The History of Horse Tack

History of Horse Tack

History of Horse Tack

Horse riding equipment can be traced back to about 700BC, although there is disagreement about dates, with some scholars believing that Equus (Latin for horse) or horses were being ridden as far back as 4000BC. Saddles were no more than tasselled cloths or pads, held on to the horses back by a strip of material, known in modern times as a girth. From the earliest time, saddles were used as symbols of wealth. Elaborate decorations including fancy leather work, stitching and precious metals were added to prove an individual’s status. Comfort and distinction was for the rider, rather than the horse.

Although designs progressed, including the addition of basic frames, pommels and cantles, early saddles were still treeless and did not use stirrups. It wasn’t until around 100BC that a wooden saddle tree was invented by the Romans. As far as horse’s welfare was concerned, this was a major development. Saddle trees helped to spread the weight on either side of the horse’s spine and distribute evenly over the horses back. The saddle was at last comfortable for the horse as well as the rider.

Another milestone in horse tack development was the invention of the stirrup. The first pictorial evidence was on a tomb in China around AD 300. Stirrups greatly increased the rider’s ability to stay securely in the saddle and control the horse. It is argued, the invention of the stirrup was as important in the spread of modern civilisations, as the invention of the wheel or printing press.

At the same time as the innovation of the saddle, a basic bridle or headgear was used to control the horse. The bridle is likely to have been bit less and made of rope, sinew or leather. Early bits were made from bone, horn or hard wood, with evidence of metal bits as early as 1200BC. The need to use horses for pulling, carrying and warfare, meant the design and evolution of horse equipment changed frequently, developing into two main categories “Western” and “English” styles during the 1800’s.

Horse Tack over the last Hundred Years

Over the last hundred years or so, horse gear has been predominately made of leather, with designs aimed at specific disciplines, such as Show Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, Showing, Horse Racing, Horse Polo, etc. but ultimately geared towards comfort for the horse, whilst maintaining comfort and control for the rider.

Since Pink Equine was established in 2007, Horse Fashions have changed dramatically. Horsey clothes were not cool and badly stereotyped. Think of a “Horsey Person” and imagine a wearer of ill-fitting breeches, wellies and a fluorescent jacket or bulky tweeds. Whilst traditional athletic gear was being designed for everyday fashion even if the wearer wasn’t sporty, equestrian fashion was being left behind. The last ten years however, has seen a huge leap forward in Equestrian design and couture. The realisation of “Riding” as a lifestyle choice and the invention of modern technical fabrics, have seen an influx of equestrian inspired fashion designs, which can be worn on or off the field.

Of course having gone to the trouble of co-ordinating your own look, it’s natural to assume you want your horse to look as good. In the past, you had two choices when choosing your riding tack, black or brown leather. Saddle pads were available in white, black, brown and if you were lucky green.

Sadly in recent years, rather than innovate, manufacturers and retailers have used cost cutting exercises to sell horse accessories as cheaply as possible, resulting in a tidal wave of low quality, inferior equestrian equipment. A business model based on always being the cheapest cannot be sustained for ever and Equestrian Clearance was a good example of this, having recently gone into receivership.

Discerning customers understand that the old saying is certainly true “You get what you pay for”, but we also recognise there is a balance to be had between cost and quality. Since our inception, Pink Equine has been one of the market innovators in horses tack fashion. Our unique designs offer you the rider the means to co-ordinate the look of your horse and make a fashion statement.

Pink Equine the Future of Horse Tack

If you love horses and beautiful things, as we do, our products are elegant and top quality to match. We only use premium Italian leather and genuine Swarovski crystals. All items are finished by hand and protected by our Quality Guarantee. We believe that tack for horses should feel good for the horse, function correctly for the rider, as well as look amazing!

Always pushing the boundaries of equestrian tack design Pink Equine is proud to launch their bespoke configurator. The configurator is easy to use and allows you to become your own designer. Each item of horse tack can be customised to suit your own colour scheme and style. Save designs in your own account, or print them off to show your friends.

“Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered” – Giorgio Armani


Precision – The determination to deliver consistent perfection


Individual – Providing customers with the opportunity to unleash their inner creativity


New Fashioned – Leading the way in bespoke Horse Tack Design


Knowledgeable – Over a decade of experience, designing and bringing quality products to market

We look forward to welcoming you as a Pink Equine customer and bringing your aspirations to reality. We love receiving pictures of your new horse riding tack and the lucky horse who is wearing it, so feel free to send in your snaps!!

Quality Grooming Brushes

William Leistner Building

It is now clear to every horse lover that daily brushing not only cleanses but also promotes a relationship with the horse. During cleaning, any changes to the skin or diseases can also be seen. Good care is only achieved with good materials. The company Leistner uses only the best horsehair and high-quality bristles of pig and wild boar for the high-quality brush. Horsehair has the advantage of a high resilience, that is, it goes back to its original form. That’s why it was used until a few years ago in the classic tailoring for the lining of the front of jackets or coats and still in fully upholstered mattresses.

