I started casually, very casually, looking for a double of my own, but since all new bits, reins, and a bridle cost money I wasn't too serious. Plus, you know, do we actually need a double of our own? There's no guarantee this horse is going to make it through the winter, let alone be sound or even alive for a show season next year. So no, the double was by no means a necessity.
|so hot the only thing to do is try on tack anyway!|
We had some "extra" money, and fuck it. The horse is capable-ish of doing fun things right now so why not take advantage of that while we can? (He is, in fact, currently lame, but the farrier is coming out Wednesday and it's balls hot out for the foreseeable future so we'll just pretend like he's still capable-ish of doing said fun things.)
So off I went bridle shopping!
And by "I", I mean I immediately contacted my personal shopper and told her to find me a double for under $100, I'll stay on the line. Being a profesh tack ho, she had me several to choose from in no time at all, and I called dibs on a used Otto Schumacher with silver piping for $80 shipped.
Thus began the saga of getting the fucker to me.
|same, bobby. SAME.|
I had to go into crazy harassing online psycho mode to get the seller to respond to my initial message to make sure it was still available. Then I made the mistake of asking if she had any reins available for sale as well.
She finally got back a day later and said she was at a show that day, but would get back to me on Sunday if she did. If not, she'd invoice me for just the bridle. Okay, great! Sunday: Silence. Monday: MOAR SILENCE.
On Monday afternoon she finally got back to me with rein options. I opted for the curb rein but not the webbed snaffle as I hate web reins, and I was finally sent an invoice. And then....yep, you guessed it--silence.
In the meantime, I went on a bit hunt. I actually knew exactly what I wanted:
|even what i ended up with in a round about way|
Bobby has a little bitty mouth with a big, fat tongue. The bits on the double we were borrowing were too thick and too long for him in all aspects. The bradoon was also a chunky three piece which Bobby has almost no tolerance for. So my goal was first and foremost thin metal and a single jointed bradoon. I wasn't too picky about loose ring or eggbutt though I like the look of the loose ring better.
The catch was I wanted to spend as little money on these as possible as I had no idea if either of them were going to fit. There were tons of options out there, but I wasn't paying $50 per bit. I finally scoured eBay long enough to come up with a 5" curb with a low port and short shanks (The long shanks on the borrowed bridle kind of ate his face.), a 5 1/4" loose ring bradoon, and a rubber curb guard (Bobby is not a fan of curb chains, and actually uses a leather strap instead of a chain on his hackamore) all for $45.
I added everything to my cart before doing one last read-through of the descriptions where I noticed 11mm as part of the bradoon where I immediately spiraled into, "BUT IS ANY OF THIS EVEN LEGAL?!"
Assuming Bobby ever gets to show in a double, I sure as fuck didn't want to have to buy all new bits. Off I went to the rule book to make sure 1) the thickness of the bit was okay (it was) 2) the length of the shanks were okay (they are) and 3) the swivel shanks were legal (they are).
|too lazy and hot to take off fly boots for pictures|
Bits ordered, I debated how long I had before I could start bothering bridle seller about shipping me silver Otto. She finally got me a tracking number on Thursday at which point I had received the curb and curb guard, had ordered and received a pair of reins that I hated, and ordered a different pair of reins that were on their way. The bradoon took a week to get shipped, so this morning ALL THE THINGS came ALL AT ONCE!
As soon as I got the bridle scrubbed cleaned, conditioned, and assembled, I went right to the barn. Obviously. And the result?
I'm not sure if it's the design of the bridle, the bits themselves, or Bobby's pony sized maw, but I'm not loving the way everything sits. Some tweaking got the bits to fit pretty damn well inside his mouth, but they kind of look a hot mess on the outside. Of course only riding in it will tell me how they feel to Bobby, but he was quiet as a clam once I was done adjusting everything, and with the other bridle he was constantly fussy having them on and would fling his head up when I would take them out. He simply opened his mouth and let these slide out.
So we shall see. He needs new feet to hopefully get him sound, and it needs to not be five thousand degrees outside before any real testing can go on.