View Full Version : another H/j rider moving into dressage and bridle shopping

Blackberry Farm
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:00 PM
I'm getting close in my bridle search. ;) I do have a few quick questions. I have seen several bridles described as "self padded." I'm thinking that's not the same as padded?? What is the difference between the description "padded" and "self-padded"?
Also, do certain brands of padded bridles have a tendancy to rub? I'm in the south, in the heart of this wretched heat wave, so my mare does sweat a bit under the bridle. I want to keep her as cool as possible and really don't want anything to rub. :)
Lastly, my mare has a smaller, but very sweet head. Know of specific brands that tend to run large?? I would need to stay away, or maybe even order cob. Suggestions are welcome! (bay w/ large white star) I'm thinking of spending $150-250 for now.
Thanks in advance!

Melissa.Van Doren
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:24 PM
Self padded" just means the padding is the same color as the bridle. :)

Really cheap leather can create rub problems, but you should be able to find something decent in your price range. Collegiate dressage bridles are quite nice for the money.

Measure a bridle that fits well, and reference that to ask about sizing when you order. Bridles are like women's clothing... all over the place with the fit.

Blackberry Farm
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:58 PM
:)Thanks so much!

Aug. 3, 2011, 08:20 AM
Worth watching for this one on sale

Aug. 3, 2011, 02:21 PM
After some of the thinner HJ bridles, be aware that many of the dressage bridles may look clunky to you on a horse with a petite or refined head. Other than the obvious make sure it fits and is good quality, I'd pay attention to the width of the noseband and think about whether you want buckles on the cheek pieces & reins or hook closures. I would do a lot of measuring before you order, esp if she's on that cusp between horse and cob sizes.

As far as rubbing goes... I love the bridles with the shaped crownpieces that fit around the ears. I always hate to see their poor little sweaty ears with that crown bumping up against them :cry: I also think that the crank nosebands are much more comfortable for the horses. They usually have more padding and definitely fewer pressure points than the regular cavessons.

Aug. 3, 2011, 04:40 PM
If you want to know the sizes for bridles from different makers, JustBridles.com has measurements for all the pieces of the bridles they sell. You can also mix pieces of different sizes to make a bridle that will fit your horse better than just a standard size.

Blackberry Farm
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the advice. carolprudm: I do love the KL bridles- more than I wanted to spend, but emphasis seems to be on comfort. The KL Signature is lovely! I missed that one. Actually, I have been eyeing the KL Select Essen and Fanfare as well. (polar opposites) Opinions on wider bridles on smaller faces? I sort of like it myself.

Great info/ advice CatPS.

Thanks Melissa.Hare.Jones. I'll look into Collegiate.

Smartpack's Harwich http://www.smartpakequine.com/harwich-padded-dressage-bridle-by-smartpak-7220p.aspx?cm_sp=Category-_-TopPick-_-7220
It looks comfy, and the price is attractive. I'm not sure about the leather.

Getting to be time to visit tack shops. Thanks for the information! Opinions are welcome! :-)

Aug. 4, 2011, 03:26 PM
I too am a recent hunter to dressage switch.

I went for a Keiffer aachen II saddle and I wanted a matching bridle so I bought a Keiffer Maike Bridle $160 US on ebay.

Sandy M
Aug. 4, 2011, 04:15 PM
FWIW, my dressage saddle is brown AND my horse has a "nice" head (it ain't super delicate, but he IS half Arabian - all 16.2 h.h of him). So I took my old, relatively narrow hunter bridle (brown), found a matching flash converter, and replaced the laced reins with web or rubber web ones. Voila! dressage bridle for a fine-headed horse. If you horse doesn't need a flash (and my old horse did not, and I plan soon to remove the flash on my present bridle), then just go ahead and use what you have. In this economy.......I prefer to make do, as long as it looks nice. My old brown bridle is of good quality and well-maintained, so why not?

(I went from H/J to eventing back to H/J then dressage - I still have in my closet, cleaned, oiled, in bags, two LOVELY Black official "dressage" bridles that i no longer use. But you KNOW the minute I think about selilng them, I'll need to get a new saddle, and the only one that fits will be black......)