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Personal Champ
Apr. 29, 2010, 01:58 PM
As the title says, I am looking for the best fitting bridles.

I have not shopped for a bridle in years, but am getting ready to invest and having heard nightmare fitting stories, am trying to make an educated purchase.

Am looking in the $250 to $400 range.

DMK
Apr. 29, 2010, 02:09 PM
there is one store that publishes all the piece sizes and will let you buy the bridle in "parts" so you can have the best fitting bridle. I know they sell Edgewood, but that's all I can recall.

Maybe Just Bridles? They used to advertise in the sidebar and there were a couple threads, hopefully someone w/a better memory than mine will chime in!

BAC
Apr. 29, 2010, 02:59 PM
DMK is right, justbridles.com sells bridles in parts, including Edgewood. Beval will do the same with any of their bridles and so will many other manufacturers. You buy the bridle but they will swap parts as necessary to create the perfect fit. I have done that with Hadfields, Antares and Beval.

Personal Champ
Apr. 29, 2010, 03:32 PM
That is great to know. My horse has a fairly traditional head, so I am thinking that I should be able to buy an off the rack bridle. Are any sold-complete bridle brands known for fantastic overall fit?

BAC
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:15 PM
Its pretty much impossible for any one bridle brand to be known for exceptional fit, since horses' heads come in so many different variations.

Edgewood tends to run slightly large and Hadfields run a bit small. Vespucci's fit strangely IIRC from other threads, plus they are very inconsistent with their quality. If there is a particular brand you are interested in do a search, most likely you will find comments about it.

My favorite in your price range would be an Edgewood, they come in every style you can imagine, padded, unpadded, wide noseband, traditional noseband, fancy stitching or plain, with reins and martingales to match.

Five Star Tack makes very nice bridles (Sedgewick leather) in your price range too.

SmartPak bridles are very popular, so are Aramas and Bobby's.

DMK
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:18 PM
LOL, well that kind of depends on your horse's head, doesn't it? But for what it is worth, both my horses wear a Hadfields horse size like it was custom made for them, while an Edgewood just isn't as perfect and a bit of a mix and match for the younger horse (so it's his schooling bridle). However Hadfields is pretty much out of your stated price price range if you are want reins.

One has a pretty enough head, but not super fancy, short from ear to muzzle (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3551/3498976732_a45f3249ec_b.jpg)

The other is kind of stunning and typey and dainty (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4418917826_cce1454855_b.jpg)

Both fit Hadfields horse size perfectly, the younger is mix and match mostly cob for Edgewood. But that really says nothing about how they might fit your horses, does it? That's like asking me if my jeans fit well and them assuming they will fit you equally as well!

huntereq7
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:48 PM
My Beval bridle has fit every horse I've shown- definitely recommended!

Personal Champ
Apr. 29, 2010, 07:01 PM
DMK, I understand what you are saying. My mare is a TB, fairly dainty head. Like your second picture - the bay.

I recall reading some horror stories about some brands that DO.NOT.RUN.RIGHT.AT.ALL. Looking to avoid them, of course. Kind of like BAC's comment about the Vespucci's.

I just want a good value and don't want to find that one brand's throatlatch is 12" too long or something.

I was already thinking Edgewood, will look more into it.

onelanerode
Apr. 29, 2010, 07:08 PM
Have a look at Five Star Tack's bridles. They're quite nice and the owner will work with you on sizing/measurements.

I had one all picked out for my mare and it was gorgeous, but mare had other plans, so I ended up having to return it.

But I'd definitely buy from there again. I really liked the unique stitching patterns on some of the bridles ... it made them stand out but not in a garish or overstated way.

DMK
Apr. 29, 2010, 09:46 PM
I've never tried the Edgewood on the older horse, but I would assume he would be a mix and match between cob and horse. I know the edgewood noseband "experience" frustrated me when I was fitting the youngster. He has a triangular profile, but like I said, short in length, so he's a horse I would expect to have cob cheek pieces but a horse noseband and crown. I was cool with that because I do like their padded bridle and didn't want to fork out Hadfields $$$ (especially when I knew the older horse was retired and Lido could wear that show bridle, even if it wasn't padded). But damn, I just couldn't get any love with the noseband. They stretch more than Hadfields so when I bought the cob size at a show and had it oiled as well ... and found it on the 2nd longest hole when he was on the line in his 2 year old year, I knew that wasn't going to work out and bought a horse size. Too loose on the tightest hole? For realz? For comparative anatomy, he is STILL wearing his "long" yearling sales halter at 3. So that was an expensive lesson. Then my favorite tack shop went out of business and there was the padded hadfields headstall sitting there, mocking me. I caved at 45% off. It freakin' fit perfectly everywhere. So between the Edgewood parts I bought (all but one at various sales) and the Hadfields headstall, this youngster might very well have the most expensive bridle ever purchased by me, and that's at sale prices.

