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Picking a harness


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#1 PintoPalLover

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:54 PM

Hi everyone,

This is my first  post so hopefully I do everything right.  :)  I got my first mini 4 years ago and after having her (Magnolia) for 2 years I got Sugar when she was 3 1/2 months old. I've been ground driving Magnolia for a while so I know the basics of harnessing/harness parts .  I'd like to start Sugar this winter , so my biggest question so far is what harness do you recommend ? She fairly small boned and around 32" . I've read a lot of the past articles on this subject and I'm leaning towards the Ozark Mt. russet pleasure harness, I like the Comfy Fit harness but I'm afraid that it would swallow Sugar up. I wouldn't have her actually pulling much weight till she's 3 next year. Any tips are appreciated ! I already have a cart but I haven't hitched Magnolia yet and I think Sugar will enjoy it more so I want to focus on Sugar's driving stuff more so and get her pulling first. 

Thanks !

P.P.L.


 

My first 'Pinto PalStormy Rivers Scouts Shez My Girl (Magnolia/"Nollie"

And Thistle Fields Sugar And Spice (Sugar/"Suggie")


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#2 Marsha Cassada

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 08:50 AM

I think you would be pleased with the Ozark. 

There are so many harness choices now!  Also depends on how much you want to spend and whether you plan to show or drive for pleasure.  If 15 folks reply to this topic, they will probably all have a different harness!

The biggest issue, IMO, is the fit of the bridle.  What ever harness set you buy, just keep working with the supplier until your bridle is fitted correctly.  The rest of the harness has lots of room for adjustment, but the bridle is so critical.

My first harness came from Big Dee 15 years ago.  It actually has the nicest bridle for fit that I've owned.  The blinders are well made and adjustable.  The leather is soft and supple.  Alas, that set it no longer offered.  I fear the Chinese have cornered the leather market instead of Mexico, where most of the previous leather goods were made.  The leather workers in Mexico knew leather and tack.  Not sure the Chinese have a clue...

I'm still using my first harness.  I have tweaked it with other parts over the years.  I believe that is the nature of a well-used harness!

Used to be also to search the Forum for topics, but I can't seem to get that feature to work very well any more.  Harnesses have been discussed in depth many times over the years here.

I purchased sheepskin pads for the breast collar for a small mare I drove.  If you feel the V collar is too clunky for your girl, that might be an answer.  I ordered the big horse halter set from Equine Comfort Products and it was perfect.  877-580-9735 is their phone number.  The pad velcros over the breast collar.

Looking forward to hearing more about your driving adventures!



#3 Strangeaddiction

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 09:49 AM

I got my starter/work harness from Star Lake, super affordable for a nice leather harness (nice enough to show in if you wanted to do that). Like Marsha said, the bridle is the hardest part to find a fit, and honestly no harness maker is going to make one bridle that fits all so I feel it is important to find someone willing to work with you. The gal at star lake was amazing at helping me, you can even send measurements to her and she'll help you with the bridle and harness fit before she sends it, if something doesn't fit, send it back and she'll help you with a piece that does. I have heard great things about ozark as well, but I would go for an estate harness, the guy does AMAZING work, almost everyone at my barn has an estate harness and I am saving up to have him make me a show harness. His basic harness is a little more expensive than the star lake but I think higher quality leather. 



#4 MajorClementine

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 01:24 PM

My first harness was from Ozark. I've replaced some parts of it with Comfy Fit but I'm still using it. If you buy a good harness the first time around you'll be happy you did. Stay away from inexpensive nylon harnesses.

 

I've seen all sizes of the Comfy Fit in person. I don't think it would look too big on your mare. I was worried about the Deluxe Breast Collar being too big on my narrow chested fine boned mini but Clementine is so much more comfortable with having more surface area to pull from vs. when she was in her thinner straight breast collar.

 


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#5 PintoPalLover

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for replying everybody  :) . It's sounds like everybody's pretty easy to work with at various places so that should be very helpful.

I'm not planning on showing ,maybe someday in the far away future  , mainly I want a quality harness that's comfortable for her. I'm chewing on my options now ,I know the bridles important and that's what I'm most worried about . I'd really like to get it in russet or brown and I like Comfy Fit's options for that. I hadn't seen the Estate harness before, it's looks nice , too . 

I don't know why but I always thought of Star Lakes harnesses as show harnesses (which are very pretty from there !) but  it's looks like they might have one that's comparable to Ozarks. I'll definitely let you know what I decide :yes  Thanks again  ! 

I'll try to post a picture of Sugar yet , too.


 

My first 'Pinto PalStormy Rivers Scouts Shez My Girl (Magnolia/"Nollie"

And Thistle Fields Sugar And Spice (Sugar/"Suggie")


#6 PintoPalLover

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 08:22 PM

Okay, I hope this works.  Sugar in her 'summer slicks'.  :BigGrin

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My first 'Pinto PalStormy Rivers Scouts Shez My Girl (Magnolia/"Nollie"

And Thistle Fields Sugar And Spice (Sugar/"Suggie")


#7 xrdh

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:36 PM

You can't lose with Comfy Fit. The harnesses are well made (in the USA) and are really nicely padded. The customer service is great, too. They won't quit until you're happy. I have three minis and all three have (finally) been upgraded to Comfy Fits. The Deluxe Deep V breast collar is a must for our cute, but short necked minis (it won't choke them out going uphill), and the sliding back band saddle is critical if you plan to drive in the rough, or on uneven ground. Those are the two upgrades I made to my harnesses. Love them!



#8 PintoPalLover

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 03:39 PM

Thanks for replying xrdh! The Comfy Fit getting pretty tempting, I've only heard wonderful things about it and their customer service. I'm hoping to come to a decision soon, you'd think it be easy, I guess I'm just going to have to make up my mind. :/
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My first 'Pinto PalStormy Rivers Scouts Shez My Girl (Magnolia/"Nollie"

And Thistle Fields Sugar And Spice (Sugar/"Suggie")


#9 dalvers63

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 05:38 PM

I'm coming late to the topic but also have to put in a good word for the Comfy Fit. I went through the same process as you when I got Mikey and ended up buying the black/brown synthetic Comfy Fit with the deep V breastcollar. I love it and will be getting another one when I get a slightly bigger horse in the near future.

 

You can't go wrong and won't be buying another harness anytime soon!


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#10 PintoPalLover

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 02:11 AM

Thanks for replying dalvers63 ! I was just getting on here to say I ordered my harness today , I decided on Ozarks russet pleasure harness for now but I think a Comfy Fit will probably be in my future, I still really like them and what I've heard about them.  I think the Ozark's will make a good starter harness for us though. I'm planning on posting pictures sometime once I get it.   :yes​ 


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My first 'Pinto PalStormy Rivers Scouts Shez My Girl (Magnolia/"Nollie"

And Thistle Fields Sugar And Spice (Sugar/"Suggie")





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