Hand Gallop's Everyday Tack Setup

Thanks Handgallop for a fun hop!


I'm not a tack-ho. Frankly, I am not brave enough to be one! I grew up with the $20 bridle from Stateline tack and the AP saddle my mom got in a beginner's package. My riding boots were always the rubber Cottage Craft ones and my helmet didn't meet ASTM certification until high school. Horses didn't wear boots, polos, or fly bonnets and we NEVER coordinated.

So this year, when I bought a fly bonnet from SmartPak that was (gasp) $23 and had trim, I nearly had a heart attack trying to figure out which color combo to get. I also just ordered a baby pad with navy trim to, GASP, coordinate with the navy of the fly bonnet. AND my charm from StraightShot Metal Smashing (who just put up an OWL CHARM THAT I MUST GET ASAP! Owls are my happy place/anti-anxiety soother)

These are luxuries I have never known.

So that should key you in to realizing how bare bones we have been. This year has been a wild ride so far when it comes to upping our tack game. We are starting to put together a conservative yet very mildly expressive package.

I present to you our daily setup.

Bridle: Horseware Ireland's Amigo Event Bridle - it's not a pretty brown but it is solid. It came with a flash which I promptly chopped off. I researched the heck out of a bridle when it came time to buy Dassah one 6 years ago and this fit the bill. Mostly I just wanted buckles.

Bit: Stubben full-cheek double broken snaffle. I have too many double broken snaffles.

Reins: No-name from ebay. Pebbled inside rubber grip, leather outside. They do the job and get 'er done.

Fly veil/bonnet/ear bonnet: USG Ear Bonnet. Love that the ears are a lycra blend. Fits her very well.

I do like to lunge before each ride as she's usually been stalled when I get to the barn. I love to watch her work out her stiffness and become nice and loose. I usually don't saddle up for the lunging so her back can loosen up freely. For lunging I just pop her leather halter on over the bridle and thread the lunge line through. Bada bing, bada boom.

Neckstrap/oh-shit-handle: Big Dee's racing yoke/martingale. Life-saver when I remember to use it.

Saddle: Thorowgood T8 hi-wither AP saddle. Seat and knee rolls are leather, the rest is synthetic. I've had this for.... 4 years I think and it's holding up well. I need to get it re-flocked. Also, the r-bar I have in it now is a wide. A WIDE. My mare is a beast.

Stirrup leathers: Some no-name leather leathers. I'm not in love with them but they do their job.

Irons: Korsteel generic ones - the fillis pad on them is slowly shredding but I think I've had these for at least 16 years. Again, they get 'er done.

Saddle pad: PRI baby pad from Equus Now. The saddle fitter I worked with when I bought the saddle made sure we had a good fit, which means we don't need padding of any sort (but I do need to get a saddle fitter out here to reassess since it's been a while). $13.95 baby.

Girth: SmartPak Air + Neoprene - Love this girth. Elastic on both sides, I can wash it off, and it does the job. (notice the theme about getting the job done?)

When we break out the dressage gear, the only change is saddle and fittings. I keep the oh-shit strap and bridle the same. No pictures. I'm sorry.

Saddle: Passier & Sohn Grand Gilbert - like this one

Pad: Generic dressage pad

Stirrup leathers: Wintec Webbers. Of which I am hardly a fan. Concept is great but whoa nellie did they squeak like the dickens when I first put them on. I ended up coating them in baby powder and that has helped.

Stirrups: This is where I went buck wild. Compositi Premium Irons. I needed stirrups to go with my dressage saddle. So I decided to jump on the trend wagon and give them a go. Since there have been concerns about composite stirrups breaking while jumping, I thought putting them on the dressage saddle would be a good medium. So far so good. They're stirrups, they do the job, I'm happy.

Girth: SmartPak DriLex Fleece - I bought my dressage saddle in the winter and apparently had fleece on my mind when I bought the girth. So far it's been no problem now. It works.


  1. I am loving the bonnet too! Sounds like a good setup :)

    1. Thanks lady! I'd really like to add a hackamore to the mix.

  2. fun fact - i never heard of composite stirrups breaking until my trainer's broke while he was running xc on a green bean. since getting off and back on again was not happening (see: green bean lol), he actually had to lengthen the stirrup leather and loop his foot through that to finish the course.... let's just say i'll be super happy if i never need to experience that!!

    1. Wow. Kudos to him for McGyver-ing the situation! I would prefer also to never experience that. Ever.

  3. Oh man, it seems like everyone where I am uses the Wintec Webbers, though I haven't heard of them squeaking. (Could be because everyone is riding in a suede Wintec?) I think they're weird. Those PRI pads, tho...Just about everything they make is awesome! I'm a big fan of their summer weight dressage pads.

    1. I'm betting the squeaks are directly related to using the Webbers with a leather saddle. They're nice, just lord, the squeaking! Love that my PRI pad did not shrink in the wash!


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