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Difference between Saddleseat double bridle & dressage double bridle?

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  • Difference between Saddleseat double bridle & dressage double bridle?

    Not talking bits here... but what is the difference in the 2 styles of bridles? From what I've read, the only difference I can find is that Saddleseat reins are sometimes braided & Dressage reins are smooth? Is this correct? Any other differences?

    If someone were to buy a Saddleseat double bridle & change out the reins to smooth reins, would anyone (horse included) know the difference?

  • #2
    Technically they are the same but the style is very different. Saddleseat tack is usually havana brown. All the leather will be flat, not raised or padded, and the straps will be very thin, 3/8" or 1/2". It will not come with a browband as saddleseat people buy them separately in the color of patent leather that they want. There is some cheap saddleseat tack out there, but most Saddlebred people buy their bridles from either Fennell's or Freedman's.


    • #3
      Saddle seat doubles are usually made with narrow headstalls/bradoon hangers, the reins are usually much thinner than dressage doubles, the browband and cavesson are usually covered in patent leather in various color combinations.

      As for the bits, the bridoon is usually thinnner in diameter, and the bit has longer shanks than the average dressage curb.

      There are a lot of examples on the web, if you use google image.
      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


      • #4
        Dressage cavesons are also, typically, quite padded, and wider. Yep. They would notice.
        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


        • #5
          Pshaw.No one will notice. I just bought one 'cause it was on sale. I always switch out the snaffle rein to a braided rein anyway because I have big hands and the two thin flat reins are hard to hold. I actually bought this one for my mare because she has such a small head and all of the bigger tack is too big for her (and it was really, really cheap at Horseloverz, like $25.)

          I always Frankenstein my bridles and use the pieces as needed. I also always dye it because the cheaper stuff I buy usually is brown.


          • #6
            Dreadful photo but they look like this:

            I buy mine as doubles and convert to snaffles, keep the extra bits for a double later on.

            The only real difference is that they come in cob and saddlebred sizes. The saddlebred size is a full size headpiece with cob cheeks. The leather is thinner width for a pretty face, and the noseband is flat with no crank. I like the reins thinner as well, I don't like fat reins.

            I buy mine from Fennells as they use genuine english leather, the leather is reasonably thick and resistant to stretching. They are a great option for the prettier headed horse where you prefer not to go for a crank noseband.


            • #7
              Yeah, it depends on the bridle. Obviously the ones with tons of patent leather and color will stand out, but as another poster said there are a lot available without browbands (so you can add your own) and with nice cavessons. I've had a few SS doubles (with dressage bits) because it can be hard to find a dressage double that fits Arabs, or it was the last time I had to buy one anyway.

              There's no real functional difference, except I'd think it might be hard to find one for a WB head.
              exploring the relationship between horse and human


              • #8
                Let me put it this way-- I have American Saddlebreds that I do dressage with. They have cob size heads. I wouldn't use a SS double bridle on them, to compete, or work. I like the padding in the crowns and cavesons of dressage bridles.
                When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou