Looking for an "everyday" bridle for my new guy and don't want to spend a lot. I'm also admitting that I don't have the time (or often the inclination) to clean my bridle after every ride.
I've been looking at the "Tekna" brand synthetic bridles and wondering if that might be the way to go, even though I prefer leather. If you were going to spend in the $50-$60 dollar range, would you buy an inexpensive leather bridle or would you try synthetic? What brands would be best in that range? Oh yeah, the bridle needs a flash option, too.
Extremely high quality for the price, and should hold up well if properly oiled and broken in. I think leather is the way to go- it's never a good thing to skimp on tack care (dirty tack can and will cause issues for the horse wearing it, regardless of what it's made of), but if you properly oil the leather a few times a year, it will remain in working condition for a long time.
Some of the new synthetic tack is actually very nice. I never understood why in the US people are so obsessed with leather -- the synthetics are SO much easier to care for and if made well, can be more durable and resistant to sweat, mold, etc. I would absolutely consider Tekna, for example, and have seen some really nice biothane stuff that is indistinguishable from leather from more than one foot away.
Seconding the opinion on the Wintec bridlework. It was very well crafted, but so super stiff in the cold weather. I sold it to a very happy person in Florida, where they probably never have had to ride in anything close to a norteastern winter weather spell.
I have a harmohn kraft bridle for my daily, and am very pleased. I got it secondhand, as my price point was even less then yours when I was shopping for an english bridle. I feel I lucked out in quality because I really didn't know what I was doing. I just knew I wanted something padded in the browband and the noseband for the princess. They run around $80-100 new, sometimes around $60 if you can find a sale, and nice quality for the origin.
I recently got this as an everyday bridle, and I've been pleasantly surprised by it. No comparison to the Five Star show bridles, of course, but for everyday schooling, it's pretty nice. Took oil surprisingly well.
They have a flash one. If you poke around online/on eBay you can probably find one in your price range.
Thanks for the ideas! I hadn't even looked at Smartpak, so thanks for that. I may give it a try. And thanks for pointing out the problems that may occur with synthetic bridles in the cold; I live in Maine, so that's a definite point of consideration.
I have 2 Tekna bridles, the hunter one and a dressage one. I love them. I used to be a leather snob but the Teknas are so much easier to care for. One of my horses sweats heavily on his face and leather bridles were a PITA with him. Now I just hose the whole thing off and hang it to dry, easy, peezy, quick and easy. I have a heated tack room so I have no experience with Tekna if it gets cold.
I have a synthetic bridle that I got probably 15 years ago, I think the company was called Stonebroke, but I can't find it anymore despite having tried to google it. I never had any problems with it in the cold, rode outside in the winter in AB in weather down to -20*C. Loved being able to just hose the whole thing off to clean.
I think the Tekna bridles look great and are worth a look.
Last edited by rulex; Dec. 19, 2010 at 02:17 PM.
I have very nice leather bridles for showing and for most schooling, but in the really hot, sweaty weather and in the cold when I don't clean tack as often I use my Tekna endurance bridle.
It has a padded nose and brow, a mono crown and fancy stitching. You honestly can't tell that it is not leather until you get right up on it. It also has the snap ends which make bit changes super easy.
I have the anti-slip reins, too. IME, they don't get stiff in the cold. And it gets cold here. YMMV.