From Endurance to Dressage
Yesterday afternoon, I sat at my desk waiting for my students to return their textbooks and laptops. It was a slow afternoon to say the least. With not much to do other than stare at my own laptop's screen, I decided to do some additional halter shopping.
I am a bit of a halter snob. I HATE web halters. There are so many reasons - they fade, they get stiff, they get ugly, they make horses dull, and so on. I like the way leather halters look, but they too have many of the same problems as web halters. They also break, and they're more expensive.
I love rope halters. They never break or wear out, and they're super easy to clean. Quality yacht rope doesn't wear out or get stiff with frequent washings, and they keep horses responsive to your aids. While they are very functional, they're not very attractive, especially in the dressage world where most things are expected to match something else.
Long ago, I used rope halters underneath my endurance bridles. I also had a few Biothane halters; those things never wear out. When I switched to dressage, I opted for a synthetic halter that looked like leather, but was much sturdier and easier to clean. My Tekna halters lasted for years, and in fact, Speedy still wears his. Izzy's finally wore out last year, but it took a long time. I looked for a new Tekna halter, but I couldn't find one in Izzy's size which was a shame as it's a great halter.
Izzy's new leather halter looks lovely, but I have the feeling that halter isn't going to last any longer than the last one. With that in mind, rather than buy a new nameplate for the halter, I grabbed some pliers and a screw driver and managed to break the Loctite seal that I had used on the Chicago screws for the nameplates on the now defunct black and brown leather halters. One is stainless steel, and one is brass.
In my junk box, I found a package of brand new Chicago screws and attached the old brass nameplate to Izzy's new halter. That left a stainless steel nameplate without a home. So, as I sat staring at my screen yesterday afternoon, I decided to do a little window shopping for Beta Biothane halters.
Beta is an amazing synthetic. It both looks and feels like leather but requires virtually zero maintenance. After hunting through the websites of some of my old endurance favorites, I landed on Two Horse Tack. It's not a company that I've ordered from before, but for the price, I was willing to take the risk. Two Horse Tack has a super user-friendly interface that lets you build the halter you need. Each arrow has a drop down menu that lets you make the exact choices you want for your halter. You can see my choices below.
The halter is regularly $36, but as luck would have it - and I am owed a bit of luck right now, it was on sale for $22. Since the halter was so cheap, I had no problem adding every customization that I wanted. Most of the add-ons cost extra which bumped the halter up to $45, still a bargain.
Shipping was a wee bit pricey at $9.99, but the final price of $54.99 was still less than what I just paid for the new leather halter. The "extra" stainless steel nameplate that I took off the broken black halter will now go on the beta halter which I ordered with stainless steel hardware. The leather halter will now be reserved for shows and lessons while the beta halter will serve as my every day halter. While I didn't order the breakaway crown, replacement pieces can be ordered from Two Horse Tack.
The halter probably won't be here for at least a week, and we're leaving on vacation in about a week, so I won't lay eyes on it until late June. I'll be sure to review it once it does get here. If you're looking for a less expensive leather-like halter, this might be a good option especially since it's currently on sale.
Fingers crosses that this is the LAST halter I buy for a while.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read