Confessions of a tack snob

If you read this blog even semi-regularly, you know how particular I am about tack. Someone will have to pry my PS of Sweden, CWD and Devoucoux from my cold dead hands. Therefore what I have to confess to you here today might be pretty surprising… in fact, I surprised even myself.

Bobby (of Course Walks with Bobby fame) is a Wintec guy. I keep telling him that he’s the worst gay I’ve ever met, because he’s basically anti-fabulous. He has one saddle, one bridle, a white saddle pad, and a red saddle pad. That’s ALL he brings with him to events. He likes tack that he can hose off when it’s dirty, right on down to his rubber boots. I tease Bobby endlessly about his plastic and nylon and rubber ensemble, but really Wintec should be sponsoring himย because he kicks everyone’s ass in his plastic tack, including mine.

bobbybnrecord
This is what a sandbagger looks like

So, on one of our many adventures this spring I was telling Bobby about aย shop on English Tack Trader that sells Beta reins with colored rubber grips. I think he NEEDS the red ones for XC, because I will accessorize this man if it’s the last damn thing I do and no matter how much he protests. Then last week when we were out doing trot sets my Mark Todd rubber reins finally gave up the ghost and melted. Into my gloves. Like, I could open my fingers completely and my reins stayed stuck to them, that’s how melted they are. Since those reins are on my cheapie hackamore bridle that I only use for hacking and conditioning work, I really didn’t want to spend much money on reins, yet I’m pretty particular about what kind of grips I like. Enter the idea of “Well… I could just get the beta ones that I’ve been ragging on Bobby to get. They’re cheap, they have the grips I like, and no one will ever see them anyway since they’re on my ‘junker’ bridle!”. Brilliant. “And while I’m at it I should get blue, because I’m an eventer now and those kinds of ridiculous things are expected of our kind.” Double brilliant.

new reins

Off I went perusing their site to order the reins, and I stumbled across a halter made from beta. I immediately sent it to Bobby since it was his colors (red and black). He was like “OMG that’s awesome, I could just hose it off to clean it and it’ll last forever!”. Hmm… he has a point there. My nice leather halter, while I do love it, gets nastier by the day. I gave up keeping it clean a long time ago because it’s impossible. It’s perpetually dirty and the brass nameplate is tarnished and sad looking. Henry looks a little bit like a hobo horse. The Beta halters were only $40 and you could order whatever color combo you wanted. Something came over me and next thing I knew I’d ordered one of those too.

Whoops

Honestly, I don’t even know what happened. I can’t explain myself. I don’t know what to say. But somehow instead of accessorizing Bobby’s plastic and rubbery tack collection, I acquired my own. And to top it all off, I’m really not even sorry.

58 thoughts on “Confessions of a tack snob

  1. hmm i quite like that halter, send me the link! Please. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also why dont you BUY BOBBY the reins? that is what someone should do that uses and abuses him weekly:) LOL

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  2. see Bobby next time don’t walk the course with her, let her NOT have as much awesome fun without you! ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

    you two are like the muppet judges you crack me up! thanks for the link. I hate how funky halters get and would love a wipe clean one. (I feel the same way you do about Wintec (SHUDDER)!

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    1. Wintec Lite saddle – epic! I just bought it a few months ago. I don’t even have to wear a support pad because the entire bottom of the saddle is gel. Halo LOVES it!!

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  3. Whoa, melted reins sound…..interesting?
    I don’t have Roger in a leather turnout halter for that reason: he rolls every day and trying to keep it clean would be impossible! I do like your halter though, I’m sure Henry will look awesome in it! Buy ALL the blue things ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same, but the rubber on those reins looks like the rubber on the Nunn Finer Soft Grip reins. It’s about the most magical rubber rein ever!

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  5. This is what I love about evening, you don’t need all the fancy equipment to kick everyone’s ass. That being said, I love my Voltaire and I will not give it up easily. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. I’m digging the halter too, but I have so many halters that it’s kinda insane. The reins make me recall working for a therapy barn when I was in high school. They were great for the disabled students but were so sticky in the heat. I’m sure they’ve improved them since then though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The dynamic between you and Bobby is hilarious btw.

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    1. It usually takes a few years of repeated heat abuse for them to melt here, unless we have some kind of crazy high humidity. My MT reins are 4 years old now and it’s been a very rainy year, so it makes sense that they finally gave up the ghost. It’s the price you pay for rubber!

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  7. Sorry, not sorry. I like that halter! Do you think it would be safe for shipping? Like, would it break like leather? I had a Thorowgood dressage saddle from back when they were like $400 and doing the Fish inserts when I started my Warmblood mare. The thought process wastthat she wouldn’t destroy it if she fell over on it…which she did. The saddle held up great and I was actually sad to sell it when it didn’t fit Chloe. It was super comfy. I wouldn’t mind getting another one. In fact, if I can’t get my current saddle to fit properly, I’m probably going to get another one.

