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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
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    8,783

    Question how to choose a bridle?

    for few months now i've been looking at various bridle styles for my mare.
    we no longer compete so it's just a 'pleasure' bridle for both arena work and trails.
    all i need is a simple snaffle but there are so many options out there, flat, raised, stitching, no stitching, v-brow bands, flashy brow bands - $100 - $300. my head is spinning. i don't have $300 to spend so those are out

    however, how did you decide which style suits your horse most? she's a small horse w/ relatively fine head so i'm staying away from those w/ really wide nosebands. but still finding it difficult to choose. i looked at kieffer's and bobby's bridles yesterday which left me even more confused.


    i'd appreciate some thoughts and suggestionsr. on what to look for
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,309

    Default

    I always just buy cheap snaffle bridles for at home, like under $30 cheap. I prefer plain brown, flat caveson, no raised or fancy stitched anything, and plain reins. If it comes with a raised stitched caveson I swap it out with a flat one. I just don't like the look of raised/stiched. It's easier to clean the grime off plain tack, too. Usually I swap out the plain browband with a not-good-enough-for-the-show-ring-anymore patent leather browband, but only because I like the look and I have them laying around.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    Well, I've always chosen my bridles for the function they are intended to perform, then for how they fit and look on my horse, then for how easy they are to maintain.

    My dressage bridle is a Schumacher with padded flash nose band, all black, no flash or "bling". Reins are the "Eventa" rubber reins as I love their weight and feel.

    My hunting bridle is by Henri de Rivel. Plain havanna leather, traditional plain flat brow and nose, laced snaffle rein, plain curb. (we hunt in a pelham)

    My everyday jumping bridle is a cheap version of my HDR that I picked up on ebay for $15.00. It's safe, fits well, looks nice 'tho plain and I don't really care what happens to it. It has laced reins, although I'd die to get my hands on a brown set of "Eventa" rubber reins for it.

    My winter bridle is black with brass fittings and is made of a combination of beta and biothane. I LOVE THIS BRIDLE. To wash it, I throw it in a bucket of soapy water! The bit on this bridle is a Nathe flexible mullen snaffle, so it doesn't get cold like a metal bit and is super on those frigid days when I'm out hacking.

    So, If you are just pleasure riding, you don't need to concern yourself with rules, only what fits your horse and your budget.

    I came across these the other day and when my OS kicks the bucket, this is what I'm replacing it with. Super nice, super easy to care for...

    http://www.sportsaddle.com/noflash/a...othane%20.html
    (scroll down to the "english headstall")



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    8,783

    Default thanks for the ideas

    i did consider beta but then given the price i thought maybe i should stick w/ leather... can't decide.
    although we're only pleasure riding i would like the tack to match in some ways. my saddle is a havana brown so black beta bridle doesn't look too hot with it. i thought of getting brown beta w/ a light brown beta overaly but then that makes for a higher price.

    i do see a lot of HDR's reasonably priced around. i should check them out.

    do you have any issues w/ the cheaper bridles rubbing the horse due to stiffer leather?
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,593

    Default

    One website I quite like for bridle choices is eqtack. They have lots of Bobby's stuff and prices from $80-$200+ I think their stuff is great. Also, Schneider's has some rather inexpensive bridles that are just fine for pleasure work.

    As long as you use some conditioner on your new leather, I doubt you'll have any issues with rubs. I've used some cheap cheap stuff, and that's never been a problem. Some leather conditioner and a few sweaty workouts usually soften it up, haha.

    Also, ebay ebay ebay. I love it! Find some brands you like, then scour ebay. You'll find great deals. Just make sure you buy from a seller with a reasonable amount of feedback.

    As far as style, go with what you and your horse like. I like plain easy stuff, but if you have an old neat browband you want to throw on, that's fun too. My grandma always has so many old bridle parts in her box of treasures that I never really need to purchase anything new except for show = )



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
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    8,783

    Default i've been on eqtack for days ;)

    i do like a couple of the bridles, just not sure whether the color is right. like i said my saddle is dark havana brown.
    i really like bobby's padded snaffle the one that comes in black/brown or brown/black but again, i have a feeling that brown is all wrong
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
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    4,309

