AareneX of Haiku Farm and Lytha from A Horse Crazy American In Germany both commented on yesterday's post about my new Stübben bridle. Not to fear, ladies, I love my Beta, Biothane, Tekna, Zilco, and other synthetics just as much as I ever have! If Stübben only made synthetic tack ... in neon blue. I could really wow the judge! Or blind her. Or just confuse the heck out of her. But alas, the best I might be able to do is add a blingy browband.
Endurance folks don't have a lot of use for leather, and I've written about that quite a few different times. Endurance riders ride in the rain far more frequently than does the dressage crowd. And often times, they're doing it for 12 hours in the dark. Their horses also sweat more than the average dressage horse and for far more hours. Endurance horses are also frequently asked to cross bodies of water, and usually, if there is a water crossing, it will need to be recrossed numerous times. As we all know, rain, sweat, and water are mortal enemies of our frenemy leather.
Endurance riders are arguably the most creative (equine loving) folks on the planet. You should see the many gadgets that endurance riders have come up with. One of the best innovations, however, is the use of synthetic fabrics as tack. Most synthetics (Biothane, Zilco, Beta, Tekna, etc.) can even be tossed in the dishwasher to be cleaned.
And so, from endurance to dressage I have traveled. I have become one of those people: a leather user. If you would have suggested three years ago that I would spend good money (or allow my mom to do so) on leather tack, I would have scoffed in derision. And yet, I have. I find this pretty funny.
As I said before though, have no fear! Synthetics still hold a place of high regard in my barn. Speedy's schooling bridle is a very nice Tekna snaffle bridle. It looks and feels very much like leather, but can be washed in the sink like a dirty fry pan, which is just what I did over the weekend. With Palmolive Green Apple soap.
So yes, I am approaching the castle walls of DQ land, but I have yet to vault over and join their ranks. We might look the part for showing, but in reality, Speedy and I are quite happy to ride in plastic!