From Endurance to Dressage
I mentioned that Izzy broke the snap on his Tekna halter which meant I had to buy a new one. Since the kind of halters I like tend to be expensive - I won't use a nylon web halter and don't even own one, I felt compelled to use the gift card my mom had bought me for my birthday. That meant that I couldn't order any halter that I wanted; it had to be from the Riding Warehouse. I tend to be overwhelmed with too many choices, so having to pick from what was offered was probably a good thing. In the end, I went with the Schockemohle Ulm Round Raised Padded Leather Halter. As soon as I pulled it out of the box, I knew I had made a good choice.
I am not a fan of leather halters. I don't like to clean leather, and I like to drop my halters on the ground. I didn't like any of the synthetic halters offered though, so leather it was. At a smidge under eighty bucks, this halter is too nice to simply drop in a heap on the grass (or dirt). If I want Izzy to have nice things, I need to put on my big girl panties and change some habits. Now that I've felt how nice the leather is, it won't be hard to keep it off the ground.
I actually debated between the Schockemohle and the LeMieux Anatomic Padded Leather Halter. Both were nearly the same price, but the Schockmohle just looked prettier, and I suspected its leather might be better. Sizing on both halters left me a tad bit worried though as the equine models were wearing cob-sized halters. Neither horse looked petite, and in fact, the model wearing the LeMieux weighed in at a hefty 1,250 pounds and was 16.2 which put him a little smaller than Izzy.
Cob can be a weird size. I know because I fight that with Speedy. Cob size tends to be wide at the forehead and short down the face. Izzy has a narrow head, but it's pretty long. I knew if the halter were too small, all I could do was send it back. If it were too large, which it was, I could get more holes punched.
While the size was a tiny bit big, I knew I could work with it. Before I did any hole punching though, I examined the halter closely to see if it was worth eighty bucks. There was nothing I didn't love. I rarely get to buy great quality leather because with Speedy, fit always has to come first, and he is not easy to fit. With him, if I want great leather, It usually means a custom order to fit his finer head. Custom orders are generally even more expensive, especially if the leather is nice. With Izzy, size is not usually the problem, so I was able to order off the shelf, and this halter did not disappoint. The leather is super nice, but with a brand like Schockemohle, I'd expect nothing less. The padding at the crown and on the noseband is really soft and pliable, but not so soft that it feels like it will tear.
One thing to note with this halter though is the width of the leather is slightly narrow at only 6/8". I actually really like the narrower straps on Izzy as he doesn't have a huge head. For his size, his head is actually a bit small. When I ordered Izzy's new halter plate, which comes in a 5/8" width, I had to ask if they could do the skinny version which is for dog collars. It comes in a 1/2" width which should fit fine.
The halter's hardware is also nicely shaped with rounded corners. I like the adjustable chin, especially since the halter turned out to be a bit large, and having the crownpiece adjustable on both sides helps with fit. Once I decided to keep it, I looked at what I would need to do to get a perfect fit.
Since the halter is leather, it will likely stretch a bit as well as relax. Right now, it stands off Izzy's face a little, particularly around the nose. If I tightened the crown piece or the noseband any more, the length of leather hanging out is going to be extra long. Those pieces needed to be trimmed. I hate flapping leather that can't be stored in a keeper.
On Friday afternoon, I dropped by the old Granite Station Saddlery and Feed on Buck Owens Boulevard. The place has a new name now, but I didn't catch it. They still do custom leather and saddle work, both big jobs and small. The saddle guy was still there, so he agreed to trim the ends of each strap as well as add holes to each side of the crownpiece and chin strap - while I waited, no less. For $9, I now have a perfect fit.
I realized that other than girths, saddle pads, and "working" bridles, this is almost the nicest thing that I've bought for Izzy. I did him buy him that beautiful, custom browband which I love and admire each time I bridle him, and I bought a pair of Thinline reins last year, but those are the only two nice things I've ever bought him. In six years! Everything else has been hand-me-downs from other horses. I always figured that we were just schooling and very occasionally showing, so it just didn't seem "worth it." Boy, was I wrong!
My credit card better take cover because it's not going to know what hit it!
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: