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Tack must haves?

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  • Tack must haves?

    I've been taking lessons since April, everything is provided with the lesson horse. I'm looking at leasing a horse and I need to start (slowly) collecting my own tack. In what order/what are absolute must have items to get(I do own a helmet and a couple of saddle pads)? I'm on a low-medium budget and I'm not looking at high end things, I really don't want to give my husband second thoughts on this horsey thing.

  • #2
    A saddle a great one to start out with is a nice used beval. My first 3 saddles were bevals.


    • #3
      A nice used saddle is probably a good idea, no reason to spend too much. You might also want to look at Pessoa's.

      Your own set of grooming brushes if you don't have some already.

      If your lease horse isn't in-barn already and doesn't come with his own bridle you may want to look for an inexpensive one (under $60 or so from Dover) so you don't need to share.


      • #4
        I'd third the saddle. I'm a leaser, not an owner, like you. And because of that I chose a saddle that is highly adjustable. That means an adjustable tree and wool flocked panels. I chose a Tououlse with the Genesis tree and Soft Touch panels (wool flocked with a thin layer of latex right under the panel skin.

        It's been through one appendix QH and two thoroughbreds and each time it has never been hard to get a perfect (not adequate, but perfect) fit. For two of the three horses I've had to involve a fitter, but for the last one adding a sheepskin half pad was enough to erase the minor differences left.


        • #5
          Saddle, girth, bridle, brushes. I assume you have boots or paddocks and half chaps or full chaps... that's really all you NEED. You will probably end up with a whole lot more stuff that that's the basics.


          • #6
            Sometimes when you lease the owner wants you to use their stuff and sometimes you need to get your own. If it is an in barn lease, the horse probably has blankets, bridle, etc. so talk to your instructor to get an idea of what you would need if you lease as your instructor probably will help you find a horse.


            • Original Poster

              This won't be an in barn lease, the barn I lesson at has a single lesson horse(that's not really hers). I do have boots/half chaps as well. I was looking at the Tououlse saddles, glad to see a good review.


              • #8
                A saddle (go higher-quality used rather than lesser quality new), bridle, girth and martingale (if necessary) are the big tack purchases.

                My barn supplies blankets, grooming equipment, polos/wraps, saddle pads, but if yours doesn't, add it to the list.


                • #9
                  I haven't heard much that's good about Toulouse saddles; shoddy construction, mediocre at best leather, lack of resale value. I second Tha Ridge's suggestion of a higher-quality used saddle rather than a new one. A good brand will hold its value for resale later- I'm thinking of brands like Beval, old-school (not the newer) Pessoas, Crosby, any of the French brands if you can find one for a steal (and sometimes you can.) The Dover Circuit line is economical and I've liked most of the ones I've ridden in. Even though you're just leasing it does make sense to hold off and purchase this once you've actually got the horse to make sure your beautiful new saddle fits the horse. Ask me how I know this.

                  Bridle and girth are places you can economize- the $200 girth is really no better than the $50 girth. You can find these used online with far less certainty than buying a used saddle off of eBay. There are so many good bridles now in the $100-$200 range; there are adequate bridles below that, but I like leather that feels like it was once part of a cow rather than brewed up in a manufacturing plant.

                  Basic grooming kit of curry, hard brush, dandy brush, soft brush, mane comb, tail detangling equipment of your choice, hoof pick, rub rag in some container that will allow you room to inevitably expand this selection. You will grow to have 4 different curries, 6 different brushes, and a lot of bottles in your grooming tote. Accept this now.

                  Container for all your equipment. A big Rubbermaid tote is fine. The steamer trunk in your attic is fine. A Stanley trunk is better. You want something with a well-secured lid made of a substantial material- the cheap Rubbermaid totes are not mouse-proof.

                  Horse treats.
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                  • #10
                    .What are the school saddles like? Are they pretty good quality? If they are, I would consider investing in some stirrup leathers and leaving it at that for now. Otherwise the rest of the suggestions are pretty good!

                    ETA: I didn't see mention of a lease in the OP, but if you need to equip yourself and a horse obviously that is a different story.


                    • #11
                      I was also going to suggest sticking with just leathers and irons. That way you don't have to adjust them every time you get on. Don't bother getting a saddle until you have a horse to fit it to. Adjustable doesn't mean it will fit everything. Sometimes people leasing their horses want the horse's saddle to go with it so you may not even need one. Wait til you get the horse.


                      • #12
                        Pessoa saddle! Got it after trying a few much more expensive ones and love it. Also saddle oil. And bendy stirrups.


                        • #13
                          I also recommend a higher end used saddle rather than lower end new. Higher end saddles hold up, and while the new one might be shiny and pwetty, it won't stay that way for long.
                          A bridle brand to look at is Red Barn-lots of styles to suit a variety of horse faces, good quality for a bridle that hovers around the $100 mark, and could be used as a show bridle in a pinch if you take care of it.
                          I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
                          Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
                          Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


                          • #14
                            In the Dover clearance section there are alot of decent deals on saddles that have a little blemish or lightly used. I would try as many saddles as you can or atleast sit in them to determine what you like and then search for a deal!


