I found one last year at the Equine Affaire for half price, absolutely love it. It was lighter than I wanted but was able to darken it considerably with warm neatsfoot oil. The sizes do run big though, I got a cob for my fine boned TB and it is on the 2nd hole from top on both cheek pieces. See my profile picture (which I literally updated 10 minutes ago) which is a close up of my mare's head from HITS. Has held up well all summer, used it for both show and home. I did clean it and put it away for the winter however, don't want to pay $300 to replace it.
“You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky
Bought one last year that then proceeded to run and run and run RED while I was wiping it down with a damp sponge in order to prep it for oiling. Could not get it to stop bleeding. Tack store sent it back to Vespucci who admited it was faulty and they would replace it, only they didn't have the same bridle in stock to send out. Three months later, after tack store calling monthly to check on it, Vespucci claimed it was magically not faulty, and they were sending the SAME bridle back to me. Me thinks they were having problems with their manufacturer and were getting sick of the tack store calling them. Needless to say, tack store just refunded my money and I happily bought an Edgewood instead. I'd originally gone with the Vespucci because they do run big and my one horse falls somewhere between a cob and horse (although even on the cob Vespucci, the throat latch was waaayyy long and was going to need to be cut down). So crap product with crap customer service behind it.
I bought both of mine in 2006. The figure 8 was gorgeous although I didn't use it much before I sold it.
My hunter bridle is still gorgeous. I have used it for a few years just at shows, and probably 6-8 months of everyday use. It has held up great, although it feels like if you oiled it too much it would crumble.
I love mine and would love to get another!!!!! I bought it 3 years ago and I use it everyday. I have used it for shows, hunter paces and even when I took my guy to the beach to ride. I have never had a problem with it as it is my only bridle at this time.
I got mine in 2006. I'ts a figure-8, so far it has been great! Some of the stitching is starting to come out on the center piece of the none band. And the crown piece is slightly starting to crack...why? don't know, maybe I let it set too long, but that shouldn't have caused it.
My sister got the dressage bridle and was not happy with the quality of the leather, one strap is really rough, not smooth like all the other bridles. odd, she sent it back to the tack store they claimed that they sent it back to the company, but it was only gone 1 week, Not possible. I think the tack store didn't want to deal with it.
Mine has never bled, it has been great, and fits my TB perfect, and fits my sister's Friesian perfect too! (funny they have the same size head, I don't have to change anything)
So NOT worth the money. For that price you are better off getting an Edgewood or Arc De Triomphe. Much better quality .
I have a another post on here also about bridles. I saw that in Dover they have the new Wide noseband by Tad Coffin. Have you looked at that yet ? could be an option.
Got mine 2 years ago as a store promotion point rebate system (so a freebie) and while it's been a good bridle I personally don't think it's worth the money they ask for them! I think for $400 there a much nicer bridles out there with much nicer leather. My $99 Cavalier bridle has held up just as nicely and I think has broken in nicer! Mine hasn't fallen apart, but I've known other people whos bridles fell apart after only a few uses (the check pieces basically came apart from the nose piece where they are stiched together!)
The one part that I do love about them though, is the fact that the crown is all in one, not the 2 seperate pieces that go over behind the horses ears!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
They're not terrible bridles, they're just completely not worth the $300 normal price. They're still better than most of the crap you can get for $75.
Just do be aware that they run quite large. My cob-size (Beval is perfect, Edgewood is a bit large) was swimming in hers; she pretty much would have needed a pony size. Go to justbridles.com - they have a comprehensive list of measurements... check and make sure it will work for you.
If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
I talked to their reps at the Masters one year about a martingale I'd just bought. It had a couple of shiny areas that I figured would disappear with oiling, but they didn't.
The reps blamed it on my choice of leather care product, even though the spots were visible before that. I paid full price for a bridle and matching martingale, which at that time was about $400 for the bridle, can't remember the martingale price. Padded fancy stitched hunter bridle. I think there are much nicer bridles out there for that money, and their reps sure left a bad taste in my mouth.
It is a nice bridle but not that nice. I won't get another one.
I decided to get the bridle (its a figure 8). So far I like it! It came with a pair of Eventa reins, and when I got home from picking it up I inherited a brand new Antares running martingale. All for 75$.. Christmas came early! I just hope this bridle holds up.