I'm editing a really long, boring video to share with you, but in the mean time, I thought I'd talk about tack.
Here Bella is wearing a cheap (but not abrasive) bosal hung on a regular headstall, with cheap reins. The bosal could be shaped better but I don't have a bosal block. Any kind advice about bosal care and use would be kindly accepted. I have read about them online but that's about the extent of my knowledge.
She has a Ricotti pad under her saddle. It has a gradual build up toward the front for downhill horses, or horses like Tonka with hollows behind the shoulders. I'm finding it may not be all it's cracked up to be and may not work for any of my horses, but it is WAAAAY better than any other built up pad I've tried, besides maybe the Chris Cox pad. Above, it looks to be putting the saddle too high in front, but Bella also does not look downhill in the photo and she definitely is.
The breastcollar is a martingale type breastcollar, also sometimes called a pulling collar or a modified pulling collar. It isn't a true pulling collar, because it attaches to dees in the saddle, not through the pommel. It also has a strap that goes over the neck to hold it up. I do not like a breastcollar that gets in the way of the horse's shoulder movement. This certainly does not. The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't match my new saddle, and the strap over the neck rubs their mane on long rides, causing tangles and sometimes damage to the mane. (By the way, I LOVE where the breastcollar dees are located on this saddle. Not too low. Most are too low.) More about breastcollars - I once got a concussion and a $1200 hospital bill for not using one (my saddle rolled). Not something to be proud of for a lot of reasons. But I am very glad I was wearing my helmet. I don't like to see a breastcollar adjusted too tight. As I said, the shoulder needs room to move, but also you don't want it pulling your saddle from side to side and causing discomfort. I also don't put metal snaps on them to make it easier to attach to the saddle. Maybe I'm too paranoid, but metal breaks. It also clanks, which bothers me.
The saddle, of course, is my beautiful handmade saddle I bought last year. It's a bit wide for Bella. But I think it's close enough. I adore it. It was made by "an Amish kid" north of Spokane, whose family has moved away. The maker's mark is a symbol, but there are initials on the hobbles. I just can't remember what the initials are right now. You can see the matching hobbles hanging from the saddle. Bella isn't hobble broke but Tonka is, and Cisco is (although he's not here anymore). The saddle maker obviously put a lot of time, knowledge, and talent into this saddle, and he made it very comfortable and balanced for the rider.
I've been considering getting bucking rolls attached, but then we had all these vet bills... I keep thinking the bucking rolls might save me a hospital bill, but I still can't justify the expenditure, at least until next payday.
The saddle bags shouldn't even be mentioned. They're horribly dirty and worn, came on a ranch saddle that I bought, with some cattle doctoring paraphernalia still inside. I love them, but they're ugly. I can't find any new ones like them, and this saddle really does deserve leather saddle bags.
The cinch is a felt Smart Cinch. I'm not real partial to the roller buckles that perhaps make it easier to cinch your horse too tight. I also don't like them because the way I put up my saddle doesn't work well with them. I'd have to show you in a different post, it isn't something I can explain. But I do like that the metal buckle is padded by the felt, and it's not gross, slippery, sweaty neoprene.
I think that covers everything Bella is wearing. I'd love to see some of you do posts on tack. I'm a tack junkie!
Bella found Tonka's mineral feeder (which he miraculously hasn't broken) and she really liked the Dynamite minerals I bought from Keith Danielson at Hooper Crossing Ranch. (Tonka isn't partial to them but that may be because he doesn't need them.)
Here's Soxy, looking thrilled. She really was right as rain and happy, just didn't want me pointing the camera at her and asking her to pose. You can see the incision under her eye if you look close, and her nose is still bleeding a little. :(