Gel-Eze – Taking the Pressure Off!

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In the past limited research had taken place to assess the forces applied, by the rider and the saddle,  to the horse’s back when ridden but in more recent times this issue has been highlighted by scientists and companies alike! Technology has advanced a great deal in the last twenty years, allowing the equestrian industry to develop some outstanding products and to study the equine sports horse in greater detail and research and development has always been high on the list of priorities for World Wide Tack. 

World Wide Tack’s Stephen Biddlecombe was convinced that an innovative gel product had a place in the equestrian marketplace to help protect horses’ backs and offer shock absorption. The Gel-Eze brand began its development in 1999 and launched three years later after significant research. It is now exported to over 35 countries worldwide!

As the range developed by Stephen has been expanded to include products that include strategically-placed cushions of gel helping saddle fit and balance as well as shock absorbing and protecting the horse’s back. This include such as a wither pad, rear riser, non slip pad and anatomically shaped gel pads to name but a few!

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In addition as a trade leader in sheepskin saddle pads, so it was only a matter of time before the two products – gel and sheepskin – were blended! Stephen says… “We have very successfully combined the Gel Eze products with our range of Stephens Saddle pads. The pads are very popular with owners of big moving horses that do a lot of extension at the shoulder, as the Gel-Eze also stops lateral movement of the saddle, and the resulting pressure points.”

Why not visit the website to see the huge range of Gel-Eze products including the best-selling Stephen’s Pads with Sheepskin today at www.worldwidetack.com 

Composition of Bits and Bitting Materials

With a vast array of bits on the market choosing a bit for your horse or pony can be somewhat daunting. In our latest blog World Wide Tack takes a look at bit materials and how they can influence the bitting choice which is right for our horses. 

Many horse owners will have never considered the bit material but actually the bit metal or material matters to some horses in their acceptance of the bit and the contact.

Stainless steel is a good place to start when considering materials for any type of bit – it’s durable, moderate in price and neutral in taste. The most popular bit material on the market is also fairly light, but depending on where it has been manufactured it’s quality may vary. The best quality steel is made in Europe .

Rubber is a soft material similar to plastic but with more flexibility. It is great for making strong style bits softer or for young horses who have just started work. The young horses generally chew on the material because they are getting used to having something in their mouths.

Combination bits are cutting edge but Trust Equestrian have brought out the Trust range of bits which are composed of plastic which is FDA approved and non-toxic crafted with a Stainless Steel interior core making them reliable and safe. Click on the link here to view the range available currently via World Wide Tack!

Sweet iron is not actually an iron at all, but steel. The  soft metal  rusts somewhat through use and this creates a sweet taste in the horse’s mouth which acts to encourage gentle chewing of the bit and salivation. Made from blue sweet iron, Bombers bits available through World Wide Tack were originally designed for polocrosse, but are becoming increasingly popular among top show jumpers and dressage riders. The blue sweet iron oxidises easily, encouraging the horse to salivate and assisting acceptance of the bit.

A Custom Fit…

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This month World Wide Tack’s Stephen Biddlecombe advised readers of Polo Times on horses and ponies with unusual mouth conformation, or with an especially smaller-sized mouth discussing whether a custom bit design could be the answer to tricky bitting issues! 

Stephen says… “As we have discussed in recent issues, while polo ponies do tend to have relatively compact heads and average-sized tongues, there are lots of players with horses that have crossed over from another discipline, perhaps a small Warmblood-type, a former racehorse or an Arab-cross; and they may face conformational challenges within the mouth. Warmbloods for example tend to have larger tongues, while Arab crosses often have a lower ‘upper palate’.

Whatever the breed or lineage, there are also conformational mouth issues that crop up with no obvious cause, in terms of dental issues or breed influences. They include particularly thick, thin, narrow or wide tongues, as well as wide or narrow jaws; high, low or fleshy palates (e.g. the roof of mouth), as well as long lips, and overshot or undershot jaws. And of course, it is not uncommon to see several of these issues occurring at once.

If your trainer and / or vet agrees that your horse or pony has unusual mouth conformation, then the revolutionary ‘design your own bit’ service on offer from Bombers Equestrian Equipment could be of interest to you, The service means that players can choose whatever mouth piece, cheek piece and bit size they require, and customise each bit with personal instruction.

It could be the size (width) of the mouthpiece; although the bits are available on special order in standard (non-bespoke) sizes not held in stock in the UK from 115mm, for ponies. What is perhaps more common is for the custom-made element to be required for the bit’s shape and function; for example, some players like a twist on one side, but not the other, perhaps if they have a strong pony that leans on one rein. To obtain a bespoke Bombers Bit, simply email info@equineman.com and upon receiving the email, I will respond with a quote and estimated turnaround time for production and delivery (usually up to two months). Our most popular polo bits are the Pelhams, 3-Rings and Big Ring Gags, and a multitude of mouthpiece designs is available to suit your needs.”

Bombers Bits also include hundreds of off the shelf bitting solutions. Bombers Bits are made from blue sweet iron – the metal oxidises easily, creating a warm, sweet taste in the horse’s mouth. This encourages the horse to salivate. Visit www.worldwidetack.com to purchase today!  

Bitting Query for Cementum Hyperplasia

The team at World Wide Tack were recently contacted by a customer who was looking for a bit for her horse who suffers from Cementum Hyperplasia. Luckily our resident bitting expert Stephen Biddlecombe was on hand to advice and here at HQ thought we would write a blog to share the advice! Cementum Hyperplasia describes excessive deposition of secondary cementum on the root of a tooth, which may be caused by localized trauma or inflammation, excessive tooth eruption or it may simply occur idiopathically.

