Product Review: SmartPak Soft Padded Leather Halter

SmartPak Soft Leather Padded Halter in Havana/Caramel. Photo courtesy of SmartPak.

So, I’ve been coveting the SmartPak Soft Padded Leather Halter for probably months now. Like most equestrians, I can’t ever have enough halters, and if they’re high quality leather with the option of personalization, I am all in. In the past, I have purchased cheaper leather halters with nameplates for gifts or prizes and was content enough with them for what I paid. However, none of them ever really made me think to myself, “Wow! This halter is awesome! I need one.” Then I saw the SmartPak Soft Padded Leather Halter.

I was working at one of my three jobs (because, you know, horses) and was holding a hold for my boss. The horse was a lovely Thoroughbred wearing a quite fetching halter. Normally I don’t notice a horse’s tack while I’m on the job unless it is particularly worn out (translation: likely to break if the horse goes haywire) or particularly nice. In this case, it was particularly nice. I believe I had my hand on the cheek piece to direct the horse’s head away from my boss. In the process, I found myself fondling the supple leather. Upon closer inspection, I was impressed by the contrasting colors (because, let’s get honest, I like pretty) and the quality of the leather. I actually found myself thinking, “Wow! This halter is awesome! I need one.” I made a point to look up the brand so I could go home and drool over the halter from the comfort of my computer screen. I was pleasantly surprised to read the SmartPak stamped in the brass buckles.

I have a general rule (more of a guideline, really) that I can’t buy fancy new tack unless I really, really need it (like a correctly fitting saddle, a new girth, etc.) or my horse and I earn it (this mostly applies to me — my horse earns it daily by putting up with me). I’ve been trying to be diligent about adhering to this guideline because, let’s be honest, I really do have enough tack and I really don’t have enough money (because, you know, horses). So, this halter has been sitting in my SmartPak shopping cart for months. I would even get emails from SmartPak asking me if I’d forgotten something. No, SmartPak. I didn’t forget anything. I just can’t justify another halter right now. Sigh.

SmartPak Soft Leather Padded Halter in Black/Purple. Photo courtesy of SmartPak.

Finally, I decided to pull the trigger. I broke my own rule, ignored my guidelines, threw caution to the wind and ordered the halter. After all, my birthday was rolling around and I decided to get myself a gift. Boy, am I glad I did.

I ordered the Havana/Blue combination because, really, I can’t get enough blue. The halter was on backorder, but that was fine. I had been sitting on it for months anyway, what was the rush now? When it arrived, it clearly was worth the wait.

The same quality craftsmanship and leather that I remembered from my first encounter with the halter are apparent in my own. The padding is soft, the leather is supple and the stitching is even and secure. I chose to have my halter customized because, after all, I was treating myself and my horse, so why not go all the way? I am impressed with the quality of the nameplate and the clarity of the engraving.

Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan

It’s not just the leather that is high quality. The hardware on the halter is solid. The weight is perfect, and in adjusting the halter, the durability is apparent. Plus, SmartPak made a point to go the extra mile to keep horses looking snazzy no matter which color combination the owner chooses (and there are a number from which to choose!). Havana halters come with solid brass hardware and nameplates, and black halters come with stainless steel. Between the color combinations, the hardware and the nameplates, these halters are fully customizable. Plus, both the crown piece and chin strap are adjustable to ensure a good fit (I still need to tweak mine a bit).

Mac wasn’t interested in cooperating for photos, so this is the best we have. The halter still looks great, though. Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan

I really don’t ohh and ahh over halters very often, but I’m pretty smitten with this one. It looks sharp and the quality is quite clear. I’ll likely be adding one of these to the rotation for all my horses… eventually.

You can learn more about the SmartPak Soft Padded Leather Halter here.

Photo by DeAnn Long Sloan

Go SmartPak and Go Eventing!

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