I got my biothane bridle and breastplate from www.hilltoptack.com. The price was good, and the quality of the tack is very nice. I got the Turbo Bridle, which clips on to a regular rope halter or nylon halter as I'm not crazy about the traditional halter bridle set up.
thanks everyone! I want to get my DH one in biothane b/c he takes six forevers with his halter/lead/time to bridle where's my bridle?? business. I think his own biothane bridle/halter combo is the way to go on these trail riding days
Leather isn't always the best option for trail and endurance riding because it rots with all the moisture (sweat, sponging, river crossing, etc.) That's why we usually go for biothane or beta. It doesn't absorb water either so the horse's skin doesn't stay damp.
Slightly off-topic, but I wouldn't buy anything from Horse Tack Co. right now. They're supposedly moving to a new warehouse (although why it should be taking so long, I'll never know.) I ordered some things from them on October 10th, they charged my card on October 12th, and still haven't shipped my order. I've tried contacting them a number of times, but they haven't replied to the e-mails I've sent, and when I try and call, I only get an answering machine. Needless to say, I won't be shopping there again, and am going to try and cancel the order and the charge via my bank, if I don't get any kind of a reply by the end of the week. It's very unprofessional of them.
"My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan
Not true. The ONLY reason biothane came into endurance is because it *was* essentially a "throw away" type of tack that can be tossed in a bucket of water to be cleaned, and can be replaced at lesser expense than leather. It used to be less expense than leather, but that's already changing!) What "rots" in leather is the stitching, NOT the leather. And the same holds true for biothane.
Leather has NO problem with longevity - it holds up better than biothane for years and years of hard use. It is also much softer, more giving, and will "give way" (tear) at about the same level of pressure as biothane will tear. Leather does require cleaning after use, and conditioning from time to time to stay pliable, and can be "brought back" from the brink, whereas biothane will just stay stiff and when it starts to disintigrate, it is a lost cause. Plastic eventually does "go away", often sooner than leather (which can last for 30-50 years if taken care of).
I disagree because I already lost a nice leather bridle to the moisture. First the throatlatch snapped in half. I replaced that, and then the stitching rotted out down one cheekpiece and I threw it away. Also, I was riding my friend's gelding on a trail ride, and during a canter, a rein snapped right off the bit ring. A prime example of why you should always inspect tack (especially tack you aren't familiar with) before riding.
That just doesn't happen with biothane and beta. Since I've switched, I'll never switch back. I use beta, not biothane, because it is much softer. And yes, I know that the stitching rots, but I don't think you can make a good argument that getting leather wet every time you ride is good for it, and that it will last forever because it's so good for it.
Maybe you live in a dry climate?? Here there is a lot of moisture, and humidity too. Leather gets sticky and damp, makes the horse itchy, and keeps the hair wet. I love the beta because the moisture just evaporates off and doesn't absorb.
I'm still using some leather bridles, reins, etc I've had for 20+ years, nothing's rotted yet. Buy crap and crap will break, and soon. and I don't coddle tack. I use it. On horses. In Alabama. Where's it's hot and humid.
I just want to consider the biothane b/c my DH doesn't clean tack. Ever.
Last edited by katarine; Oct. 30, 2007 at 06:01 PM.
My leather bridles never seem to last long...I dont think they are crappy leather but they always seem to break during some random incident. I've noticed on biothane the buckles break and are easily replaced whereas it seems that the leather itself rips and its a goner. My experience, anyway.
Beta and biothane are so much easier to deal with anyhow. I just recently bought a s-hack beta bridle set from Hought. I thought it was quite pricey- about $150, but I love it. Beautiful, well made, fits my horse great. Before that I bought a cheap biothane bridle from some maker selling on ebay and I didnt like it. Didnt fit great and one of the buckles broke, also tearing the stitching.
A throatlatch snapped? There's NO pressure on that part of the harness -- which means it was crap-ola cheap leather to begin with. Stitching rotted? Of course, and I said that before -- it happens on EVERYTHING that is stitched. It has nothing to do with leather. And the rein end means that it was also either cheap leather, or never, ever, ever taken care of.
Leather doesn't get "sticky" -- it is the dirt and grime left on it that gets icky. And it doesn't make the horse itchy or keep the hair wet -- sweat alone does that. I've seen enough sweat under biothane to match that under leather any day of the week.
And no, I don't live in a dry climate. My locale runs the gauntlet from bitter cold to massive heat and humidity -- and I daily use my leather tack --most of it purchased 30 years ago --still is as perfect and strong as it was the day I bought it BECAUSE it is good leather and good manufacture, and expensive as all get out when I purchased it. I ride in all kinds of weather, foxhunting and endurance training/riding, so my leather doesn't live the prissy life.
I'm glad you like your biothane. I like mine too. But you don't have to give leather a false rap just to boost your own particular tack preference.
Everyone has their own experiences, and mine has not been good with leather tack on the trail. I'm glad it works for you. Yes, a throatlatch snapped when we got a branch run through. The horse stopped, and there wasn't much pressure, but it snapped in two. I guess it was a good thing that it did though!
I have some cheap leather, some expensive. I won't use heavy duty, triple stitched harness type leather on a bridle because it's way too heavy for a fine head. You can buy those Tucker bridles that weigh about 10 pounds each, but no thanks. I'm sure plenty of endurance people use leather, but plenty of them don't. I guess I'm in the latter group.