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 

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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.

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!

 

World Wide Tack Creates Happy Customers!

Here at World Wide Tack we pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We like nothing more that to create happy customers so we were thrilled to receive this message from Erin Pullen. She said

“Thank you so so much for being so wonderful! I received my bit this afternoon. It’s absolutely perfect. I appreciate your time and patience with getting my order to me.”

At World Wide Tack we offer a range of different Bits including Neue Schule, Reinsman and the world renowned, innovative Bombers Bits . Our in-house bitting expert Stephen Biddlecombe is happy to inform and advise customers on bitting their horse and his wealth of experience is sure to help you find a bit for even the most challenging of horses.

Stephen is contactable on Tel: 01825 841 303 or email: info@worldwidetack.co.uk

 

 

Taking Part in Arena Polo

Arena polo is a fast-paced version of polo played outdoors on an enclosed all-weather surface, or in an indoor arena.

Unlike outdoor polo, which is played on a 10-acre field, arena polo is played in a smaller set up allowing more venues to host matches and adding to the excitement of the thrilling game.

The match is played as usual, consisting of four chukkas of seven and one-half minutes each but the ball used is slightly larger.

Arena polo is typically far more financially accessible than outdoor polo. Arena polo is also played year-round, which is attractive to many players because it makes progress in the sport easier and quicker!

So what equipment do you need for Arena Polo?

Rider Wear

Being safe and protected whilst playing Polo is essential, alongside a riding helmet Riding Boots, Elbow Pads and Knee Guards should be worn. World Wide Tack offer their own range of top quality products. Click here to view!

Bandages and Tendon Boots
Polo is a fast and furious game and so your pony’s legs must be protected. Polo players often apply both soft fleece bandages and supportive tendon boots in order to maximise protection. World Wide Tack offers 18 different coloured polo bandages designed specifically with polo in mind with extra length for support and protection.

Bits
World Wide Tack supplies Bomber Bits, a must-have for any polo player! Designed by polo player Peter Nel every Bomber bit is made from blue sweet iron which oxidises easily, encouraging salivation and acceptance. In addition World Wide Tack offer a bespoke service where you can choose your mouth and cheek piece size and order it to be hand made and delivered directly to you; perfect for polo!

Leather Work
World Wide Tack pride themself on their bridle work including bridles, martingales, breastplates and more being made exclusively in the UK from top quality leather. You need a firm holding when playing polo and the security that your tack is going to stay intact for the duration in all conditions so World Wide Tack has a range of high quality leather work, built to last and offering maximum quality!

For more information about the wide range of equipment for polo and other disciplines visit the website www.worldwidetack.com

 

Bitting Advice

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With many many different equine bitting choices on the market, making the selection of the perfect bit can prove rather overwhelming. It does sometimes take some experimenting to find the right bit for your horse or pony and the perfect bit for one discipline, i.e jumping is unlikely to be the ideal bit for a different activity such as dressage.

Here, we take a look at the main factors for your customers to consider when determining what type of bit they should use for a horse or pony in our latest blog, and highlight some of the bitting options we have available to retailers from Bombers Bits.

Advice for horse owners-

  1. Firstly the type of bit you need depends on what discipline you and your horse undertake. Your equine may require a stronger bit for hunting or jumping but be perfectly capable of working in a relaxed way whilst hacking and schooling in a simple snaffle. Do remember though if you are a competitive equestrian that if you are competing you must check what bits are permitted for that specific discipline!
  1. A less experienced rider should always stick to a less severe bit such as a snaffle whereas a more experienced rider that does not rely on the hand for balance in any way can utilise a wider range of bit choices, including such as Pelhams or Gag bits.
  1. When deciding on what bit will work for your horse it is vital to also consider the horse as well as yourself, so measuring your horse’s mouth is an important part of finding the right bit. If you need advice on how to measure your equine’s mouth why not ask a trusted friend, your instructor or yard owner?
  1. If you have tried lots of different bits to no avail then Bomber Bits  designed by Peter “Bomber” Nel, professional Polocrosse rider, may provide the solution to bitting conundrums.
  1. The handmade, sweet iron bits have been developed and tried and tested providing the optimum in bitting excellence. Now used in the upper echelons of Eventing, Polo and Show Jumping throughout Europe, these bits are highly regarded by professionals.
  2. Each one is made from blue sweet iron, because it oxidises easily, encourages salivation, helps bit acceptance and is warm and sweet. Bomber’s philosophy is that pressure leads to resistance, and resistance leads to lack of control. So, to get control, you must remove the resistance. Peter explains that the only way to remove the resistance is to remove the pressure and if you cannot remove the pressure, you have to distribute the pressure over a bigger surface area. That is why he designed a bit which distributes the pressure better than many other bits by having a specially rounded shape of mouthpiece.
  1. There is a huge variety of Bomber designed bits including bits suitable for every different type of discipline such as; Snaffles, Full Cheek Bits, Gags, Pelhams and Kimblewicks alongside Bomber’s own developments the Happy Tongue, The Bomber Blue and Petros Williams bits, to name but a few. Bomber bits are able to help with problems such as Head Shaking, Sensitive tongues as well as horses carrying their heads too high or too low.

Retailers – call us today to speak to a member of our team to receive all the advice you require – 01825 840002.