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Tack Talk - August 2014
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Welcome to the August edition of our Tack Talk Newsletter.

What a wonderful whirlwind the first half of 2014 has been. Events like Equifest of KS, Illinois Horse Fair and The Midwest Horse Fair were really great; our trail rides to MO, KY & TN were so much fun. We also celebrated our 4th SpecTACKular Anniversary in mid-May.  We are grateful for our loyal customers for making the last four years possible and we look forward to the SpecTACKular future ahead. We love making you and your horses happy. Thank you.

Big things are in the works still for 2014.  NEW PRODUCTS – Lots of them have cleared field-testing & are finalized. We are re-vamping our site to include them.  A sneak preview – more “Bling” choices, New Product Designs (Cruppers, Pulling Collars, Canine and more.) Each made in the USA with the highest quality BioThane and Stainless Steel hardware with our guaranteed Lifetime Warranty. For more info, please call or email

We are also pleased to announce a new “Vet Corner” section of our Newsletter. A welcome content edition written by Strain Equine Services, a premier veterinarian clinic serving the Greater Kansas City area.  We are very excited that they're doing this. We hope you find this new section of interest.

Labor Day week-end and and the fall riding season are right around the corner. We will be out camping and on the trail lots in the Ozarks of MO. We look forward to visiting old friends and making new ones.  Hope to see you on the trail this fall.


ATTENTION: Check out the Supermoon, Sunday, August 10th

Supermoon Link

Ever wanted to go out on a Moonlight Ride?  During the next Super Moon would be a great time to do so.  What is a Super Moon?  A Super Moon is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the Moon is full & closest to the Earth.  The Moon therefore appears larger and brighter.  The moon will be brighter and bigger than it has been in a while (or will be again until September 2015). Plan a ride out under a moonlit summer night.  You’ll be able to see almost as well as your horse does.


Image Source:


When taking a moonlight ride, you might ask yourself how well your horse can see in the dark.  Truth is, they see better in low-light situations than you or I.  Horse eyes have several mechanisms that make this possible.

There are two different types of 
photoreceptors located within the retina of the eye called rods and cones.  Each of which has been optimized to perform best at different ends of the light intensity spectrum.  Rod receptors are the primary receptors used when the light levels range from complete darkness to those found at dusk and dawn.  Horses are well endowed with a high proportion of rod to cone photoreceptors, about 20 million rods to 1 million cones, which makes them more sensitive to light and gives them extremely good night vision.

Horses also have a membrane in the back of their eye called the
 tapetum lucidum, which is thought to reflect light back into the retina and aid in night vision.  When you snap a picture of your horse with a flash and the image comes back with glowing white eyes, the tapetum lucidum is the source of the glare.

In addition to photo-receptors and the
 tapetum lucidum, the horse has one of the largest eyes among land mammals.  Obviously a larger eye allows more light to enter.  Admission of light into the eye is further improved by the horizontal elongation of the cornea and pupil and by the pupil’s ability to dilate to an area six times larger than that of a human pupil. Therefore, horses tend to have better vision on slightly cloudy days than on bright sunny days.  The only drawback is that horses do have a harder time adjusting to rapidly changing light levels.  You may have noticed this when leading them into a dark barn or trying to load into a dark trailer on a sunny day.  This is important when riding because quickly moving from light to dark or vice versa will temporarily blind the horse and make it difficult for him to judge what is in front of him.

So, enjoy your moonlight ride during the upcoming Supermoon because now you know your horse has better night vision than you do.

- Brooke D. Martin, DVM
Associate Veterinarian – Strain Equine Services. Like them on Facebook here.
Strain Equine Services
For more on the author, Brooke D. Martin, DVM (pictured above), this is a link to her bio and their website.


Dog Days of Summer
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: Ever wonder where the Phrase “Dog Days of Summer” comes from? And when is it exactly?

First coined by the Egyptians, The Dog Days of Summer begins annually July 3RD & ends August 11TH. This is when the star, Sirius, The “dog star”, is bright and often rises with the Sun. Sirius is nicknamed the “dog star” from the constellation Canis Major, Latin for “Big Dog”, hence the name. 

An old farmer’s tale also explains The Dog Days of Summer as the time of year snakes are molting and blinded and will bite anything near-by, especially curious dogs.
We love seeing your

SpecTACKular horse photos!

To submit your horses' SpecTACKular photos

Email photos to us:
Upload photos to: Our Web-Site Photo Gallery Upload

Visit our Photo Gallery to see even more of your photographs

Below are a few recent pics you have sent. Thanks for sharing!  Recognize anyone's horse?
Our Models: 1) Cody  2) Thunder 3) Max
Cody in his Halter Bridle Add-a-Bridle
Thunder in his SpecTACKular BioThane Beta Tack Outfit
Max in his SpecTACKular BioThane Beta Outfit at Ft Robinson, NE
SpecTACKular BioThane Beta Endurance Breast Collars Photo
The Endurance Style Breast Collars (EBC) are our most popular style of Breast Collar.  This style has become a favorite of Trail RidersBarrel Racers and other riders that want to achieve increased performance from their horses, while simultaneously providing extra comfort for their horse. The over-the-shoulder configuration of an EBC frees up the shoulder movement as compared to a traditional Western Style Breast Collar.  Endurance riders have known this for years – hence the namesake.
Our Endurance Style Breast Collars are one area where our unique design patterns coupled with careful attention to detail really stand out. How? Through very intentional design patterns and meticulous selection of materials that are crafted with the horses comfort on the forefront. Yet the rider use, ease and fashion are not compromised.  And yep – they are beautiful too.


