My tack choices are rather eclectic. Sometimes I imagine having nice matching tack, but let’s face it, I’m just not that classy.
Lovatt and Ricketts Berkeley Dressage Saddle
Nilla’s dressage saddle is a Lovatt and Ricketts Berkeley Dressage Saddle that I bought for $400 at a used tack store even though it was in brand new condition. It sells new for $3,700 so I often fantasize about selling it, but it did take me over 2 years to find a dressage saddle that fits Nilla so I’m keeping it for now.
Total Saddle Fit StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth
I really like this girth. I did a Product Review a year ago and my opinion stands. Nilla has no withers and very forward girth groove so an anatomic girth is a real necessity for her. The stretchtec in this girth allows it to mold to her body.
After she developed a girth sore from her endurance girth, I added the TSF sheepskin protector. She doesn’t need it for the TSF girth, but I keep it on even after the sore healed because I like the extra protection.
I did a review of these a while ago and I maintain my affection for them. The 90 degree bend between the stirrup and the loop for the leathers eliminates ankle pain and stress across my leg from the stirrup leathers curving. I had expensive Herm Sprengers and they did not help my ankle pain. These work great and are cheap. After borrowing them for a few rides, my husband has since bought a pair for himself.
Prestige Close Contact Saddle
I’ve had this saddle since I was in high school. It used to be black, which I know is weird for jumping saddles, but for whatever reason I really wanted a black jumping saddle. It has since aged into brown, but I can’t blame it; it’s old enough to vote. The best thing about this saddle is that it was made in the old school style of saddles where there was only one type of tree and it fit everything. And this saddle fits everything. Nilla has giant shoulders, no withers, a back as straight as a plank and this saddle fits her. It doesn’t fit Levi quite as well, but his back is very different, much narrower with big withers and a decent curve. This saddle has also seen time on Eugene and Dijon and previously on Cinder and Finnick and my college horse Snitch. I have never owned a horse this saddle does not fit. And as old as it is, it’s never needed re-flocking or serious repairs. I’ve had it examined by two different saddle-fitters and they both said it was fine. Sadly, it’s really not doing anything for me position wise and I really should replace it, but the mere thought of saddle shopping again makes me want to cry.
I probably shouldn’t be jumping in these since they’re not safety stirrups so they’re on my list to replace. Maybe if I ever get a job, I’ll buy the Freejump stirrups I pet longingly every time I see them in a tack store.
TSF Shoulder Relief Girth for Nilla
I keep waiting for TSF to come out with a StretchTec jumping girth. I would buy one tomorrow. I like the anatomical design of this girth, but it does not work as well as the StretchTec girth because the front gaps away in the middle. I also have the sheepskin liner for this girth as well. I might or might not – but definitely do – have a sheepskin addiction.
Bobby’s Tack Fancy Leather Girth for Levi
I love this girth. I’d buy one for Nilla if she didn’t need the anatomic design. The leather feels broken in from day one. The padding is soft and the whole thing is nice and flexible. It’s a gorgeous girth, which I think would fit right in with the hunter crowd and it was really affordable too.
Unknown Brand Bridle for Nilla
I love this bridle and I’m really sad that’s the teal dye is slowly chipping off. I bought it off ETT years ago and have no way of buying another. I don’t really know what to do because I just want another one exactly like this. I love the dark brown leather and the teal padding. It’s my favorite. The reins are some brand I can’t remember that I added after Nilla broke the ones I liked that matched better.
Ovation Web-A-Style Stirrup Leathers
I have these on both my dressage and jumping saddles. I hate having a buckle under my thigh. These aren’t the best quality leather, but they are at least leather so I like them better than the Wintec Webbers I’ve tried in the past. I can find no pictures of these since they’re generally behind my leg.
Micklem Deluxe Competition Bridle and Myler Ported D-Ring
I maintain my dislike for this bridle after it broke within 4 rides of my buying it brand new. However, Riding Warehouse, was generous enough to step in and replace the bridle when Horseware wouldn’t. It fits Levi so I’ve been using it because I didn’t want to buy another bridle when I had one that fit. However, he doesn’t really need the Micklem style and I’m hoping to replace this soon. I bought this bit for Nilla and she hated it. I’ve kept it though like the bit hoarder I am and Levi seems to like it pretty well.
Total Saddle Fit Six Point Saddle Pad for Nilla
Mules’ backs are different from horses’ in that they (generally) don’t curve. If you think saddle shopping is hard, I promise you, finding a saddle that fits a mule is a whole different story. Since her back doesn’t curve, I get the opposite of bridging with Nilla. This pad allows me to shim the front and back pockets, but not the middle and address that issue. Plus: Sheepskin!
Now if my horses would just heal themselves so I could show again this year.