I picked up this copy of The Equine Chronicle at the National Western Stock Show last month, and it's been living on the floorboards of my car ever since. This is a thick, glossy magazine that caters to the "big three" stock breeds. Like lots of other breed specific magazines, this one is long on advertisements and short on articles. That might have been a problem if I had really wanted to read, but for this day anyway, I was content to sit in the bleachers and look at 350 pages worth of stock horse pictures. Here are some of the tack related observations I reached during my time in the gym.
First, I was reminded that poorly fitted show halters aren't unique to the model horse world. Just for reference, here's how it's supposed to look:
I also noticed (again) that unlike most harnesses, fine harness bridles have separate nosebands that pass under--not through--the cheekpieces.
Here's a performance idea for the shower who has more saddles than bridles:
Or maybe for someone who doesn't have any tack at all? Of course, you'd probably have to put this in the Scene class, but still... the idea of completely tackless performance cracks me up.
At first glance, stock horse hunters look a lot like "real" hunters. Except for his long bridlepath, this bay horse would fit right in at a big USEF hunter show.
However, the stock horse people are a lot more flexible when it comes to choice of bit. This magazine was filled with hunters in O-ring snaffles and also some kimberwickes. You never, ever see kimberwickes at a USEF hunter show.
Once in motion, the stock horse hunters look very different that the USEF hunters. Note the very low head carriage and flopping reins.
They also use the number pocket pads, which you never see at a big hunter show. I was somewhat surprised at the complete and utter lack of breastplates. I know they used to be fashionable with the stock horse crowd, but apparently that is no longer the case.
Last but not least, I always find a few pictures of things I'd like to make someday. That's a real pretty bosal, and I just flat out love the braided bridle. Wouldn't that look great in miniature?