Tag Archives: Tack


Last week, I went shopping. It was OK. I found some really good smelling, volumizing conditioner that I considered buying. It was a fancy brand and came in a huge bottle, plus it was on sale at Marshall’s. I thought about buying it for a half-hour as I walked around the store. Ultimately, I decided $16.00 is just too much money for conditioner.

Yesterday, I bought a few things for the horses…including these cool little horse shoe halter racks, a bit for Tango, and one other thing. I’ve been really curious about the Germany based  brand, Effol. They are sub-brand of a larger company that has been producing products for over 100 years. I happened to see their, “Ocean-Star Spray Shampoo” on the Rod’s website. It took me all five seconds to realize I was going to buy it, even if it cost $16.95. Spray Shampoo for horses!? Sweet. And I finally get to try one of Effol’s products.

Then, I realized…this little “most interesting man” knockoff for horse people, is so true.  When it comes to buying things for myself….I always want cheap, cheap, cheap. As soon as horse things are involved, I will spend my money. My horses are so spoiled.

In other news…I have replaced the phone I dropped in the toilet. I have 3/4 of a page written out of the approximately 16 pages worth of papers dues this next week. Bleh.


Sunday Steal: Circle Y Show Saddle

Circle Y saddles can run over $2500.00 brand new. The more silver and tooling, the more expensive it gets. With the number of used show saddles available that still look great and are nice and broken in, why spend that much? I just found this saddle for under $1500.00 (shipping included). That’s a really decent price for the quality, style, and amount of silver! It’s in great shape too!

One Thing: August & September

In the madness that was August, I forgot to post the continuation of my “Getting What You Want” post. I suppose you could count the Majesty’s Flex Wafers I bought Milo at the end of August as one thing off my wish list (it’s a permanent resident) but that’s more of a maintenance thing.

So, I missed August and haven’t gotten anything in September yet. That makes me think maybe I should go for a bit bigger of an item…like this Boot Stitch Headstall by Running Roan Tack. Then again, I don’t really need that like I need a new pair of barn boots. Here’s a pair I’m considering; maybe I should consider them for my ‘one thing’ purchase? What do you think? $60.00 is a pretty great price!

Collegiate Polo Wraps

Everybody likes to wear their college team allegiance, so why shouldn’t your horse too? Yesterday I caught a glimpse of a Facebook post by the author of The Barrel Racing Blog, a photo of NFL themed polo wraps. That immediately got me thinking, ” I need to make Husker polo wraps.” So, I searched the internet and found two great resources for “collegiate fleece fabric”:

Polo wraps are really easy to make. All you need is the fleece, a sewing machine (even a small travel one will work), scissors, and some heavy velcro. Make sure the velcro is sew on without a sticky back since it will gum up sewing machines.

Measurements for your wrap should be 9 feet long by 4.5 to 5 inches wide. After you cut out the fabric (make sure you cut as straight and clean as possible) all you have to do is sew on the velcro (it should be about 3 inches wide). To get the right placement of the velcro, I always use an existing wrap and just match it up, then sew the velcro on!

Repeat 3 more times or just once, if you only want front wraps…and you’re done!

My directions probably aren’t the best but it’s a really easy project! It’s also a great way to show your school spirit! If you can’t find your school or don’t have school spirit, you can make some pretty great polo wraps out of the tons of different colors and patterns of fleece out there!

Saddle Find

Great Billy Royal saddle found on Tack Trader for only $700.00! I like that it’s not overdone and seems to have a nice age to it. I’m also really liking the cutouts, nothing beats close contact!

All Sorts of Things

Well, I’m back in Indy again…It was hectic drive back, filled with a lot of rain and uncovered antique furniture. I think I’m still in vacation mode but I’m broke and back to work so I guess it really is over.

While I was in Omaha, my sister and I sorted through some of her old show clothes and I found a lot of good things to sell! I’ve brought them back to Indiana and am getting them freshened-up for a tack sale.

My county’s 4-H club is hosting a tack sale this weekend. There is a small fee for table space (which goes to the club!) but profits from your sales are all yours! I plan on taking a number of show clothes, boots, and hats to sell. Finding tack swaps and sales are a great way to pass along show clothes to new rider, earn a little cash, support a local club, and maybe even pick up few things for yourself. Many of my show clothes over the years have come from tack sales!

You can find out where tack sales are being held and about table space by contacting any of your local 4-H and horse clubs!

Just remember if you are selling to research prices to best guess what something is worth and know what the lowest price you would accept is. Also be sure clothes are cleaned, ironed, and well-labeled! A good presentation of your items is important!

Training Aids: Don’t Spend a Fortune on a Gimmick

As an amateur horseman who can’t spend a fortune on constant training and instruction, I often look towards online videos, articles, and general tidbits I pick up from watching trainers work at horse shows, as well as talking to trainers I know.

One of the biggest things I notice in my quest for knowledge and ideas is the number of clinicians with ‘gimmicks.’ Sure, they can do some pretty great stuff with a horse and usually have a great show record but their methods are often lost while they promote the sale of their ‘special’ stick, lead, head-setter, bit, this, that…whatever. Most of the time, these products are ridiculously over-priced.

You can learn their techniques or like the product they are trying to sell but just because it’s a “big time clinician this or that” doesn’t mean if you don’t but their product, you can’t achieve your goals. Usually, a rope is a rope and a stick is a stick.

I recently stumbled on a video by trainer, Shane Dowdy talking about his “Head-Set Helper“. I have to admit he came up with a pretty great idea. It’s a style of draw reins. I liked them but I don’t use draw reins very often, a few times a year maybe?(if my horse and I have hit a weird sticking point.) I checked his site to see what the cost…On Sale for $99.00!

I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding”. There is now way it could cost that much to make something like that and no way I can justify spending that much on something I use rarely.  And wouldn’t you believe it, after studying the photo and video, I was able to recreate the piece of equipment using parts I had sitting around the barn. (namely breast collar keepers, a set of rings, a set of barrel reins and an old pair of draw reins I made out of twine.) I forgot the picture but I’ll get it up asap.

Maybe it didn’t look perfect compared to Shane’s and by no means do I want to take credit away from what he’s come up with and marketed. I’ve linked the product here so you can see it and even purchase it for yourself. I just want you all to know just because a clinician is selling something doesn’t mean you have to buy it or that, that particular brand is going to ‘fix’ your horse. You can make things or buy things that will do the trick for less. I also advise against getting dependent on training aids as well as using them if you don’t know how (always ask someone experienced to show you how and when to use an aid or you could risk getting yourself or horse injured, or making even more of a mess of your horse). You also don’t have to feel left out, if you can’t afford one of the many products out there.

I would like to stress that I am not trying to criticize the trainer named in this post. He was simply used as an example because I really like his product, I just can’t afford the price 🙂 This post was meant to simply explain that there are alternatives to buying pricey training aids.

I’ll get pics up soon and I hope all of you are still afloat (literally with all this rain!) Until then have fun and let me know of any other training aids  you’ve been able to make on your own!

Shane Dowdy's Head-Set Helper, from shanedowdy.com