I know, I know, you guys are still waiting for day two of the clinic, and I promise it’s coming. But I want to make sure I get it right, and I’m putting a little more time than usual into that post. In the mean time, I wanted to review the halter I bought Val as a celebration when I bought him, and a way of marking that he’s actually mine. While I’d bought miscellaneous pieces of tack that I needed for him, they were all things I could and do use on other horses. This was the first thing that I actually bought specifically for Val. Technically I also bought him dewormer at the same time, but that’s not nearly as fun.
I bought the SmartPak Double Stitched Stable Halter on a whim when I was ordering dewormer and SmartPak was having a 15% off sale on all of their own products, so I got this halter at a great price.
This halter retails for $49.95, but after the 15% discount, I paid about $42 and some change. Right out of the package the leather was thick and sturdy, but still soft and supple. It did have a bit of a funny shape from being in the box, but sat on Val’s face quite nicely anyway, and really required no breaking in. Despite being so soft, this halter has held up well for the last 3.5 months, and looks just as nice now as it did out of the box, if not even nicer with a little bit of use to take out the shininess, and a smidge of conditioner.
I should note that I am not at all careful with this halter.
It gets hosed off in the wash rack several times a week when I spray Val’s face, it only gets wiped down with cleaner or conditioner if it’s looking mildewy (we’ve had so much rain that even things that get daily use grow the stuff), and it’s been on several trailer rides without issue.
Speaking of cleaning, this thing is super easy to clean with a couple of swipes, and the grime doesn’t seem to stick much at all. even with all the wetness, there’s been no rust on any of the metal pieces, and no flaking of the gold color.
The halter is super adjustable, with a buckle on the strap that goes over the head, and another adjustment buckle under the nose, which for me is a huge plus.
It also comes with a clip for the strap under the chin, and rather than the type with the slider that always breaks or gets stuck, it’s got the kind you simply push onto the ring. My favorite part about that feature, is that it points toward my horse’s face, so no chance of getting his face clipped to something, since he’s a dumb dumb and has been know to try.
My one complaint is super tiny, and may have been a fluke, but when I received the halter, it was bagged up and the bag was covered in leather dye. The first couple of uses left a little bit of color on my hands and Val’s nose, but even though he’s sensitive to leather dye sometimes, this didn’t seem to cause him any issue, and after a few washes and uses it wasn’t an issue any longer. If I’d really been concerned, I think with a good scrubbing, the excess dye would have come off just fine.
All in all, I think this was a great halter for the price. It doesn’t feel at all flimsy or cheap, even though it was pretty inexpensive as far as leather halters go. It’s going to look really nice when I get around to putting on a name plate, and it’s got all of the features I look for in a halter, including adjustability and a safe clip. I ordered a horse size for Val, and the sizing is pretty normal, so all-in-all, I’d save this one is a complete win for me.
Right now, SmartPak is even having a Memorial day sale, and they are offering 20% off with code MEM16, so with that plus a USEF or USEA discount, you can snag one for $37.96. That’s basically a steal for a quality leather halter.