"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On Enabling a Color Obsession

*I want to do a shout-out to the folks over at The Distance Depot. But first, I must explain my OCD-ness about tack color coordination.

Gracie's colors have been light blue and black since we got her because she inherited Lily's old biothane bridle, which had those colors and stainless hardware. I didn't want to have to buy yet another bridle. (I already have...ummm...5...) I ordered her a breastplate in matching colors because she needed it for hills but I made the mistake of ordering it with brass hardware. (Lily's current biothane tack has brass hardware, hence the cause of my forgetfulness.)

Since it was custom stuff I couldn't return it, so I lived with it.

It seems like a minor thing, right? Like it shouldn't be important. Like it's something no one else would notice.

But noticed. And it was making my eye twitch. Because non-matching hardware is a NO.

Mismatched hardware = glaring eyesore.
To me at least.
And yes, I had also made the mistake of ordering the bit hangers with brass hardware too...
*both eyes twitching...*
With both Lily and Gracie going in hackamores now, Gracie needed her own noseband and it was finally my excuse to add green to her tack colors. Because Gracie and green. So I ordered a green noseband for her S-hack.

Pardon the mash mouth
And then I was like, "Hmmm...I can get a green throat latch for the bridle also..."

Bridle charm by Beka. You can get yours at Straight Shot Metal Smashing.
Sparkly beaded "House of the Rising Sun" custom browband by Karen. You can see more here; contact her through her blog to order yours. :) And yes, the green I chose is supposed to match the hint of treen at the bottom of the mountains in the browband!

"And it looks like I could just change the straps that attach the breastplate to the saddle...those could be green also."

Matte beta over the withers to match throatlatch, shiny biothane to the saddle to match S-hack noseband.
"Oh! Look at that...I can actually change all of the the hardware on the breastplate if I want to!"


Since some of these things are not on The Distance Depot website per se but I know from past experiences with Lily's tack that they will make me anything I want in whatever color I want to swap/replace random pieces and parts of their tack, I e-mailed them on a weekend asking about the breastplate parts (because on weekends is when I actually have time to obsess about stuff like this). And was quite surprised to get a response an hour later, being that it was a weekend and they are closed Saturdays and Sundays. Kristen and I e-mailed back and forth several times about my breastplate attachments. I got a price quote and a final decision on strap colors and widths, and told Kristen that I would call Monday to finalize the order.

The employee that answered the phone on Monday had no idea what I was talking about, which I had expected (I might have called when they had just opened too...), but she found Kristen in the shop and asked her about our conversation and so she entered the order into the system for me. I received an e-mailed copy of the order and I realized that the employee had misunderstood some of the specifics of the order. It was all still in one of the colors I wanted, so it was fine; I didn't want to nitpick like a crazy person. I knew my order was very confusing if you didn't know what I had discussed with Kristen.

However, an hour later I received a call from Kristen herself wanting to check the order, as she had noticed that the notes did not match what we had discussed. I ultimately did go with what we had originally decided and thanked her for enabling my color obsession. This is not the first time they call me to double-check an order, btw. They pay attention to stuff like that.

I placed my 100% made-just-for-me custom order on Monday (it was NOT pre-made: even the widths of the straps were not typical for what they usually make. This was just for me. My precioussss); it shipped Tuesday from Missouri, and arrived on Thursday in Maryland. It was regular Priority shipping.

Seriously. You can't ask for better customer service. I love that store.

Hence the color monster in me has been sated and now all of Gracie's tack is satisfactorily matchy-matchy in both color and hardware, and green has been added without having to buy a whole new set of tack.

*Sigh of relief*

Anywho. Doesn't she look good with the added green????

Hint: You're supposed to say yes...
And because I know you noticed ;), I did order the bit hangers in baby blue with stainless steel so ALL THE THINGS WOULD MATCH.

Now we just need to add colored reins...

"Mom, can you stop talking about colors so we can go for a ride already?"
And yes, Miss Thang is really good at pretending to be a calm docile creature before rides.

And in case you are as color-obsessed as I am, here is The Distance Depot's color chart for their biothane tack. Because you can get pretty much any tack item you want in these colors.
You're welcome. 

