Saturday, March 21, 2015

Equipment Change

If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed Pig sporting some changed equipment in recent photos. And, if you follow Instagram, you're probably even more aware of some of them. So as a quick note, let's break down what I've changed in the last two months!


1. The Noseband

So regal. Such a disaster of a bridle.
Normally, Pig goes in a drop noseband. I use a drop almost exclusively to mitigate my busy hands. The drop holds the bit steadier in his mouth while I figure myself out. We both appreciate that.

However, Pig bashed his head on something a month ago and ended up with a cut right where the strap for the drop rubs. The strap kept irritating the cut, so I ended up switching him to a regular English noseband. The white padding does nothing for his face, and it has brass buckles, where everything else on his bridle is silver. But, the new noseband does not rub. Soo... #functionbeatsform

We'll switch back to the drop when the scab finally falls off, but until then the English noseband is just fine. Honestly, we probably don't need the drop any more.

2. The Bit
Mmmm brass and silver and white. Mmmm bleeding eyes. Mmmm...
After having a conversation with my trainer about choosing bits, I had it in the back of my mind to try Pig in a snaffle with a more welcoming metal than stainless steel. He's always been so tough in the bridle (part of which is me, of course!), and I wondered if a different metal might make a difference. I've been thinking about this for so long, I even wrote about it back in November.

Luckily, I had a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra bradoon hanging around, so I decided to just toss it on his bridle to see how he went in it.

The result? It's not a miracle bit. Pig is still slightly difficult to get to accept contact, and still a little stiff in the poll. However, there is a difference. His mouth feels ... softer? with this bit. He might be tight and stiff in his back and neck, but he's more willing in his mouth. Overall, it seems to just encourage him to be more present in my hand. Any little bit of encouragement there is a plus in my book, so the bradoon stays.

Now the question: Do I just show him in the bradoon? Or buy the KK Ultra snaffle version? I'm actually leaning towards just showing with the bradoon. The rings don't look silly small on him, though the brass with silver kind of bugs me. I am also the cheapest person I know. I'll probably just stick with this.

3. Fleece!
Wow, this is a terrible photo.
After trying a Mattes pad on Pig for a few rides, I liked how much more even the sweat patterns on his back and saddle pads appeared. So, I went searching for a fleece pad of my own. I scored a used Dover pad for $45. I've seen the Dover pads before, and the quality is pretty good. I wasn't disappointed. While the pad is definitely in a used condition, it does the job just fine. It's maybe a smidgen too small, but doesn't seem to effect the saddle fit poorly.

Pig goes fine in the pad, but he goes about the same in every saddle/pad/fitting configuration you can think up. The horse just does not mind saddle fit. I am comforted by the more even sweat patterns, though. Overall? The pad stays.

How about you guys? Any new changes going on with your tack for spring? Other than PS of Sweden? I mean, come on guys. We aren't made of money! ;)

25 comments:

  1. "other than PS of Sweden".... I've got nothing then ... allPSallthetime.

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  2. I think that one of the things that I liked most when I did my working student program, was that they were very old school European. If it worked, fit, and was functional, use it and take good care of it :)

    I just sold my Ogilvy (it was just sitting there collecting dust), so I think I'm going to buy Indy a Total Saddle Fit girth and Winn BoT bell boots with that extra change. Other than that, my tack will probably stay the same :)

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    1. I like that Euro approach. I pretty much try to stay on the functional side, I can't really afford all the pretties anyway!!

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  3. The PS comment made me laugh. :D

    I'm actually thinking about trying a figure-8. Gasp. I've always been for function over form, always, but....somewhere over the winter I got a bit vain. Something in me wants her to look cute and a regular cavesson doesn't do anything for her face. I'm so conflicted. I shouldn't use something just because I think it's pretty, I know. ...

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    1. Ooh! A figure 8 could be fun! That's a pretty inexpensive change with impact!

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  4. The PS comment made me laugh. :D

    I'm actually thinking about trying a figure-8. Gasp. I've always been for function over form, always, but....somewhere over the winter I got a bit vain. Something in me wants her to look cute and a regular cavesson doesn't do anything for her face. I'm so conflicted. I shouldn't use something just because I think it's pretty, I know. ...

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  5. I've been thinking of buying a Neue Schule snaffle for Gina. She goes fine in her cheap loose ring, but I'm SUPER curious if she'd like one of those bits!

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    1. I have a Neue Schule weymouth, and am totally impressed with their bits. It's delicate and beautiful and my horse actually goes in it. Their Team Up snaffle is something I've looked at pretty hard!!

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  6. I've been thinking of buying a Neue Schule snaffle for Gina. She goes fine in her cheap loose ring, but I'm SUPER curious if she'd like one of those bits!

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  7. Not yet, but I am sort of hoping Izzy Zweibr├╝cker needs something once he's fully under saddle. While I am very careful with my money, new stuff is kind of fun. :0)

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    1. Oh it's so fun! I bet Izzy will need something uniquely his once you guys get up and working. ;)

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  8. Oops my new goodies are PS goodies! Havent debuted on my blog yet. But there is a new browband and I swapped my cwd breastplate for an antares breastplate. SprinklerBandit is now rocking the cwd. Tack hoarding friends are the best

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    1. New browband safe super exciting for dressage people! :) Omg. Tack hoarding friends ARE the best. In fact, that noseband is actually from SprinklerBandit, it's a nice quality, even if it doesn't work well on Pig.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Weeeeeeee new things!
    Kika got a new bit at the weekend and Nancy's saddle got new stirrup irons - but that is more for me than her ;-)
    We also got new spurs & schooling whip...Again more for me than them - poor Nancy, being an easy - going horse she gets the raw end of the tackho dealings.
    Post of shopping splurges planned for Tuesday...now to write the thing *blush*

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    1. Ooooh! Fancy new stuff! I know you've been drooling over new bits for Kika for awhile, so I'm excited to hear the details! :)

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    2. Nothing that exciting, just replaced like with like. If it ain't broke don't fix it - lesson numerous uno when it comes to Miss Kika!

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  11. WELL since over fall/winter I have acquired a new saddle, TSF girth, and new tall boots, I am not allowed to buy tack ever again. But I have some new front XC boots coming in the mail... ;)

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  12. In the last few months I've had to purchase a new saddle and half pad to help said saddle fit downhill built pony better. I'm lusting after a PS of Sweden High Jump bridle, though Micklem just came out with/Dover just started carrying a new fancy stitch version that looks like it may work as well. So torn! In regards to the new half pad, I ended up going with a Prolite Tri-half pad over a TSF with wither relief. I haven't been able to ride in my new saddle with it (had to send it back for a minor repair and extra flocking), but I love it with the loaner saddle I am borrowing! I need a ton of new things for myself as well, but sadly my meager budget relegates me to English Tack Trader and the like. :-)

    Happy the tack changes are working well for your pony!

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  13. nice updates - glad he's going well in them. i kinda had to adjust my eye to some mixed metals early on (my kk ultra bit has silver rings and the aurigan mouth piece), so i just went whole hog with it - getting the brass clincher brow band despite all silver buckles lol.

    but yea, i've been evaluating equipment in anticipation of the season too... and there's one piece missing that i'm starting to toy with (and observant eyes might catch a photo of it later this week haha)

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  14. My shopping has been zero lately- but I am dying for a Tom Balding custom snaffle!

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    1. Oooh! What's that?! I must know about all the new things!

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