Saturday, July 28, 2007

Eventing Tack (to fit a Percheron)

One of the biggest challenges in eventing my Percheron gelding is, surprisingly, not dressage. It is finding eventing tack to fit a draft horse. I guess there's not much of a market for jumping saddles that come in extra-wide!

I played saddle roulette on Ebay a few too many times and ended up with a saddle that didn't really fit. It took three weeks for Brego to completely backslide and go hollow and convince my ex-saddle fitter that the saddle wouldn't work. I decided to stop gambling with my horse's back. After all, if I was going to subject him to the humiliation of learning to event, he better be darn comfortable doing it.

So I found a new amazing saddle fitter, who just happens to be a saddler herself. She also works with Borné Saddlery. It took just one ride in a Borné saddle to convince me, I just had to have one. And not just any one, I wanted the eventing model! So I had the saddler get the measurements and my new saddle was on order.

I had already been able to locate a hunting bridle which would be big enough for Brego. Bobby's warmblood size tends to fit smaller drafts. He needed thicker straps on his bridle because, you know, he's so manly. And he looks really nice in the bridle. I am riding him in a french link egg-butt snaffle and he is doing really well. Since he does both dressage and jumping in the snaffle, I have no need at this time to get another bridle to make bit swapping at shows easier. I do have both rubber and web reins, if I feel the need to switch it up.

I am having my saddler custom make a jumping breast plate for Brego. It will be made to match my fabulous new saddle. I am also having her make some leather brushing boots for me. I tried the Woof XL boots and they fit around his 10 inch cannon bones, but were too long for his 10 inch long legs. The N.E.W. Maximum Performance boots fit lengthwise but are just a touch too short around his legs. At his level, he doesn't need boots really. He's barefoot and hasn't stung himself yet. The jumps barely come up to his knees so he's not having to scrape over them. So the boots are a long off goal, unless he indicates that he needs them sooner.

Well today, my saddle came in and I am so thrilled with it. I had been riding in an Albion and it was a little too small and deep for me. It definitely hampered my freedom of expression, if you know what I mean. This new saddle is custom made for Brego and for me and it felt so good riding in it today. It's also very pretty with the white accent stitching on the dark buffalo hide flaps. I asked that the rear blocks be removable so that I could take them out to lengthen my leg for dressage. I am still a bit far off from being able to afford a dedicated dressage saddle, but I intend to buy another custom Borné. Doesn't my boy (and my butt) deserve the best?


Ligeda said...

I am sure that you have seen these saddles.

It sounds as though you think there needs to be a good reason to use boots and any other decorative items. I love to hear my dressage friends explain how they never use polo wraps for whatever reason and I always say they do absolutely nothing but they look GREAT! haha

Daun said...

Some nice polo wraps to accent a horse do look great, I am in complete agreement. However, after reading this thread on Chronicle Of The Horse, I worry about heat build up near the tendon. Heat can lead to a breakdown of the supporting tissue. So, you are correct, I do not want to use boots unless the solve more problems than they may potentially cause!

And thanks for the link to the saddles. People really love their Duetts!

Duane Keys said...

My wife is getting into dressage and plans to ride our 3 year old Percheron mare! We read your blog together last night and really enjoy it!

So far we're having a heck of time finding a saddle and tack to fit her (within a reasonable price range). Slowly but surely we're collecting all the necessary items.

Mindbuzzler said...

We at Mindbuzzler Ltd have acknowledged this issue. We now supply Massimo saddles, made in Germany covering tree widths from 27 cm to 42.
Call us on 01337 870489