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Edgewood vs. Hadfield's, Quality Tack

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  • Edgewood vs. Hadfield's, Quality Tack

    I have a pair of Edgewood reins and a Hadfield's standing martingale that I bought used and haven't had for very long. I have found that while the Hadfield's is beautiful, I like the quality of the Edgewood better, although the Hadfield's is much more expensive and I hear many people say that they are nicer and last longer. The only other experiences with these brands I've had is with other people's very old schooling tack that is not the most well cared for and in very used and nearly shot condition, so I'm not sure how to form an opinion based off of that, plus since I only have one piece of tack from each, it may not be a fair comparison.

    What I'd like to know since I have very limited experience with the brands is, which one is the best quality and longevity-wise? Are there any better options out there? I know Jimmy's was supposed to be the best of the best, but they're not made anymore and are getting harder to find used. What about Ann Hubbard's, Huntley, or Bennett Fine Hunter bridles (Jimmy's son)? I'm not too fond of a lot of the French tack and like stuff that is similar to the older quality tack, which is what my Edgewood reins remind me of. They are not floppy like spaghetti, but are not stiff either, but somewhere in the middle, and they are very durable and feel like real, quality leather rather than sort of an almost plasticky feel that a lot of newer tack these days seems to have. I'd like to eventually invest in some of the best tack I can get my hands on, for the best value I can, so in other words, I don't want to be paying for a name, I want the quality to match the price, and I'd like something that could last me like my 20-30+ year-old tack has, with good care of course.

    What has the most bang for your buck and is truly excellent quality in your opinion? Are there any other brands out there that are really nice?

  • #2
    Buy gently used second hand. Generally that will be half of retail price or less. Huge savings when you are shopping high dollar gear. Thats your best bang for the buck.

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    • #3
      I have a Five Star Tack bridle that I just love. It's Sedgewick leather and it's held up beautifully for the last 7 or eight years of regular use. It's that kind of leather that is substantial but not plastic feeling. Unfortunately they're not made anymore, but if you can find one it's well worth it.
      I love my Econo-Nag!

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      • #4
        I have a Huntley bridle and martingale and I really like them. Simple, stitched design but excellent quality. Sedgwick leather, oils up nicely. Haven't had it long enough - only a couple years- but it seems to be holding up really well. Not sure if it is comparable to Edgewood and Hatfield's but it is also more affordable.

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        • #5
          I'm admittedly an Edgewood addict. I've tried multiple other high-end brands, and now don't bother with them. I've sold all the other brands and now only buy Edgewood. I have several bridles that are still going strong after 15+ years, but the newer ones seem to be just as good a quality (often not the case, these days, as leather or assembly are outsourced).

          I tend to have one set of bridles kept just for showing, and those look practically new, though butter-soft, for years. The schooling bridles are ones I've bought used (mostly ebay) and are not cared for as well. But even most of those could be cleaned up and taken to a decent show and not look out of place.

          I think you can never go wrong with Edgewood
          A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

          http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            OP, last time I checked, Hadfield's and Edgefield had retreated to the opposite ends of the Leather Philosophy spectrum.

            Edgewood still does it old school-- good quality leather is tanned with a "naked" finish and light. You oil it and use it and clean it to taste. It will become the color and degree of flappiness that you create.

            Hadfield's does all that breaking in for you.... for better and for worse. Yes, their leather is tanned to the Havana color (and it's possible to get that in that same "naked" finish which will accept oil. But they also seem to have a color-corrected layer on top. They expressly tell you not to oil it, and it's fine-grained, good quality leather. But you need to like the color and roll with the color-corrected tanning philosophy.

            I like Old School.

            If I were going to spend a lot of money today, I would go to Wayne Rasmussen of the Country Saddler in Southern pines and have him make me an Edgewood-like bridle, but up a notch in quality.

            Edgewood's leather and manufacturing can be a tad inconsistent these days, IMO. For those bridles and, generally speaking for a nice bridle in today's market full of mediocrity, I'd want to see and feel the bridle in person before buying.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bunker View Post
              I have a Huntley bridle and martingale and I really like them. Simple, stitched design but excellent quality. Sedgwick leather, oils up nicely. Haven't had it long enough - only a couple years- but it seems to be holding up really well. Not sure if it is comparable to Edgewood and Hatfield's but it is also more affordable.
              Wish they'd add a true oversized bridle. They've been around for years now. Big horses aren't exactly rare. I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post

                Wish they'd add a true oversized bridle. They've been around for years now. Big horses aren't exactly rare. I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet
                And oversized martingale. Even my horse who could wear their regular bridle couldn't wear the martingale. It's crazy not to add that to the menu of options.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Madison View Post

                  And oversized martingale. Even my horse who could wear their regular bridle couldn't wear the martingale. It's crazy not to add that to the menu of options.
                  The very first year they were in business, I saw them at AETA and they told me oversized bridles and martingales were next on their list? It's been years.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                  • #10
                    vxf111 maybe they are selling enough that they are at production capacity or content with that niche in the market, but what is clear is that they could definitely be selling more if they added the oversize options!

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                    • #11
                      I have had both Edgewood and Hadfields at the same time and loved them equally although maybe I had a slight preference for Hadfields' leather. But I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Edgewood instead if price is an issue. And I have leased or ridden horses whose everyday bridles are Edgewoods that are 10-15 years old or older and they have held up beautifully despite not the best care and I found Hadfields to be equally durable with proper care.

                      If you check out www.premiertackoutlet.com you can find good deals on new and used Hadfields and Edgewoods. In fact, I think I bought my first Hadfields from Rebecca at PTO.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Madison View Post

                        And oversized martingale. Even my horse who could wear their regular bridle couldn't wear the martingale. It's crazy not to add that to the menu of options.
                        I agree but I find their bridles are generously sized especially the cheek pieces. I have an average size Holsteiner and had to trade the cheek pieces in for cob size pieces. It was one of the best things about dealing with them. But I agree - they should have oversize too - how hard can it be?

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