My son is turning 12 next week and needs/wants a new bridle. Right now he is just using the plain bridle he used while riding Hunters, but his pony needs a flash. After much searching we determined that there is NO flash attachment that is small enough to fit his pony. His trainer suggested getting a figure 8. I am guessing that, for now, he will use it for dressage as well as jumping but as soon as we are able I would like to get him a black bridle as well to use for dressage (because it pains me to see a brown bridle with a black saddle no matter how many times I'm told it doesn't matter! )
So, I have searched old threads and the entire internet. I have gone to the few tack stores I can get to, but their stock in cob size was pitiful. I am really liking the looks of the Nunn Finer figure 8, but do young boys use a clincher brow band? He likes the looks of the silver clincher but I am not sure if, long term, he would want to use it. I also like the Nunn Finer Milano figure 8. I've looked at the Bobby's but he won't like the reins on that one. I know it is an easy switch, but I would rather not pay to just take something off! I am interested in Five Star Tack but can't figure out where to buy those.
Could anyone offer suggestions as to what to get/where. Or better yet, wrap one up and leave on my doorstep? This conversion to eventing is going to be the death of me!!!! (just kidding, we are LOVING this switch, especially all the new friends we are making!!)
Love my Bobby's Figure 8, so soft the quality is top notch. I believe Five Star will be at Rolex and at Jersey Fresh if you want to see their stuff in person. Good luck, sounds like a great gift. FWIW, I don't think clinchers are girly at all.
I *love* clinchers - I haven't seen the boys not use/like them. There are a few male pro riders in my old area that used them on their event prospects. I think it really matters on the horse, not the rider - and whether or not it would look nice. IME, brass clinchers look beautiful on red/bay horses.
That being said, The Nunn finer has the remarkable option of being custom - you *CAN* get a black Figure 8 from them (or you could, last I checked) and that works just as well in dressage.
I'm always in the market for figure 8s because I love them, and I check ebay often - there are a ton of good deals on them - the only problem is that some of them do not allow returns.
Five Star recently went to a wholesaler only (they used to sell direct but now only sell in tack stores). You can find a list of tack shops they work with on their website I believe and they were at Rolex last year if you are going. They did a great job of custom mixing a bridle for me (regular sized but with an oversized browband). The browband I got is also a bit more "masculine" as I was looking for something with a little less bling for my draft gelding. Here is a picture of the one I got... http://briannadressage.blogspot.com/...ally-rode.html. If you click on the picture on the left it will enlarge and you can see it a bit better. I love the quality and the unique look.
How small is the pony? The Cob in Nunn Finer stuff runs REALLY small and I know there was no chance of it fitting the ponies I used to have in my barn (they had true Cob sized heads). If the pony is more on the pony size, Nunn Finer might fit. Otherwise, I would look into Five Star or Wellfleet from Smartpak (my two favorites), or possibly Bobby's (which does run small, too, but not nearly as small as NF).
And if the boy wants a clincher, let him have a clincher, but make sure he realizes they require polishing! If he's anything like the boys I used to teach, tack cleaning will not be a high priority