By Terry Golson

I’m not one of those matchy-matchy people who color-coordinate polo wraps, saddle pad and ear bonnet. BUT.

What’s wrong with this picture?


My jumping saddle is brown. Brown leathers. Brown girth. BLACK bridle.


That is a dressage bridle. Soft, high-grade leather. Ergonomic. Custom browband that was a gift from a friend. Fits Tonka perfectly. But it doesn’t match the saddle.

Here it is in motion.


I know. I know. Not that big a deal. Except it is.

So I got this. Lovely leather. Padded and shaped crown piece to give Tonka’s squat ears enough room. Coordinates with the saddle. Hunter show legal (the black bridle isn’t.)


Looks good in motion, too.


Now we’re matchy-matchy. But I still don’t coordinate pads and ear bonnets. I’m tempted, though! Do you?

17 thoughts on “Matchy-matchy

  • Laura allemand

    Between my daughter and me, we have just about every color saddle blanket and sport/bell boot imaginable. We definitely have a shopping problem. Our trailer looks like a tack shop!

      • Laura Allemand

        I’m sorry to say we both went through a sparkly phase. I don’t wear sparkles IRL, so it’s fun to do it to with horse. My pretty little mare looks so beautiful all glammed up! Western saddles have lots of opportunities for sparkle with jeweled conchos too.

        • Terry Golson Post author

          Tonka would gorgeous in a black western bridle and saddle with silver points, don’t you think? I almost picked up western dressage just so I’d have an excuse to make that purchase!

  • Daisy

    I personally prefer mis-match, fit for a rebelle personality like Tonka’s but I must admit the picture showing the new bridle close makes him look regal 🙂 I couldn’t decide which one I like best LOL ! maybe depending on the circumstances? it’s up to you then LOL !

    Happy Sunday !

  • Carolyn

    Not yet with the ear bonnet and saddle pads although I sometimes match my shirt with her saddle pad! 🙂

  • Michelle McMillen

    No matchy-matchy here, except all-black tack. I have a ear bonnet but don’t use it much. Mostly black saddle pads. My clothes don’t usually match, either. When they do, I am always pleasantly surprised!

      • Gin

        I had a friend, we ride western, she had a pink halter, pink bridle, pink saddle pad, pink boots, pink jeans, pink chaps, and a pink hat. And anything else she used was pink. Sounds like a lot, but it didn’t look too bad on her dark bay horse.

      • Tracy

        You may recall a tale of the rescue of a NYC carriage horse. I sold that horse to a dedicated 14 year old girl for $1. She took incredible care of him and used to put
        hot pink leg warmers on him in the winter. She would put multiple pairs on each leg to ensure full coverage. I tried explaining that horse’s legs don’t need to be kept warm… blah blah… and she would listen politely, then ask me whether I preferred the hot pink ones or the striped ones? I gave up and figured what the hell. So, until you’ve slipped into buying legwarmers for Tonka, or tiaras, as the sweet Gracie used to afix to Boo Boo’s halter on his “birthday”, you’re still in the land of the sane.

  • Shaste

    The nice thing about black tack is that it’s easy for everything to match. All the brown comes in so many shades! A match isn’t a match unless it’s a match lol.

    I’ve seen some black close contact saddles lately and wonder if the dressage standard of all black will work its way into the hunter jumper world.

    All that said, my daughter has a chestnut appaloosa and we have a bunch of the old fashioned ‘orangey’ oak bark colored brown tack that has gone out of style that matches his base color perfectly and looks stunning on him! I’m a plain white fan for all the fabric parts except the fly bonnet which I think looks best when it matches either the horse’s coat or the bridle leather. But my style is the most understated possible 🙂

    • Terry Golson Post author

      I have a friend who shows Prix St George on a pinto mare. She shows in brown tack because it looks best on her horse. So go for what you like!

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