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Everyday use vs. just for shows?

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  • Everyday use vs. just for shows?

    What tack/equipment do you use every day vs save just for shows (and have another for every day use)?

    I have only just used my saddle for shows & every day in the past, and have always had separate bridles, martingales, girths, saddle pads, horse boots, riding boots, riding helmets, etc etc for shows & every day. But I've had my two old horses for 11 & 17 years respectively and have had time to accumulate 2 of everything. But now I have a new boy who I want to show this year and the thought of buying a show bridle, show girth, horse boots, etc, is a little daunting.
    Unfortunately my other 2 are <15h, and he's >17h, so I can't share.

  • #2
    I would say the most important thing that is just used at shows is whatever magic bit gives you just that extra bit of control that is lost from being in a new and exciting environment. It isn't a bit you use everyday or it loses it's edge.


    • #3

      If the new horse is a jumper, you can share everything.

      If the new horse is an eq horse, I'd buy separate horse boots and saddle pads for show.

      If the new horse is a hunter, I'd buy separate saddle pads, and possibly a bridle.


      • #4
        I don't have much equipment that I save for shows only. I have a set of riding clothes (coats, shirts, breeches) and a full sheep skin fitted pad that are for show only turn out. Everything else is fair game . I end up going to about 11-12 shows per year, so I don't really think it would be worth me having two sets of everything. I try to keep my equipment clean and tidy so it remains in good condition and doesn't look out of place in the show ring.


        • #5
          I have a second pair of front boots and a fancy belly guard girth I save for shows. Otherwise, everything else is the same. Not enough space or money to have two of everything!


          • #6
            Show only saddle pads and maybe boots.


            • #7
              Horsewise - my saddles and bits are the only thing I use everyday and at shows. I have a second set of everything else that is used exclusively for shows.

              I feel your pain...I started a 3rd horse this year and he needed everything except the bridle and girth.

              It's just easier to have a set of stuff that's clean and in great shape to take to shows. All of it lasts a long time and rarely needs to be replaced.


              • #8
                I don't know, I personally just use the same tack as I use on a daily basis for hunters and jumpers. The only reason any horse would have multiple tack items is because I school them in a different bit or nose band on the flat vs. over fences. The only thing I keep for shows separate is the saddle pads, shirts, white breeches and jackets.

                I used to have everything in double just for show, but I found that I would spend all of this money on really nice show gear and it would never be used. So I decided I may as well use the stuff I have spent money on. I do try and keep all of my stuff in good condition, and keep it all "show worthy".


                • #9
                  I use my Pessoa saddle for schooling and show. Right now I use the same martingale, but I'm working on getting one to match my show bridle.

                  I have a separate bridle, girth, half pad, tall boots, helmet, breeches, halter and lead rope, and cooler just for shows.

                  I do the hunters, btw. And everything thats just for shows, I keep at home in a tack trunk in my room. Not enough room at my barn and it'll get ruined.

                  I only use all the stuff for show because its so nice and I want to keep it show worthy and only use it when necessary. But we show often enough, so it still gets used.
                  In my opinion a horse is the animal to have. Eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs. Its something you just can't get from a pet hamster.
                  In The Nick of Time


                  • #10
                    I don't show in the upper levels, so ymmv, but I think it looks weird when someone is showing in an obviously rarely-used piece of leather equipment.

                    So, I invested in a quality bridle that doesn't look cheap and I use it ever day. It cleans up nicely and is very presentable in the ring. I love leather that has a nice patina on it from use.

                    But I'm also the kind of rider where I have to ride in tall boots A LOT before a show (like... 3 months out). If I want to show as well as I school (and I only show when I'm schooling as good as I'd want to show!), I want to replicate everything from home as much as possible. If your stuff is neat, clean, presentable and obviously used, I think you look like you belong much more than the person with show gear they only pull out 3x/year.

                    Of course, if you are showing every weekend, your show gear would get used enough that it isn't foreign to you or your horse. That is a situation where I might have duplicates.


                    • #11
                      I use my almost all of tack everyday. I believe in practicing like you compete. Bridles, martingales, etc. are all nice enough to go show because I take care of them. I do ride in a leather girth for adult eq (and DD does in hunters) but we normally ride in a fleece at home because I think it looks more comfortable for them. Saddle pads are show-only, too, because they get so dirty and I can't stand for them to not be bright white.

