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Harnesses for A sized minis

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charlottein

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Hello, Wondering if anyone has suggestions for brands of harness that are $200 or less ideally for A sized mini? I have a generic 'mini' sized one I am using now, and have punched enough holes in to fit, but the browband sticks out a ton and does not fit well. I do not show, just pleasure drive, and am asking for a harness for Christmas! Links would be great too. The one I have is not great quality so I don't know that taking it to leather worker is worth it - but I am open to that idea if it is cheap.
 

Dragon Hill

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I'm not sure you will be able to find one that really fits well at that price range. Usually it's "one size fits all" and of course they don't. Another option you might consider is to buy your harness in pieces from a custom harness maker. You will need to take good measurements if you do. Mindy Shroder has good videos showing how to measure for each part. I have no idea how much leather work cost if you decide to take your harness to someone. I will tell you it took me quite a while to bite the bullet and buy a custom harness (and still cringe a little if I think about the $), but it is so much nicer, more comfortable for my horse, and easier for me, too. Knowing what I know now, I will buy my next harness custom even if I have to buy it one piece at a time.
 

Marsha Cassada

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If you only need a good bridle, and the rest works fine for you, then I would invest in a good quality bridle and continue using the harness. A nice fitting bridle and quality bit will go a long way in driving pleasure.
 

charlottein

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I'm not sure you will be able to find one that really fits well at that price range. Usually it's "one size fits all" and of course they don't. Another option you might consider is to buy your harness in pieces from a custom harness maker. You will need to take good measurements if you do. Mindy Shroder has good videos showing how to measure for each part. I have no idea how much leather work cost if you decide to take your harness to someone. I will tell you it took me quite a while to bite the bullet and buy a custom harness (and still cringe a little if I think about the $), but it is so much nicer, more comfortable for my horse, and easier for me, too. Knowing what I know now, I will buy my next harness custom even if I have to buy it one piece at a time.
Thanks, I was worried about that! I printed a measurement chart and will be taking measurements. I really would like to get an expensive one, but don't think I can argue too expensive yet. Maybe I can trim down all the hanging straps and just replace the brow band? I have velcro loops keeping the straps from hanging. I did manage to get enough holes punched so that the bit sits well and the blinkers are in the right place. Of course my weanling is probably gonna be 33-34, so it will probably fit her when she is grown so I hate to alter it too much.
 

Dragon Hill

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If you've got your blinkers and bit right, it sounds like just replacing the brow band will work. You didn't mention a nose band, does it fit? My first one, the nose band was too small so I just left it off. But if you do, you need to make sure the sides don't gape away from his face when you pull back on the lines. If it gapes a lot they might be able to see behind them, and some horses will freak out to see the cart following them. I ended up taking the brow band off too because It didn't have wires in the blinker stays and I had to tape in a plastic tube to hold them in the right position. The second harness I bought used and it had a few missing pieces but I didn't realize it until I got home and tried it on my mini, and it fit, but barely.
 

Cayuse

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My favorite harness is a combo of a real cheap generic harness and a custom bridle. If you like the harness your using, Marsha's suggestion is great.
If you only need a good bridle, and the rest works fine for you, then I would invest in a good quality bridle and continue using the harness. A nice fitting bridle and quality bit will go a long way in driving pleasure.
 

YKate

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I'm using an older used harness but bought a wonderful new bridle and everything goes together well. I feel good about the bridle because it can't fall off. I had an incident while out driving that my pony shook off his bridle. I was able to stop him and put it back on. Thank God he's a well trained animal or it could have been disastrous
 

charlottein

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If you've got your blinkers and bit right, it sounds like just replacing the brow band will work. You didn't mention a nose band, does it fit? My first one, the nose band was too small so I just left it off. But if you do, you need to make sure the sides don't gape away from his face when you pull back on the lines. If it gapes a lot they might be able to see behind them, and some horses will freak out to see the cart following them. I ended up taking the brow band off too because It didn't have wires in the blinker stays and I had to tape in a plastic tube to hold them in the right position. The second harness I bought used and it had a few missing pieces but I didn't realize it until I got home and tried it on my mini, and it fit, but barely.
Sounds similar - there are no wires in my stays either, so I have a velcro strap to the browband to keep it in the right place, and luckily the noseband does not gape. Do you know where to get a browband that small? I didn't see individual browbands on sites I checked. I think I will watch for a used one to come up hopefully, as this one is just not in great condition - some cracking (I am oiling it regularly so it hasn't gotten worse) but I think you are right about just replacing the brow band for now! Thanks for the input!
 

charlottein

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I'm using an older used harness but bought a wonderful new bridle and everything goes together well. I feel good about the bridle because it can't fall off. I had an incident while out driving that my pony shook off his bridle. I was able to stop him and put it back on. Thank God he's a well trained animal or it could have been disastrous
Yes I am worried about that! He managed to get it off one ear this past weekend, but he was good and I hopped out and fixed it, and tightened the throat latch!
 

Cayuse

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A fast fix for the bridle that tends to fall off is a strap that runs from throatlatch to nose band. You can probably micky mouse one together from a nylon cat or small dog collar. My hubby made me one out of one inch nylon, he just measured it and sewed a loop onto each end to run the noseband and throatlatch thru. My Peanut is a great one for shaking off the bridle. We just eyeballed it and pinned it where he needed to stitch. You want it tight enough that you can't lift the bridle over the ear but not so much tension that it pulls the noseband/throatlatch out of it's proper place. In a pinch you could probably use a shoestring or baling twine (the duct tape of the equine world!)
 

YKate

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I bought my wonderful bridle from Chimacum Tack. Another full-proof method of keeping your bridle on is to braid the forelock to the mane over the crown piece. I did that it I got my new Bridle.
 

MindySchroder

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Chimacum Tack has a wonderful harness for those on a tight budget. It's called the Whiteman harness. You have to either be nominated or nominate yourself but it's an easy process. I look over the nominations myself! I am also happy to help try to make what you have work. That's part of my job with Chimacum :)
 

charlottein

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Chimacum Tack has a wonderful harness for those on a tight budget. It's called the Whiteman harness. You have to either be nominated or nominate yourself but it's an easy process. I look over the nominations myself! I am also happy to help try to make what you have work. That's part of my job with Chimacum :)
Oh wow! That harness is beautiful too! I will definitely apply! I really think I should replace the one I have. I realized yesterday while cleaning it that the leather is kind of.... fraying? where it has some cracking on the girth from being dry when I got it. I have been oiling it every week to try and bring it back, but I am wondering if it probably is not safe to use much longer? Thank you so much Mindy for sharing that for me! I have been eyeing Chimacum's harnesses and trying to figure out how to work one into our budget!
 

Dragon Hill

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Leather is amazing stuff, its structure allows flexibility and strength. Unfortunately, there is a certain point of dryness that weakens the structure from which it can never come back. I don't know exactly what that point is, but cracks aren't good. A few tiny little surface cracks here and there I would just watch, but when you get more and more, and deeper ones it's time to replace. I let my girth on my riding saddle go too long, and got away with it, but if my horse had done a big spook...
 

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