I like the idea behind them, but have heard mixed reviews about the leather quality. While visiting Scotsdale (AZ) in Jan i stopped in the local tack shop and they had the the hunter bridles on closeout for $200-ish and said that "the company that distributes them is closing its doors" (presumably world equetrian brands) but haven't heard this anywhere else, so maybe I'm just crazy?
Quality is iffy. I saw one at a show, loved it, then scurried home to buy it while it was on sale at VTO. Mine was, honestly, crappy leather for the money. It's always dry-ish, just never seems like I can get it just right. I have a pair of Nunn Finer reins that I got to match it, and the quality of the leather is phenomenally different. The glue also leaks, which is fun.
They also run big, so big that I thought they had shipped me the wrong size. I spent so much money having to have it adjusted that I could have just bought one new without it being on sale.
If I could have sent it back, I would have. The sale was a no return type of deal, so I'm stuck with a $200+ bridle that I can barely stand to look at because of buyers remorse. I will definitely not be buying any more of their products.
I hated mine the quality of the leather was bad, it was too big in weird places ( the throat latch was huge, so was the browband, but everything else fir perfectly) The noseband also cracked and I sent it back. I wouldn't suggest getting one.
Mine was crap, glue leaked and dye on each piece was different. Each side of the reins oiled up a different colour and one side was stiff, other side quite supple. I think I paid $300 for it (fancy padded) and ended up tossing it. Wouldnt pay $50 for one. MANY better brands out there.
Also, the sizing is SO strange. The throatlatch on the full size is extremely long, no extra room for punching holes. Browband was huge, noseband fit on the small side.
I have a single crown square raised Vespucci jumper bridle for schooling. It was around $300 CDN with no reins. For the money.. not worth it at all. I like the single crown but as someone else said.. the leather always feels dry. They also fit big.. my 16.1hh TB wears a cob.
I do have a padded double round raised leather halter by Vespucci that I love.
One friend takes exceptional care of her tack, keeps everything properly cleaned, oiled, conditioned, etc. Every time I see her Vespucci bridle on the tack cleaning hook, I drool & stop and check what kind of bridle it is.
Another doesn't take as good care of her tack, cleans is with the el cheap-o generic glycerin bar soap, and isn't as good about oiling & conditioning, minimalist at best. Her's? Not so nice looking or feeling.
I know there are some brands that look beautiful regardless of how you care for them, but I think Vespucci's may be the kind of bridle that needs some extra attention...
I've seen 'em new and they look nice. I can't believe they are perma-dry by nature.
So I issue y'all a challenge inspired by Squish the Bunny who "tossed" a $300 bridle (how did you do that? I couldn't): Send me your worst POS Vespucci for experimental but skilled treatment. I'll send it back as fixed as I think it can get but also my official verdict about the leather being inherently heinous or not.
I'm really curious... but I can't go buy one because my 15 year old bridles which cost half as much are going strong and looking great.
Yep, I actually "Tossed" it. Kept the browband/noseband and I think ended up selling them for about $10 each. The headstall fit NOTHING I had, and the leather on the throatlatch actually cracked almost in half. Tossed that. With the reins, one side was clearly NOT the same leather as the other side. My horse helped me out and gnawed on them at a show so they also got tossed when the crown piece went.
Cross your fingers you got a decent bridle, it looks like some of their bridles seem to be ok. I ended up getting an edgewood w reins (on ebay, for LESS than $200 brand new) as a replacement. Much much much nicer quality.
I have one of the "comfort" models, padded with the integrated crown piece. When I first got it (around 4 or 5 years ago) I oiled it and it took on so much oil so fast I thought I had ruined it ( I paid around $400 for it) I was so annoyed I threw it in the back of my tack locker and tried to forget about it. A year later I needed another bridle so I dug it out of the locker for a look see. OMG when I cleaned the dust off of it I had a beautiful perfectly conditioned bridle. It is buttery supple and beautiful. I use it nearly everyday. It wears well and cleans up beautifully.