Friday, July 3, 2009

New Headstall

When my oldest, favorite bridle broke and we lost the clip, I knew I had to either repair it or replace it right away. I did not want to have to lose any riding time due to not having a bridle that fits all of my horses. I immediately went to the local feed store in hopes of finding a replacement clip, but they didn't have one.

I recalled the hassle of dealing with the rude man at the local hardware store when I lost the Chicago screw on my other bridle, and didn't want to have to go through that again in an attempt to locate a clip. Horse tack hardware is not standard for most hardware stores to carry. If a tack shop doesn't have any, I doubt the hardware store will. I also didn't want to have to wait for an Internet order to arrive. So, I asked the clerk to help me pick out a new bridle.

Of course, they stock for Quarter Horses, not Arabians. It turned out that this lady owns Arabs too, and she told me she has to order everything over the Internet despite working in a tack shop / feed store. She pulled out a nice looking light oil headstall with clips and held it up to my old bridle. It was bigger, but the leather was thicker and better quality.

I loved the dark oil detail and the brass. My favorite reins are very dark, but I thought perhaps the dark details would let me get away with using dark reins with a light headstall, and of course I can always darken the headstall with Neats Foot Oil.

The headstall was only $37, so I decided to give it a try. The clerk said that I could take it home and try it on. As long as I left the tags on, I could return it.

I didn't mind making an extra trip to return it, because the shop is only a couple of miles away. I decided to give it a shot. It was made by Alamo Saddlery. I wasn't sure if the horses would let me try it on them without me first haltering and tying them, but wanted to at least try to get their cooperation.

I approached Bombay first. He was excitedly nodding his head up and down like a child who got a new toy. I asked him if he would model some new clothes for me. He nodded, and then lowered his head for me to slip it on. I adjusted the buckles with only one hole to spare and the chin strap was slightly too tight. I figured I could punch another hole if softening the leather doesn't stretch it out a little more. The decorative leather straps did get in the way of buckling the chin strap, but that was another thing I figured would resolve itself with some softening.

Then I tried the headstall on Lostine, who also was happy to model for me. The light oil looks so nice against her flashy chestnut fur. I had to use the last hole to adjust it, but it did fit her. I especially liked the way the side straps were pulled back away from her eyes. I had to constantly be adjusting that old, broken bridle to keep it away from the horse's eyes, and that was a bridle designed specifically for Arabs. Both Bombay and Lostine gave it the nod. Looks like we'll be keeping this one.


Breathe said...

I really like that one. Especially the way it's away from the eyes the way you mentioned.

I'm going to need a new one since I won't be keeping my arab one ear. Unless a one ear will fit my QH. Hmm. Guess I need to check first. I like the one ear - it was necessary because Canyon was very shy about his right ear and I never could get him past it. So I bought a one ear and just fastened it every time.

Kate said...

Looks very nice! I have a similar bridle with the lighter leather and dark details, and like it very much.

Katharine Swan said...

It looks great! WOW! I know exactly what you mean about bridles and Arabs -- Panama's is cob size, and I STILL had to have them shorten the throat latch and put an extra hole in each cheekpiece to shorten it.

Reddunappy said...

The new bridle looks great! It should look just fine with the darker reins!

jane augenstein said...

Nice bridle, looks good on your horse! For Gilly I like black tack, it goes well with his black markings.
Have a great 4th!!!
~Jane and Gilly~

manker said...

my dh makes custom leather tack.. i'll have to show him this beauty


Sydney said...

That is a very nice bridle. Looks good on Lostine.

Paint Girl said...

Your new bridle looks alot like the one I bought for Fritzy last fall. It's the same color, and thickness, with the darker accents. But doesn't have the clips.
I think it looks very nice on Lostine! Lostine has a very long forelock! Love it!
Love your pictures!!

Pony Girl said...

I think it's unique and flashy, and looks great on! I think it will work with the darker reins. I love the last photo with the long forelock!

Alex said...

i agree- it looks especially nice on the chestnut coat! And for that price, its a keeper for sure!