                      I ride in my tall boots all the time. They clean up fine with some elbow grease. When I was saving them, I'd get to a show and the feel was so different I couldn't ride well. Now I can't stand riding in my half-chaps on the rare occasion that I have to. My breeches seem to go from show to schooling with use.
                      A proud friend of bar.ka.


                      • #12
                        Most of my stuff does double duty. I have three bridles, two of which were supposed to be "show only", but that didn't last long. They clean up fine for the shows. Only thing on the horse that is show only are the assortment of white saddle pads. For me, I bought a pair of Monacos that will never see a horse outside of clinics and shows TS breeches are also show only. The helmet does double duty - I love my GPA but can't afford two of 'em.
                        The big guy: Lincoln

                        Southern Maryland Equestrian


                        • #13
                          I have separate pads, boots, (horse and human), and a different helmet for shows. I use the same bridle, halter, saddle, and girth everyday riding and shows. I don't have enough money to buy a separate saddle and bridle for shows, so I just take care of the nice stuff I have...


                          • #14
                            I use everything except my saddle pad for schooling and shows. Nothing worse than showing in a slippery pair of breeches or boots.

                            I take really good care of all my tack/equipment and do buy good quaility; so schooling or show, it looks show ready and holds up beautifully for many years. If it wears or gets damaged then I replace it and use the new item in the show ring and still for schooling.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.


                            • #15
                              I don't save anything for the show ring in regards to horse tack. I might have a bit or two for one of my horses that only gets pulled out for the first day of shows for control issues, but nothing that I save for the looks.

                              I have some nice bridles that don't get used because I've got too many, but I absolutely hate changing ANYTHING between home and the show. Especially bits, girths, martingales, etc. (i.e. functional pieces of tack). I guess I also have some saddle pads that only get used at shows, but 90% of the time I just show in my plain white square pads that I also ride in every day at home.
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW


                              • #16
                                I once had schooling tack and 'show tack' but as I began to incorporate more high-quality items into my tack room, the line has blurred a bit. I still have a Dover Circuit bridle that gets abused, but I've replaced the reins on it and it's actually rather attractive.

                                I have a Hadfield's bridle that I do try not to school in...in general, that's how it works. Saddle pads, and boots, aren't included in this. I also like to keep the functional pieces of tack the same - as PNW mentioned...martingales, girths, bits...I do have multiples, but things earn a 'favorite' tag and are always properly adjusted, wont rub, ect.


                                • #17
                                  I have a loffly New Cavalry bridle that I save for shows. And, because I ride with baby pads at home, I save my fitted pads for shows. Everything else does double duty (although I would love a martingale to match the bridle--I have a breastplate that DH bought me for my previous horse, but this one wants a martingale instead).

                                  For clothes, I ride in boots & breeches every day, but I do save my Ariat breeches for shows and school in Kerrits. I'm hell on breeches.

                                  I do have a separate groom kit that lives in my show trunk, and wouldn't mind a second longe line as well.
                                  Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                                  • #18
                                    I have a second bridle, but it's not a show bridle per say. It travels in my trunk in case it is needed (along with an extra girth, breastplate, and stirrup leathers).

                                    Specifically for shows I have:
                                    - an extra lunge line (matches show colours)
                                    - front and back boots
                                    - a sheet and cooler (also matches show colours)
                                    - leather halter and lead
                                    - saddle pads (depending on the type of show it may match or just be white)

                                    I'm probably missing something. Will check my trunk later....
                                    Riding the winds of change

                                    Heeling NRG Aussies
                                    Like us on facebook!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sansibar View Post
                                      I used to have everything in double just for show, but I found that I would spend all of this money on really nice show gear and it would never be used. So I decided I may as well use the stuff I have spent money on. I do try and keep all of my stuff in good condition, and keep it all "show worthy".
                                      Yep. I used to have two set of stuff and then one day I decided I would rather actually USE my show stuff than let it sit in a tack trunk somewhere.

                                      The only thing I have just for shows are some saddle pads and a fleece girth or two for the sensitive skinned boy.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                                      • #20
                                        The only 3 things I have that are reserved for shows only are: 1) saddle pad; 2) dress sheet; and 3) really nice leather halter I bought in France. Everything else does double duty.
                                        Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson