Monday, October 22, 2012

Fair Hill Wrap Up

Fair Hill International was blessed with good weather for the Fall Championships for the CCI** and CCI***. While the traffic was lighter than last year the majority of visitors to Five Star Tack had heard of us, with many already owning one or more of our bridles. The most used word to describe their ownership of Five Star Tack's bridles was "love". It was very gratifying to hear as I endeavor every day to make sure our products are of the highest quality and style.

Customers not familiar with Five Star Tack were impressed with the luxurious feel of the Sedgwick leather used for our bridles.With the decline in the quality of bridle leather due to rising costs, it makes Sedgwick's a stand out.  Here is a video of what goes into making the leather. The amount of hand work that goes into the finished product is something not often found today. It's worth a watch!

From the start of our year at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day to Fair Hill International, it's been a fun year with some ups and downs but mostly ups. To be a part of some of our country's top shows is special and I am thankful for the huge amount of support from my Five Star sistas Wendy, Vicki and Gail! As always it's a pleasure to be able to follow along with the careers of our Five Star sponsored riders as well as hearing all the great things our customers are doing with their horses whether it's bringing along a new OTTB or trying to make the Olympic Team. 

So while it's the end of the competition season, the Holiday season is quickly approaching. Make sure to follow this blog as well as add Five Star Tack to your interest list on Facebook so that you don't miss any news on our Holiday promotions along with new products that will be in stock! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Product Alert!

What the Five Point Breastplate is to Eventing, the Bridge Breastplate is to Show Jumping. I've been wanting to make a bridge breastplate since I first saw them on numerous show jumpers at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. I had put it on the back burner until I saw them again at the London Olympics and decided that the timing was right to design one. They are not widely available in the US except for the very expensive one with the initials on it. Currently if you want to purchase a different brand you have to buy it from an overseas tack company and pay hefty shipping and duty fees.

Like clothing designers re-interpreting what they see on the runways, Five Star Tack will do its own interpretation of this popular European breastplate. A sample has just arrived from which revisions will be made to give it a distinctly Five Star look without the $360 price tag of the one with the initials on it. Like all of our products, it will be made from the best quality Sedgwick leather, beautifully stitched while providing comfort to your horse and security for your saddle.

This is what a bridge breastplate looks like:

My goal is to have it be fully adjustable to fit a wide variety of horses. I'll probably change the width of the straps for added strength, maybe add some elastic along with some padding and make the rings smaller. It will only be available in chocolate with stainless fittings for now. 

The plan is to have this available for Holiday Shopping. I hope it becomes a popular breastplate with our show jumping customers!

If you ever have a suggestion for a product you would like to see Five Star Tack make, send me an email at 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Five Star Tack's Piccadilly Hunter Bridle

The Piccadilly is the first design I did for Five Star Tack. I wanted to provide an alternative to the many similar looking hunter bridles. When you look at a row of fancy stitch bridles, for the most part they are all very similar in pattern; angular with not much imagination. I wanted to do a more organic pattern and one that when lined up alongside other bridles you would recognize as a Five Star bridle. 

I wish I could say that the design process was very technical but usually it's a doodle on a piece of paper or a finger drawing on a foggy mirror. I have no idea how to do a vector drawing!  After a couple of edits this is what I came up with. 

I thought it was pretty good and I liked it. Unfortunately because of the high stitch count it was hard to find a company to reproduce it. Most wanted to stay with the same pattern they had been using which I thought was boring and really what was the point of starting a new company if I was going to copy what was already being done? Eventually I was able to find a company that was willing to engage in the labor intensive process of stitching my pattern onto the bridles. 

This is how the Piccadilly looked when it first came out:

It has undergone a few revisions such as changing how the noseband hanger is attached to the noseband. Initially the noseband and browband were wider but the bridle sometimes over powered smaller horse's faces so I made it more narrow. Everything else about the bridle is your classic hunter bridle. From the Australian Nut Sedgwick leather to the neat and tidy stainless steel buckles, the Piccadilly can go into the best hunter rings and give you just a boost of style that I think is lacking with other bridles. 

This is the Piccadilly now:

This is one of my favorite pictures!

It has become a very popular bridle for Five Star Tack. I have customers that tell me how they saw someone whose horse was wearing this bridle and they felt a kinship with that person and their horse. I think the Piccadilly bridle is close to achieving cult like status! 

The Piccadilly has a cousin in the Wembley hunter bridle that came out in 2011. The Wembley is the same as the Piccadilly but with an integrated crownpiece. The funny thing is you either love the integrated crown on the hunter bridles or you hate them.  If I had to choose just one of the two to carry I'm not sure which one I'd keep because I like them both. 

Which one would you choose if you could only have one?