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High end bridles

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  • High end bridles

    my ancient bridle has finally broken and I’ve decided to splurge on a new one. What are people’s experiences with their high end bridles? Which ones hold up, which ones don’t. Also how do they fit? My guy has larger wide head.

  • #2
    Is this for a hunter or jumper bridle.

    The best hunter bridle I've had, by far is a Bennet's bridle. They run true to size, but he makes each one for you so you can make adjustments. Just the smell of it coming out the box, it's really a special bridle and even though I don't ride the hunters anymore, I will not get rid of it.

    https://www.facebook.com/FineBridle/

    If you want something now off the rack, I really like Valencia Saddlery's Horse Man bridles. They are beautifully and also hold up quite well. The stitching is very fancy. You can find examples on their instagram.

    The most durable leatherwork I've bought has been hadfields. It took me longer to break in and they are specific about how you're supposed to do it, but it is quality tack. They make both hunter and jumper bridles. And they are so super nice, they walked my clueless husband through buying a bridle for christmas.

    Comment


    • #3
      Tell us a little more about what you like/need (wide noseband, padded, fancy stitched for a hunter, figure 8 for a jumper, etc .. . ) and what you want to spend and you will get lots of suggestions!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I had Antares, Hadfields, Edgewood, CWD, and Beval Heritage all at the same time and I loved all of them. Since I had so many they got rotated a lot but all held up well. My favorites were Hadfields, Antares and Edgewood although the others were also very nice. The Antares leather is really special but I don't like the new ones where the cheek pieces attach to the head stall on each side. I also rode and cared for a couple of horses and ponies who had Edgewoods as everyday bridles and they were still in great condition after 12 years or more. I used all of my high end bridles for everyday use.

        The Hadfields used to be sized for TBs so those might be a hard fit for your horse although they do custom work too. Edgewood is supposed to run big from what I have heard but my cob hunter bridle seemed true to size IMO.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I’ve never heard of Edgewood (live in Canada) were are you buying them and are they online? I’m a fan of the traditional hunter look and ride in a plain cavesson but do the jumpers so I haven’t ruled out the funky anatomicals. When I say high end I’m thinking the 300-600 range. Also to add to this does anyone have and opinion on anatomical vs. Normal?

          Comment


          • #6
            Edgewood is a staple in any high end hunter jumper barn. The leather is high quality and it’s a classic style. It has a traditional headstall and you have options for thicker or thinner noseband.
            Dy’on is another popular favorite. It has then monocrown headstall. They again have different types of nosebands- a popular one being the wave style.

            Antares, Devoucoux, and CWD provide nice options but often more expensive. I have had all and the leather is great with each.

            Smartpaks Wellfleet and Nunn Finers higher end options are also great.
            Dark Side of the Moon
            2010 Thoroughbred mare
            http://imgur.com/GT2qEuY

            Comment


            • #7
              I wanted to see Edgewood after reading so much about them on COTH . But local to me, the only place that carried them was the in-house tack shop at the Thunderbird Park show grounds. So OP, wherever you are, you might need to find the fanciest hunter venue in your region. Myself, I wouldn't buy a bridle without seeing an example in person first.

              I'm probably a bit of a leather snob because I grew up in the 1970s. Back then I bought the low end entry level strap goods which tended to be just single straps of stiff leather that you had to soak in neatsfoot and bend and work for a day or two before you used them. But I rescued them all from my mother's basement ten years ago after I returned to riding and they are all totally functional and mostly in use now.

              I say I'm a bit of a leather snob because I really don't like the current low end strap goods which tend to be coated leather, or multiple layers sewn together. I sometimes go to tack stores and walk my fingers through the bridles on the racks, and stop when I find something I like the feel of. It always tends to be mega-expensive. I don't want anything that feels worse than my 40 year old entry level bridles, and most of them do.

              I have bought two bridles since I returned to riding, both second hand Stubbens, one as-new, for very good prices. Perhaps they aren't that fashionable, but they seem to be super sturdy and good leather.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd look into Edgewood, I have 2 of their bridles. One gets used almost daily, and the other only when we're jumping. I'm one of those people who clean tack every time after I ride, and the Edgewoods have held up beautifully. I've had one of them for around 13 years, the other for around 8 years. Absolutely no complaints, they're in fantastic condition still.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been a tack snob for a long time. My favorite hunter bridles were my Hermes and my Antares, both with plain raised wide nosebands; I kept them even when I changed disciplines because I suspected that I would never see such nice leather again. It was a hard transition to black (generally lesser quality) dressage bridles when I made the switch, but I eventually found - in Europe - some really nice rolled bridles that were of comparable quality. Le sigh.

                  Edgewood is indeed a common and nice choice for an everyday bridle. I had several and liked them, but one of my pet peeves is loose keepers and that was often an annoyance. If I were buying another today, I'd get an Antares. Expensive, but lovely quality and the fit/finish is terrific.
                  **********
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                  -PaulaEdwina

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I second Edgewood! I think their quality is beautiful, as long as you don't over-oil it. It comes in a very light color originally and darkens with use and conditioning/oiling, but I see a lot of used ones that have been over-oiled in an attempt to get them dark fast, and then they stretch and have the typical issues that over-oiled leather has. I love the feel and durability of their leather! New Cavalry worked with them at one point and I believe is supposed to be similar (though I have no experience with them).

                    I also like Harmohn Kraft's Aramas and Americana lines. They are a bit less expensive (especially the Americana line), but still beautiful and hold up well.

                    I'd love to order a Bennett's bridle someday. They are made by Jimmy Wiebe's (who made Jimmy's tack) son.

                    Hadfield's is also very nice, beautiful quality leather.

