Ensuring a good harness fit really does rely on good measurements. I spent some time today making videos and taking photos of me measuring for different things, a harness, hoof boots and good halter measurements. These videos are for purchasing a harness or a halter from Chimacum Tack and the hoof measurements are for Equine Jogging boots, but I think you will get a pretty good idea regardless of where you decide to purchase your equipment from!

First of all I just recently received the COOLEST measuring stick for measuring horses for a collar and hames style collar. It’s called the EZ Horse Neck Measure!

IMG_9999

IMG_0001

It makes measuring for a neck collar or a SuperFlex collar so much easier than the two squares. I plan on loaning mine out to those that would like to borrow it. Though they will be for sale over on Chimacum Tack as well!

 

Zorro above and Mikey below. So even though Mikey is a bigger pony than Zorro is he measures for a smaller collar than Zorro. I have a 14″ collar and hames and they fit Zorro very well but are too big for Mikey. When I used them for our Christmas pictures I had to use a lot of padding to make it work for Mikey.

 

IMG_9562

Mikey’s neck ties in much higher than Zorro’s does which is what effects the collar measurement:

theboyscollage

How to Measure for a Harness:

How to Measure for a Halter:

And finally How to Measure for Hoof Boots:

Something else I found interesting was how much Zorro has grown and changed since I took his measurements in April. These changes aren’t just hair and chubbiness because some of them are actually just plain bigger, like his nose band. But I knew that one had changed because around the middle of summer I quit being able to use the nose band on his MaraFUN bridle.

nosebandvsnonoseband

This is part of the reason we like your harness to fit on the middle holes when it is adjusted and on your horse. This will give you some adjustments for when they grow a little bit or get chubby or hairy. Zorro turned three in May and apparently had a growth spurt over the summer!

zorrosmeasuringchartapril2018

zorrosmeasuringchartdec2018

Some of these measurements are very different. I hope he doesn’t grow much more or he will out grow his MaraFUN harness all together! Though I am sure some of you wouldn’t mind that as it would mean I would have to sell it 😉

So to sum up. Good measurements are very important for a good harness fit. And sometimes those young horses will outgrow your harness even if you have good measurements! LOL!

Harness Measuring Guide PDF

Whoot whoot! My new saddle and bridle and a bigger girth (for my very ‘mature’ mare Sky) came in the mail today! I was so excited. I spent quite a bit of time just sitting and looking them over. I brought in my old harness parts and pieced the harness together, put the bit and the reins on the new bridle and just admired it all. Then I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to go out and try everything on Sky!

Our harness is now 90% Comfy Fit Harness! I bought all my pieces from Chimacum Tack. We have:

All we need is the Comfy Fit Breeching, turn back strap, hold back straps and the crupper and our entire harness will be the Comfy Fit harness. I’ve spend the last year and a half saving up money and buying it one piece at a time!

The first thing I bought was the Deluxe Breast Collar because I knew Sky would be so much more comfortable pulling the cart over our rough terrain with that piece of equipment. That was the #1 piece for us!

SONY DSC
Comfy Fit Deluxe Collar

I noticed that she has had some shoulder and wither discomfort lately and I think that’s due to the treeless saddle that was also a bit too short for her. Since she has gotten so much ‘bigger’ much of her old harness just doesn’t fit her very well anymore. I’m not sure it will fit any of my ponies as they are all bigger than Sky! (I like my minis BIG. An oxymoron, I know.) The short, treeless saddle just creates pressure behind her withers and shoulders and doesn’t help disperse the roughness of our terrain. (Though I am addressing this with the independent suspension kit I have on order from Patty’s Pony Place!! Whoot whoot! It’s all coming together!)

saddlecollage
As you can see the old saddle is way too short. I bought the long pad to go under it trying to help her out some and I think it did help! But I love the new long, wrap around style of the Comfy Fit Saddle. It’s also padded all the way down the sides as well!

I love the look of the Comfy Fit Bridle and knew I had to have one for her as well. And of course after I tried everything on her and took her for a short spin around the yard… I put the flowers on the brow band! The blinders are bigger and round. I love how they are cupped so they won’t rub on her eyelashes. The cheek pieces are sleek and lay flat against her face. The nose band is lined and so soft. The back of the nose band is also padded along her jaw line. The poll strap is contoured to fit behind the ears better and it’s also padded and so soft! It’s just a very pretty headstall and fits the miniature horse head wonderfully!

Old bridle on the left and new Comfy Fit Bridle on the right!

I am so so excited about my harness. It looks so beautiful on Sky and will look just as good on Zorro and Essie as well! I am very happy with my choice to have it lined with brown leather. That look is very striking.

Here is a short video of us playing in the front yard! It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to drive Sky so she was full of it!

She is so cute!

 

Oh I have so many harness dreams! Buying harness can get quite expensive. Over the years I’ve learned that trying to save money by purchasing the cheaper, lower quality harness just doesn’t work. They are not well made, don’t fit the minis well and typically are not even worth the little amount you’ll pay! So saving up and getting a good harness (or two or three!) will actually save you money.

I have always loved the Camptown Harness. I had one years ago that my main driving mare, Chamomile, wore. It was beautifully made, really a work of art. They have a saddle with a tree and the nice Deep V breast collar. Their bridles are well made and fit the minis tiny head perfectly.

The Camptown harness ($799) is a mix of leather and synthetic materials. It was my first synthetic harness. Cleaning it was a snap!

 

I have been looking at the Comfy Fit harness ($700) recently. I did purchase the Deep V collar from them and LOVE the quality. Their customer service is awesome! I do plan on getting one of their harnesses. It’s on my “To Buy” list. They have saddles with trees and a sliding back strap saddle. Their bridles are very well made and fit the miniature horse head perfectly!

 

Another harness – the next one that I will purchase- is from Patty’s Pony Place ($335). She makes nylon harness. I have never been a fan of nylon, but after reading about Patty’s harness and visiting with her on Facebook I have decided I am going to give it a try! I LOVE the color options and think this harness would be so fun for parades. I am going to get a Turquoise/Teal harness with black lining. I think that will look so nice with my black draft style collar. And I will be able to use my black leather driving bridle with it to mix things up as well! This harness has a saddle with a tree and Patty is willing to make me a sliding back strap. I like how well the harness is padded and the bridle fits the mini head very nicely!

pattysponyplaceharness
Patty’s Pony Place purple harness.

I am also going to purchase Patty’s newest design… a skijoring harness ($160 this includes rope driving lines) for miniature horses!

There are other even more expensive harnesses out there, but these are my top three favorites. I know that I can use the Comfy Fit harness for Combined driving, which is my ultimate dream/bucket list. It has been around for quite awhile so I know it’s a good quality harness that will stand the test of time!