View Full Version : Dressage bridles?

Aug. 21, 2009, 09:12 PM
With some trepidation, I'm venturing over here from h/j land, as someone who's slowly being converted to eventing. If you haven't run away in horror :winkgrin:, I've got a couple questions about dressage bridles.

I just bought a dressage saddle (just a cheapie Wintec to start with, as it fits me, my horse, and my budget), and naturally needed a black bridle to match! Looking through various tack websites, it seems that all dressage bridles come with flashes, unless it's a double. Is there a reason for this? My mare is perfectly happy to keep her mouth shut of her own volition, so will I be violating some sort of taboo if I just pull the flash strap out and not use it (except maybe at shows for looks, much like hunters and their martingales)?

In my tack perusal, I did come across a bridle that screamed buy me! (it had a pearl browband!), so that's on it's way from DressageExtensions. Do I need to do anything differently to it than I would a normal new bridle, since it's black leather, or due to the inlaid browband? I normally oil a time or two, depending on leather quality, before use, then clean with either LeatherTherapy or Belvoir, and condition with Lederbalsam.

Also, on the bit front, while I'm asking questions. Miss Mare goes very nicely in a D-ring French Link Happy Mouth. She is not a fan of looserings, as they seem to always end up pinching her. The bit appears to only come in a loosering and a D. Is there anything unacceptable about using a D-ring for dressage, or is it just out of style, like an eggbut in the hunter ring?

Aug. 21, 2009, 10:00 PM
It drives me crazy that I have to search and search for dressage bridles without flashes (or with removable flashes). Now I'm no great DQ...and I never put a flash on unless its absolutely needed...so maybe everyone else knows something I don't. I do have a slowly growing collection of flash-free bridles, but it seems that I have to buy 'customizable' styles. I'm also not a fan of crank cavessons, but I do use them loosely on some horse's whose heads need a more substantial 'look.'

Aug. 22, 2009, 12:12 AM

Aug. 22, 2009, 10:27 AM
Bridles without flashes are out there. Go to Justbridles.com, and they'll put together anything you want.

Or, you can buy one with a flash and take it to a good leather person (we're lucky in this area to have a terrific Amish guy) and have him or her remove the flash and stitch the noseband back up.

Aug. 22, 2009, 10:41 AM
Try eqtack.com: http://www.eqtack.com/catalog/index.php?cName=dressage-tack-snaffle-bridles

They carry Bobby's tack.


Aug. 22, 2009, 11:47 AM
Starts on page 9.


Aug. 22, 2009, 12:26 PM
Is there anything unacceptable about using a D-ring for dressage, or is it just out of style, like an eggbut in the hunter ring?
Fortunately for us dressage riders, there are no (style or other) prohibitions about any tack that is legal. As long as your bit is dressage legal, it's fine, and the judges don't care what it is.

Aug. 22, 2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks, everyone. It sounds like I should be able to track down a plain black noseband to replace the flash without much trouble. Y'all are lucky not to have to try and match shades of brown! :D

Aug. 22, 2009, 09:26 PM
Alternatively, I simply don't use the flash on my current horse. My last horse didn't really need a flash but tolerated a correctly fitted one. No bid deal. My current horse has sensitive lips and the flash rubbed them. She didn't like it (and it made sores) so I just took it off. I showed her in a nice dressage bridle with a loop for a flash but no flash. Never ever had a comment during a clinic or a class.

If your horse is getting pinched by the loosering, I'd suggest that your loosering is too small. As I said, my horse has very sensitive lips. thus, she goes in a bradoon/snaffle larger than her mouth measures to prevent the pinching. She HATED a correctly fitted french link snaffle but loved a slightly larger french link bit...the link draped across her tongue. Plus, the rings pinched her lips (created sores). She's technically fitted for a 5 1/4-5 1/2" snaffle but goes most comfortably in a 5 3/4 inch. She went OK in a 21 mm 5 1/4" bit becuase it stretched her lips and didn't pinch, but when I brought her down to less thick bits they definitely pinched. She has shown successfuly in longer snaffles/bradoons and moved up the levels just fine.

D-rings are perfectly acceptable in dressage and if your horse goes best in that, then stay with it. But it could also be that your horse needs a larger sized loosering. Looserings really move in the mouth and can really help alot of horses. I'll also mention that stainless steel looserings can somethimes wear down - creating larger holes and a greater area for lips to be pinched. I have a silver loosering with a bean center and the hole that the loosering moves through has not gotten bigger...worth the extra $$.

Good luck! Borrow bits if you can to see if your horse likes them before buying.