Personal Champ
Apr. 30, 2010, 08:30 AM
LOL, DMK - that is the experience I am trying to avoid! :lol:

Lucassb
Apr. 30, 2010, 09:01 AM
Edgewoods do run quite large, and they stretch like crazy. My horse wears an o/s in Hadfields, Antares, and Beval but the horse sized Edgewood was slightly too big on him everywhere except the browband. I don't like buckles on either top or bottom holes, though... I am very picky about fit. I got tired of having the nosebands cut down on my Edgewood bridles and rarely buy them anymore, although I made an exception when I found their wide noseband version on sale recently, but it's still sitting up here in my office unoiled, since I haven't been able to bring myself to start the required tailoring process.

I have posted on here a bunch of times about how much I like my Aramas wide noseband bridle. I use it in preference to my much more expensive tack, including Hadfields, Jimmy's and Hermes. I find they run just a titch large, which is perfect for what my horse needs, and it is one of the few bridles I've been able to use right off the rack without any alteration at all. For reference, the Hadfields o/s also fit without any tailoring, but as noted above, that one is above the price range you've specified if you want to include reins.

BAC
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:02 AM
. . . I got tired of having the nosebands cut down on my Edgewood bridles and rarely buy them anymore, although I made an exception when I found their wide noseband version on sale recently

Did you tell me you bought another Edgewood? ;) Is it the unpadded, wide noseband? I can't keep up with you.

Strangely enough, my Edgewood has not stretched at all, I think I have it about a year now. I am very careful when adjusting the noseband, but still I expected to stretch anyway, but so far it hasn't.

vxf111
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:06 AM
Did you tell me you bought another Edgewood? ;) Is it the unpadded, wide noseband? I can't keep up with you.

Strangely enough, my Edgewood has not stretched at all, I think I have it about a year now. I am very careful when adjusting the noseband, but still I expected to stretch anyway, but so far it hasn't.

I had experienced the Edgewood stretch on all my old ones but have bought 2 new ones in the prior year and a half. They have not stretched a bit. They get the same treatment as my old ones did. They are just as nice as the oldies but I do think the leather has changed slightly. I am quite happy with my new Edgewoods.

Query- so the Hadfield O/S is sort of between an Edgewood O/S and an Edgewood full. My horses need closer to the Edgewood O/S size. Is there any Hadfield option LARGER than the Hadfield O/S? I have never seen one for sale anywhere. Are Hadfield just not an option for larger headed horses?

Lucassb
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:10 AM
Did you tell me you bought another Edgewood? ;) Is it the unpadded, wide noseband? I can't keep up with you.

Strangely enough, my Edgewood has not stretched at all, I think I have it about a year now. I am very careful when adjusting the noseband, but still I expected to stretch anyway, but so far it hasn't.

LOL, I did tell you... and remember, you made fun of me for buying another one?! (Deservedly so, I have to admit.)

I got the wide/padded version since the Aramas wide is unpadded and I wanted one of each. Good to know that maybe they have solved the stretching problem finally, perhaps that will motivate me to actually take the tags off it and oil mine.

Lucassb
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:15 AM
Query- so the Hadfield O/S is sort of between an Edgewood O/S and an Edgewood full. My horses need closer to the Edgewood O/S size. Is there any Hadfield option LARGER than the Hadfield O/S? I have never seen one for sale anywhere. Are Hadfield just not an option for larger headed horses?

My Hadfields O/S fits ever so slightly SMALLER than my Edgewood *horse* size. The crowns and browbands are about the same, but the Edgewood cheek pieces are slightly longer and and the noseband quite a bit longer than the Hadfields.

I don't know if Hadfields makes anything larger than their standard O/S. I've never seen one, anyway, but you would think they must; their regular horse size is basically a cob bridle in any other brand, and the world they cater to is full of bigger warmbloods.

FWIW, my horse doesn't have a particularly big head either; it's just long, but the Hadfield's O/S is on the smaller side of acceptable.

BAC
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:26 AM
That's right Lucassb, I do remember now that we discussed the new Edgewood. :yes:

And vxf111, Hadfields ads always mention that they do custom fitting if necessary, so I wouldn't think it would be a problem getting a bridle to fit your guy.

mvp
Apr. 30, 2010, 05:37 PM
This won't help.

The best fitting bridles I found were imported by Tony Moritz in the late 1980s under that name. Quality went somewhere in a handbasket later and now you can't find them anymore at all. I'm hanging on to what I got.

Otherwise, there is no such thing as "great fitting for all."

On the other hand, almost every bridle I have ever bought is too long in the crown piece in the nose. Why am I bitching? Because the bridle-maker already knows how long lips to pole is! These two measurements relate, my friends.

In the OP's case (and the traditional way to do it): put on a bridle you like with the buckles where you want. Take it apart and measure every component.

Compare that to size charts like Bevals and see where you are. FYI, they will sell you their bridles in parts and do about the best (but $$) tailoring job around. If this is a wedding-ring of a bridle, get it all customed-up the first time and be happy for years after.

Or do the same with Just Bridles, or consider Wayne Rasmussen/The Country Saddler. His stuff is stunning in a better-than-Edgewood way, IMO. http://www.thecountrysaddler.com/LEGACY.html