*I have not been compensated by The Distance Depot in any way, shape or form for writing this review, nor did they ask me to write it. I pay full price just like everyone else; I just happen to love their products and customer service and want to commend them publicly for it. :)


  1. Isn't it nice when you find great customer service (generally a total oxymoron ;o) Love all the pretty color, and I really love that browband!

    1. Great customer service is a wonderful thing when we do find it! Thanks Jen! :D Karen makes the most beautiful browbands. Lily's browband is also made by her.

  2. -_- my dear, you have a problem.

    But I love you.

    1. Like I said, you are totally allowed to make fun of me. ;) I love you too lady!

  3. My eyes twitch about my brass hardware on the white breastcollar but I love that breastcollar so I have to deal with it. I like that Gracie's light blue looks white in photos. You truly have a one-of-a-kind breastcollar there! So, does your saddle pad conform to the shape of your saddle exactly? Skito can help if not. I'm sure you read about my obsession with getting a pad to align exactly in shape with my saddle, and it came pretty close, but it's no Skito. In endurance, extra pad around your saddle makes extra heat, so you've got that to obsess over as well. In the "finished" photo I thought to myself what is out of place, the reins maybe? But they match the headstall so maybe they should stay black, or else your headstall won't match anything else. Also, I really like those type of reins, they never get slick. Hm. You should have seen me designing my bathroom.

    1. Lytha, you're feeding the fire here! Haha ;)

      It's all especially one-of-a-kind because that light blue is being discontinued! The Distance Depot and Horse Lover's Outlet (they are both the same company basically) seem to be one of the few with some of that light blue left. Charles really liked the beta grip reins (these: https://www.thedistancedepot.com/Beta_Grip_Reins_with_Color_on_Ends_p/bbt-bgro.htm) that I have on Lily. The ones Gracie has right now are the rubberized web reins with stops, which are nice but we've had issues with them melting in the past. I'd like the grip reins to be in the light blue with black grips, since black is the base color for both the bridle and breastplate. I feel like the saddlebag should be green but it's not getting replaced unless I find a used green Stowaway: I would then sell the black one I have...yes, this is all #firstworldproblems.

      My Matrix Woolback does conform exactly to the shape of this saddle, actually! :D The one problem is that the Alta fits Gracie very well so it's too thick for her: the Woolback is perfect for riding Lily in the Alta. For now I'm just using basic thin cotton all-purpose pads under the Alta for Gracie. Endurance pads seem to be all about thick padding under saddles and it drives me crazy that I can't find something in a more appropriate material (like wool) that isn't 1" thick. I mean, what about all of the horses out there competing in saddles that fit them perfectly? (As you can tell, this has kind of turned into a pet peeve, as I've run into the same issue with Lily's Wintec, which also fits her perfectly.)

      I can imagine you designing your bathroom! ;)

    2. Oh, the melting rubber pimple grip reins, how I hate them. And I have two sets of them at the moment, and they're pretty new, and already starting to melt. Design flaw - your reins should not leave black rubber marks on your hands after a ride. I wanted these newfangled Zilco woven reins (http://www.equestriancollections.com/product.asp?groupcode=TO80207) and ordered them, but I got the rubber melty ones instead and didn't bother to pursue it. 3/4" reins are a bit chunky but you never lose them in the mane. I'm still looking for the perfect reins. One feature I made up in my mind (I've got endurance products in my head that no one has manufactured yet) - reins with clips but the clips don't attach to the bit, the rein does so you have a solid connection (no metal on metal) but the convenience of a clip - the clip attaches back to the rein. To an extra ring near the end of the rein. Can you picture it?

  4. So many choices! Love the look of what you've chosen ;)

  5. I love the added green. The mismatched hardware would have made me nuts too.

    1. Hahaha glad I'm not the only one!

  6. I may have to do a Gracie browband of her own. . . . .

    1. I can never say no to that! :D Though the one she wears now is so absolutely perfect!

  7. Great customer service is hard to find. Next time I order I will be checking them out. Gracie looks really nice in the green. The light blue adds a feminine touch too. Very nice.

  8. You are definitely not the only one! Mismatched hardware makes me totally twitchy...which is a problem when all of the tack I started with is all brass, but any new pieces I've been getting are stainless. *twitchtwitch*

    Love the black/light blue/green combo...mixing three colors like that makes for wonderfully unique, individual tack sets.