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I really don't like biothane so far - what are good alternatives?

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  • #21
    No, Tekna isn't much different, but for the price I think it's a better buy if you want something more traditional looking. The bridle and reins together are cheaper than just a headstall from Taylored Tack, and they have the raised nose and brow and fancy stitching unlike the TT "traditional" tack.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
      I have to ask - what is the difference between beta and biothane? I see on teh Tayloted Tack site mentioned, that they use both (I've see it elsewhere too) and you choose colors, but which is which?
      Hello Everyone,
      My name is Scott and I work at BioThane. I just happen to come across this and wanted to help answer this and any other questions anyone else may have about BioThane.

      All of our products are called BioThane. There are a handful of different Biothane coatings that can be used, Beta being one of them. Beta is soft to the touch and is a matte finish. Our Granite coating looks very similar to Beta, but is harder to the touch and more abrasion resistant.

      Every inch of Biothane is made right here in the USA, so don't be fooled by a chinese website selling "biothane". They are selling a coated webbing and trying to bank on our name. It usually falls apart quickly. Biothane(formerly BioPlastics) has been coating webbing since 1977. We are typically not the cheapest, but we believe we provide the best value. When someone says they bought a "cheap biothane" anything, my first guess is the coated webbing is not ours. There are a lot of knockoffs out there. Many people use the words beta or Biothane like others use Kleenex when talking about a disposable tissue.

      Anyone else that competes against us usually coats webbing as an add on to what they do. As far as I know, we are the only company in the world that does nothing but coat webbing and we are always working on improving the look and the adhesion.

      I hope that helps, and I know I can't be considered very objective, but just wanted to let you know how we see it.

      If I can answer any other questions, feel free to ask.
      Scott Hanna
      Biothane Coated Webbing
      www.biothane.us
      Beta is just one of Biothane's coatings.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        Hi Scott! So, beta is just a special coating then? But they are both biothane? Good to know the product is American made - it's getting harder and harder to find any domestic leather.

        I wonder if the tack retailers even understand the difference, because they seem to use the term willy-nilly, which doesn't help me, the newbie, at all.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
          rmh, my horse doesn't seem to either. I can't do the rubber backed girths at all, it has to be leather or fleece (although it can be fake fleece, thankfully for that). More than that though, *I'm* not wild about the fake stuff, I just prefer leather....but all of the cool endurance bridles are made of everything but leather.
          That's because leather takes a terrible beating when used for endurance. There is more sweating for longer periods of time with the salts being in contact with the bridle, girth, breast plate for hours rather than just 45 minutes before cleaning.

          I came to the Endurance sport from 30 years of dressage and eventing and foxhunting backgrounds. I used my leather tack for the first 4 years of riding Endurance - 50s and 2day 100's, but by the 5th year I wised up, purchased a beautiful matching bridle and breast plate for my guy, and never looked back all the way to my guy and I becoming a Decade Team. My precious leather tack is now saved for the sports that require leather, and it isn't being destroyed by endless miles on the trail in rain, sleet, snow, heat, humidity, subject to being scored by branches, trail debris, dirt, grit, or sponged water.

          If I'm getting through to you, then check out Taylored Tack. Amanda makes incredibly beautiful, very sturdy, pliable and "feel good worthy" matching tack. She's often at the bigger rides, so you can check out her mobile tack store for just the right color combo to fit you and your horse. She also does custom orders, and doggie "tack" (collars, leashes, etc) as well.

          Get brave. Store away the black for the dressage ring, and find your wild side for Endurance. Go green...or pink, or purple, or blue, or orange, or yellow, or turquoise, or ruby, or a combo of them all.

          Re: LDs. Lots of new people ride solo. If you find someone else you'd like to ride with, go for it. If you want to ride by yourself, go for it. If you want to walk or run alongside your horse at any time, go for it. Endurance is a very free sport when it comes to how you want to ride the trail - just as long as you complete within the time frame, and follow the trail as marked, and don't cut trail, you can chart your own course and speed.

