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Dressage bridles for small-headed horses

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  • Dressage bridles for small-headed horses

    My little Arab mare has proven to be a huge challenge to fit anything to, especially when it comes to bridles. I attended the Scottsdale Arabian horse show several weeks ago and found the Joseph Sterling "petite" Arab size snaffle bridle, so I bought it thinking that it might be "the one". The salesman assured me that it was very small and would likely fit my mare, but sure enough, I brought it home and the noseband is much too big.

    I have been in touch with the salesman I worked with and the company, and he is looking into finding a smaller noseband or having one custom made, but in the mean time I figured I'd look into other options.

    Does anyone have suggestions for higher end (though not too outrageously priced - I'm a poor student) snaffle bridle, with or without a flash, preferably with a slightly finer noseband/browband, with lots of padding, and LEATHER reins? I also really like the rein snaps on the Joseph Sterling bridle, but that's not a deal breaker. It must be small! Cob is usually much too big, especially around the noseband and in the length of the cheek pieces, and pony is not usually proportioned correctly. I'm not a fan of the Nunn Finer custom bridle parts.

    I know I'm picky, sorry, but I'm still interested to hear what suggestions you all might have.

    http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._4089368_n.jpg

  • #2
    Vespucci did make a very fine dressage bridle and it was pretty reasonably priced. I think it came with the cloth reins though. Unfortunately most of them seem to now. Premiere also made one with a crank noseband that was diamond shaped over the actual nose but very fine every where else.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Rival View Post
      Vespucci did make a very fine dressage bridle and it was pretty reasonably priced. I think it came with the cloth reins though. Unfortunately most of them seem to now. Premiere also made one with a crank noseband that was diamond shaped over the actual nose but very fine every where else.
      Thank you for the reply.

      I looked at Vespucci and on the ones I saw that had close to the correct length in all of the problem areas, the fixtures were still very thick and heavy and chunky on her small face and were more suited to a pony with a thicker head. The one with the extremely fine straps/fixtures were too big through the noseband, probably made for smaller TBs or larger Arabs.

      I'll look into the Premiere. What do you mean by diamond shaped? Do you mean that the noseband drops with the flash?

      Comment


      • #4
        We purchased a very nice double bridle for our GRP pony stallion Popeye from Thinline.
        Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
        "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

        Comment


        • #5
          I LOVE Courbette bridles. The leather is nice, and I have used mine everyday for 7 years on my 15.2 TB and it still looks great! I only really clean it before horse shows too. Here is their website, and you can click through the different models on the bottom: http://www.courbette.com/catalog/acc...dlespage8.html I personally like the square raised bridles.

          Here is his jumping bridle, though I accidentally got a more flat looking caveson: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1153950040 It's only a year old

          And his dressage bridle (my favorite, I think it is the "raised and narrow"): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1153950040 This is the 7 year old one.

          When I sold him, the new owners asked for his bridles in the deal, and I refused to give the black one to them and had a really hard time giving up the brown one!

          ETA: Here is the one I like on sale in black, cob sized for $125!! http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...gory_Code=BRDL

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by CatchMeIfUCan View Post
            I LOVE Courbette bridles. The leather is nice, and I have used mine everyday for 7 years on my 15.2 TB and it still looks great! I only really clean it before horse shows too. Here is their website, and you can click through the different models on the bottom: http://www.courbette.com/catalog/acc...dlespage8.html I personally like the square raised bridles.

            Here is his jumping bridle, though I accidentally got a more flat looking caveson: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1153950040 It's only a year old

            And his dressage bridle (my favorite, I think it is the "raised and narrow"): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1153950040 This is the 7 year old one.

            When I sold him, the new owners asked for his bridles in the deal, and I refused to give the black one to them and had a really hard time giving up the brown one!

            ETA: Here is the one I like on sale in black, cob sized for $125!! http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...gory_Code=BRDL
            Thanks! Do you have any better pictures of the bridles than what is shown on the website? Interesting that the bridles are not shown in black...

            Comment


            • #7
              I guess they don't show them in black because they are just black and don't have the different tone changes like the brown ones?! Google image search: black courbette bridle. The weymouth bridles are all shown in black if you are just worried about the color. Otherwise, a tack shop will be your best option.

              I have heard really bad things about the quality of Vespucci figure 8 bridles, FYI. There are threads on Hunter/Jumper about them.

              Here on dressage extensions they have a close up of a crank noseband: http://www.dressageextensions.com/Pr...l.asp?KEY=2328

              Some weymouths are on this website: http://www.equinenow.com/store/courbettebridles.htm

              ETA: There are some more pictures of my horse in his if you flip through my album: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1153950040

              Comment


              • #8
                The cob-sized Courbette is going to be much too big for your mare. It's pretty big on my cob-sized mare.

                I have a Bobby's double that runs small, so might work for your mare. I can't even get the cavesson buckled on my mare, and she's not huge in the muzzle. Mine is brown, and I'm not sure what they offer in a black snaffle. But the one I have is very refined, and even as a double it looks nice on my friend's Arab pony, who has a very refined head. It came from Schneider's on clearance, so not too sure if they still have them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  OP - I feel your pain! In addition to the sizing issues, I also wanted a padded headpiece. I ended up mail ordering an Elevator bridle from Horsesense (http://www.elevatorbridles.co.uk/) for my little Arab. I got the cob size, and ended up having to get the caveson shortened. They will mix and match sizes, so if I ever ordered one again, I would get the cob headpiece and browband, with pony cheekpieces and caveson.

                  Here's a photo of my guy wearing it:

                  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1422642990

                  Good luck!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I've had a few people suggest Bobbys. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

                    Your little Arab is adorable! What's his breeding? I just love the Al-Marah horses, they all seem to have a perfect combination of personality, athleticism, and type.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bobby's & Just Bridles.com! I had a heck of a time fitting my new gelding (he's a TB) - he needed cob sized cheek and crown pieces but a full size browband. He also couldn't handle the larger nosebands that are so "in" right now - just swallowed him up. Got a lovely noseband w/flash from Just Bridles - made by Camelot but in the "eventer" bridles section. Nicely padded but narrower than the typical dressage noseband.
                      http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I love the Al Marah breeding too! After a lot of drooling, I made a special trip to AZ to find my guy My Arab's sire is AM Power Raid, and his dam is a Sea Captain daughter.

                        By the way, I had a Bobby's cob for my other Arab, and it fit him on the smallest hole. It did not even come close to fitting Des's more refined head. Here's a photo of the Arab that did fit the Bobby's cob (grey on the right): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1422642990

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a QH with small head, and my friend has a half arab with an even smaller head. She also has a hard time finding a bridle that fits right. I had this bridle and loved it, wish I hadnt sold it with the horse
                          http://www.bitofbritain.com/The_Bren...iner_p/370.htm
                          Eventingismylife
                          http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

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                          • #14
                            I got a KK cob sized rolled "Anja" bridle from dressage extenssions, very happy with it on my small headed horse

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                            • #15
                              I will also say that Bobby's has been a winner for my mare's petite head!

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