I know this thread is months and months and months old, but I just wanted to toss in a comment about the discussion of the nylon harness from Ron's/Amber Hillside Harness that was posted here.
I was in need of a new harness. The one I had is apparently quite incomplete (apparently, the tugs are just loops off the saddle, but no way to attach an overgirth. And I had to buy a crupper. Plus, the breastcollar broke in a very minor place along the neck strap, which probably means my harness, being used and secondhand and likely poorly maintained, is not going to be incredibly safe. And I really would like to live to make it to Christmas when I can maybe get a nice biothane harness. Getting one now was not going to happen, no matter how long and hard I stared at my bank account information, I didn't see any extra zeros in there. And I didn't want to keep putting it off. I've got the driving bug now, (ground driving anyway) the Haffie's getting flashbacks to his previous life and is actually behaving himself admirably. It took me 5 years to even seriously take the step to get a harness, knowing the Haflinger could drive this entire time and now I wonder why I didn't do it sooner because the ground driving has been a lot of fun.
I know I can't swing a really really good harness right now. No way, no how. And I know to run fast and far from anything cheap on eBay, and didn't like the cheapness of the Horse.com nylon harness. So I looked around threads here, and ran across this one, and seriously looked into it. Took measurements yesterday (great customer service, they emailed me to check and make sure on the size) and order was made. It looked like a decent heavy duty enough harness that it could be serviceable for me for now.
So big thanks to War Admiral for the review (I got mine in black too) and butlerfamilyzoo, and anyone who had favorable things to say about the product. It sure made up my mind.
Originally Posted by War Admiral
OK, so the Ron's nylon harness is here, and I'm more favorably impressed than I ever expected. For a breaking/training harness I think it will do the job VERY nicely - so a huge THANK YOU to whoever pointed this thread in that direction!
In the pics on the website, you can't really tell that the blinkers ARE adjustable, so I was assuming they weren't but they ARE. Everything has LOTS of holes for adjustment. Hardware looks sturdy enough. I *suspect* that if you got a lot of water on the sort of plasticy lining it would eventually crack - but I've had stuff with this type of lining before and have not had any issues. It will definitely have to live indoors in order not to crack in wintry weather, but hey, that's why my tack room is my car!
I was worried about the quality of the crupper but it's nicely shaped, leather over rubber, with no crooked stitching in irritating places or anything like that. It's a bit stiff - I almost wish that it were stuffed with rice like the ASB fine harness cruppers are, instead of leather-over-rubber (no reason I can't switch for one that is though) - but once I know it fits, I'll just soak it in neatsfoot for a week and that should solve that.
The harness saddle is a lot better than it looks in the illustrations too. It looks in the pics on the website as if the lining part is very short, but in fact it goes a GOOD long ways down and is nicely shaped. The saddle actually comes with the hardware OFF, and given prior posts/myths and legends about Q trying to kill people, I see no reason to put it *on* at this particular moment in time, so you'll have to wait a few months for my verdict on ease of use.
Customer service was great - I couldn't decide whether Q needed the Horse or the Cob; we ended up going w/ the cob after we sent sent relevant photos back and forth.
Looking forward to trying it on Q, but (story of my life!) snow and ice are predicted for the next couple days, making travel over the mountain to the next valley (where Q lives) NOT something I want to try! But when I get it over there I'll take pics.
I had originally said I would not care to hitch in this, just going off the pics on the website... and I'm going to *cautiously* revise that to say I would certainly TRY hitching, a few times anyway, assuming I'm putting to nothing heavier than a lightweight M'brook or road cart.
For me personally, this harness was a good spend. I've got a young horse who needs to spend a year just *wearing* it and ground driving around the roads, and maybe learning to pull "stuff" inside the arena with it. This will be useful for my purposes and I'll probably keep it around for future use on greenies even after I upgrade.
Biothane and beta will last forever, and is super easy to care for. You may want to have leather lines just because of the feel of them, but for the main harness and it's assorted pieces, synthetic is the way to go.
I love my biothane harnesses. They are leather lined. I had/have leather harnesses for the minis and used to for the pony. I take care of the leather, and it lasts just fine, but for sure the bio is way easier...
Although someone way back on page 1 pointed out that bio gets cold and brittle in the cold seasons. This, I have found, is very true. I have trouble sometimes just wrapping the breeching through the footman loops when it's too cold. The bio just gets so stiff.
Then again, I don't do a ton of cold weather driving, so it isn't a super huge issue.
I have bio lines, and I prefer them to my leather ones hands down. I guess it just depends on your preferences. The bio lines are a little like spaghetti, whereas the leather will have some slightly more stiffness to them.
I like the bio lines when I don't have gloves on, but they are very ribbon-like. I use leather with woven grips when I have gloves. If you use the bio lines for a clinic or lesson, the instructor will harp about not enough feel on the bit. When I use the leather lines, they have no comment about it.