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #25
            First, a big thanks to Scott for his explanation of BioPlastic!

            Second, some of us are old enough to remember when there was only "BioThane" and no "Beta". We tend to call the shiny, lighterweight product "BioThane" and the heavier, matte product "Beta", that may help with your search.

            I have a 20 yr old harness made of shiny BioThane that has been used and used and used and still looks like day 1. Same for the Beta bridle I bought new in 2001...I have used the bridle daily without cleaning it for 12 years now, and the only way to tell it's not new is that some of the coating on the right side of the reins that rubs on mane is getting a little thin. I reccomend learning to like BioPlastic.

            Comment


            • #26
              When I rode in the PNW in the starting in 1990, I used leather. All that rain, mud, no way rubber or biothane reins would have been a good idea. They would have slipped.

              Then fast forward to the SE region up until a couple years ago. Hot muggy sweaty horses, oh wow it is humid here. I still use leather. I now use SSG all weather gloves. My hands sweat really bad here in the heat. I use reins which have hand stops. I have used leather and also the rubber web reins - both with hand stops. I find I have very good grip on my hot forward horses with gloves and this type of rein. Yeah, I do keep my tack fairly clean most of the time, but I do that with the bio breast collar too. Not a big deal, part of horses. All my leather has had harsh treatment and but still looks good. I do not clean headstalls nor reins each day, only when it is really dirty. I do use a clean pad each time I ride. Have many many cotton pads, and wool back pads too. Got the wool back double elastic girth and I wash that alot too. The pads/girth get more care than the leather, but the leather looks fine each time. My saddle (gasp) leather too, a Solstice. A 2002 model. It is a tad greenish on the back, but I keep a sheepskin seat saver on it most of the time and it doesn't effect the way it rides.

              Until you really need to buy new tack, why not use your leather stuff. Saves money, until you really know what you want with regards to endurance. Nobody has ever said anything about my leather tack. I never felt out of being en vogue either. Don't care if I am. That is the beauty of endurance, you can choose your own path on horses, tack, trailer, shoeing, clothing, saddle, etc.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                I think I am going to hang on to what I have for now - although I do plan on clearing out my tack room and reducing the extra weight by selling stuff I just won't use, and then I can use that money to experiment.

                You guys are awesome - I haven't been this excited in a really, really long time. I almost gave up riding a couple of years ago because of my arthritis, considered driving for a while, and then last year I thought maybe I'd give HJ a try - I was just grasping, but nothing felt like a niche for me and my horse. I really thought it was something much different than I now realize, and like rmh said, that's the beauty of endurance!

                And gothedistance, I'm thinking lilac or purple (on my grey mare) once I take the plunge into new tack. This made my husband laugh out loud when I told him about it. I will need to reprogram him eventually

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
                  Hi Scott! So, beta is just a special coating then? But they are both biothane? Good to know the product is American made - it's getting harder and harder to find any domestic leather.

                  I wonder if the tack retailers even understand the difference, because they seem to use the term willy-nilly, which doesn't help me, the newbie, at all.
                  We try to make sure they know, but you are right, people use the terms loosely. I just recently had someone call and ask for "shiny beta", which is incorrect. Our shiny(glossy) finish is our Gold coating. Beta is our soft matte finish. We try to help them, but we don't want to chastise them for using the wrong word I knew what they wanted.

