How do I pick the best color tack for my horse?
One of the best things about riding and spending time with horses is going shopping for them! One of the biggest investments of dollars you will have with a horse is tack - so picking the right tack is critical for your horse’s comfort and your style. So how do you pick the right color of saddle and bridle? And does it really matter? It matters most when it comes to showing, it matters less if you just like to ride and have no desire to go to a horse show.
Thing to consider in the saddle department when you are are lookig for tack in a complementary color to your horse:
Traditional black for dressage.
What is your discipline? Many horse sports have traditional colors. Black tack for dressage, dark brown for hunters, etc. Do you want to be wild, or play it traditionally with your horse’s saddle and bridle?
What is you horse’s hair color like - clipped and unclipped! Summer coats are often vibrant, sleek, and more bold than winter coats. If you are showing in the summer, go for tack colors that make your horse look sharp. If you are showing in the winter, go for tack that looks good against his clipped coat, which is often a lighter color than what you might expect. \
This brand new saddle will likely darken over time.
Is the tack going to be new or used? Many used saddles are already worn in - and that includes the color. Some tack cleaning oils, like neatsfoots and hydrophane, may darken leather. If you are buying a new saddle and bridle, the orange-y or lighter colors are often not what you end up with after cleaning and oiling a few times.
How trendy is the saddle you are considering? This really speaks to your intentions to show. There are some amazing leather colors out there - blue and white even! I have also seen patent leather accents and piping in red, yellow, green, even panels of plaid. These saddles and bridles are fun and fashionable, but not always appropriate for the show ring. And also - how tricky are they to clean?
Um... plaid fabric and patent leather! And red piping!
Will you try and resell the tack at some point? I know a few shops that carry consignment saddles that will not carry any brown dressage saddles or jumping saddles in non-traditional colors. They are just too hard to sell.
This saddle may be hard to sell later.
The best way to find the perfect color of saddle and bridle for your horse is to just shop around! Go for fit first - there’s no use in having a gorgeous saddle that makes your horse want to buck you off. Then go for the rest of your list - color, price, etc.
How do you decide what color saddle and bridle to buy?