Question

Our customer said…

“Can you recommend a bit for my horse who suffers from cementum hyperplasia on his lower first pre molars and often throws his head around for the first 15 minutess of ridden work, and then settles with just the occasional toss of his head. He has been ridden in a full cheek and now recently tried a Neue Schule loose ring which he seems to prefer, but there is no steering. I was wondering about the ported bits but not sure how these would affect his condition? ”

Answer

Stephen says

“I wonder if the feel of metal also disturbs him so I think that the Bombers Blue mouthpiece would be of help. This is a ported straight bar, which offers a little relief of tongue pressure, but above all does not have that cold, hard feeling that any metal has. The synthetic nature of the material and the diameter (18mm) might well be more comfortable for him. This mouthpiece comes in a variety of cheek pieces, full cheek, 2.5 ring (which offers some poll pressure as well), loose ring, eggbutt.

Or you could consider the Bombers Petros Williams. All the cheek pieces work slightly differently depending on what you want, but for steering issues the full cheek, 2.5 ring or Williams would be the better choice.”

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To view the selection of bits Stephen describes in the above query visit the website at www.worldwidetack.com

Measuring and Trying New Bits

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Bits are measured from inside the cheek pieces, from ring to ring. There are several options available to horse owners when looking for or trying out a new bit.

1.A ‘bit measure’

Horse owners could buy or borrow a bit measure – these gadgets cost around £50 and are fitted inside the mouth – a gauge accurately tells you the size required, and they are available for the different brands of bit available – Bombers Bits does sell a bit measure within its product range. Once in the horse’s mouth, horse owners will need to lift the measure into the correct place; just before any wrinkles begin to form, note the sizing detailed on the measure, just outside the mouth’s lip creases.

2. A straight rod

Using any straight rod, like a wooden spoon handle, can achieve the same result as a proper bit measure. With assistance, lift the rod to the correct place in the mouth, and mark the rod on both sides with a pen, just outside the lip crease. Measuring between these marks gives you the measured mouth size.

3.Borrowing a bit

Whilst equestrian could also try a few other bits that friends or team-mates have for size, this can be problematic, as the type of mouthpiece and cheekpiece of the bit that you measured could affect the sizing; e.g. if the bit you need is a loose ring, which measures slightly longer, and the bit you are borrowing is a fixed cheek piece bit. If however you do have a bit to borrow that is similar to the one you want, and is the right size, you can simply lay it down on a flat surface and pull the rings apart so the bit is at its maximum length. Measure along the full length of the mouthpiece from the inside edge of the ring to the inside edge of the opposite ring with a ruler, choosing inches or centimetres. (You could also ask a reputable bitting retailer about their hire packages, having established the size that you believe you need…

Stephen Biddlecombe of World Wide Tack says…

“In my experience, most horses are fitted with bits that are too tight, and this just adds more pressure points to the ‘bitting mix’. With a fixed mouth piece, the size required is the measured size, and with single and double jointed bits, this should be the measured size, plus 10 mm to take into account the joints. In addition to these factors, add 5mm if the bit has a loose ring cheek piece. Nothing additional needs to be added for fixed cheek pieces!”

To see the range of bits from companies such as Bombers Bits, Trust, Neue Schule and more visit the website www.worldwidetack.com today!

 

Bombers Bits Featured in Horse Magazine!

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We were thrilled to see Bombers Bits featured in this month’s HORSE magazine. The Bombers Bits Loose Ring Bradoon has a curved mouthpiece which fits around the shape of the tongue and the horse’s mouth providing relief from tongue and bar pressure.

Available to purchase today alongside a wide range of Bombers Bits direct from World Wide Tack! Simply visit the website at www.worldwidetack.com 

 

Top Grooming Tips; Featuring Advice from Cowboy Magic Products!

We proudly stock Cowboy Magic products from American brand-leaders, Straight Arrow. 

Here are our Cowboy Magic product tips, for customers:

Cowboy Magic Concentrated Detangler & Shine 

Problem: Horse’s mane and tail are knotted, tangled, and could use some extra shine
Solution: Apply a 20p sized drop of Cowboy Magic Concentrated Detangler & Shine into the palm of your hands. Start by rubbing hands together and working the product throughout the mane and tail. It instantly removes knots and tangles allowing your pick, comb, or brush to glide right through while providing a luxurious, long-lasting shine. The amount used will vary, given the length and thickness of the mane and tail.

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Cowboy Magic Shine In Yellowout

Problem: Dull, stained coats, manes, and tails of all colors – especially whites and greys.
Solution: Brush off excess dirt and wet down your horse. For really tough stains you can use the Cowboy Magic Greenspot Remover for spot treatment prior to using the whitening shampoo. Apply the Shine In Yellowout Shampoo directly onto the hair. Massage in the shampoo until the purplish-blue lather turns white; leave the product on for a few minutes for best results. Rinse and prepare to be dazzled. This shampoo does not contain bleaches or peroxides, leaving the hair soft and manageable.

*Bonus Tip: Stop your gray hair from turning yellow with Shine In Yellowout. Perfect for all colour-treated hair. Remember anti-yellowing shampoos developed for the personal care market, this works the same ‘magic’ those do!

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Cowboy Magic Super Bodyshine

Problem: You need your horse to shine in the spotlight

Solution: Spray Cowboy Magic Super Bodyshine directly onto your horse’s coat, mane, and tail (do not spray where saddle is placed) and use a grooming brush to buff out the coat to achieve the ultimate glossy shine! Not only will this finishing spray condition the hair and help to repel show ring dust and dirt, but your horse will catch the attention of all!

*Bonus Tip: Spraying Super Bodyshine in advance directly to coats, manes and tails, pre-trail riding provides a barrier to repel mud and burrs to help facilitate a faster and easier clean up.

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