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Of Stirrup Leathers, Bridles & Reins ...

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  • Of Stirrup Leathers, Bridles & Reins ...

    Hi All,

    I finally test rode the Devoucoux Milady today. And WOW. As soon as I asked for the sitting trot I knew I was sold on it. It's perfect. It fits my gelding like it was made for him and he moved so much better than he did in our old saddle. I didn't want to get off! I had ordered some M. Toulouse leathers as I had heard good reviews of them. But they were pretty junky. They felt like someone had left them in oil for way too long (although brand new with tags and no marks). They looked so used and broken in after only a short 20 minute ride. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, but I think they even stretched a bit already. The stitching wasn't very tight and they even seem to have stretched a little already. What other brands do you reccomend? My old jumping leathers were Bevals, so I may try to get those. Just curious what else you all reccomend. Also is it normal to go up to the next length when moving from a jumping to a dressage saddle? I usually get 54" but these seemed a little short (I had them on the 4th hole to have them more dressage length, so there was not even enough excess to tuck into the holder and it bunched under my leg). I'm 5'5, do you think a 60" would be too long?

    Also curious about bridle brands. I don't have a ton to spend after the purchase of the saddle and accessories. But my current black bridle is a cheapy I found on clearance a couple of years ago and really stinks. It's stiff regardless of oiling and the browband is a little small. What are some good less expensive bridles? I can purchase something more show quality closer to show season, but would like something for everyday riding now. Also, what reins are more appropriate? The bridle I have now has rubber reins. Should I be looking for braided or web reins? Is it more personal preference? In terms of nosebands, horse likes a flash so that isn't a problem, how different is the effect a crank noseband gives to a regular noseband?

    Thanks everyone for all of the advice and help!
    Last edited by ChampionMercedes; Jan. 11, 2008, 10:15 AM.
    -Tami-

    [Paint It Black - "Kiddo"]

  • #2
    I have Courbette leathers and I have been very happy with them. Very little stretching, and I bought them 4 years ago. Stick with the 54" though. I am 5'8" with long legs, and I am on the next to top hole on the 60" leathers. My saddle doesn't have leather keepers, so I can't tuck mine in. They have yet to bug me.

    Any leathers will stretch some though, even nylon ones, so you will need to switch sides with them from time to time to help keep them even.

    As for bridles, If you can find a Barnsby they are downright wonderful for the price. They are very hard to find though. Kieffers are also wonderful. Much nicer than Courbette or Stubben (all about $150 to $200 with reins). For less than $150, I would probably buy an HDR.

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    • #3
      I have Crosby half hole leathers. At least I think that's what they are called. They have holes every half inch instead of every inch so you can fine tune the length without having to punch more holes. I've had them for about five years and they haven't stretched either
      Robin

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      • #4
        I've heard good things about Courbette leathers.

        I have a pair of nylon-lined Amerigos. Never again will I spend that much money for another pair of them. They had marks on them after the first ride (so I couldn't return them), and looked "well worn" within a week. They are nylon lined but have stretched about 1", and they feel bulky under my leg.
        I'm 5'5" and got 54" because that's what my old pair of $0.50 cheapy nylon-leather leathers were, but I regret that now and wish I'd gone with 58"- maybe even 60".

        My next pair will probably be Prestige (I heard the buckles don't hold up long-term, but enough people have been pleased with how they don't stretch and how "low profile" they are that even for just a couple years' use it's worth it. I've seen them online for much less then what I paid for the amerigos), stubben (since I LOVE their bridles/reins), and there's one other brand out there that everyone seems to talk up (I can't for the life of me think of it now)

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        • #5
          glad you loved the devoucoux. I knew you would.
          A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't really offer a bridle suggestion because I'm just using a cheap-o one that I got off of ebay for schooling, but for reins, I'd say go with whatever YOUR preference is in regards to flat, lines, rubber, braided, whatever. Personally, I prefer flat reins with no rein stops or braided.

            As for leathers, I did what a lot of COTHers have done and ordered mine from Gary Mundy in Indiana. He makes them custom to your preferences and I think mine are LOVELY. I got a pair of monogrammed, 54", black leathers with the half holes. There is no charge for the monogram, and on mine, I even had him stamp a picture of a running horse below my initials. Like I said, I think they're beautiful and I believe they cost me less than $50 including shipping and handling.
            "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

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            • #7
              I use Prestige on both of my saddles and Love them! They are not cheap but will last you a long time. They are worth the money and they don't leave marks on your saddle.

              For a bridle I use "Kieffer" for both my horses. The quality is very good and it will always look new no matter how long you've had it. You can buy Kieffer bridle fairly inexpensive at Dressage Extension. Those are a little bit cheaper quality but defiantly worth the money. One of my bridle's come from expensive line of Kieffer but the other one is from Dressage Extensions. Honestly other than a different logo on the bridle I don't see much of a difference.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by see u at x View Post
                I can't really offer a bridle suggestion because I'm just using a cheap-o one that I got off of ebay for schooling, but for reins, I'd say go with whatever YOUR preference is in regards to flat, lines, rubber, braided, whatever. Personally, I prefer flat reins with no rein stops or braided.

                As for leathers, I did what a lot of COTHers have done and ordered mine from Gary Mundy in Indiana. He makes them custom to your preferences and I think mine are LOVELY. I got a pair of monogrammed, 54", black leathers with the half holes. There is no charge for the monogram, and on mine, I even had him stamp a picture of a running horse below my initials. Like I said, I think they're beautiful and I believe they cost me less than $50 including shipping and handling.
                I'll second the vote for Gary's work. His leathers are LOVELY and the price cannot be beat!

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone

                  Can someone PM me a website link/email address or phone number for Gary?
                  -Tami-

                  [Paint It Black - "Kiddo"]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ChampionMercedes View Post
                    Thanks everyone

                    Can someone PM me a website link/email address or phone number for Gary?
                    You have a PM.
                    "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      reins

                      Regarding reins, I prefer reins with leather stops (rubber, leather, or web) over laced reins. It is easier for me to make sure that I'm holding both reins equal length than with laced reins (no looking down or feeling and counting laces). My hands basically stay in one spot because I can feel exactly where the stop is hitting a particluar finger and the adjustments become subconscious.

                      Good luck and have fun shopping!
                      "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

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                      • #12
                        The saddle sounds sooooocomfy! Congrats. I use Trilogy half inch hole leathers, very nice. My friend bought them for me for Xmas, and I LUV them. Again, congrats on the saddle, it sounds peachy.
                        ~Equine Jewelry~
                        Used Saddles For Sale
                        www.divadesigns.biz

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                        • #13
                          I did some research on leathers a couple of years ago....

                          when I got my jumping saddle. Mike Plumb's Horse Journal did a "consumer reports" testing on a bunch of leathers, and the Courbette came out on top. Best quality for a good price. So I bought some, and have been very happy with them. Sturdy, just soft enough new, and don't stretch.

                          Good luck in your search.
                          What's the scoop?

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