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  • Erin Long

Strategic Equipment

Today we're going to talk about how to build a rig for showing and training your horse!

First, consider how to use your equipment efficiently. A simple headstall that matches your saddle works great for flipping between showing and training. A plain set of nylon split reins are an awesome and functional piece of tack that almost any western tack room would be remiss without. I also prefer to buy a plain saddle pad that I can put under a saddle blanket for showing, rather than a two-in-one that may not match in the future or will get dirty easily. 

Next, what can you buy secondhand? My breastcollar was secondhand, and has now become a training piece. That said, it was great to show in as well. Remember - judges in most disciplines like clean and functional over gorgeous any day of the week. 

Third, don't skimp where it matters! Your horse's saddle, pad, and cinch are absolutely imperative to him doing his job properly. Don't buy the saddle with the cute seat if it won't fit your horse or last. Don't buy an ill fitted cinch because you can get it in pretty mohair colors at a discount. Don't buy the cheapest pad if it won't conform to your horse's back. You can skimp on breastcollars or headstalls, and you can save money buying important things secondhand, but don't hesitate to blow most of your budget on a saddle and cinch that fit *perfectly*, then save for the rest. 

Here's a run down of the equipment I use on Sid: - Simple loose ring lozenge snaffle bit

- Thinline sheepskin lined western pad - Plain neoprene dressage girth from Smartpak - DP Saddlery Quantum Western Short and Light - Brown leather hunter reins - Weaver Leather latigo leather headstall - Sundial Show Clothing show blanket for competitions What is your favorite piece of tack you own? Comment below!

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Parker, CO 80134

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