                  As a side note, We changed our name recently to BioThane Coated Webbing because that's all we do. BioPlastics was founded in 1977. But today, the term "bioPlastics" is used a lot for biodegradable plastic. So it was causing confusion. We are now BioThane Coated Webbing. Same product, same people. Beta, Granite, Gold, Diamond, and Foam are just a few of our finishes. We are focusing our efforts on letting people know that there is a big difference between Biothane and other coated webbing. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of knock-offs. We get people calling us telling us about a product they had that fell apart. They were told it was made with Biothane, but when we get it, it obviously was not.
                  Scott Hanna
                  Biothane Coated Webbing
                  www.biothane.us
                  Beta is just one of Biothane's coatings.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I love my biothane bridle. Mine is the softer beta coating for the base and the overlay is the shinier coating. I've not had an issue with sweating oddly with it. I use mine as a daily bridle a lot of the time so I don't ruin my nice leather stuff. I have a nice traditional hunt bridle for foxhunting and a nice show bridle. Most of the time, I ride in my bright blue bio one because its so easy to clean. The leather ones are put up and kept nice.

                    Mine is from Running Bear.

                    If slipping is an issue with reins, they have reins that have a tacky rubber like coating that matches the colors of the biothane.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Bioscott View Post
                      We try to make sure they know, but you are right, people use the terms loosely. I just recently had someone call and ask for "shiny beta", which is incorrect. Our shiny(glossy) finish is our Gold coating. Beta is our soft matte finish. We try to help them, but we don't want to chastise them for using the wrong word I knew what they wanted.
                      Hello Scott!
                      Thank you for coming on here to discuss your product. What's the difference between your products and Zilco tack? The Zilco ads state that their tack will not break down when exposed to sunlight, which they claim is a problem with your products. In the photographs that I've seen Biothane/Beta tack looks pretty much the same as Zilco tack. I live in the middle of Kansas, so we have extremes of heat, humidity, and bitter, bitter cold. I'm willing to pay more for a product that lasts longer.
                      Thank you for your time and expertise.
                      Best Regards,
                      Amber
                      PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by californianinkansas View Post
                        Hello Scott!
                        Thank you for coming on here to discuss your product. What's the difference between your products and Zilco tack? The Zilco ads state that their tack will not break down when exposed to sunlight, which they claim is a problem with your products. In the photographs that I've seen Biothane/Beta tack looks pretty much the same as Zilco tack. I live in the middle of Kansas, so we have extremes of heat, humidity, and bitter, bitter cold. I'm willing to pay more for a product that lasts longer.
                        Thank you for your time and expertise.
                        Best Regards,
                        Amber
                        Hello Amber,
                        Zilco is an Australian company that makes harnesses, numerous horse products, and many other items. They purchase coated webbing from elsewhere to make it.

                        BioThane coats webbing. That's all we do. We make it at our plant in Ohio. We are the only company I know of in the world that only coats webbing. We don't make harnesses. We let the expert harness makers do that. We do this to keep our focus on continually making our coated webbing better. Many harness makers have been using BioThane for years and won't use anything else.

                        I don't like to talk negatively about other company's products. Zilco has been around for years, so they must be doing some things right.

                        I will say that the biggest advantage BioThane has over other synthetic leather material is the adhesion. We routinely test our products vs others. We will test how much force it takes to pull the coating from the webbing. Then we soak some samples in water for a period of time and test again. Our material typically finishes much higher in adhesion. Which should mean the product should last a lot longer. We are always looking for ways to improve our lead in this as well.

                        We routinely test other things too. Direct sunlight being one. We've never seen any evidence of our products used for harnesses breaking down in sunlight, nor have we had any customers mention that to us in nearly 40 years.

                        Other companies have found it very easy to make coated webbing look like ours when it's new. No one to my knowledge has been able to make it last like ours.
                        Scott Hanna
                        Biothane Coated Webbing
                        www.biothane.us
                        Beta is just one of Biothane's coatings.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Bioscott View Post
                          Hello Amber,
                          Zilco is an Australian company that makes harnesses, numerous horse products, and many other items. They purchase coated webbing from elsewhere to make it.

                          BioThane coats webbing. That's all we do. We make it at our plant in Ohio. We are the only company I know of in the world that only coats webbing. We don't make harnesses. We let the expert harness makers do that. We do this to keep our focus on continually making our coated webbing better. Many harness makers have been using BioThane for years and won't use anything else.

