I have two pairs of chaps and switch them off with tall boots, and both are out of commission because they are waiting to go to Beval's for another patch job.
We're not talking Journeyman's here. These are old thick suede full chaps. The calves are worn smooth, but not worn through. They must have been a real bear to move around in before she broke them in.
I will be sure to tell my mom that she has been elevated to "that bitch!" status. In the immediate family that epithet is normally reserved for my wonderful, intelligent, and kind sister, who is also 5'9", thin as a whip, and gorgeous, so she'll understand that it's a compliment! (Then again, we're talking about the woman who is ashamed to jump a horse in public, because she thinks her automatic release dates her. Can someone please talk to her? She won't listen to me.)
Okay, back to talking about bridles.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I have a Stubben bridle that is who-know-how-old... I bought it off ebay for $80 because it had turned black and the person wanted a brown bridle. I cleaned all the yucky off of it and found a lovely, soft, chocolate brown bridle underneath for a steal.
When people ask me how old it is, I dead-pan that it was commissioned somewhere around the time when George Morris was a boy and is 100% genuine Stegosaurus hide. It will, in fact, outlast us all, and will be around for the cockroaches to admire when we're all gone.
So, yes, it's old enough that the Stubben stamp up by the crown is almost gone, and when I look at pictures of Stubben bridles now, mine has the old-style logos on the crown piece.
The trainer who broke my mare demanded, "Where did you find one of these?!" when she saw it, and gravely told me to guard it with my life.
But, it will be retired from showing this year, as it is just a tad too big for my mare and I had to add extra keepers to all the straps so the extra leather wasn't flapping around. It's great for schooling, but I'm thinking of getting something that fits better for shows, and just accepting that it won't be as good as my ancient Stubben.
I have a Harry Dabs square raised padded bridle that I have been using on one of my mares since she was 3 years old - she is now 15 years old and the bridle still looks great. I ride in the same bridles I show in - I just take very good care of all of my tack. When I bought the Harry Dabs bridle I was ashamed of how much I paid for it - but in the long run it was worth it considering how it has held up under 12 years of steady use. :-)
I have a few bridles that are around ten years old. One is a Circuit fancy stitch bridle that I bought in 02. I love that bridle and I use it all the time, but I hate the new Circuit line. Not as nice at all.
I have a pair of cheek pieces and crown piece that are 30+ years old on my jump bridle. They were my aunts and I just switched out the flat noseband and browband.
Honestly I pay for quality and have no problem dropping $200 on a bridle that will last 10 years.
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.