The general opinion is that plastic is generally more hygienic than wood. But the exact opposite is the case! In contrast to plastic, wood has an antibacterial effect, as studies by the Federal Biological Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry in Braunschweig have shown. “The antibacterial effect occurs equally on the surface as well as in the interior of the wood,” explains Dr.-Ing. Helmut Steinkamp, ​​project manager at the German Institute of Food Technology.

William Leistner Brushes

William Leistner Brush Range

Since 2007 we have offered William Leistner Brushes as a Crystallized only option with a belt made of 2 or 3 rows of Swarovski Crystals, now you can also buy the exact same brushe bristle with a Luxury Croco Belt and no crystals.

William Leistner is a traditional family enterprise, existing now in the fourth’ generation. Since their foundation in 1882, they have been producing brushes for animal care.
For the last decades, our company has particulary specialised in producing grooming brushes and brushes for horse care.

The result is an extensive collection, starting with luxurious grooming brushes with thick goat hair on pearwood bodies and ending with small hoof brushes.

Rewards Scheme

Shop and Earn rewards points

New for 2018 is the Pink Equine Rewards Scheme, what does that mean for you? The more you spend, the more money you get put into your Rewards account to spend on products on our website. It is valid on every item you purchase and you get 1 point for every £2 Spent. 10 points = £1 discount, but we’re going to give you a head start!

Simply sign up for an account today and you will get 50 points immediately, worth £5 discount on your order. If you have already signed up and want to claim your £5 Rewards Voucher, simply email us and we will add it to your account.

Start Earning Rewards today.

Build your Own Horse Tack

Screen Design

For 2018 we at Pink Equine have introduced a brand new Configurator to enable you to build your own horse tack, containing literally thousands of images and taking months and months of input, we are happy to bring you the following products available at launch date:-

We will be adding more Configurators throoughout 2018, watch the news page as we will be postiing it all here.

New Website Launch

Pink Equine

We have today launched their new fully mobile responsive website, featuring all the usual Pink Equine, Diamonds, Tyffany and Sport Range Bridles, Browbands and Girths. In addition, we have a fantastic range of Mattes Sheepskin Saddle Pads and Girths, plus selected HKM Saddle Pads, Bandages, Ear Bonnets and Boots.

New for 2018 we have introduced a brand new Configurator Bespoke Browband and Bridle Build tool, you can select your exact required options and see the final result of your product before you choose to buy. Over the course of 2018 we will be converting the majority of our products to the configurator.

We hope that you like the new website, we have spent a significant amount of time scouring the internet, bringing the best in quality and colour equestrian products available on the market today. This will save literally hours of scouring other sites trying to find colour co-ordinated products.

We particularly love the William Leistner Crystal and Croc Belt Brushes, which have been made up into different sets, including one for our smaller doggie friends. There is no comparison to quality on William Leistner Brushes, the bristle density is high. meaning when you groom with these brushes they have far better effect than many of the cheaper synthetic brushes.

Whats your Colour Type?

Spring Personality

There are just four personality types and each has its own distinctive characteristics and typical responses to a variety of situations. Each individual personality will be best supported and expressed with a specific palette of colours.


If you go out and look at nature in spring, it has a very specific colour scheme and an unmistakable personality. Everything is coming back to life after the long dark winter months and it is very lively. Birds make a lot of noise and the whole animal kingdom is busy; bright warm colours burst forth and spirits lift. The melting snow and ice fill the earth with water and create a sparkling awareness of the fresh and the new.

The personality that reflects all this is externally motivated and eternally young. They can be blonde, brunette or redhead, but they will never be very dark or heavy – even when they put on too much weight, they are light on their feet, love to dance and have an indefinable quality of lightness to their being.

Their features tend to be rounded and delicate. They need plenty of light in their lives and are particularly prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They have great charm and the kind of career that this type should ideally pursue will be working with many people – nursing, caring, communications and media, sales, entertainment (particularly musical comedy). They have a natural affinity with the young and they love the outdoors, so they make wonderful PE and sports teachers.

They are often very clever, but not interested in heavy, deep academic debate. They like to get on with things; they have a strong practical streak and inexhaustible energy. They do not respond well, for example, to the beauty of linen, as it never looks properly ironed (unless their subordinate influence is autumnal). They like, and suit, crisp fresh fabrics and small patterns, such as polka dots.

The colours that reflect and express these characteristics are warm and clear; they can be bright, but not necessarily. Just as everyone does, the spring personality needs ease as well as stimulus, so their ideal palette of colours will include soft peach, cream or turquoise, alongside the brighter scarlets, cobalt or sky blues, warm emerald greens and pure yellows that express their varying moods. Neutral colours to support them are light camel, French navy and light warm greys.


Summer Personality Type

As the year progresses and the earth begins to dry out, a softening process sets in. The vivid green leaves tone down to a cooler, darker green that perfectly enhances the soft colours of roses, sweet peas and wisteria. Our instinct is to break off and relax after so much energy has been expended.