 Endurance Style Breast Collar - BioThane - Colored Shoulders - Classic Horseshoe Hardware
Here are a few examples of our improved design patterns and what makes our Endurance Style Breast Collars uniquely SpecTACKular:

  • BioThane – The leather-like alternative will not rub or chafe.  Did you know every NFL football player’s pad is held onto the human athlete’s skin with BioThane? It’s that comfy - if it is constructed correctly.  BioThane’s edges are even rounded, unlike leather or webbing. BioThane also does not absorb sweat or water which can create another source of chaffing. Every walked around in wet jeans?  Yet – it cleans up with a hose.
  • Strategic Stitching – We flip the ends or tails of the strap to the outside leaving nothing to rub on the horse. We use high quality thread.
  • Breast Center Rings / Plates – They are selected for strength and beauty but also have smooth rounded edges.  Bonus - Note that there is no longer a need for that protective, annoying “fuzzy” or leather circle behind the Breast Center ring.
  • Snaps – Every snap is sourced carefully.  They are Equine strength yet are selected to operate with only the light Thumb Touch of a human hand. The snaps moving mechanisms have self-sealed and oiled chambers so they will operate with ease after years of going through rivers, mud, dirt and sand.
  • Keepers – Are always provided in the matching BioThane color to keep excess strapping from flapping, catching or coming loose.
  • Bling, Bling – Breast Collars can be gorgeous and coordinate your entire tack outfit.  We offer lots of Design-it-Yourself choices of bling and we NEVER leave anything against the horses’ skin to rub, poke or pinch when applying our bling.
  • Proper fit – It’s important.  We offer two sizes that fit most horses, including Gaited, Arabians, & Quarter Horses.  We also offer custom sizes at no additional charge.  All come with plenty of adjustment.  Measuring your horse is easy.  Put your saddle on & take only two quick measurements.  Please see our video
  • Our Lifetime Warranty – Our choice to use only Genuine BioThane strapping and 100% Stainless Steel hardware creates the highest quality product.  We recognize you are making an investment in choosing our American made products.  We stand behind this quality with confidence and pride.
In-Stock: available in 7 colors and two sizes, starts at $99.99 (can be ordered on our website).

Design-it-yourself or Custom Sized: endless options are available via Special Order– Wide or Colored shoulders, 33 more colors, Conchos and bling. To order call us, e-mail us or visit us at an event for personal service.  Special Orders take 21 days or less.
We make 4 styles of Breast Collars: Endurance, Western, Single Strap and Pulling Collars.
August 2014 Special on Endurance Breast Collars - Unlined - In Stock
Endurance Style Breast Collars
 are $10.00 off. Now starting at $89.99!

Coupon Code: EBC2014
  • In-Stock Colors/Sizes
  • Essential/Classic Series
  • Unlined Only
  • Good through 8/31/14
SpecTACKular products are proudly made in the USA.

Horse Trail and Camping Ideas

RV Awning Tape at Camping World in Clear
Horse Trailer/RV Awning Tape:
An accidental discovery made.  Two days before a big camping trip and the Horse Trailer Awning was unrolled for a good cleaning – Ugh…the sun exposed crease was hanging on by threads the entire length of the awning.  The entire awning would easily tear off with a burst of wind or heavy rain if left as is.  With no time for a replacement awning, a friend suggested RV Awning Tape.
We applied it on the outside & inside due to the stress location of our tear.  It worked great.  We’ve since heard from other horse campers that they carry a roll with them in their Horse Trailer Tool Kits, for quick awning repairs if needed while traveling.  As the RV Awning Tape can prevent a little tear from becoming a major rip.   Sounds smart to us.  It came in handy.
The RV Awning Tape we used comes in 3” and 5” Widths.  A 15’ Roll costs about $12.00.  It is clear.  Note: You will need Rubbing Alcohol and paper towels to prep the surface.
Enjoy! Image & Purchasing source:
FACT OF THE DAY: Listening to music measurably improves your ability to perform physical activities, such as horseback riding.
Gadgets and Apps We're Enjoying
Altec Bluetooth Speaker on a Saddle
Altec Bluetooth Speaker – Tunes on the Saddle?  Trick your ride. Horses and Music is a historically perfect combo.  Remember Dale Evans and Roy Rogers singing “Happy Trails to you” on horseback? Shania Twain introducing horses in her Las Vegas Act? Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Branson, MO. with an amazing herd of performing horses? Or at least you’ll recall that about every country performer incorporates “horses or Cowboys” into their lyrics?   You may be singing in the saddle but here’s an option to trick your ride.
A stereo speaker for your saddle.  Yep.. If you have a Smartphone or iPod chances are you have your favorite music on it.  Add a Bluetooth capable speaker and voila... you have a stereo equipped ride.  There are many new Bluetooth portable speakers now available with great sound and a Carabiner Clip to secure it to your saddle.  This Atlec brand even comes with about a 5 hour battery life.  In Red or Black.  It charges via a USB connection to an outlet or computer. Because the speaker is detachable & portable you can use this at the campfire or trailer too.
Thanks Linda G for the great gadget idea and photo.
Altec Speaker at Amazon in Black - Ready for your Horse Camping fun
SpecTACKular Event Photo - Sherry McLean with Buckie


Here's where we'll be in August (and after):

Flying R Ranch RFDTV Best of America – Sept. 18-21
Big Creek Trail Ride – Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, Hartshorn, MO
Big Piney Trail Ride – Oct. 12-17, Waynesville, MO
Big Creek Trail Ride – Oct. 26 - Nov. 1, Hartshorn, MO

More 2014 Events will be added.

You can check the Event Calendar for the latest events and more information.

See you on the trails!
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