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View Full Version : Harwich Bridles -- on sale -- are they really that nice?



purplnurpl
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:17 AM
Hey guys.
I saw these bridles mentioned in the wellfleet thread.

I opened the link and was really freaked out by the price. :lol:

For basically 85 bucks. Fancy stitch/padded/reins.

I have a Bobby's fancy stitch that is not spectacular but I'm fine with the quality and it's very pretty and soft. -- from the sounds of the reviews, this bridle is much better quality than my Bobby's.

I need a few new bridles. Is it worth the risk for me to go ahead and buy 2 or 3 of them?

I'm a big fan of the crown pressure equalizer.

http://www.smartpakequine.com/harwich-padded-fancy-stitch-bridle-by-smartpak-7215p.aspx?cm_vc=Search

cswoodlandfairy
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:20 AM
I purchased one around Christmas time and LOVE it. Its really soft and supple as is, but got a lot better as I cleaned it and used it. I primarily use it as a show bridle. The only downfall I had with it is my horses head is longer than average and the noseband doesn't have a lot of room and they don't sell the bridle parts, though hoping they will soon so I can use a Cobb. But I do have a 17H big bodied TB.

Definitely recommend though and they look beautiful on as well! Good Luck!

purplnurpl
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:25 AM
I purchased one around Christmas time and LOVE it. Its really soft and supple as is, but got a lot better as I cleaned it and used it. I primarily use it as a show bridle. The only downfall I had with it is my horses head is longer than average and the noseband doesn't have a lot of room and they don't sell the bridle parts, though hoping they will soon so I can use a Cobb. But I do have a 17H big bodied TB.

Definitely recommend though and they look beautiful on as well! Good Luck!

So my next question is for sizing.
Are they true to size or do they run a lil large?

Right now I have two QHs that are 15.2h but have normal sized heads (e.g. I had to buy XL Gardian Fly Masks for both).

I was going to get a Cobb for my kiddo that's not born yet. :rolleyes: Hey, at $85 it's worth the money to buy now and store until the kid needs it. :yes:

tullio
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:27 AM
I have one and it is very nice. I bought it for a new horse, thinking I would save up for a nicer one for him later on, and I'm now thinking that may not be necessary!

I am impressed with the quality of the leather and workmanship of the whole piece. (I did substitute a set of reins I like, so I guess I can't comment on the reins that come with it. Nothing wrong with them, I just had another pair I wanted to use.)

I have had it since December and use it several times a week. It is holding up very well so far and still looks great. I don't think there is a better bridle out there for the price.

cswoodlandfairy
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:36 AM
I guess it all depends on the horse. The headstall fits him perfectly with plenty of room to spare, I just experienced with the nosebands, I got the figure 8 as well, were smaller for him and I needed to punch extra holds to accommodate his face.

TrakHack
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:37 AM
I have one and people think I paid much more for it than I did. The fancy stitching looks great, and nothing about it screams "budget bridle".

The sizing seems fairly normal to me. For $85, it would be hard to go wrong in picking up a few.

sarcam02
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:45 AM
These are beautiful bridles. I have the Wellfleet for showing and two Harwich's all stunning and everyone comments on how beautiful they are. Bear in mind it is tricky to put a brass plaque on them on the top of the crown because of the design but I have managed. Even even the low end Plymouth line is quite decent looking.

amastrike
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:45 AM
Um, yes! I broke down and ordered another one last night. I already have one in full, but it's on the big size for my mare, so I ordered a cob. I've never dealt with truly high-end tack, but IMO the Harwich bridle is REALLY nice for the money.

As far as sizing, the mare's head is on the small size. Her Bobby's full sized bridle is adjusted about as small as it can go. I asked SmartPak yesterday and the cheeks on the cob Harwich are 8.5" and the noseband crown is 33".

vxf111
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:59 AM
Bought one as an "everyday" extra. At that price, I couldn't pass! Free shipping code too, LOVE Smartpak!

amastrike
Jun. 8, 2011, 11:18 AM
Here's the free shipping code: FFT51

FWIW, when I use free shipping codes, they never show up as working when I submit the order, but later when I check orders/tracking the free shipping shows up.

TarheelJD
Jun. 8, 2011, 11:22 AM
These are beautiful bridles. I have the Wellfleet for showing and two Harwich's all stunning and everyone comments on how beautiful they are. Bear in mind it is tricky to put a brass plaque on them on the top of the crown because of the design but I have managed. Even even the low end Plymouth line is quite decent looking.