                            • #15
                              Don't rush to buy a saddle or just any saddle - you will likely hate it quickly. If you can make do with just irons and stirrup leathers while you take your time to explore your saddle options, great.

                              I agree you want the best saddle you can afford. The best - not the most expensive. I would absolutely stay away from Toulouse, Wintec. Pessoa, Beval, and the French saddles are better made, more balanced, and better for your position. Crosby also has a good reputation. Ovation seems OK, too. Buy a nice used one to get the best value for your $. And if you sell it later, you may break even! Make sure the leather is still supple enough and the panels are soft. Keep it conditioned and it will help you stay in the saddle where a lesser quality or slick leather will not.

                              I recommend a nice close contact saddle over all purpose. AP saddles are best for kids and trails, rather than jumping.

                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #16
                                I also would steer clear of the Toulouse. It seems from what I've heard the quality can vary saddle to saddle. If you buy a saddle, I'd buy a quality used saddle. It will cost the same or less as a new Toulouse. Buying a saddle that will work for you over the long haul can be tricky unless you have help from an educated fitter/friend who can help you find a saddle that is "horse friendly" and which works for your conformation. An ill fitting saddle will not do you any favors as it will put you off balance at a minimum and could even cause issues with the horse's back. If you do try to buy a saddle with a fitter's help, find one who does not rep a particular brand.

                                However, unless YOU are a hard fit (very tall, for example) I probably wouldn't buy a saddle until I wanted to fit a specific horse. When I've leased one of my horses in the past I only let the lessee ride in their own tack if a saddle fitter confirmed the fit, otherwise, they rode in mine.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                • #17
                                  I actually LOVED my M. Toulouse Celine - only reason I gave it up was because my new big guy was too beastly for it. I put it on consignment at a local tack place, it went out on trial the next day, and six days later it was sold for $225 less than I paid for it new - I took really good care of it. I am sure people's mileage varies, but it's not always a bad deal to get them.
                                  Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                                  • #18
                                    OP, all I will say about the quality of my Toulouse saddle (can't speak for others) is that the first fitter who worked with it decided she wanted to include at least the MT Platinum line in her offerings after carefully examining mine up during a fitting. She also reps Stubben, Albion, and Custom Saddlery saddles.

                                    Mine was purchased in early April and has been in constant use 3-5x weekly. It has seen arena use, flatwork, jumping, hacking out, cross country, and hunter paces.

                                    I just brought it home for its second deep cleaning and conditioning and the only wear I can see is a little discoloration on the flaps under the leathers. Will it ever fit every back shape? Of course not. It won't fit very curvy backs, just like some brands do not really fit flat backed horses. But within the general back shapes that it will fit, it has a high degree of adjustability. Certainly more than most saddles that have a fixed tree and foam filled panels.

                                    The balance is just fine for me too, once it is adjusted to sit correctly on the horse's back.

                                    There are also good points made here about used saddles. So now you have a bit more info to make a decision.


                                    • #19
                                      I have two Toulouse saddles, and I think they get a bad rap. I really like my two. I take good care of them. I knew when I bought it that I wasn't buying a Devocoux (sorry on sp), but I'm okay with that. I didn't want to spend what even a used big-name saddle would cost. Maybe some day, but for now I'm absolutely happy with the Toulouse.
                                      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                      ¯ Oscar Wilde


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                                        Basic grooming kit of curry, hard brush, dandy brush, soft brush, mane comb, tail detangling equipment of your choice, hoof pick, rub rag in some container that will allow you room to inevitably expand this selection. You will grow to have 4 different curries, 6 different brushes, and a lot of bottles in your grooming tote. Accept this now.

                                        Container for all your equipment. A big Rubbermaid tote is fine. The steamer trunk in your attic is fine. A Stanley trunk is better. You want something with a well-secured lid made of a substantial material- the cheap Rubbermaid totes are not mouse-proof.

                                        Horse treats.
                                        Horse treats are a must. No ifs ands or buts

                                        Stanley trunks are da bomb. They roll easily, they're sturdy and they're big enough to hold all your stuff, but small enough that they don't allow you to hoard And yes, you will definitely need to accept it now that you will have multiples of the same kind of brush. I have two stiff brushes...a standard one, and a slightly softer one because Dottie hates the other one. As far as tack, a saddle is definitely a must-have, but like others have said it might be better to get it once you have the horse. You might want to wait on the girth too because there's nothing more annoying than buying the wrong size. I don't know if you jump, but a pair of splint boots would be a good investment. Davis makes a decent pair that goes for about $30. A bridle would be a good purchase too. Smartpak has their own line of bridles; I just got the plymouth bridle for about $70. It's good quality, especially considering the price.

                                        ETA: Ditto to the thing about getting a used high end saddle vs. a new lower end saddle. That's one thing I wish I had done differently when I got my horse. Also, don't be too eager to look at collegiate saddles. They're decent and adjustable, but you could definitely do better and spend less if you look at used saddles IMO.
                                        If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                                        If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                                        If I smell like manure, I tripped.