                          I don't like to talk negatively about other company's products. Zilco has been around for years, so they must be doing some things right.

                          I will say that the biggest advantage BioThane has over other synthetic leather material is the adhesion. We routinely test our products vs others. We will test how much force it takes to pull the coating from the webbing. Then we soak some samples in water for a period of time and test again. Our material typically finishes much higher in adhesion. Which should mean the product should last a lot longer. We are always looking for ways to improve our lead in this as well.

                          We routinely test other things too. Direct sunlight being one. We've never seen any evidence of our products used for harnesses breaking down in sunlight, nor have we had any customers mention that to us in nearly 40 years.

                          Other companies have found it very easy to make coated webbing look like ours when it's new. No one to my knowledge has been able to make it last like ours.
                          Scott,
                          Good evening. Wow! I am so impressed by your response -and so quickly, too. Thank you! I'm going to go with your products when I get my tax returns back. You've given me specifics, while the "other" company's advertising provides only generalities. I greatly admire any company or artisan that focuses on Doing One Thing Better Than Anyone Else -if that makes any sense. I don't want to run afoul of the moderators, but how do I know who is and is not using your Biothane? Is there a list of authorized dealers/tack stores on your website?
                          Thank you, again. You've made my day!
                          Happily,
                          Amber
                          Abilene, Kansas
                          PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I gotta say, I abuse the daylights out of my biothane stuff and all I have to do is dunk it in a bucket and it looks brand new. I'm certainly a fan.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              I was also wondering about how we know where to buy authorized products. I'm pretty positive the cheapie headstall I bought last week in a knock off since it's stiff in the cold weather.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by californianinkansas View Post
                                Scott,
                                Good evening. Wow! I am so impressed by your response -and so quickly, too. Thank you! I'm going to go with your products when I get my tax returns back. You've given me specifics, while the "other" company's advertising provides only generalities. I greatly admire any company or artisan that focuses on Doing One Thing Better Than Anyone Else -if that makes any sense. I don't want to run afoul of the moderators, but how do I know who is and is not using your Biothane? Is there a list of authorized dealers/tack stores on your website?
                                Thank you, again. You've made my day!
                                Happily,
                                Amber
                                Abilene, Kansas
                                Amber,
                                thanks for the kind words.

                                The easiest way to know that your manufacturer is using BioThane for sure is to ask someone here where they got their great harness from.

                                There is also list of distributors on our website. You can call them and ask them for a harness maker they'd recommend.

                                I'd also be weary of a manufacturer that claims to be using BioThane but promotes prices much less than anyone else. Biothane harness makers typically promote quality and best overall value, not just lowest price.

                                We do understand that harness makers can be under a lot of pressure to lower their prices due to competition, and that the temptation to use a less expensive product can be immense. That's why we try to make sure our product is distinctly better, not just slightly better.
                                Scott Hanna
                                Biothane Coated Webbing
                                www.biothane.us
                                Beta is just one of Biothane's coatings.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Bioscott View Post
                                  Amber,
                                  thanks for the kind words.

                                  The easiest way to know that your manufacturer is using BioThane for sure is to ask someone here where they got their great harness from.

                                  There is also list of distributors on our website. You can call them and ask them for a harness maker they'd recommend.

                                  I'd also be weary of a manufacturer that claims to be using BioThane but promotes prices much less than anyone else. Biothane harness makers typically promote quality and best overall value, not just lowest price.

                                  We do understand that harness makers can be under a lot of pressure to lower their prices due to competition, and that the temptation to use a less expensive product can be immense. That's why we try to make sure our product is distinctly better, not just slightly better.
                                  Scott,
                                  Thank you for the information!
                                  I'm not looking for a harness just yet, though. Zilco is marketing their line of endurance tack right now, which was why I asked.

