High Quality Tack Is a Must for the Working Cowboy

There is a huge difference between riding show horses and working the ranch on a horse, most often under rugged conditions. Any working cowboy can tell you that high quality tack has saved the day on more than one occasion. Of course you can still be fashionable but the quality of craftsmanship in bits, bridles, saddles, and other equine tack can make the difference between life and death, and that’s no joke. Here are some points to consider when ‘outfitting’ your horse for work on the ranch, always with safety in mind.

It’s Not All in a Name

Just because a bit is called a curb bit doesn’t mean that it will provide the right amount of leverage needed for controlling your horse. High quality horse bits are a must when working with a horse that might be skittish under certain circumstances and conditions. Unless they are crafted to do what they are supposed to do, you could be in for a rude awakening when that horse responds as you want or need it to do. Quality in bits is a high priority.

The shank of a classic spade bit, note extensi...
The shank of a classic spade bit, note extensive silver ornamentation on a working horse bit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When looking for the right bit for your purposes, it helps to be able to compare several types and sizes. You can find horse bits at One Stop Equine to meet any need when it comes to tacking up your horse. Are you just going to ride the range today or are you breaking in a new yearling? Horse bits are a vital part of tacking and should always be chosen for quality as well as in purpose.

Let’s Talk about Leather

That old saying ‘taking the reins’ didn’t come out of nowhere. Of course there were no synthetic materials back in the day when reins were first invented for leading horses, but even today no tacking manufacturers in their right minds would use synthetic materials for horse reins – or would they? If you should come across some cheap, foreign reins not made from top-quality leather, don’t even think about it! Leather is leather and there is nothing better in terms of strength and durability.

Of course there are some really fashionable reins studded with rhinestones (move over Glenn Campbell – there’s more than one Rhinestone Cowboy on the block!) but even so, they are still made from 100% thick leather that is proven to be the best material for the job at hand. Not into rhinestones and bling? Try some handsomely woven Southwestern leads with turquoise dyed leather. They’re stylish yet not overly flashy.

The bottom line is that you can’t afford to use low quality tacking gear because a ‘workhorse’ is ridden for hour upon hour, day after day and safety is the dominant factor. Rugged tack equipment is essential for both your safety and the safety of your horse so don’t suffer the consequences by looking for a good deal. It is possible to get good prices by doing a bit of comparison shopping, but if the quality is less than perfect, it’s better to pay a higher price.

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Guest article by John Bridge.

Note from Joni Solis (site owner): Please take the time needed to train your horse very well for it the most important part about keeping safe while riding and being able to work well on a horse no matter what kind of horse tack you use.