Thursday, October 1, 2015

an ode to Maryland Saddlery

I'm a bit under the weather right now ..... ugh. I blame the imminent hurricane (which is threatening to ruin all our big show plans this weekend, boo!) (also, haha puns). So this post is photo-heavy and content-light. Just the way you like it, right? Lolz...

It's also more or less an ode to my local tack shop, the Maryland Saddlery (and also used tack shopping in general). No... I did not buy a saddle (tho I seriously tried - details below)... but I did buy some other stuff, so that's kinda fun too, right?

Like this sticker! Who could resist? Look at that face - doesn't it remind you of.... someone? 
Ohhh yea, there she is! You can't honestly tell me that it isn't her portrait in that sticker. And yes this is me embracing the long mane haha
Ok so I didn't actually buy these - was just browsing the consignment stirrup collection (mostly traditional fillis irons, with a pair of Compositi stirrups tossed in for good measure) and saw a few sets of these racing irons. These weighed like... nothing haha. But were also so tiny!
Also in consignment I found a pair of pink-ish rust schooling breeches. Which obviously I had to have. I know there are rust breeches haters out there... but... I've kinda always wanted a pair. And these are a really interesting hue so... mine now! Plus another girth for Isabel (thus completing my full set of gear for the mare independent of the owner) and a browband. For a whopping total of $11 because the rewards system at this shop is bonkers. Seriously - if you're in the area sign up for their rewards program.
I also browsed the used saddle section and was immediately drawn to this beauty - a 17.5" medium Fontaine Laura. 
Readers may recall I was riding in barn mate Kaitlyn's 16.5 wide Fontaine Lyon for a couple weeks and loved it. Ultimately that saddle didn't work because it was sitting down on Izzy's back, but I *loved* it. So when I saw a differently sized version of the (almost) same saddle obviously I was ready to write a check right then and there.
Fortunately tho, the shop's trial policy is pretty generous, so I could take it home and play around a little bit before committing. 
Which.... I'm glad I did. Le sigh. 
See, I really didn't like how the panels were in such uneven contact down the front. It's hard to tell in the pics (sorry!) but look at the shadows between the white dots in the panel and Izzy's shoulder, then compare to the shadow at the bottom of both sides. It was practically not in contact at all at the top of the panel, and pinched at the bottom. Ugh.....
And there didn't seem to be much better contact with the rear panels either. So I guess this saddle was just completely the wrong.... everything... for Isabel. Fml. I didn't even bother riding in it. 
Instead I popped on my dressage saddle and the circus bridle to hit the trails. And my circus bridle has undergone yet another facelift with maybe positive results lol. 
The red nose piece originally came with a nylon headstall (also purchased in the consignment section at a previous date lol)  that didn't fit the mare. So I put it on my spare bridle's headstall, a musty dusty brown horse-sized thing. It was ugly but whatever, it's just a trail bridle right?
But then when I started riding Bali (and was too lazy to trek up to the lesson shed every time I rode him), I made him his own bridle - that janky black and brown thing. It's that same musty dusty brown headstall with Isabel's dressage bit, the HS KK ultra (plus the attached black reins). 
So now the rest of Isabel's dressage bridle (a pnny-sized Horseware of Ireland bridle that I got from MD Saddlery for free using the rewards points I earned from buying my dressage saddle there - score!) is sitting idle and I figured it'd do to hold the mechanical hackamore piece of our trail bridle - aka the circus bridle.
And I actually think it looks pretty sharp with the black. Maybe this will be more of a go-to setup for the bridle.... or maybe I just need to get another black headstall specifically for the circus bridle? Lol decisions decisions :)  How many bridles do you have? And do you buy a lot of used tack? Or have a favorite local tack shop?

32 comments:

  1. For shame, I have not been to Maryland Saddlery in years. Probably because I'd have to give them my paycheck to leave...

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    1. haha i know that feeling all too well... but seriously - the rewards program is where it's at. i somehow earned enough points for a $50 credit, which is how all this stuff came home with me for next to nothing... (let's just not talk about how i earned that credit, k? lol)

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  2. I haven't been there in years either, but loved it when I did. Maybe some day, if I ever get back up on that side of the country...

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    1. they're a very cool shop. and if you're ever up this way definitely lmk!

