What We’re Wearing: Mimi, Jan 2019

I have to say, I really enjoy the gear acquisition and testing element of this sport. It’s become a long-standing joke around the house that I’m basically a revolving door of tack sales — find a good deal, buy it, sell something else that’s been sitting around.

I’m also constantly evaluating if what I’m using is still working. With Mimi, I’ve ended up changing saddles several times over the years as she has changed shape. I’ve also changed tack sets and played around with various colors — but this is nothing new, as the original barn color I picked when I got her and for our first couple of years was hunter green, before gradually migrating over to the current purple that it’s overall been for the past 20 years. And I change out bits all. the. time.

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The current gear line-up

As of January 2019, here’s what we’re currently using:

  • Frank Baines Reflex dressage saddle
    Ironically, this was the saddle I kept arguing with myself over why it shouldn’t work — it’s a proper dressage saddle, not an endurance saddle; it’s a 17″ seat, there’s no way that should work. But it’s wide enough to fit a 55-gallon drum, and it actually puts me in the best position of any of the saddles I own, and one of the better ones that I’ve ridden in, period.
  • JMS sheepskin cover
    Originally got to go my Duett, but it actually fits the FB really well, too. It’s almost 12 years old now, and parts of it are looking a little worse for the wear (such as the fact it doesn’t entirely cover the bottom of the saddle flaps), but the sheepskin is still pretty fluffy.
  • Stillwater mohair dressage girth
    Another piece that goes back to when I first got the Duett, and it’s still barely showing wear. I really like the sturdy neoprene-and-leather combo on the buckle backing. Never had any rubs or soreness with this girth.
  • Archer Equine saddle pad
    A score at last year’s AERC Convention, I am in love with this pad for when I want something that is plain wool with no inserts. It’s durable, washes up beautifully without clumping, and fits a bunch of different saddles. The company is based out of Australia, but they have at least one dealer here in the States that I know of.
  • Taylored Tack Zuni Halter-Bridle
    I love my TT stuff. I always wanted to get Mimi a set back when we were competing…but better late than never, especially since I was able to get a bunch of it piecemeal, here and there on used tack sales.
  • some kind of Myler bit (this is case, the MB41PB kimberwick)
    Even at coming-26-years-old, a snaffle is still not going to happen out on trail. We can school in a snaffle in the arena all day long, but as soon as we hit the trail, I need something stronger. Currently on rotation is a couple of different kimberwicks, a pelham, or a Myler combo.
  • Taylored Tack Best Beta Comfy Reins
    The current go-to. I change out my reins on a super-frequent basis, and probably have more sets of reins than any other piece of tack. Except maybe bits.
  • Taylored Tack Kickapoo Breastcollar
  • Taylored Tack S-Hackamore Set
    We alternate between this and the bit. The headstall is the TT Simple Hackamore Headstall that I added a snap-on browband to…because pretty. thumbnail_img_6033

Another angle

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Close-up of the head gear. I love the Zuni browband style…adds some interest and a touch of “different” to the look.

10 thoughts on “What We’re Wearing: Mimi, Jan 2019

    • It remains to be seen how long they’re remain white. However, I’ve got the same white beta as the handle and snap end accent color on one of my dog leashes, and it actually ends up washing up really well.

  1. This makes me want to do a “what we’re wearing” for Mitch (seeing as it’s been crazy rainy and I haven’t had saddle time for daaaaaays)

    Love the purple for Mimi, it’s just so her! I’m partial to turquoise with Mitch although I wanted a Zilco set and they don’t come in that color so I picked royal blue instead (I suppose I could have gone with cyan blue but I wanted another color anyway)

    I’m so totally there with Myler bits. I’ve got a collection too; and I hear ya on needing stronger for the trail. Mitch might be ok in his Myler western dee, but I like the curb (on turquoise headstall) or the kimberwick (on Zilco) for the trail. We’ve got an S-back too.

    Taylored Tack is great. I have one of their padded breastcollar and love it, it the rest of my stuff is piecemeal from other places (like ATG and Distance Depot)

    I probably got more saddles though; I alternate between an Abetta endurance, a Bates Isabell dressage and a Tekna all purpose. But I have full sheepskin on all 3 of them and so love that.

    • True confessions time: 4 saddles currently. :))) And all of them can potentially get used depending on what I’m doing or whose horse I’m riding.

      The purple is definitely Mimi’s color. I’ve dabbled with a few others here and there on her, and always come back to it as our main one.

      • I still think I got more ;) I’ve got another “Abetta” (it’s an Action Co, which is the parent company of Abetta so I guess it’s just an Abetta without the branding) because I figured I could always use another saddle, and some cheapie western that just sits and collects dust because it’s supposed to be my hypothetical starter saddle for that far off day when I have a baby horse to start saddling. Also I think I might be getting a Wintec Pro dressage this week, it was less than $100 so my reaction was all *grabby hands*

        Haaaaalp, I haz saddle addiction. And only one horse.

      • Oh yeah. I figure I could put the sheepskin seat saver on that one and keep the Bates set up for schooling dressage shows this spring/summer as I already have the complete gullet set

  2. Fun, I like this idea! I think purple is definitely her color, don’t you even have hoofboots in purple? In the rest of my life I can hardly dress myself, my horse is much more coordinated.

    Question: I see that your stirrup leather comes over the top of the sheepskin. Mine are sandwiched between saddle flap and sheepskin cover. Is that just a preference? I like that there is no stirrup leather to rub on that way, but never even tried it the other way!

    • Yes, I do have purple boots for her, too! I was supposed to put them in the picture, but they were absolutely filthy from being dragged through the mud and sand and I hadn’t washed them yet. And I totally hear you on the horse being more coordinated. Since I work from home, I tend to spend my days in running gear, or maybe jeans if I’m feeling ambitious.

      On the stirrup leathers, it is more of a personal preference for several reasons. It started because I was originally using Wintec Webbers underneath the sheepskin, and they started rubbing on the leather of my saddle (for being in such a rough-and-tumble sport, I’m really fussy about my saddles…everything else, I’m like “eh, run it over with a truck, it’ll survive…but my saddles are my preciouses), so I cut slits in the sheepskin below the stirrup bars and ran the webbers on the outside. I probably wouldn’t need to do this now since I’ve since switched to actual leather leathers, so they don’t rub…but then from there, I kind of figured out I liked it that way…one, I like being able to cross my stirrups up over my saddle for storage and transport, since I have always kept my “good” saddle(s) at home and end up taking them back and forth with me wherever I go, and having the stirrups hanging down below the sheepskin makes it more of a pain to lug around (and get swatted in the shins by stirrups). Two, I like the free swing of English leathers, and I was having some pressure issues across my shins when the leathers where under the sheepskin and had a more restricted “swing” area. And three, I play around with different stirrups, leathers, and lengths quite a bit, so this is easier access to change things out or adjust.

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