I have two (a fancy stitch and a flash) and I have been extremely pleased with the quality, especially for the money. I agree that it is annoying that you can't put a name plate on the crown - but I think the crown design is really comfortable for the horse.

I think they run pretty true to size - although the flash seems to have a little bigger nose band than the fancy stitched.

I too planned to buy a nicer bridle for showing, but the fancy stitch is nice enough that I haven't felt the need to get a "show bridle" yet.

JumpWithPanache
Jun. 8, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have one also and love the bridle. It came out of the box soft and supple but has only gotten more so with use and cleaning. Oiled up a beautiful dark brown. Didn't know they were on sale, so thanks for enabling... I think I'll go pick up another one or two :)

purplnurpl
Jun. 8, 2011, 12:07 PM
just bought 2.

thanks for the free shipping code!

vxf111
Jun. 8, 2011, 12:27 PM
I am a tack snob. Can't wait to try this and render judgment!

mypaintwattie
Jun. 8, 2011, 01:10 PM
I have the plain harwich bridle, my paint has enough markings on her face that I don't need to draw more attention through padding and fancy stitching. I love it, the leather is soft and supple and the bridle fits well. I got the horse size, which fits perfectly.

BeeHoney
Jun. 8, 2011, 01:27 PM
I am a tack snob. Can't wait to try this and render judgment!

They are bizarrely nice for the money. They do seem to require a little extra conditioning, the leather has an ever so slight dry look to it, but the feel of the leather is really superb for the price. They look nicer than a lot of mid-range bridles. The sizing seems pretty standard.

drawstraws
Jun. 8, 2011, 01:42 PM
My geldings head is rather, ummmmm, "large and clunky", to put it politely. I bought the padded Harwich hoping that the wider noseband would help out his head a little bit. I ended up not liking the appearance so much but LOVE the bridle so I bought a cheaper Plymouth for show only and use the Harwich for everyday schooling for both him and his brother. They both have big heads (very wide in the cheeks and nose circumference) and the bridle fits great, lots of room in the caveson and right in the middle hole for both horses on the cheekpieces so there's room to adjust for any size head. I was worried about the color because my gelding is black so I prefer darker colors on him but it oiled up great and it's very soft and easy to adjust when necessary.

goosejumps
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:09 PM
sigh, certainly didn't *need* another bridle, but i'm going ahead and ordering anyway! thanks for the free shipping code, i can now justify additional cost of having my mom ship it to me in sweden! :)

akhunterrider
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:19 PM
I bought one in February of 2010 and I've been really happy with it. I think they run a bit larger. My TB gelding is 16.1 and is on the top or close to it on most of the adjustments. The leather quality is very good for the price and the fancy stitching is well done. My only real complaint is that the keepers on the noseband are fixed, so we have a lot of flapping leather.

sarcam02
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:32 PM
I bought one in February of 2010 and I've been really happy with it. I think they run a bit larger. My TB gelding is 16.1 and is on the top or close to it on most of the adjustments. The leather quality is very good for the price and the fancy stitching is well done. My only real complaint is that the keepers on the noseband are fixed, so we have a lot of flapping leather.

I trimmed the excess noseband strap.

vxf111
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:51 PM
They are bizarrely nice for the money. They do seem to require a little extra conditioning, the leather has an ever so slight dry look to it, but the feel of the leather is really superb for the price. They look nicer than a lot of mid-range bridles. The sizing seems pretty standard.

I can condition any hungry but well intentioned bridle, no problem.

I have been wanting to try these for ages and the sale pushed me over the edge. I can't wait for it to arrive!

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:01 PM
Ordered one too! My young girl (4 year old OTTB) can be a bit fussy and head tossy. My last lesson with the dressage instructor, she pulled the browband out from under the crown and recommended I look into one that relieves the pressure, but other bills have taken priority. At this price though...how can I pass it up!!! My Stubben doesn't fit her that well anyway, she's only 1 hole (on one side) from the smallest...its my older mares bridle.

Plus I needed dewormer...

purplnurpl
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:31 PM
K, next question.

ugggh. alrighty...
what kind of oil do you guys use?