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  3. It may be entirely worth it to do all of my tack shopping in MD on the occasions when I come down to visit you...

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    1. i mean.... i'm totally down for that if you are :D

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  4. I really wish we had a good local tack shop. Although my bank account would be much emptier...so maybe it is a good thing we don't.

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    1. lol i relate to that sentiment. we're so fortunate to have a wide variety of really nice independent tack shops, plus the more commercial shops like Dover. it's.... occasionally problematic lol

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  5. The soul crushing disappointment of saddle shopping... I feel your pain. My friend is having a similar issue on her baby TB and he does not warrant a new saddle just yet -- at 4, he's bound to keep growing. Have you been able to think of any creative padding solutions to the rear panels not contacting the back enough? I know it's never a perfect solution but maybe as an intermediary...

    Curse you saddles!!

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    1. ugh it's the worst. i have literally tried every single padding solution that i can think of - padding up the front, padding up the bad, sheepskin half pad.... i'm actually considering taking out some flocking and/or bumping up to the next tree size to at least give more room for corrective padding, but really am not optimistic that will fix the rocking problem.

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  6. I wish we had a consignment tack section (we only do saddles)! I think if the store had more space, I could persuade management to do it. :P

    When I lived in TN, I spent many hours digging through the consignment clothing and tack area of Judy's Tack Shop in Nashville. I got my first pair of field boots there!

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    1. i really do love consignment tack - it's really the only section i'll allow myself to browse haha. and yes my first few pairs of tall boots were all consignment too!

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  7. Love the sticker! I've seen those at Dover and think they are too cute. I may be sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, but I think that hackamore is sitting too low on her nose?

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    1. i'm pumped about the sticker - just need to figure out where it goes! and you are correct about the hackamore sitting too low. i didn't bother adjusting it tho bc i pretty much ride her exclusively on the buckle anyway while on the trails... plus the headstall will be reassembled into our dressage bridle again in the next day or so, so i didn't see much point in changing all the settings. a more permanent setup will be more correctly adjusted (theoretically haha)

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  8. You seriously need to move to Ontario, Canada like yesterday. I just want to look at Is all day. Lovely creature she is!

    I wish we had consignment shops here :( Maybe I need to move...

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    1. she really is the loveliest!!! (not that i'm biased or anything haha). also consignment shops are pretty much my favorite always and forever amen lol

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  9. I miss good tack stores. I'll be on the east coast at the end of this month and plan to go to the tack stores. I especially love used stuff. I always leave room in my luggage for horse stuff.

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    1. haha that's a very wise plan with leaving room. there's always something to take home, right?

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  10. That's too bad about the saddle :(

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    1. tell me about it. you'd think by now that i'd be able to control my emotions a little better and not get so irrationally excited about 'now i've found the ONE!!' but alas... the tragedy continues

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  11. I HAVE THAT STICKER.

    It is awesome.

    Jealous of your tack shop.

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    1. haha it is a pretty great sticker - if it ever stops raining her i'll get it permanently affixed to one of my vehicles

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  12. Used tack shopping is the greatest. I wish there was a store near me that had a rewards program like that but I do have a different thing that's pretty awesome: our local SPCA has a uses tack store of its own where they resell all the donations hey get that they can't/ don't use on the rescue horses. It's a win win win because you can donate the stuff you need, buy more stuff (that you probably don't need), and all the money that you spent on things you don't need goes right into the hands of the SPCA to get out towards to rescue horses! So how can I not buy stuff there right??

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    1. uh yea that actually sounds awesome! and like i would actually spend a lot of money there lol (not to mention clean out a lot of my untouched stockpiles...)

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  13. Loved Equus Now in Columbus OH when I lived there. Went all of the time, great deals and a really good consignment section. Unfortunately no great tack store here in MI but I hear there is Horse.com outlet store in PA where I am headed!

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    1. oooh i've heard about the horse.com outlet!! i hope it's awesome :D

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  14. Too bad that saddle didn't work! It's gorgeous! Love the sticker :)

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    1. yea i'm pretty disappointed about it too... ugh lol

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    1. too bad indeed... at least i got some other stuff to fill the void lol

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  16. I have 4 bridles.... And I'm not sorry.

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