Well, there is just a mind-boggling array of tack to do with endurance...this i discovered on day one of my research into 'how expensive is taking up this new sport going to be'.....a piece of research that i keep far, far away from my the garage next to the treadmill with all the 'horsy stuff.' Ha! Merlin has a well-fitting saddle, but i wanted a few new have a new Libby's endurance bridle and reins which i love. Interesting point though, Merlin is 15.3hh with a big head (sorry Merl, but its true) so i ordered full size. Its on its last holes so the bridles come up big, i think i could have got a cob size and it would have adjusted enough. My chosen colour scheme is 'creme caramel' i would have lioked bright yellow, as i think it would have looked striking on a palomino, but it has proved quite difficult to find tack and equipment in stock in this colour. In hindsight, i am rather glad as this colour suits him well and is not quite so striking, a point i may well be grateful for in our first few outings!

I also remembered just before Christmas that i had bought a Torsion Treeless saddle for a highland pony years ago that was now being used sporadically by my mum for her cob. Great idea!!! Everyone in endurance seems to rave about treeless saddles, they must be great! Cue a trip back to Essex from Hampshire/Wilts to get it (and visit mum of course), and i have been using it with Merlin these last few weeks with a Zilco endurance breastplate (these saddles i have always found to slip). It IS comfortable, there is no doubt. But over the last few weeks i have noticed a subtle change in Merlin's way of going, he is tetchy being girthed and reluctant to go downhill, even to the point of napping out on our own the other day, something he never does. I am convinced it is the saddle, jsut seems too much of a coincidence to me. I have read and read reviews of different saddle and there are just so many arguments for and against treeless its mind boggling. I have, for now, decided to just go back to our old GP saddle that we have never had any trouble with, add the breasplate for any major hillwork and see where we go this season.


  1. Woo I can post!

    Right onto tack, the best thing I can suggest is don't follow the crowd do what suits you and Merlin. If he's happy with normal tack which is specialised don't change it. Its not paramount to have endurance tack to compete in this sport.

    I've ridden in several different types of saddles and I find that some horses go well in treeless whereas others don't. My Arab, Barik, came with a treeless as his previous owner said he didn't go well in a saddle with a tree in. The saddle actually didn't fit and was too long. I hated it as well as it set my legs in a funny position. Anyway I ended up having a Albion GP which is fantastic. I previously bought one for Chador after her shape changed when she reached peak fitness. So just because they do endurance doesn't mean I have an endurance saddle. I wouldn't my GP's for anything. So if Merlin is happy in his GP and you are don't change.

    Now I bought a Libby's and after a month and a small accident the buckles bent and snapped. They are supposed to be able to take a certain amount of weight but from my personal experience I think it is wrong. If you look at them the buckles are flimsy compared with other makes of endurance bridles.

    But like I said if it works for you and Merlin use it don't think you have to have the latest bit of endurance equipment. We don't bling ourselves out and compete against each other like the dressage world (sorry if you are a dressage rider).

  2. Really happy that you have encouraged me to stay with his gp; its a really nice fit and we have already done many looooong rides in it with no problems at all. It is quite heavy, but would be much worse to have a poorly fitting, lighter treelss saddle causing pressure points and all sorts. I will take note of what you say about the Libby's bridle, i agree that the buckles do not look the strongest...and no,no dressage here...........