I don't clean tack. I dunk it in the horse trough after every ride...if the bit is still dirty I spit on it and use my finger nail.

yup--truth.

amastrike
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:34 PM
Neatsfoot. Always. Some people think it's bad for leather/stitching, but IME it's not. And really, it makes sense--leather is from cows. Neatsfoot is from cows. They're made for each other.

nctoma
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:37 PM
I got a Harwich for my young WB. It fits him really well, I would say the horse size runs a tad large, but he does have a fairly refined head. The reins needed a little more oiling/conditioning to get really supple but it really does look and feel like a much more expensive bridle. It will double as his show bridle when he starts showing someday, no problem. Can't go wrong with these or any of Smartpak's lines, honestly!

Halfhalting
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:40 PM
BeeHoney is spot on with my observation - it looks a little dry but feels good. I didn't soak mine in oil, maybe that is why? I did oil it really good a few times before using though, plus I condition it a couple times a week. It is nice and supple. My trainer remarked on it at the last horse show and was surprised at the price for the quality (I use the same bridle for riding and showing). The noseband of the horse size was way too long for my mare so I need to get that trimmed up and the stitching fixed. The matching martingale ran small for me, so I have a horse size bridle (with a too long noseband currently kept with mane rubber bands) and an oversized martingale that is just barely long enough.

I would love to get a spare, but that seems a bit crazy... but it's a safety thing, right? I definitely need a spare... ;)

Regal Grace
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:44 PM
this past April so I had the benefit of being able to check it out in person. I think it was 15% or 20% off. Thought the quality was very good for the price. Also the leather supple to begin with. Bought a cob size for my TB mare and it fits her great and his holding up very well.

vxf111
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:56 PM
K, next question.

ugggh. alrighty...
what kind of oil do you guys use?

I don't clean tack. I dunk it in the horse trough after every ride...if the bit is still dirty I spit on it and use my finger nail.

yup--truth.

That is a rude way to treat leather, LOL. :P Water's not great for it. I wipe clean with just enough ammonia/water on a rag to dampen it and then about 1-2 times/month I condition with Hydrophane/olive oil and Leatherbalsam. Have been maintaining tack like that for many, many years.

Rio Blanco
Jun. 8, 2011, 06:10 PM
So are they on sale or on clearance?? I know that at some point they were going to adjust the Harwich production line so that the accessories of that line actually fit with the bridle. Example: my BF ordered me the harwich bridle and the harwich figure 8 for Christmas, was told it was the same line and that it fit together, so I oil it up and attempt to assemble it....no, definately did not fit. Smartpak tried and ran into the same problem I did, the crown piece of the figure 8 didn't fit into the holes at the crown of the bridle. They said they would adjust their next production line so that it fits accordingly........so I wonder if that's what's happening?

I sure hope they aren't doing away with the Harwich and Wellfleet lines. I have the raised fancy stitch Harwich and the Wellfleet figure 8 and I LOVE both of them. The Wellfleet is definately much, much more quality than the Harwich, but the Harwich is pretty darn nice for the price.

indygirl2560
Jun. 8, 2011, 09:10 PM
I've been debating whether or not to order one, but now that they're on sale, I'm taking the plunge!

Gnomeland
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:35 PM
I love mine! Might just get another... :lol:

BeeHoney
Jun. 8, 2011, 11:02 PM
K, next question.

ugggh. alrighty...
what kind of oil do you guys use?

I don't clean tack. I dunk it in the horse trough after every ride...if the bit is still dirty I spit on it and use my finger nail.

yup--truth.

Purp, this is not a socially acceptable way to treat tack. If the tack police haven't arrested you yet and taken your tack into protective custody, you'd best add some appropriate leather cleaning/conditioning supplies to your order!:winkgrin: Passier Lederbalsam might work well for you, it conditions deeply so you don't need to use it as often. :)

sarcam02
Jun. 9, 2011, 09:19 AM
K, next question.

ugggh. alrighty...
what kind of oil do you guys use?

I don't clean tack. I dunk it in the horse trough after every ride...if the bit is still dirty I spit on it and use my finger nail.

yup--truth.

Warm olive oil for the first darkening/softening then about once a year thereafter.

After a ride I hang bust the bit part in the horses water bucket to rinse the bit. Wipe down cleaning with glycerine saddle soap and if really dirty I use Castile

Rev-Rider
Jun. 10, 2011, 03:15 AM
Size question???