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  8. That is so disappointing that Bobby doesn’t like to dress up. I don’t own any beta but that halter looks nice. I totally hose my leather halter…oops? I hose it a lot and then oil it when it looks sad. Somehow that method has worked nicely for me for the past 3 years.

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  9. A bunch of people at my barn have Wintec dressage saddles and I just do not even understand it. I’ve ridden in them a few times, and coupled with full seat breeches, I feel like I am GLUED to the saddle in an uncomfortable way.

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    1. I can’t ride in my Devoucoux with full seats without feeling stuck to it either lol. I had to sell all my full seats. It’s been many years since I’ve ridden in a Wintec but I remember them feeling really wide in the twist (which I hate) and like it put me in a chair seat. Honestly, Bobby is either an anomaly or he’s a boss for riding so well in that thing!

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  10. This must be a guy thing. It took me two years to introduce my boyfriend to the wonders of quality tack made of leather and not plastic, and even now sometimes I catch him HOSING OFF the leather girth I helped him buy. He’s a work in progress.

    Also I kinda want those reins, if only to make the DQ’s faint.

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  11. Dassah’s leather halter is in such a sad state of affairs. so gross.

    I’ve got a Thorowgood AP saddle that I think I might be growing out of – it’s too AP for me I think. Anyway, I’ve had it 4-5 years and that thing doesn’t look or feel like it’s aged. It’s wool-flocked too. Not that you are looking for a new saddle nor is this relevant because it’s not a wintec. Whatevs.

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  12. Welcome to the dark side, where everything comes in every color and you’ll never need to oil your tack again. Muahahahaha!!!

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  13. so i actually love those reins and have been eyeing up some biothane tack lately an in attempt to better rig my hackamore… and while my horse’s wintec didn’t really fit either of us, it certainly put up with a ton of abuse and was easy to care for. i don’t miss it tho!

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  14. I’ll admit, I love me some beta/biothane tack. I clean my endurance bridle in the dishwasher, and it’s a thing of beauty. These halters looks incredibly nice, though! I actually thought it was leather at first glance.

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  15. I think I’m sorta in between. I mean, as much as I would love to have a Devacoux when I get a horse, it’s not really realistic. But I don’t like Wintecs because they look cheap, so I’m thinking on getting a Circuit saddle when I get a horse. They not expensive as far as saddles go, but they don’t look cheap either.

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  16. I love that type of grip rein. Mine have lasted over 1,000 miles in the last year, including two 50-mile endurance rides, and through all four seasons ranging from 90’s with 80% humidity with a slick sweating horse to rain to snowfall in sub-freezing temps. They always stay just as soft and pliable regardless of temperature, and the grip remains the same wether wet or dry.

    I get all of my biothane tack from The Distance Depot. They are a small family-owned business in MO and are wonderful to deal with. Stellar customer service. They sell these reins too for $50 ($5 less) with a HUGE range of colors to choose from and have a proper cart online; they accept payments with credit card and Paypal. They’ll make custom tack parts too in whatever color you want. Just saying. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a popular store among endurance riders but I heard about them first from an eventer!

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      1. ooh you are almost as bad as Amanda. that is a great site! Thanks (and much easier to navigate than the other one) arghhh purple reins…i want….

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      2. Am I missing something (possible, because I’m looking at it on my phone)… those say beta grip, not rubber grip? Can you get normal buckle or hook ends, not the snaps? Also, adding a center buckle makes them $60?

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          1. The description says “These reins have a soft and supple feel of Beta BioThaneยฎ with the grips built in. 3/4” wide material with large black “nubbies” built in the beta material. ” so it sounds like they’re all beta?

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          2. It’s the exact same material as yours Amanda. It’s a type of very soft beta with the pebbles, which is what makes it more flexible than rubber…and also what keeps it from melting in the heat and disintegrating in your hands over time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to *hate* rubber reins with a vengeance but I love these!

            The colored portion of the reins that is not the grip can be in either beta biothane or regular biothane (shiny) so it is a much larger selection of colors to choose from.

            And I agree with Casey: Taylored Tack also makes some *beautiful* biothane tack! ๐Ÿ˜€

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            1. The other ones are the same rubber grips that Nunn Finer uses. They’re my favorite grips – I love rubber! I’d be willing to try the beta grips but can’t get past the snaps on the end of those reins, plus the options I want would make them more expensive. I’ll stick with the ones I ordered, since they’re just for my cheapie bridle. But hey, maybe if I ever order anything beta again… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  17. I like this guy more and more… because ALL of my tack would be synthetic! (I want a Thorowgood, but I want fit a Thorowgood, first.) Arch was ridden in a Wintec for like.. six years.

    I might copy your halter after you’ve had it for a little while. Wanna know if it bleaches out!

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