                                  I'll go to your website and verify who is and is not an authorized dealer.

                                  I'm definitely going with The Distance Depot's Biothane tack, as they've been very good with answering all of my questions.

                                  Thank you, again. You do great credit to your company.

                                  Best Regards,
                                  Amber
                                  PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                                  Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I don't WANT to store away my black dressage bridles.

                                    Oh cool a long advertisement for biothane. Thanks Scott!!! Yeah you sure do a great credit to your company. Wow! Free advertising! YA!

                                    My point is WHY go out and buy a whole new bridle, et al, if you are just starting out in endurance? Endurance is alot of trail and error to figure out what will work for you and your horse.

                                    Tack for endurance is VERY subjective. Also what works some doesn't work for others. What you want to work for you and your horse may not work for you and your horse.

                                    What if you o out and buy all this stuff, and then you ride your first ride and decide the sport is not for you? You lose interest, you get hurt, your horse gets hurt, or ???

                                    Try a few rides and then see what your tack requirements are.

                                    Nobody will tell you, you have the wrong bridle. And ya know, not many people will care or look at your bridle.

                                    My suggestion is to use what you have until you decide you want to go further in endurance. Having a biothane bridle will not help you in the least to compete better, nor complete. After all, you could ride with just a string around the horses face, or in a halter, and still do just as well.

                                    Endurance is not about having the latest fashion on the market.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Just a policy clarification that Scott, or other company reps, are allowed to post on existing, current threads to answer questions about their products or companies.

                                      Thanks!
                                      Mod 1

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I'm looking for a new bridle, reins, breastplate, running martingale and crupper.

                                        I hate cleaning leather tack. I was a groom/working student for a BNT. I was in the Army for 8 years. I'm sick of spending large amounts of time cleaning small bits of leather.

                                        The weather in Kansas towards extremes of heat, humidity, and cold; thus, our microclimate is very hard on leather.

                                        Endurance tack tends to be sized for Arabians, of which I have two. Endurance tack tends to be easily adjustable. Due to ethnocultural norms, I find the bright colors available in Biothane products very appealing.

                                        Biothane tack holds its re-sale value quite well.

                                        Due to the aforementioned reasons, Biothane tack is a good choice for me and for my two Arabian geldings.

                                        I am capable of critical thinking and independent thought. I am also capable of making an autonomous choice; I am not a sheeple.

                                        Having worked in customer service, I appreciate good, tactful, articulate customer service when I see it (e.g., Scott's posts). As most of my duties at work involve mediating disputes, I am well aware of the havoc that can be caused by tactless (but factually correct) statement made by a service provider.

                                        As long as the horse is cared for and ridden in an ethical manner; the rider is not harming herself; behaving unethically towards others around her; and has the disposable income to easily afford the new tack, then there is nothing inherently unethical or immoral about said rider "having the latest fashion on the market."

                                        My Arabian gelding is exceptionally well-suited for endurance riding. He is bred for it (PA Hi-Noon by Magnum Psyche x Takara Padrona by Padron, out of a CMK dam/female line). He never, ever gets tired. He returns to his resting heart rate very rapidly. He learns rapidly, gets bored easily. He is happiest when he is moving and has a problem to solve.

                                        It doesn't matter if I like endurance or not. What matters is that my horse likes it. It is the duty of the owner to adapt to whatever discipline his or her horse is best suited for/likes best.

                                        Best Regards,
                                        Amber
                                        PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          rmh rider, I'm thinking that same way - having yet to ride my first LD, I'm not investing a lot just yet. I did get a new wool pad, and biothane reins (I needed those anyway and I actually really like them), I will switch my stirrups, and get a seat saver, but otherwise I'm sticking with what I have through the summer - I'll be riding in a dressage saddle. My goal is to do a LD ride in July and another in October. I'm still window shopping in the meantime though . This thread has helped me immensely!

                                          Comment

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