My current dressage/crank bridle is O/S but I have quite a bit of room. I'm trying to figure weather to go horse size with this one? I'm hearing they run large.

karlymacrae
Jun. 10, 2011, 07:18 PM
I just ordered mine. I read a few reviews of the noseband being a bit too long but my guy has a huge head so it should fit fine lol!

vxf111
Jun. 11, 2011, 10:25 PM
It arrived, it looks size-comperable to my Edgewoods. Leather was fairly soft out of the bag. I conditioned/oiled it and assembled it-- looks good. Gonna start using it tomorrow and see how it breaks in. So far, thumbs up.

karlymacrae
Jun. 12, 2011, 01:34 AM
Can't wait to get mine.. stock is sold out so I won't get it until the 21st, even then I have to drive 45 mins away and across the border (I live in Canada) to pick it up. I have a show that week so hopefully it softens up fast!

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 13, 2011, 09:52 AM
Mine is "out for delivery" *jumps up and down*. I'm getting it delivered to work so I dont get a "why did you need a new bridle again" lecture, lol. My old one was a bit big, and not the most flattering for her face, plus she's sensitive to poll pressure...that necessitates a new bridle right???

purplnurpl
Jun. 13, 2011, 10:27 AM
Mine is "out for delivery" *jumps up and down*. I'm getting it delivered to work so I dont get a "why did you need a new bridle again" lecture, lol.

LMAO.
I have to do this too.
But I do it for almost everything I order.

amastrike
Jun. 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
I finally got around to trying my cob size Wellfleet Figure 8 (from last year's sale) on my mare. Perfect fit! Her other bridle is a full size Bobby's which fits on the highest/almost highest holes.

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 13, 2011, 11:34 AM
Eek! Its here :) Totally tore into it right here in my office.

AND, I've been debating those comfort stirrup pads for a few months now after riding in a friends. I apparently still had them in my shopping cart from the last time I stamped down my impulse shopping...Oops? lol

*feels like Christmas*

BAC
Jun. 13, 2011, 12:49 PM
That is a rude way to treat leather, LOL. :P Water's not great for it. I wipe clean with just enough ammonia/water on a rag to dampen it and then about 1-2 times/month I condition with Hydrophane/olive oil and Leatherbalsam. Have been maintaining tack like that for many, many years.

I agree, that is nasty treatment for the poor bridle. I am not an ammonia fan, I prefer wiping off with Effax and my favorite oil is Walsh's "Blue Ribbon" which stains beautifully. I only use it on new tack then use conditioner or Lederbalsam as needed periodically.

I was waiting for your pronouncement on the Smartpak bridles vxf. ;)

LSM1212
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:23 PM
I should not have opened this thread. Just added it to my next SP order which ships on Wed. so free shipping anyways.

Not that I NEED another bridle. But my current one is a little large (pretty much on the tightest hole on ever buckle). So I ordered the Cob.

:)

vxf111
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:33 PM
Have not ridden in it yet, but pleased with how it oiled up initially. Will be back with a complete review, don't you worry. :)

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 14, 2011, 11:42 AM
Well, mine just arrived and its too small...BOO. AND, they are sold out of the fulls.

My mare was almost too small for my full stubben, so I got the cob. The bridle is on the second to largest hole on both sides, which I would have been fine with. But the noseband isn't low enough, and its not big enough (and my mare has a long narrow face). Says the expected arrival date is 6/17 so I'm going to go ahead and exchange it.

Thought about keeping it for the ponies though, lol.

LSM1212
Jun. 14, 2011, 11:47 AM
Hoping mine isn't too small since I ordered the Cob. But all the horse/full size ones I've tried (and the one my guy is in now), I always end up having them on the tightest or the next hole down on each piece (cheek and noseband). Guess I'll find out this weekend as mine is coming on Friday.

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 14, 2011, 12:11 PM
Thats the way this girl is, she's on the second to tightest hole on my older mare's full on one side (maybe Stubben's run large?), and the noseband is about perfect. I'm tempted to keep the cob in case the full is to large and I have to mix and match...then I'll have a show bridle for the pony???

purplnurpl
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:52 AM
I bought a cob as well. But it will be used on babies. 2/3 so it needed to be small.

It will fit the QH that I ride as long as I use a D ring and not a full cheek.

It's very nice though. It needs more than 1 oiling...

I'm going back and ordering the dressage crank today in full for a show bridle. I oiled my crank when I did the new Harwich and turns out I might need a back up--it's feeling crusty--so I'll just order a new one now.

