View Full Version : If he was yours, what bridle would YOU buy?

May. 2, 2012, 03:35 PM
I've come to the realization that it's about time to retire my dressage bridle, at least as a show bridle. So I'm on the search for a new bridle. I need to keep it under $200 for everything, including reins.

However, beyond that, I am absolutely fashionably clueless when it comes to bridles. I'm not a huge fan of lots of bling. His current bridle is a hand-me-down from my older horse who had a much more coarse head. The current guy is dark bay with a white star/blaze and is more refined and now that I'm considering making a fool out of myself by moving up to 2nd level (:) just kidding...mostly) I figure he deserves his own.

So if this were YOUR horse, what would you be buying?

Fingers crossed these photos work.

Without tack:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/420157_542527359794_113300290_31002914_1560736451_ n.jpg

Current dressage bridle:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/521965_545428520844_113300290_31016254_504272900_n .jpg

Different angle of head:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/529671_545428411064_113300290_31016248_2142647308_ n.jpg

Whole "picture"
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/563007_545428835214_113300290_31016270_1837054670_ n.jpg

Thoughts? Suggestions? Sales I should wait for? :)

May. 2, 2012, 03:40 PM
Personally, if you have the money..I love the Albion KB line (especially the Super line with raised leather) and the Arc De Triomphe lines. Those are my two favorite bridle brands...neither cheap, but both beautiful.

May. 2, 2012, 03:48 PM
I've heard great things about the SmartPak line of bridles... they'll fit into your budget too.

http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-tack-equipment-and-supplies-1187pc.aspx?attribute_value_string%7cDiscipline=Dr essage&canned_results_trigger=

May. 2, 2012, 03:52 PM
I like the monocrowns. His head is fine enough that I would go with a not too wide noseband. Maybe one of these:




Not sure if you can get in the US https://www.styalways.co.uk/shop/heritage-english-leather-comfort-bridle-padded-p-15.html

You can also consider a Micklem (I use one on my TB and like it, though leather quality only moderate): http://www.smartpakequine.com/micklem-competition-bridle-8335p.aspx

For a bit more money, consider Five Star Tack (I really love these bridles) http://fivestartack.com/Dressage-Bridles/Ainsley-Flash-Noseband-Bridle.html If you trade in an old bridle (still usable), you get 10% off and free shipping http://fivestartack.com/Bridles-with-Benefits.html

May. 2, 2012, 03:54 PM
I'll jump in - but it is only one person's personal preference.

Your horse has a very nice head and I rather think his predecessor's bridle wears the horse, rather than the horse wearing the bridle.

I like the wider leather (5/8ths I think) but the huge padded noseband detracts, esp. with the long flap of the flash.

I like the Passier brand, handsome on a warmblood head, but not overpowering.

May. 2, 2012, 04:04 PM
Dalpal...I wish I had the money for an Albion!

Paintlady/Scubed- Thanks, I've been keeping my eye on the smartpaks...and I DO like that Ovation. Might have to go hunt about any experiences with their leather quality! I do like the monocrown ones, I didn't realize smartpak had a cheaper version. The hardest part is keeping the noseband on the thin side without all the leather being rolled or super thin!

Foxtrot- I completely agree...and unfortunately have not had the money to buy him his own, and this one was functional, so on it went. But as I just finished defending my master's thesis and was accepted into one of my top choice phd programs, I figure this is how I'm going to celebrate :) I like the Passier's too (although he's a TB)...just not sure if I can afford to celebrate that much!

May. 2, 2012, 04:11 PM
I bought a beautiful Isabel Werth bridle for miss mare at Equine Affaire last month. :cool:Soft with narrow browband and noseband. Too bad she has a huge head and it is not made in oversize. Was less than $200 with reins from many shops online
Was so sad to send it back and start the hunt all over to fit her oversized head:(

May. 2, 2012, 04:37 PM
I agree with a not too wide noseband to overpower that beautiful head! I'd do plain black with maybe a pretty clincher (silver) inlay on the browband. The Smartpak Harwich and Plymouth bridles look great! I've got this browband on my bay with a blaze. It looks great and I get lots of compliments!

He's lovely and I'm sure whatever you pick he can pull off! Just don't overpower that pretty head! :-)

May. 2, 2012, 04:50 PM
Your horse is lovely, good luck on a bridle. not meaning to hijack, but

Crystalyoung, I have 1/2 draft horses and bought a bridle from Dressage Extensions and used it as my everyday bridle and it's still in service!! Bought it in 2003!

It was this bridle http://www.dressageextensions.com/ProductDetail.asp
I got brown on brown and black/white. I had to replace reins over the years, but really had no idea it was that old!!! I'm going to buy another for my boy - he looks just like the horse in the picture! They are great to work with, always been satisfied...

May. 2, 2012, 04:53 PM
Sorry, it didn't go directly to the bridle - at the top right of their website, type 2125 in the 'quick buy' box to see it....

May. 2, 2012, 05:51 PM
I personally think horses with really refined heads should wear as little as possible. I prefer to have bridles that are hook and stud as all of that extra hardware for the buckles on everything takes away from the horses head.

Not sure how you feel about rolled bridles but the nice quality ones are quite lovely. This one is on sale:

If you dont like the rolled look, something with smaller leather pieces looks nice like this:

I purchased this bridle off of TOTD and was REALLY impressed by the quality. I didnt know I was getting a Nunn Finer and the leather is just lovely.

Having a very refined headed mare, I def know what its like trying to find something that looks nice without being over powering.

Refined head? Check. 4" mouth with most cob bridles on the smallest adjustment. And yes shes a TB.
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/11634_1243783781916_1449009522_30684524_1616390_n. jpg

May. 2, 2012, 05:54 PM
Cute horse!! :) My vote would be a Passier. I went with the Smartpak Wellfleet bridle for my mare (very similar head, but a grey :)), http://www.smartpakequine.com/wellfleet-double-raised-padded-snaffle-bridle-by-smartpak-9206p.aspx?cm_vc=Search
And' it's definitely nice, but my friend has a Passier http://www.smartpakequine.com/passier-gemini-snaffle-bridle-5157p.aspx?cm_vc=Search) which I had been eying as well, but didn't go for it for budget reasons. It's just a tad nicer, softer, more elegant. So my double bridle (ahem, when we get there :winkgrin:) will be a Passier. :yes:

Shopping is fun! :)

May. 2, 2012, 08:42 PM
To save you a lot of money.... Buy a new browband....

I bought this one from Smartpak, and I´m very satisfied...

May. 2, 2012, 09:27 PM
One decision might help you make the big decision - do you like buckles by the bit, or the other kind (whatever they are called)? Personally, I like the other, plain kind - I think buckles just draw even more attention to any HH or other bit movement... (I feel the same way re: rein ends)


May. 2, 2012, 09:45 PM
You might also want to look for a black event bridle, it will have less bulky nose and browbands. Check out this one.