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marta View Post
    do you have any issues w/ the cheaper bridles rubbing the horse due to stiffer leather?
    Nah, but I don't go with super cheap. I don't like Silver Fox- too much like cardboard, but I do like Gatsby. I bought a couple of Gatsby full bridles on eBay for like $20 each, added Gatsby flat cavesons for about $6 on eBay at the same time and show browbands that I already had. They're soft and supple and I showed in them, they looked that nice. They won't hold up for years like a $200+ bridle will, but the price was right.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2008
    Posts
    1,648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shakeytails View Post
    Nah, but I don't go with super cheap. I don't like Silver Fox- too much like cardboard, but I do like Gatsby. I bought a couple of Gatsby full bridles on eBay for like $20 each, added Gatsby flat cavesons for about $6 on eBay at the same time and show browbands that I already had. They're soft and supple and I showed in them, they looked that nice. They won't hold up for years like a $200+ bridle will, but the price was right.
    I LOVE my Gatsby bridle! I got it on Ebay for $16 and now that I've cleaned and oiled the snot out of it the leather is pretty decent--GREAT buy for the price. They come in lots of different styles. My boy rocks the double raised.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?fil...8&id=751565037
    (his supermodel moment )



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2004
    Posts
    10,342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marta View Post
    do you have any issues w/ the cheaper bridles rubbing the horse due to stiffer leather?
    I admit I'm a tack snob and hate cheap leather, especially the stuff that feels like cardboard. I recently cleaned someone's bridle for them and I wondered how uncomfortable the poor horse must feel wearing such crap, I knew it was several years old and had been cleaned and conditioned on a regular basis but the inside of the bridle was not at all smooth and stiff as a board, even after I thoroughly cleaned and conditioned it.

    I'm not suggesting everyone has to pay hundreds of dollars for an everyday bridle but I would certainly buy something of decent quality. Also some of those cheap bridles don't have stainless steel hardware, which I consider essential. I know stainless steel can still break but the odds are a lot less than with the cheap hardware that is used on the really low end tack. And the really cheap bridles I have seen frequently seem to be falling apart easily, leather breaking/cracking, stitching coming loose, etc.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
    Posts
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    Default what about tory bridles?

    are they any good?
    i just came across one for $80 i like it too.
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,185

    Default

    I *think* Treadstone bridles are pretty affordable, if you can find them. I have one that I really like, though mine was like $15 used on Ebay.

    I'm not crazy about my Bobby's bridle though. It's very stiff and the size is TINY. It is marked as a cob, but it is almost pony sized.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2005
    Location
    Cambridge Springs, PA
    Posts
    3,096

    Default

    marta,
    I haven't seen Tory bridles but I have a Tory leather halter that is gorgeous, very well made and very nice leather.
    www.hogbackhillfarm.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2002
    Location
    Cave Creek, AZ
    Posts
    7,895

    Default

    I just bought a Plymouth dressage bridle from SmartPak for Mr. Blondie. I like it. Others on here have also bought the new SmartPak line and posted positive reviews.

    My bridle was $50. Free shipping (there's a code floating around on Off Course somewhere).

    http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...ctclassid=7211
    Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
    "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    1,190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    I *think* Treadstone bridles are pretty affordable, if you can find them. I have one that I really like, though mine was like $15 used on Ebay.

    I'm not crazy about my Bobby's bridle though. It's very stiff and the size is TINY. It is marked as a cob, but it is almost pony sized.
    A friend of mine has a tack shop. She sells the Treadstone line of bridles and has many of them. www.wayfarerfarm.net is her site.

    I LOVE Tory leather. My hunting breastplate is Tory.

    I NEVER use tack made from "cardboard" leather. It is just yucky. The "cheap" schooling bridle I got off of ebay for $15 is so supple it nearly melts in your hands. Not stiff at all. I guess there's "cheap", and then there's "cheap".



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
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    Thumbs up went to the tack shop this weekend.

    i saw the treadstones. they are nice but the color didn't really suit my saddle.

    but the tory's bridles were great! and the tory flat bridle was just perfect for my mare. the havana brown matches the saddle, too. so my search is over

    and thumbs up to tory product line
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2007
    Location
    Camden, DE
    Posts
    1,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
    I just bought a Plymouth dressage bridle from SmartPak for Mr. Blondie. I like it. Others on here have also bought the new SmartPak line and posted positive reviews.

    My bridle was $50. Free shipping (there's a code floating around on Off Course somewhere).

    http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...ctclassid=7211
    I know the OP has figured out her bridle dilemma but...


    I purchased the Plymouth dressage bridle for my guy and it's great for the price.
    I am pleased with the quality and my trainer thought it was a very nice bridle and others thought it was worth more too. It's perfect since I don't want to shell out tons of cash on my greenie who broke my last two bridles...in two isolated incidents...Also, FWIW to others I've found that Kieffer bridles seem to run a little larger.



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