Also, my free shipping didn't compute and I paid 8 bucks for shipping on the first order. sux.

TarheelJD
Jun. 15, 2011, 11:28 AM
I bought a cob as well. But it will be used on babies. 2/3 so it needed to be small.

It will fit the QH that I ride as long as I use a D ring and not a full cheek.

It's very nice though. It needs more than 1 oiling...

I'm going back and ordering the dressage crank today in full for a show bridle. I oiled my crank when I did the new Harwich and turns out I might need a back up--it's feeling crusty--so I'll just order a new one now.

Also, my free shipping didn't compute and I paid 8 bucks for shipping on the first order. sux.

If you call Smartpak about the shipping charge screw-up, they will credit you for it. I had that happen once before, and it was no problem to get the credit.

atwistinmystory1049
Jun. 15, 2011, 07:09 PM
I bought one at the store, and my mare is similar to all of yous.... Full, she's on the tightest holes all the way around (had to punch holes for my elevator, etc). Noseband is a little tight, but I'm absolutely in love with the bridle, so I'm keeping it. I also had them put a nameplate on the crown piece, looks awesome. Smartpak has outdone itself with this one :)

vxf111
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:58 PM
Initial report...

1. Took oil nicely. Soft but still needs to break in. Good condition out of the box.

2. Very handsome looking on the horse.

3. Keepers are DANG TIGHT and it's not easy to adjust the monocrown AT ALL. Hoping that breaks in some.

4. I do not find the sizing to run particularly large. The OS is smaller than an Edgewood OS, slightly larger than a Beval Heritage OS. My wamrmblood fits nicely in the OS and could not have possible squeezed into the horse/full. In fact, I wish this was a smidgen larger.

5. I overally have a very positive reaction so far to the bridle. I need to use it for a couple of weeks, condition/clean it some more and really break it in and then I'll render final judgment. So far, so good.

karlymacrae
Jun. 16, 2011, 01:34 AM
4. I do not find the sizing to run particularly large. The OS is smaller than an Edgewood OS, slightly larger than a Beval Heritage OS. My wamrmblood fits nicely in the OS and could not have possible squeezed into the horse/full. In fact, I wish this was a smidgen larger.


Yikes.. my WB has a biggish head, hopefully the full fits.. his current bridle is a full (but it's a cheapie weaver... I didn't even know they made english tack, the bridle came with him)

Rio Blanco
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:19 AM
I have one that's 6 months old as it was a Christmas present from my boyfriend. The keepers will eventually stretch out just enough to be easy to get the excess from the noseband in but still be tight enough to hold it sufficiently. My only complaint is the bridle seems to want to drink oil and is mildly higher maintenance than the Wellfleet bridle that I got for Christmas as well, mostly due to Smartpak's amazing customer service.

My other complain is that the noseband doesn't fit my mare's head as the noseband just barely fit on the last couple of holes, but then again it's hard to find a bridle that does - my vet affectionately refers to her as "porpoise face." Poor mare has all sorts of endearing nicknames....Heffalump, dolphin head, porpoise face, etc. :lol: And to add to the frustrations of her oddly shaped head, she also has a habit of stretching out my nosebands (read: she loves to pretend the bit is too tight, then hold her jaw slightly open while you do the noseband so you can't get it tight, then she'll open her mouth as wide as she can, even when the noseband is looser than normal, and press against it. Argh, 16h chestnut mares!!) which pisses me off beyond belief because she can stretch a full size noseband out so much that it's comparable in size to an oversize noseband.

Jumper_girl221
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:21 AM
My mare has a fairly refined narrow head, lol (she's my profile picture). How about I send you the cob noseband to get stretched? (since everything else fits).

Rio Blanco
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:25 AM
Jumper_girl, deal!!!! I'll send you a pre-stretched horse size one in exchange for your cob!

My only gripe about the Harwich is the noseband seems like it's a size than the rest of the bridle, but the rest of it fits amazingly. On the other hand, my gripe about the Wellfleet is that compared to my full size Harwich, my full size Wellfleet fits more like an oversize: the throatlatch is too big, even on the tightest hole (where as the Harwich she's in the middle of the holes) and the noseband is gigantic, even on the last holes, right out of the box (where as the Harwich fit on the 2nd to last hole, pre-16h chestnut mare antics).

