Custom Harness – What is it?

Custom harness – What exactly does that mean?

When you are purchasing a harness from Chimacum Tack and you send in measurements, you will get a harness that is made up of parts that will most closely fit your equine.

Sometimes this means a miniature horse will need a Mini A size bridle and breast collar, a Mini B size saddle and girth, and a Mini B size breeching. Another example would be a Horse that needs a regular horse sized bridle and breast collar, and a large horse breeching.

Custom does NOT mean the harness makers make any part of the harness exactly to your measurements. It would be nice if this is what it meant, but it’s simply not possible for them to make each part according to each measurement, and still put out as many harness as they do.


I have a friend that makes custom riding saddles for people. Each saddle can take between 10-12 MONTHS to complete. I know a gal that makes custom show harness. EACH harness takes several months to complete.

We are dealing with large numbers of harness orders every month. It’s simply not possible to make each harness custom, according to the measurements. This is why they simply choose the standard sized parts from the wall and put together a harness that will fit your equine.

Sometimes they will use a part that is a bit too short or a little too long. In that case we will exchange that part for another, off the wall, that will be a closer fit. Again, these parts will not be custom made according to your measurements.

As much as possible, we like the harness to fit them perfectly. Sometimes you will need to punch a hole to make the harness fit a bit better. That is perfectly normal. If you have a long tail of material left – after adding a hole or two – you can trim that excess material away. Be careful when trimming, as you don’t want to short yourself if you ever need to use that harness on another animal.

Parts With Labels On Them

You may notice that some of the parts are labeled by size: Mini, Shetland, Large Shetland, Horse. These are, in fact, parts off the wall, that are the closest fit to the measurements you sent us.

We also have them labeled that way on the products (along with the measurements) here on the website, in the hopes that we can help you choose a size that will most closely fit your equine. I will usually have a description of HOW you measure the parts you currently have so you can decide which part will best work for you.

If something doesn’t make sense please be sure to give us a call so we can help you over the phone. You can also send me photos of your part beside a measuring tape and I can help you decide what size item you need. You can email me at mindy@chimacumtack.com


When does the shop make custom pieces?

Sometimes the harness makers will need to make pieces 100% custom:

  • When you choose colored strap
  • When you choose brass hardware
  • When our regular sized parts just aren’t going to fit (this is very rare!)
  • The riding tack, both English and Western
  • The riding saddle breechings
  • The pack saddle breechings
  • The bitless bridles

When they need to make parts and pieces 100% custom the delivery timeline is significantly longer. This will take 8-12 weeks.

I understand that when we use the terminology “Custom” people will think the harness is being built to match their exact measurements. I’m sorry this simply isn’t possible.

Our harness makers have been doing this for nearly 30 years and have found that though each horse, pony, mule and donkey is an individual, they are often very similar when it comes to fitting tack. This is why we can have a measuring chart that tells you where your equine falls in the sizes we have available. And is why our harnesses so often fit your equine so well.

We are always happy to work with you, exchanging parts and pieces, if they don’t fit correctly. And as mentioned above, once in a while our shop will have to make something 100% custom to fit. They are happy to do so, but do be aware that when they do that it does take time.

2 thoughts on “Custom Harness – What is it?

  1. lois tarleton says:

    How do I send you the measurements for my shetland pony. His size is between a shetland and a mini c. I am looking for a comfy fit harness and bridle.

    • Mindy Schroder says:

      You can put the measurements in the notes section when you place your order. Once you click the button, Proceed to Checkout, you’ll be taken to the next page which is the shipping and billing info. Just below those two boxes is a box called Notes. You’ll put your measurements in that box!

      You can go to this blog, scroll to the bottom of this blog you can see exactly how to do it :)https://chimacumtack.com/blog/2021/04/19/ordering-a-harness/

      Thanks so much! Mindy~

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