                    I've been meaning to check out the Exselle bridles as well, as they're made in the same factory that made Crosby bridles for Miller's and look identical, and I have several older Crosby bridles that I adore and have lasted for years and still look almost new. It may not be a super "in" brand, but if it's anything like the older Crosby stuff, it will be beautiful and of great quality.

                    Stübben (and Courbette, but they've since been bought out by Stübben) are of beautiful quality as well and do have some hunter-appropriate styles, but aren't really popular with hunters. They will last forever, though.

                    I have some older Beval bridles I like as well, but have heard many negative things about them and Arc de Triomphe having quality control issues lately and not being of the same quality that they were originally known for, unfortunately. Personally, I'm also not as fond of anything that comes already super soft and floppy because it doesn't tend to last as long.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by greysfordays View Post
                      Is this for a hunter or jumper bridle.

                      The best hunter bridle I've had, by far is a Bennet's bridle. They run true to size, but he makes each one for you so you can make adjustments. Just the smell of it coming out the box, it's really a special bridle and even though I don't ride the hunters anymore, I will not get rid of it.

                      https://www.facebook.com/FineBridle/

                      If you want something now off the rack, I really like Valencia Saddlery's Horse Man bridles. They are beautifully and also hold up quite well. The stitching is very fancy. You can find examples on their instagram.

                      The most durable leatherwork I've bought has been hadfields. It took me longer to break in and they are specific about how you're supposed to do it, but it is quality tack. They make both hunter and jumper bridles. And they are so super nice, they walked my clueless husband through buying a bridle for christmas.
                      How much are the Bennett’s bridles ( ball park is fine)? I would love to have one from Jimmy Jr.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I vote for Edgewood. Expensive but not outrageous like some other "name" brands. I just sold a 10 year old one on eBay for over half of what I paid for it! The leather softens up beautifully with cleaning, the stitching stays solid, and they wear extremely well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've handled just about every bridle out there and my personal favorite is Dy'on. They make most of the high-end saddle brands' bridlework as well.

                          The Nunn FIner pieces are excellent value. There's also a beautiful new brand on the East Coast called Arion - most of the bridles have a thick elastic over the poll for max flexibility and no pressure.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have way more Edgewoods than I need.... "Hello, my name is Element, and it's been 6 weeks since I bought a bridle"

                            seriously though, I used to have maybe 5 or 6 for show bridles, and other mid-to-high end brands as everyday tack. I eventually just sold or donated all the non-Edgewood bridles and martingales, and now they're all I use.

                            I have some that are everyday bridles, going on 15-20 years old, and still in fabulous condition. I do keep my tack in a climate controlled tack room and wipe down after every ride, but honestly the everyday bridles still clean up well enough I could take them to a show.

                            There are tons of options as far as nosebands, stitching, padded, crown pieces, so no matter the type of riding you do and the style bridle that best flatters your horse's head, there'll be an Edgewood that works for you.
                            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/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I bought an Edgewood bridle back in February of 2008 and more than a decade later (for probably five years it was my only bridle and getting daily use, after that it was used 2-3x a week, but would also sit in storage for extended periods of time) it is still the most beautiful bridle I own. It has held onto its condition fabulously, the leather and stitching is all holding up wonderfully, and it doesn't go to pieces if I let it sit and forget about it for a period of time. It survived non-climate controlled tack rooms for years (both high humidity and freezing cold), travel, was my bridle for cross country and held up to the demands put on it with extreme grace.

                              It spoiled me for all other bridles and I sincerely wish that they made them in black for dressage because it's all I would ever use in my life until I die.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I've seen Beval's bridles last forever but you can no longer get those new. I like my Hadfield's flat wide noseband bridle.

                                On the cheaper end, my Smartpak Plymouth bridle lasted near forever and only broke when my horse ran off with it hanging over his neck and stepped on every last piece of it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by McKinley View Post
                                  I've seen Beval's bridles last forever but you can no longer get those new. I like my Hadfield's flat wide noseband bridle.

                                  On the cheaper end, my Smartpak Plymouth bridle lasted near forever and only broke when my horse ran off with it hanging over his neck and stepped on every last piece of it.
                                  I love my older Bevals, but have heard that while you can still purchase a new Beval bridle, that the quality has gone way downhill and that they've been having quality control issues. I've heard the same about Arc de Triomphe. It's a shame, because Beval's bridles used to be gorgeous and last forever, like you said. I've seen them introduce a new bridle recently (Fairfield) and they still have the Heritage and a few other lines, but I've heard almost nothing but negative things lately.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Equestrian24 View Post

                                    I love my older Bevals, but have heard that while you can still purchase a new Beval bridle, that the quality has gone way downhill and that they've been having quality control issues. I've heard the same about Arc de Triomphe. It's a shame, because Beval's bridles used to be gorgeous and last forever, like you said. I've seen them introduce a new bridle recently (Fairfield) and they still have the Heritage and a few other lines, but I've heard almost nothing but negative things lately.
                                    I am surprised Beval's is still making new things-- the last time I tried to purchase something from them (open front boots and a running martingale) they never arrived-- I thought they were out of business.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bunker View Post

                                      How much are the Bennett’s bridles ( ball park is fine)? I would love to have one from Jimmy Jr.
                                      When I bought mine 5 years ago the bridle was $440 and the reins were $280 I think. I do think he’s raised his prices since then, but that sort of puts it in the Hadfields ballpark.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by McKinley View Post

                                        I am surprised Beval's is still making new things-- the last time I tried to purchase something from them (open front boots and a running martingale) they never arrived-- I thought they were out of business.
                                        They closed the New Canaan store recently, and I think there have been some weird issues going on. I think they're struggling and sadly wouldn't be surprised if they did go out of business in the somewhat near future. I think they were bought by new owners somewhat recently as well.

                                        Comment

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