*styxie*
Jun. 16, 2011, 10:57 PM
After reading all these reviews, I am sold...hands down haha-not like it takes much to convince me to buy a new bridle ;). But, I have a question, I would like to have one to school in and one to show in, should I just purchase 2 of the Harwick or would you recommend buying one of the Wellfleet ones to show in? Do both hold up well to everyday schooling? Hmm what to do, what to do lol

vxf111
Jul. 4, 2011, 01:18 AM
I am prepared to name the Harwich the "best bang for the buck" bridle. It's not going to be mistaken for a $400-500 bridle but it is nicer than anything I am aware of in the under $300 price range. The leather, even oiled, is just a touch less supple than my Edgewoods-- but it's close. It's less stiff than the Red Barn line and it makes the Nunn Finer bridle I have look like it's made of cardboard. It's similar leather to the Dover Crown line, but those bridles are $10 more, don't have fancy reins, and overall are less detailed.

I will say that I don't personally perfer the monocrown and DANG the keepers are TIGHT and require a LOT of stretching just to be useable! Those are the only downsides. The leather takes oil nicely, softens up, and it's very well sewn. Very similar, in all ways, to the Aramas line and could double for them-- only for a solid $200+ less.

For under $100 it's an incredible bargain. Thumbs up. Way up. Now they need to make a non-monocrown version and I'll be totally satisfied.

SidesaddleRider
Jul. 5, 2011, 07:12 AM
I am prepared to name the Harwich the "best bang for the buck" bridle. It's not going to be mistaken for a $400-500 bridle but it is nicer than anything I am aware of in the under $300 price range. The leather, even oiled, is just a touch less supple than my Edgewoods-- but it's close. It's less stiff than the Red Barn line and it makes the Nunn Finer bridle I have look like it's made of cardboard. It's similar leather to the Dover Crown line, but those bridles are $10 more, don't have fancy reins, and overall are less detailed.

I will say that I don't personally perfer the monocrown and DANG the keepers are TIGHT and require a LOT of stretching just to be useable! Those are the only downsides. The leather takes oil nicely, softens up, and it's very well sewn. Very similar, in all ways, to the Aramas line and could double for them-- only for a solid $200+ less.

For under $100 it's an incredible bargain. Thumbs up. Way up. Now they need to make a non-monocrown version and I'll be totally satisfied.

Exactly what V said. I received my bridle and martingale two weeks ago, and did 2 coats of oil and then Devoucoux grease. Two of my friends (who only buy the BEST stuff (tack, horses, clothes, trailers, etc) and have the $$$$$$ to do so) both commented on what a lovely looking bridle it was, and wanted to know where I got it so they could purchase one for schooling! So two thumbs up from me...

authentic pony
Jul. 5, 2011, 07:38 AM
I am trying to buy one and it won't even let me put in a Canadian billing address, wahh :( I have a friend I can ship to in Buffalo to get the free shipping. I think I will have to call in today!

But SSR just reminded me about the martingale. Shoot. Does anyone have a picture of what colour they oil to? Maybe I have a martingale that matches already.

SidesaddleRider
Jul. 5, 2011, 09:37 AM
But SSR just reminded me about the martingale. Shoot. Does anyone have a picture of what colour they oil to? Maybe I have a martingale that matches already.

Mine oiled to a color in between the Edgewood and Hadfield leather that I have in the tack room... if that helps. ;)

vxf111
Jul. 5, 2011, 09:56 AM
Mine also oiled to the color of SSR's. Darker than Edgewood and with just a titch less red.

vxf111
Jul. 5, 2011, 09:57 AM
SSR are your keepers ridiculously tight too?

JumpWithPanache
Jul. 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
My keeper are tight too, but I prefer that problem rather than having keepers that are too loose. I hate when they slide off constantly!

SidesaddleRider
Jul. 5, 2011, 10:42 AM
SSR are your keepers ridiculously tight too?

