OK, I need some help from the experienced COTH-ers out there. I am in need of a new bridle and breastplate. Last time I bought new tack was something like 20+ years ago, and at that time I pretty much knew the brands, etc. But now? Holy crap there are a lot of things out there!
Here is what I need:
Horse size, hunting-style breastplate for stadium and xc.
Horse size bridle with flash or figure 8.
It will be the same tack for at home and at show use.
I don't need fancy-fancy, but I do want SAFE. I don't mind gently used, I know good tack lasts.
I'd like to spend $150 or less for each. Is this possible?
Help a girl (and a forever-patient, goofball OTTB) out?
I really like Bobby's English Tack too.. they use very good leather! My only issue is that they are $$ and they run small! I used to work at a tack store that supplied them, the craftmanship is beautiful but we had a lot of RA's because of sizing disparities. If you are going to spend that type of money, I personally would suggest Showmark or Nunn Finer (both of which can be found at Dover Saddlery or Smart Pak)
If you are looking for an everyday flat hunt bridle that can withstand rigors but is not pricey, I do like any Sedgewick variation of leather. It requires a lot of oiling/beeswax at the beginning, but once it breaks in it looks better than its "high end" predecessors. An example is an HDR bridle -- I found a link on EBAY for you here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Henri-De-Riv...item3f219087bb
They run 70-90$ depending on who retails them, but I really like HDR because they break in quickly, are initially supple (not icky stiff like some other brands when you first buy them!) and are durable while being affordable. The only difference between HDR and another "luxury" company (besides the name brand) is the fact HDR leathers don't go through a secondary leather treatment - which doesn't mean they're less quality, it just means you need to oil and clean your tack more often. If you're an ex-Pony Clubber though, that should be easy. (:
HDR also has a hunt breast plate, I believe it goes for about 90$. It's nice looking! I have a Courbette Hunt bridle and a HDR bridle - I have to say I like the HDR better. My only complaint with HDR is that they are a little "behind" the curve - some of their bridles don't have monocrowns yet.
Bartsville Harness. Quality product with great pricing. I was just there yesterday and bought a very nice horse size bridle and reins for less then $170 and they were extremely helpful. I took my horses bridle up there and he spent time working on it. Tried it on this morning and it fits perfect. Also bought a beautiful bridle that was on clearance just because the quality is so nice.
I also have a breastcollar I got from horseloverz by Tory -- that thing wears like iron. It has been sweated on for at least four years now, still looks exactly the same, cleans up nice and it was a whopping $35.
Thanks so much everyone!!
I will definitely call Bartsville for a catalog. However, the Harwich breastplate is calling my name--- blue is my color! Drool.
I knew COTH would come through!
ya, that stuff is sooo nice. I couldn't believe it. I haven't seen the breatplate in person but if it's the same leather as the bridles...then I have NO IDEA how anyone could possibly write a poor review. Unless it's a hunter person who is used to the 500 dollar bridles.
I bought all bridles when they were on sale a year ago (85 bucks each!) and they are nicer than my: Bobby's, Keiffers, Coubettes, and the double I bought from Dressage Extensions.
Alas, I'm still waiting for inventory to come in for the strapgood company I am starting (doesn't even have a name yet!) but I wish I could send you a prototype because the leather on this stuff is GORGEOUS, choice of 4 elastic colors (for items that use it) carabiner clips on the girths as well, and similar price point.
Hope to have it on sale by fall this year. That said, best of luck, and I LOVE my Harwich stuff too.
I fifth Bartville. I have 3 of their bridles and the quality is excellent. I have the soft grip reins, and the laced reins and they are holding up great. I also have a bunch of their halters and they are great too. Bartville has spoiled me with their low prices and excellent quality.