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Calling all fashionistas: My horse needs a makeover for the eq ring!

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  • Calling all fashionistas: My horse needs a makeover for the eq ring!

    Right, so as I my youngster and I begin boot camp for the eq ring next year (long story, but basically, I'm using the eq to put miles on him. Hey, why not?), I have realized that we seem to need a bit of fashion help. Well, really, my horse does.

    He's got a reddish brown Prestige that fits us both nicely, so the saddle isn't a problem. I'm picking up some nice leather open fronts (with interchangeable liners) that match it very nicely, so I think I'm set there.

    I do, however, need to find...

    -A hunter bridle that matches the saddle pretty well and fits his tiny head. He wears a cob nicely. Anything I need to know about sizing in some of the nicer brands? (or any brands suggested?) I know different brands run differently size-wise, so I want to be careful there. I'd like padding and fancy stitching, probably a noseband on the wider side to make his head look a bit nicer. (and he likes wider nosebands). Not looking to spend tons, probably mid range (about $300 or so).

    -Reins to match the bridle, although perhaps not the same brand because I'd rather not spend an arm and a leg on reins. I like to have a spare on hand, so I'd probably get two pairs. It's possible that I might use a pelham, though, so would it be better to buy one pair of laced reins and then a pair of curb reins?

    -A fleece pad that fits the saddle (it's a 16.5). I haven't seen anyone showing in just a half pad in the eq, and I prefer the look of a fleece pad anyways.
    -Possibly a standing martingale? Are those advised for the "look" or does it matter?

    As you can see, I need a LOT of suggestions for brands and whatnot... Pretty much a newbie to showing in the eq and I want to give it our best, not only out of a desire to look the part, but also to respect the judges and other competitors. TIA!
    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

  • #2
    For the standing martingale, if he doesn't need it, don't use it. That fashion's more of a hunter thing. Though a lot of the top eq riders use one, meh, if you don't need one, don't bother.

    If you use a pelham, you definitely need a pair of laced reins and a pair of curb reins.


    • #3
      Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
      -A hunter bridle that matches the saddle pretty well and fits his tiny head. He wears a cob nicely. Anything I need to know about sizing in some of the nicer brands? (or any brands suggested?)
      Edgewoods tend to run large (and stretch) while Hadfields run small.


      • #4
        Take your saddle to a saddle shop and find the pad. We tried on quite a few to find one that fit my daughter's last saddle - all the minute changes that differentiate saddles means that fitting a pad isn't as easy as it may seem.
        A proud friend of bar.ka.


        • #5
          Welcome to equitation land. It's lots of fun!

          My suggestion for a bridle is to check out the selection on Premier Tack Outlet's site - Rebecca has some nice ones on there (both new and used) and she usually offers very good deals. I know she had a reddish-brown Pessoa bridle on there with a wide noseband for around $200 that would probably match your saddle nicely. If you don't see anything on her site when you check it out, you can also email her and tell her what you are looking for; she often has more stock than what is listed and seems to be able to find things pretty quickly.

          If you are going to use a pelham, definitely get a pair of regular laced reins and a pair of curb reins to match. If you get good quality, a pair of reins should last you for years and years (several of mine are actually a couple decades old and still in beautiful condition) so I wouldn't be terribly worried about needing a spare pair right away.

          By the way she also often has very nice open front and matching ankle boots for sale well below the market price. Last time I looked she had some very nice Equifit boots on sale that would be lovely for the eq ring (where you do not want anything distracting on the horse's legs, ie - no big fluffy sheepskin things.) If your horse is sensitive and you need the fleece linings to prevent rubs, do get the models where the fleece doesn't puff out beyond the boots themselves.

          I agree with the recommendation to take your saddle to the shop to buy the fitted pad (and remember they tend to shrink when laundered so get one that is large enough to still fit once it's been washed a few times. I personally like the Wilkers pads, but Toklat makes nice ones as well.)

          Have fun!
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


          • #6
            You can't go wrong if you follow Lucassb's advice, she is COTH's resident expert on correct turnout and fashion too. I second the recommendation of Premier Tack Outlet, and the wide noseband Pessoa Rebecca has listed sounds like just what you are looking for. I would also recommend Edgewood if you are looking for something in a reddish brown leather, especially as they make a matching curb rein too.


            • #7
              I scored a lovely Arc de Triumph bridle on sale a while back. For the cob sizing (and all their bridles, actually) the noseband seems to run huge.

              I used to buy Butet show pads from Beval to get extra long and extra forward flap sizes. I'm not sure if they make the custom pads anymore, I can't seem to find them. If your saddle is normal sized though, just take it to the tack store or try a few different ones and return the others.

              Skip the martingale and put the money towards nice reins


              • Original Poster

                Thank you so much everyone! I can't believe I forgot about Premier Tack, they were the first place I looked last time I was on a bridle hunt. The boots I'm getting (doing a boot swap with an old trainer, lol) do have sheepskin liners but they're interchangeable and don't stick out much past the boot. If they look distracting on the horse I'll just use the neoprene type liners.
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.