Yes! Especially the throatlatch. I can get all the rest in a decent amount with a bit of a struggle, but I can only get just tip in on the throatlatch. I am hoping it will loosen up just a smidge with more use!

vxf111
Jul. 5, 2011, 11:08 AM
All of my keepers are so tight that I initially couldn't use them. I ended up shoving a toothbrush handle into them and working them from side-to-side and now they're JUST loose enough that I can wrestle the leather in with some difficulty. Wow, they came so TIGHT!

indygirl2560
Jul. 5, 2011, 12:14 PM
I was surprised at how dark the bridle was; it looks much lighter in the catalog/website. Mine was super stiff out of the box. It's better with a few coats of oil but the keepers are still unbelievably tight! I've tried bending and working them every which way but they're still super tight.

karlymacrae
Jul. 5, 2011, 01:39 PM
I am trying to buy one and it won't even let me put in a Canadian billing address, wahh :( I have a friend I can ship to in Buffalo to get the free shipping. I think I will have to call in today!

But SSR just reminded me about the martingale. Shoot. Does anyone have a picture of what colour they oil to? Maybe I have a martingale that matches already.

They don't ship to canada :( I shipped mine to a holding company and I still have to go pick it up.. when I have time!!

vxf111
Jul. 5, 2011, 01:46 PM
I thought all post services in Canada were down due to strike?

karlymacrae
Jul. 5, 2011, 01:51 PM
I thought all post services in Canada were down due to strike?

They're back (in my area anyways)

It was just canada post, all private courier companies were still open.

Jumper_girl221
Jul. 5, 2011, 03:20 PM
Well...I had bought the cob, then went back and got the full since the cob was too small for my TB (and kept the cob for the ponehs).

The full is BORDERLINE too big on Kissey (my TB), and the throat latch is ridiculous, like, I knotted it and its STILL way too big. the keepers on the bridle are fine, the noseband keepers are way too tight.

Now, odd tidbit, my cob is redder, and the leather was softer/slightly dryer that needed a few coats of oil, then Effax leder balsam. The full (which was on backorder when I re-ordered, so took a bit longer), is a darker, shinier leather, and while its still a VERY nice bridle, it doesn't seem quite as nice as the cob and it only needed one coat of the oil, then the effax.

Now, stupid question. Is it possible to take the bridle to a leather/shoe worker, and get them to shorten the throat latch? It really is rediculously large, and the cob's leather is a different color (plus I'd rather not mix and match).

purplnurpl
Jul. 5, 2011, 03:26 PM
I bought 4.

2 full fancy stitch
1 cob fancy stitch
1 dressage with crank

I love them all. I have ONE KEEPER out of all 4 bridles that is tight. The throat latch keeper on the full I'm currently using.

The cob bridle was lighter in color than the full bridles. I like the cob color a little bit better but it's really not a biggy.

I find the sizing to be perfect for my horse's heads. They fit better than my $200-$300 Keifer bridles (which I won't buy anymore because the quality has gone so far down hill in the past 10 years).

I like the sizing of the leather. (nose band width and general leather width). The Cob is more narrow.

I LOVE the comfort crown and I don't find it tough to adjust because they are supposed to be rather tight fitting and tough to adjust. I had to run the nose band strap back and forth in the comfort crown slot a few times to get the fit a little smoother moving.

lemme go find a pic of Abby wearing hers....
She's an average sized (15.1h) AQHA. The Harwich fits better than the Bobby's. Bobby's is bigger.
sorry, best photos I could find....


My $225.00 Bobby's Bridle
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/abby-1.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/L3-1.jpg

$90.00 Harwich Bridle
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/CH8I0062.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/CH8I0178.jpg

I need to find someone who can make a breast collar with fancy stitch to match the bridle for her. Maybe Bartville can do it...

BAC
Jul. 5, 2011, 03:29 PM
Now, stupid question. Is it possible to take the bridle to a leather/shoe worker, and get them to shorten the throat latch? It really is rediculously large, and the cob's leather is a different color (plus I'd rather not mix and match).

Yes, your local cobbler should easily be able to shorten the throatlatch. I don't think its unusual for products in this price range, to not be uniform in leather quality, hence the varying shades of leather in your cob and full size bridles.

authentic pony
Jul. 5, 2011, 04:09 PM
Karly, how did you put in your billing address? I can ship mine to someone in Buffalo no problem but can't even put in my (Canadian) billing address, that needs to match my VISA billing address, so no payment will go through.

karlymacrae
Jul. 5, 2011, 04:51 PM
Karly, how did you put in your billing address? I can ship mine to someone in Buffalo no problem but can't even put in my (Canadian) billing address, that needs to match my VISA billing address, so no payment will go through.

