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Best Quality Hunter Bridles

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  • Best Quality Hunter Bridles

    I'm thinking of saving up and treating myself with a high quality hunter bridle after years of buying mostly used and old stock and after achieving a lot of goals and overcoming a lot of hardships this year.

    I'd like to find some of the best quality and most durable leather I can. Name isn't a big deal to me, I just want a really solid and high quality product I can expect decades of use out of with good care. I really like vegetable tanned stuff like Edgewood and a lot of older tack. I prefer a more "raw" leather that doesn't have a color corrected or painted on finish, and isn't too soft and floppy but is instead solid and durable. I love my Edgewood reins, older Crosby bridles, and older Beval bridle.

    I'm really leaning towards getting an Edgewood since I like my reins so much and the price seems reasonable for how nice the leather quality is, but would like to be open to other options as well. Part of me would like to save up for awhile and get my dream Bennett's Hunter bridle, but I know the price is very steep and I'd like to know if they are well worth double an Edgewood (with reins) and are much better. I've even thought about just going with an Exselle if I could find one I really liked the styling of since they're basically older Crosbys.

    I've also taken a look at Hadfield's since I've heard pretty much nothing but great things about them, but am kind of skeptical since I have a martingale from them that seems to have a color corrected finish that isn't really my cup of tea. From pictures, it looks like the Huntley bridles might be like this as well.

    I've also looked at New Cavalry, Ann K Hubbard's, Legacy (Country Saddler), EquuSport, and Horse|Man (Valencia Saddlery). They are all beautiful, but I think out of these, I'm leaning towards New Cavalry and Legacy.

    Out of all of these options (plus any you recommend that I haven't listed), what do you think would fit what I'm looking for best and that would stand the test of time?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I have owned Edgewood, Hadfields, Antares, CWD, Beval Heritage, all very nice bridles but my favorites were the first three I named. If you already have Edgewood reins why not go with that? The nice thing about Edgewood is that you can keep buying other pieces (for example a figure 8) to add to it. And they last forever, I have ridden/leased a number of horses with everyday Edgewoods that were many years old and still in show ring quality. Antares leather is exceptional but I don't like that the noseband on the newer bridles buckles on both sides, that would be a dealbreaker for me. You can't change out the nosebands on them now. I guess we disagree about Hadfields because I love the leather and workmanship, they also last forever.

    I have heard great reviews of Huntley and Legacy although I have no personal experience with them. I think a friend's New Cavalry is gorgeous but it is very old, not sure if they are still as nice. I wouldn't buy a Beval bridle now, the quality has gone downhill dramatically but my old Beval is still lovely. If durability is your primary concern you can't go wrong with Edgewood or Hadfields IMO.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by BAC View Post
      I have owned Edgewood, Hadfields, Antares, CWD, Beval Heritage, all very nice bridles but my favorites were the first three I named. If you already have Edgewood reins why not go with that? The nice thing about Edgewood is that you can keep buying other pieces (for example a figure 8) to add to it. And they last forever, I have ridden/leased a number of horses with everyday Edgewoods that were many years old and still in show ring quality. Antares leather is exceptional but I don't like that the noseband on the newer bridles buckles on both sides, that would be a dealbreaker for me. You can't change out the nosebands on them now. I guess we disagree about Hadfields because I love the leather and workmanship, they also last forever.

      I have heard great reviews of Huntley and Legacy although I have no personal experience with them. I think a friend's New Cavalry is gorgeous but it is very old, not sure if they are still as nice. I wouldn't buy a Beval bridle now, the quality has gone downhill dramatically but my old Beval is still lovely. If durability is your primary concern you can't go wrong with Edgewood or Hadfields IMO.
      I've heard nothing but great things about Hadfield's and I'm wondering if my martingale is just a fluke piece (I bought it used for dirt cheap). It seems like nice leather, but there's a dye or something on it I don't care for as much as leather that's more "raw" for lack of a better description. I haven't seen one of their bridles though so would like to keep open to them since I haven't heard anything bad at all.

      Would you say the Edgewoods are as good or close to as good as Hadfield's? I've heard many people say Hadfield's is much nicer, but is it worth twice the cost of an Edgewood?

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you can't go wrong with either a Hadfields or an Edgewood. I honestly liked my Edgewood just as much as my Hadfields, but they are quite a bit different, both in color and leather. Some people claim Edgewood is not the same quality as it used to be but I haven't seen any new stuff so I can't comment on that. Hadfields is substantially more money so if that is a consideration go with the Edgewood. Is there any place where you could see both, like a local tack shop or vendors at a big AA horse show?

        Also, check out premiertackoutlet.com, Rebecca sells high end tack at a discount and she frequently has Hadfields and Edgewood. In fact I bought my first Hadfields from her.

        Comment


        • #5
          OP, since you bought it used, is there any chance your martingale is not a Hadfields? Does it have their stamp on it?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by BAC View Post
            OP, since you bought it used, is there any chance your martingale is not a Hadfields? Does it have their stamp on it?
            It has a "Hadfields England" stamp on it. Maybe there might be an off chance it's an imitation? It's not low quality at all, just a lot different than what I'm used to.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by BAC View Post
              I think you can't go wrong with either a Hadfields or an Edgewood. I honestly liked my Edgewood just as much as my Hadfields, but they are quite a bit different, both in color and leather. Some people claim Edgewood is not the same quality as it used to be but I haven't seen any new stuff so I can't comment on that. Hadfields is substantially more money so if that is a consideration go with the Edgewood. Is there any place where you could see both, like a local tack shop or vendors at a big AA horse show?

              Also, check out premiertackoutlet.com, Rebecca sells high end tack at a discount and she frequently has Hadfields and Edgewood. In fact I bought my first Hadfields from her.
              Thank you, I'll check that out!

              Comment


              • #8
                i really like KL select's red barn bridles. i have the Tryon hunter. great leather. great color.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can't go wrong with Edgewood/ New Cavalry. Hadfield's is nice, though to be honest, eve though they're quite a bit more expensive, I'd go with Edgewood any day for durability, quality, and classic look.

                  I buy and sell high end used tack, and have experience with pretty much every "top" of the line names, and there's nothing quite like an Edgewood. Oil to your preferred color, and clean to maintain. They're leather lasts, is supple, soft, and overall just a nice, classic look.

                  I have a few Edgewood's now with padded crowns, and wide nosebands, so you can kind of customize the bridle you want by buying different pieces for it.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by TheBrownHorse View Post
                    Can't go wrong with Edgewood/ New Cavalry. Hadfield's is nice, though to be honest, eve though they're quite a bit more expensive, I'd go with Edgewood any day for durability, quality, and classic look.

                    I buy and sell high end used tack, and have experience with pretty much every "top" of the line names, and there's nothing quite like an Edgewood. Oil to your preferred color, and clean to maintain. They're leather lasts, is supple, soft, and overall just a nice, classic look.

                    I have a few Edgewood's now with padded crowns, and wide nosebands, so you can kind of customize the bridle you want by buying different pieces for it.
                    Thanks! Would you say there's a quality difference between Edgewood and New Cavalry?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Equestrian24 View Post

                      Thanks! Would you say there's a quality difference between Edgewood and New Cavalry?
                      New Cavalry was/is old Edgewood, before the company split, so they are pretty much the same!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have Edgewood bridles that are 10+ years old and are still in great condition. I will only buy Edgewood bridles.

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