When the sun beats down, the colours are bleached out; the concept of coolness becomes very attractive and the colours of summer flowers echo that feeling. Imagine a quiet summer afternoon sitting under a tree, contemplating the peaceful countryside and the heat haze in the distance.

The Summer personality is cool, calm and collected. This person is internally motivated, but equally very sensitive to what others are feeling. Their features are gently curved and their eyes have a misty quality to them – they are most often blue, with no flecks or lacy patterns in them, but they can be grey, cool green or brown. Summer eyes do not dance, as Spring eyes so often do – they are still and serene.

Their hair is unlikely to be predominantly red, although there could be warm lights in it; it will probably be cool brown or blond. Summer related people abhor vulgarity and their humour is subtle and often dry; they can be very witty. Ideal careers for this type are any that involve creating order out of chaos, and keeping the peace – diplomats, administrators, human resources – and, since they have an acute sense of touch, particularly in their fingertips, they are often gifted artists or musicians.

Their gentle nature and keen analytical skills also make them good general practitioners (medical). They need order. They are very uncomfortable with poor-quality fabrics and love pure silk jersey (with its slight sheen and the flowing lines it creates), chiffon and cashmere. The colours of the Summer palette are cool and subtle; they can be dark, but never heavy. Some typical Summer colours are maroon, raspberry, oyster, rose pink, grapefruit, powder blue, lavender, viridian and sage green. Good neutrals to support them are mushroom, taupe, dove grey and cool navy.


Autumn Personality Type

Go back again to the countryside and see how things have changed since the first warmth of spring. The temperature might be the same, but nature’s mood is quite different and so is her apparel. The bright, perky spring flowers, in warm blue, lilac, orange, and yellow, have been replaced by rich golds, fiery reds, purples, burnt orange and brown – and not in flowers, but in the leaves. Autumn is abundant, as we harvest all the fruits of the year’s cycle; it is mature and ripe, with great drama in the landscape.

The Autumn personality is, like Spring, externally motivated. However, there are great differences – autumnal people are intense and strong. They are all fiery, to a greater or lesser degree (depending on their subordinate influences); if they have a strong summer influence, this might not be apparent, but it is there; they can also be flamboyant. They could be blond, brunette or redhead and their eyes could be blue, brown or green and almost invariably have flecks of gold or tan in them. However, the Autumn eyes are more often brown or green; hazel eyes do not occur in any other type.

The textures that appeal to the Autumn personality are those where the interest is inherent, rather than printed on a smooth finish – raw silk, linen, and tweed. Autumn personalities have a strong sense of justice and are constantly fascinated with academic questions and how things work. They are very aware of environmental issues. Good careers for them are anything requiring detection and digging beneath the surface – police officers, psychiatrists and archaeologists and lawyers.

They are attracted to the armed forces. They are often good writers, particularly in investigative journalism. Physical comfort and solid substance are important to them and they abhor anything flimsy, whether ideas or physical objects (such as furniture). The autumnal palette is offbeat – there are no pure primary colours. Examples are vermilion, tomato, burnt orange, olive green, moss green, golden yellow, terracotta, petrel blue, and aubergine. Good neutrals to support these colours are most shades of brown.


Winter Personality Type

The winter landscape is hushed and when snow falls heavily, it is virtually a chromatic – everything disappears under a blanket of pure white. But under the surface there is powerful energy as the regeneration process develops. Without leaves on the trees, outlines are stark and minimal, with strong contrasts. Imagine a snowy field, where you see an expanse of white and the apparently black shape of a leafless tree, its bare branches etched against an icy blue, or cold grey, sky.

We treat the winter with respect, and when a storm breaks out, we run for cover. We view dramatic snow-covered mountain peaks or a majestic icy terrain with awe. Similarly, Winter personalities automatically command respect. Physically, their features are usually well defined and their eyes compelling, whether they are blond or brunette; redheads rarely occur in this type. They are internally motivated and have a gift for seeing the broader picture and for delegation.

They set their sights on the objective and they are not easily diverted. They are often very efficient, and precise in everything they do. They can’t stand clutter, or cluttered minds and they do not suffer fools. Their response to foolishness will often be sarcastic and, unlike Group 3 – who will stop and explain, fifty ways if necessary – they will simply move on. In difficult times they are very stoical. They do care, but they are unsentimental and do not get bogged down with emotional issues. They are self-assured and ideal careers for them are usually at the top – they are very effective in government and finance.

They also shine in the theatre and films, as well as PR, and in fashion (they do not follow fashion – they are usually arbiters of it), they are perfectly suited to the catwalk. If they choose to pursue a medical career, they will be wonderful surgeons. If they decide to pursue a legal career, they make brilliant barristers. The textures that echo this pattern are shiny – glass and chrome in interiors, pure silk and satin for themselves. They never need to create a drama, as they are innately dramatic – but it is the drama of a frozen snowflake, or a flawless diamond on a black velvet cushion.

Pink Equine