That's annoying! I used a master card, with a canadian billing address and had no problem. I'd try creating an account with smartpak first, with your Canadian billing address, and then order it and put in the Buffalo shipping address.

akhunterrider
Jul. 5, 2011, 05:31 PM
That's annoying! I used a master card, with a canadian billing address and had no problem. I'd try creating an account with smartpak first, with your Canadian billing address, and then order it and put in the Buffalo shipping address.


A lot of companies will do this. Most times if you call them it can be resolved. I grew up in Alaska, which made for pricey shipping. Some companies would try to ship to my billing address, even though my shipping address was different. I would just call and see if smartpak can help.

Kristin
Jul. 12, 2011, 01:26 PM
The Harwich I ordered (full size) just arrived yesterday, and I'm a little underwhelmed. It's constructed beautifully, but I think they must have changed the leather within the last month or so, because right out of the bag it's a VERY dark havana color and it has a shiny appearance to it. It's so dark and shiny/non-porous I feel like if I were to oil it, the oil wouldn't absorb..but if it did, it would probably turn almost black!

The leather actually looks like a dead ringer for the type used on their Plymouth bridle (photo: http://www.smartpakequine.com/plymouth-padded-fancy-stitch-bridle-by-smartpak-7734p.aspx?cm_vc=Search). I wonder if they are using the Plymouth line's leather on the Harwich's now? For $87 it's still a steal..but still!

Has anyone else experienced this on the newer Harwiches?

Po-Po
Jul. 12, 2011, 02:19 PM
I have an older Harwich and it is nothing like that at all....sounds like they made some less than stellar changes to it. :(

indygirl2560
Jul. 12, 2011, 02:29 PM
The Harwich I ordered (full size) just arrived yesterday, and I'm a little underwhelmed. It's constructed beautifully, but I think they must have changed the leather within the last month or so, because right out of the bag it's a VERY dark havana color and it has a shiny appearance to it. It's so dark and shiny/non-porous I feel like if I were to oil it, the oil wouldn't absorb..but if it did, it would probably turn almost black!

Has anyone else experienced this on the newer Harwiches?
That's exactly how mine is, which is kind of disappointing since I was expecting the color to be something more like what's on their website. My saddle is a chestnut color so it doesn't exactly match...

Jumper_girl221
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:18 AM
The Harwich I ordered (full size) just arrived yesterday, and I'm a little underwhelmed. It's constructed beautifully, but I think they must have changed the leather within the last month or so, because right out of the bag it's a VERY dark havana color and it has a shiny appearance to it. It's so dark and shiny/non-porous I feel like if I were to oil it, the oil wouldn't absorb..but if it did, it would probably turn almost black!

The leather actually looks like a dead ringer for the type used on their Plymouth bridle (photo: http://www.smartpakequine.com/plymouth-padded-fancy-stitch-bridle-by-smartpak-7734p.aspx?cm_vc=Search). I wonder if they are using the Plymouth line's leather on the Harwich's now? For $87 it's still a steal..but still!

Has anyone else experienced this on the newer Harwiches?

Thats how my Full was when I reordered...the Cob was a much nicer overall look. Its still a decent bridle, but not as nice overall as the cob. Mine really didint' darken when I oiled it, so you should be fine.

vxf111
Jul. 15, 2011, 11:39 AM
Oh, wonder if the sale was to clear out old stock in light of the coming change in design/color/quality?

Puglet
Jul. 15, 2011, 02:32 PM
I bought a cob size a year and a half ago and it was havana colored out of the box. Much darker than pictured. It also doesn't have the roller buckle on the noseband as advertized. The lacing on the reins has lightened quite a bit. I'm still happy with it for the price though.

BAC
Jul. 15, 2011, 04:31 PM
A friend recently bought a bridle for a new horse and asked me to oil it for her. Her trainer had bought it for her, so she didn't know the brand, only that it was not expensive. As I was oiling it I was so impressed with the leather quality, it was beautifully soft and supple without oil, just a bit on the light side, but it darkened beautifully with a little oil. I was shocked to finally find out it was a Toulouse! I have never liked Toulouse products but this particular bridle is excellent quality. I looked at their website and as far as I can tell it is the same as this one http://intecperformancegear.com/M.-Toulouse-Platinum-Hampshire-Bridle-with-Fancy-Stitched-Reins-Brand--CPath-1-pid-4020p.html only IIRC it was a padded version. The integrated comfort crown was identical to this one, you might want to consider this in place of the Harwich.