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Bridle question

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  • Bridle question

    I ride a lot. Don't to any recognized shows (h.j or HT), however do clinic and show in local shows, both dressage and eventing.

    I need a nice bridle for my guy, and would appreciate your advice.

    Do I go with a dressage bridle and ride in the h/j ring and x/c OR do I go with more of a h/j style and ride dressage and x/c in it?

    Maybe it doesn't even matter at my level, but who knows, might want to do a small rec. HT some day.

    Also, any great recommendations up to $150 and less...thank you.

  • #2
    Do you have two saddles? If so, my personal preference if you've only got one bridle is to match the dressage saddle. Both my saddles are black, and I use the same black bridle, no frills, for all phases. For the recognized shows I might swap in a "fancy" browband for the dressage.


    • #3
      I have two brown bridles. One is my flat traditional hunt bridle (I foxhunt) and the other is the Premier raised bridle from Schneiders. My dressage saddle is also brown though...so that may not answer your question.


      • #4
        What kind of bridle do you use? What style noseband? What kind of padding/buckles/features do you like?

        Most dressage/eventing bridles come with a flash. Do you need that? A flash is illegal in hunter shows; you can always take it off, but you'll have that little tab of leather on the nose (which will make you stick out like a sore thumb...if you care).

        Most eventing bridles come with rubber reins-- which I like, and many eventers prefer (especially for xc). Rubber reins are "not done" in hunters. Dressage tends to use plain reins with hand stops, or web/rubber reins, though it's all rider preference, there aren't really fashion rules about it.

        If you don't compete much, it doesn't matter what style you choose-- go with what your horse needs, what fits him best, and what You find attractive. Your'e the one who has to clean it and look at it every day...it should make you happy.

        I prefer a padded brow/nose/crown, black color, buckle bit ends (not hook studs), of a medium width (1" nose, 5/8" cheeks). I like the traditional eventer's silver or brass browband. I like rubber reins. These features are met by many dressage bridles, and eventing bridles. Flash noseband is fine, don't care if it has a crank (prefer not, easier to clean/use without it), but I like the chin-side to be padded. However I have a variety of bridles collected over the years...one plain padded noseband, one figure-8, two have padded crown, others do not. They fit various horses, with different bits, depending on need and use. I have a Micklem for everyday schooling, it seems to help a bit with one horse, no change in the other. I think it looks ugly, but it's about the horse's comfort...and I can't see it from in the saddle, anyway.

        I have a weakness for bridles. And horse blankets. My horses are always appropriately-dressed. Myself? Eh, who cares.
        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
        ? Albert Einstein



        • #5
          I also have all black tack and a horse that runs xc happily in his dressage bit. I use a black competition Micklem for both everyday and showing:
          You could also go with a dressage bridle with a removeable flash: http://www.perrisleather.com/product...emovable_Flash
          It is more likely that people at hunter shows will care what your tack looks like than at a HT, where many people mix, match and make-do with their tack.
          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


          • Original Poster

            Thank you !!! My horse is black, white star and snip and 1 white sock, my saddles (both d and j) are brown. So, brown bridle is good. I LOVE rubber reins, and don't need a flash, actually wear the noseband rather loose.


            • #7
              Here are some quality bridles in your price range without flashes:

              Bridleway Plain Raised Bridle - $134.95

              Bridleway Fancy Padded Bridle - $139.95

              Plymouth Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle - $79.95 (I have laid my hands on the Plymouth leather and it is really wonderful for such a low price point!)

              Harwich Plain Raised Bridle - $139.95 (Second the comment above for the Harwich line as well, really nice!)

              Harwich Eventer Bridle - $159.95 (This bridle comes with a completely detachable flash which might be nice to have - no tab left hanging if you want it off, and it comes with rubber reins!)


              • #8
                oooh, black horse, some chrome, brown tack- sounds nice!


                • #9
                  My experience with even the local hunter shows (maybe especially with the local ones) is that they put a lot of emphasis on having the right turnout-- so I'd go with a nice brown bridle, one that matches your jumping saddle fairly well. No flash, or cut the little tab off. Rubber reins are a big no in the hunters, but you can usually find inexpensive laced reins that match reasonably well if necessary-- many of the less expensive bridles don't come with rubber reins anyway.

                  I use dark brown bridles for dressage, even though my saddle is black, and it's hard to tell from more than 5 feet away.


                  • #10
                    My experience with even the local hunter shows (maybe especially with the local ones) is that they put a lot of emphasis on having the right turnout-- so I'd go with a nice brown bridle, one that matches your jumping saddle fairly well. No flash, or cut the little tab off. Rubber reins are a big no in the hunters, but you can usually find inexpensive laced reins that match reasonably well if necessary-- many of the less expensive bridles don't come with rubber reins anyway.

                    I use dark brown bridles for dressage, even though my saddle is black, and it's hard to tell from more than 5 feet away.


                    • #11
                      I would go with brown to match your saddle - and consider the Nunn Finer bridles because they are gorgeous!

                      They also darken up to a nice dark brown which will probably look very lovely on your black horse.

                      I also wouldn't worry about the tab from the flash. If your horse was grey you would see it from a way off - but on a black horse it should not be visible unless you're subject to a very close (and snobby) inspection.


                      • #12
                        I second Nunn Finer bridles. The leather is soft and supple, yet strong and sturdy. Great deals can be found if you search.


                        • #13
                          I second Highflyer - if you're planning on doing any hunter shows, even schooling/local ones, get a plain brown bridle with leather reins. For your price range I really like the smartpak bridles: http://www.smartpakequine.com/harwic...TopPick-_-7215

                          Wouldn't be a bad idea to also have a set of brown rubber reins on hand...swap the leather reins for the rubber ones and instant xc bridle
                          The big guy: Lincoln

                          Southern Maryland Equestrian