Today I am taking up the challenge from Haynet and Equestrian Co to write about my tack because a. I love talking about anything and everything to do with Pea (if you haven’t read her story please do) and b. I would really love to win a tack trolley to help my post hip replacement body not have to carry so much! For me, each piece of Pea’s tack is special. It represents her new (or now not so new) life as a single human owner. It represents me and us and the sheer joy of PopPea (our totally cringe couple name).
Long before I bought Pea (while I was leasing her), I bought her a Kincade flash bridle from Countrywide (RIP). It was no different to the bridle she had already, aside from the fact that it was my first proper purchase for her (numnahs dont count!) It is now hung on the wall in my spare room/study with our rosettes.
I learnt how to make patterned browbands out of ribbon when I first started leasing Pea in April 2014 which was the start of a series of girly browbands for Pea. I have always run with the theory that if I’m going to have a pretty little mare, I can get away with pink, sparkles, patterns and all things girly. Once Pea had gone through blue and white ribbons, pink ribbons and all sorts of other bright and beautifuls, I treated her to her first diamonds (ha!) In November 2015, Rachel (my top hacking buddy) and I celebrated our birthdays with a trip to Your Horse Live. It was amazing, we loved it and I came away with the most tasteful sparkly browband I could find!
This was the biggy. Once I had bought Pea (in 2016), I needed and wanted to get her a saddle of her own. The saddle Pea has before I bought her used to belong to a different pony. It fitted fine but it wasn’t altered to fit her and it certainly didn’t fit my bum very well! I opted for a Thorowgood T8 Cob GP saddle. I wanted to buy new but my budget was pretty limited having just, for the first time in my life, bought a pony! We had a few Thorowgoods at the yard and I liked the flexibility of the changeable gullets. The Thorowgoods we had were T4s and I had seen far too often how long it takes for a suede seat to dry out after a rainy hack so I knew I didn’t want one of those. The day the saddler came to fit my saddle was the day I truly felt the difference a saddle could make. At that point I could barely pick up canter but with my new saddle, I was cantering all round the school! My saddle genuinely went home to bed with me in the early days. I loved it then and I always will however much some people frown upon it for only being part leather!
At the same time I bought the saddle I bought Pea her own girth. It is non slip and elasticated on both ends from Dever. My saddler recommended it to me due to the rather round belly of Pea. I have never had any saddle slip issues so it must do its job – it is a regular reminder of how well Pea’s diet plan is going!
In the summer of 2016 I bought my own stirrups – chunky Compositi Reflex stirrups with a wide tread. These are more a representation of my failings rather than the joy of some of the rest of our tack. I did and still have found it hard to keep my feet where they should be, particularly my left (formerly known as my ‘bad side’!) I figured the width and non slippy nature of these stirrups would help me. I hope that with my new ‘new side’ and improved bionic body (post hip replacement) I will be able to graduate to Compositi Profiles instead – we will have to see!
Until I started writing this, the significance of some of my tack was forgotton – Pea’s bit for example. In August 2017 Pea and I embarked on our adventure to a new home and, after using the same bit from our original yard up until this point, there we started a bit (ha!) of bit experimentation. I tried a hanging cheek snaffle after an exciting trip out cubbing but went back to a loose ring snaffle with a lozenge like we had before – simple and familiar. I’d love to go to a bit clinic and see what bit would really suit Pea – has anyone been to one?
The (Other) Bridle
On our return home to our original yard in Gloucestershire a few months ago, I bought Pea a Micklem bridle (with a sparkly browband of course). I had considered it for a long time and lots of my friends have or had them for their horses. I am yet to discover whether the ‘kind and sympathetic’ design has any positive effect on Pea as I barely had a chance to ride her in it before I had to stop for my operation but it doesn’t appear to have done any harm!
I dream of having a dressage saddle. Now that I have found the discipline I want to pursue it has become the top of my fantasy shopping list and I am rather enjoying the research for it. A dressage saddle would represent the next stage in the journey for me and Pea and you never know, we might be lucky enough to have a tack trolley to put it on!