So here goes my first tack review! If you have suggestions on how to improve them to be more useful to other riders, please inform me.
A week and a half ago I ordered this item from sstack.com, along with some other items (reviews coming soon). I was a bit on the edge about this surcingle at first. I grew up with the nice leather ones, and I normally will always take real leather over nylon or fake leather any day. But not wanting to fork over the large bills for a nice leather one, I chose this much cheaper item instead to give it a whirl.
I had other concerns too besides price. Though both of my horses have many similarities, they also have many differences- the biggest being how they are built. Mara is a long and lanky Saddlebred; Dan is a Quarter Horse with typical stoutness and muscular build. These two have very different girth sizes; and when it comes to tack that I have to use for both of them I always question if I can fit both.
Of course when it arrived I was beyond thrilled and couldn’t wait to put it in action. And from my first use and over the past week I have loved this item. Yes this surcingle fits both of my horses, regardless of their differences in girth size, and not only that but it fits them well. I did have to punch one more hole in it to fit Mara, but that’s a simple fix. I like that it doesn’t slip back when I am l longeing. It has a nice variation of D rings to match what you need to do. I like to change the position of my longeing tools to help stretch out my horse’s neck, and then help them learn acceptable head placement. Lastly I like the use of the neoprene instead of felt as you sometimes see on surcingles. Neoprene allows for the skin to breathe and the sweat to evaporate while you are working your horse. And since it is more flexible than a stiff leather one it forms better to the shape of the horse, instead of rubbing- huge plus for me.
Now the cons…. The one thing I wish they did is put a D ring on the girth…. Oh well not everything can be perfect. Since it was important to me to have this option, I purchase the Billy Royal girth attachment as well. Sstack.com also has a generic cotton girth for the same price as the nice Billy Royal leather one- go for the leather one it will last much longer and be more flexible down the road.
In total I spent around 40 dollars on this gig; and to me it was worth every penny. Do I like it better than a nice leather one? I would say it’s a 50/50 tie. But the Dura-Tech nylon and neoprene surcingle plus the girth attachment if you want it will be cheaper, and probably better, than the cheapest leather surcingle. That is why it wins me over. Flexibility to fix different sizes horses and price. Win, win.
Here are the links to both tack pieces:
Billy Royal Girth Attachment: http://www.sstack.com/Billy-Royal-Training-Tack/Billy-Royal-Girth-Attachment/
Thanks for reading!