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Re: RC: Any English riders out there?

> I use Wintec Webbers instead of stirrup leathers--they're single
> layer with a loop on top for slipping onto the stirrup bars.  Can't
> imagine going back to conventional leathers after years in these.
Does Wintec have a website? What catalogs do you get? All my catalogs, exect for Millers are western.

> Cinches, or rather "girths" are something you choose based on your
> horse's preference.  Katee of Advantage Saddlery has good mohair
> girths--as long as you're riding in an area that doesn't have burrs.
Where is Katee? how do I get ahold of them?

> Some horses like neoprene--I've only had good luck with those made by
> Ortho-flex.  You'd have to find one used now, or on eBay perhaps.
I have an western neoprene cinch made by Ortho-flex. I had problems with my horses swelling up with it. I have also had that problem with the cotton cinches and swelling because of the skin getting pinched. And those were expenses cinches.  
> In any case, you want "roller buckles" on your girth.
> Wintec makes a $30 one with hidden elastic in the center, that works
> well for a friend who rides in one of our RP saddles.  It's easy to
> overtighten a girth that has elastic and roller buckles.  Elastic
> allows the horse to take deep breaths without being constrained, but
> be careful evaluating girths with elastic at the end--they can pinch
> and the elastic can wear out.
> Some of us even use leather girths--I do, but it's made of the
> material inside ballet shoes, and I have to clean it daily so it
> retains its softness.  I use it because it has elastic in the center
> and a wide belly plate, cut in at the elbow for clearance.
I not only ride, but I have three daughters that ride with me. I can't imagine finding the time to clean cinches everytime we ride. So I know that leather would not work for me, in fact I have been trying to stay away from leather because of the time factor. Although I really like leather. ;-)

> Some people affix little grommets on the front of their pads and tie
> it to the dee rings.
There a good idea.
> One note on the French link bits--lay the bit you're considering flat
> on the counter.  If the center piece lies flat, then that is indeed a
> French link.  If it angles back, then it's a Dr. Bristol, and is much
> harsher.
> Arabs generally have low palates, so thick bits can be a problem.
> Some do better in mullen mouths (more like a straight bar, with a low
> port for tongue relief.)  Personally, I've found that the Myler
> hackamore works best for my mare, who is strong at the starts--well,
> not like she used to be, but it is indeed insurance.  I use the one
> with a soft leather cover over a chain; it's got "S" shanks, but
> unlike the popular "S" hackamore in use, the curb chain actually is
> in the proper position for Arabians.  The "S" shanks are effectively
> shorter, so that the horse can drink from shallower puddles than what
> a Sliester hackamore with long shanks would allow.  They're also
> handier for drinking from stock tanks and eating hay or other chow
> along the way.
I started my arab, Apache, on the little S hackamore. He went great in it in the first year. But them he figured out he could do what ever he wanted in it. So I steadily lost control. He was young at the time. So I switched to a twisted snaffle bit that I had. He goes pretty good in that, but he gets sores from the bit on the corners of his mouth, I have to put vet wrap on the bit to keep from soring him. So he has a very sensitive mouth, and I need a different bit. He absolutly hates the curb bits that I have tried on him. Fights me every step of the way. 
I am very curious about your statement about the little "S" hackamore curb chain being in the wrong position for Arabs, could you please explain that further?
> Mine go in a snaffle or French link for arena work.  I use flat reins
> as a personal preference.
> Your question made me reflect on all the gear changes my girl has
> gone through over the years.   Laughing at the amount of thought and
> $ that has gone into her current bridle: Zilco hackamore headstall,
> thin Pat Fredrickson rope halter underneath, Myler S hack, nylon and
> three strand curb chain, pet tag for ID, Zilco 10 ft rubberized flat
> reins--and at the lunch check, we're down to the rope halter and
> reins.  :-)  Never thought my fire-breathing mare would be able to do
> it.  Bought a new Pat F. halter with sidepull rings and tried it on
> the last ride; my mare liked it better than having the reins hooked
> to the halter loop--the scissor snaps could  hit her in the chin if I
> didnt' keep some tension on the reins.  Now I can ride on the
> "buckle" again, a great English expression meaning the reins are so
> loose you're holding them by the buckle in the middle...
Thanks alot for the info. YOu have been very helpful. 
Lynette Helgeson
snowy North Dakota

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