bridle with a brown saddle? No. Am I going to look down on someone else for doing so? No - and especially not at a schooling show.

Really, if the judging comes down to whether the horse's tack matches perfectly, well...

Trixie
Nov. 11, 2011, 03:07 PM
Not wearing a show jacket and show shirt hasn't made a difference in my placings either....

I don't know where you're showing, but it sure would around here.

Trick
Nov. 11, 2011, 03:28 PM
I think it depends on who you are considering as "judging" you -- if it's the other riders in the warm-up ring then yes, it will probably matter if you appear in a piece of miss-matched tack; if it's a judge in a little booth on the far side of the arena who is trying to analyze horse/rider form, take-off distances, smoothness of trip, etc. during the 1-2 min. that you're in the ring jumping, probably not.

ETA: it might be more noticeable on flat but I still just have a really hard time imagining many judges would penalize your overall placing due to your tack color if you really were the best.

VelvetsAB
Nov. 12, 2011, 03:49 AM
I don't know where you're showing, but it sure would around here.


Southwestern Ontario.

I only really started showing last year, so that is when I purchased my jacket.

However, I was in schooling shows before I got my jacket, so I usually wore a black riding vest, with a black under armour shirt (or other black shirt), with a lightish coloured light-weight scarf tucked into my vest. Hair was done, and horse was well groomed, but not braided. I looked neat and tidy.

Even now that I have a jacket, if it is early spring or fall, I will most likely wear the same thing to a schooling show. I seem to get sick easily at times, so being warm wins out.


I will say that I was at a schooling show in August where a girl was wearing pink half chaps and a regular tshirt, and I was quite offended by it. That was just TOO casual. If same girl had been in a tucked in polo with field boots or half chaps. Meh. At least she would have looked like she cared.

At that same schooling show, there were girls with show shirts open, but under a jacket, hair not done neatly, etc etc. Neat and tidy, no matter what you are wearing, is much better then sloppy and dirty in a show jacket.