Hi, not sure if this is the best place to post, but I didn't think it really fit anywhere else.
I need a bridle to fit my new Haffie mare. I've been using my geldings full sized bridle (don't know the brand, unfortunately, bought it used). But it's on the last holes at the top and the cheek pieces make the bit sit a little higher than I'd like.
However, I think she's going to be a funny size.
Ideally, I'd like to stay under $100, good quality and be a dark havana brown color (no orangey or reddish brown, please). Just a standard snaffle bridle. Also, I need it come with laced, not rubber reins. With my carpal tunnel, I have trouble gripping rubber reins because they are thicker.
Her measurements from one side of the bit over the crown to the other is 36", but like I said, it's a little higher than I wanted, but putting it down a hole made it too loose.
The browband fits perfect and it's 16". Cavesson was 26 1/2".
What do you recommend? Places to look? I do have a call into Smartpak to see what the measurements are on their new size bridles but I got a feeling from the rep that the bridles may not work.
Editing to add that I just checked out JustBridles.com and I didn't measure correctly. But if anyone has suggestions, would still love to hear them. Thanks!
You can always buy something that is close in size and have it cut down by a competent saddler. I had one of my old NC bridles cut down for my new TB. For bridles he measures a half inch over large pony sized bridles. My old TB was substantial, this guy has a pony head. It hasn't grown much in the 4 years I've owned him and probably won't, since he is now 6. I sent it to Beval's to be cut down. They remove the buckles, cut the pieces to measure at the buckle end and reattach the buckles.
I also bought him a Legacy custom made bridle but that was more expensive.
You might try the Beval Stamford. The unpadded version is about $135, so it's a bit out of the price range you stated, but Beval will mix and match pieces for you. When speaking to customer service yesterday, I was told that it will oil to a medium brown... but you could probably make it darker with a little work.
The leather is not the quality of the higher-end Beval bridles, but the details (particularly the stitching) is excellent. No roller buckle on the nose, though (but there should be a buckle guard). I'm guessing, however, that for $100, you weren't expecting the quality of a $450 bridle!
JustBridles.com is also awesome. To stay in your $100 range, I would also look to the Ovation bridles from Just Bridles, because then you can pick and choose pieces, as well.
Also consider Harmohn Kraft Americana bridles... they are really a good value and look quite nice. HK used to make the Dover Circuit bridles before they turned to crap, and they also make the Aramas bridles. It is strongly believed on this board that they also make the SmartPak bridles.
I can definitely relate on the Frankenstein head - to fit my Morgan gelding in a Beval bridle, he would need an oversize crown (throatlatch cut down, however), oversize browband, horse size cavesson (cut down on buckle side), and cob size cheeks... and even that would not be perfect! LOL
I'm looking for a new schooling bridle for him, and, well, it's been fun, to say the least!
Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
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Just Bridles offers a bunch of different price ranges and lets you mix/match. In your price range, that'd be my first option.
Bobby's (eqtack.com) also sells parts and you should be able to make an entire bridle from that, but you'd have to check and see.
Unless the site/catalog states how the measurements were done, you'll want to call and make sure ... do they include the buckle? Do they measure from the end of the strap to the end of the strap, and if so, how far from the end is the first hole? Stuff like that is good to know so you can measure your current bridle accordingly and know you're getting something that should fit.