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Anyone Else Have Issues with their Arc De Triomphe bridles?

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  • Anyone Else Have Issues with their Arc De Triomphe bridles?

    *** I apologize in advance for this novel, I would really appreciate anyone's advice! ***

    Several years ago I purchased an ADT Matisse bridle through a local tack shop, it felt like a lovely bridle that would oil up beautifully. I took it home and followed the manufacture's cleaning and oiling/conditioning instructions and the bridle itself would not budge in color change. The reins cracked where they were fancy stitched despite me being gentle with them and not rolling them. I took the bridle back to the local tack shop and they immediately replaced the reins, however the manufacturer would not replace the bridle. After that expensive, horrible experience, I vowed to never deal with ADT again due to the fact that they didn't stand behind their product.

    However, for Christmas, I fell in love with the ADT Tribute bridle. I wanted a wide noseband bridle for my gelding. Smartpak matched a price I found online for $375 instead of $470 so I figured it was worth a shot. I put it on my gelding to try on and for one ride. I then brought it back to my house and noticed a stitch has already come loose on the browband, there is a noticeable crack on one of the cheek pieces, and the reins stitching are loose. Thank goodness I bought this through Smartpak, so I can send it back for a full refund.

    I'm at a loss for what to do. I'm not sure if I should ask them to send me a replacement and see what that bridle looks like, or should I just avoid the ADT brand all together. I almost feel like 2 strikes and their out, or on the other hand, will the 3rd time be the charm? At this point I am willing to spend some more $ and either get the wide noseband Beval Heritage, or splurge on a Hadfields (I love my regular noseband). Does anyone have any suggestions for a wide noseband bridle, high quality leather, fancy stitched brow/nose/cheek pieces, and reins? I do not like wide nosebands that are padded on my gelding, padding free except for headstall is what I'm looking for!

    Thanks for reading my novel and in advance for your suggestions. I'm just very frustrated and disappointed
    Last edited by Reminisce; Jan. 10, 2013, 08:17 AM.

  • #2
    Why don't you loose the fancy stitch? I don't understand why that is so popular. Why take a piece of equipment like a bridle and expect delicate white stitching to stay nice? IMO, it is the first thing to look sloppy and messy regardless of how nice it starts out.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


    • Original Poster

      I wouldn't mind losing the stitching, I do like it, but I see what you mean! My gelding is a chestnut with a gorgeous chiseled head and a beautiful blaze, so stitching isn't totally necessary. I would prefer something that is slightly raised (squareish). Don't want a padded nose or browband, I could tolerate a padded headstall though. Thanks for your advice!


      • #4
        I don't have any advice but thank you for posting your experience so that others have a heads up


        • #5
          I have chestnuts too, and like a nice non-red dark brown on them. I bought two Ovation plain raised comfort crown bridles from justbridles.com last year, and really like how they have colored and broken in. Not very expensive. My horses are smallish, and she is great about mixing and matching full and cob parts to make a great fit. In my case, I got full crown and brow, and cob cheek pieces.

          When I look at my bridle rack, I see that I have old plain Crosby bridles that still look good. Any bridle I ever got that was fancy stitched does not look as nice, with the stitches being discolored and frayed and/or loose.
          Last edited by ToTheNines; Jan. 10, 2013, 08:42 AM.
          Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


          • #6
            Our high end local tack shop stopped carrying ADT because of the stitching coming loose and the manufacturer not standing behind their product. Shame because they are beautiful bridles!


            • #7
              Some 7 years ago I had a similar experience where an AdT bridle began spotting, as though it had been rained on. (Never had.) Appeared to be a dye issue. I worked with my tack shop to resolve the issue. They gave the tack shop a hard time and came onto COTH to essentially call me a liar. I can't find the original thread now, unfortunately.

              They make beautiful tack which I will never purchase again.
              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


              • #8
                I'm just going to put in a good work for the showmark deluxe classic bridle. I currently have the deluxe hunter bridle and an really enjoying it except the padding on the noseband. I've had it for just over two years and it is great quality leather, the mono crown looks classy yet professional and all the stitching stays in place I'm also a really big fan of the Vespucci bridles but they're really pricy and I think the showmark is similar in quality.
                My Horse Show Photography/ Blog


                • #9
                  No help on the AdT, but Edgewood has a gorgeous wide noseband bridle. It's slightly square raised and comes in a non-padded version, which is super flattering since it's not huge on the horse's face. I have one, as do two other people in our barn, they all oiled up lovely. I pretty much swear by Edgewood.

                  I have had the same stitching problem on Ovations, just fair warning. I know of two people who had to replace the nosebands because the fancy stitching popped, and this was within a year or two. Love the Ovations but would just plain raised or something.


                  • #10
                    No personal experience with AdT, but if you're looking for a nice quality bridle check out Nunn Finer. I have their hunter-style bridle and it is lovely! The fancy stitching is still just as tight as when I first got it a few years ago, and I use it on a daily basis for schooling as well as shows. I've gotten tons of compliments on it, and the styling is very classy and not 'eventerish' at all.
                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                    • #11
                      Why dont you just get a wide cavesson from hadfields, then you can update your current bridle?


                      • #12
                        I was at a clinic this week where all of one trainer's riders rode in the Hadfields unpadded wide noseband and it was stunning, even on smaller horses with finer heads. I had a Beval Heritage bridle (not the wide noseband style though) and the leather was very pretty. FWIW, I would not be blaming fancy stitching for your problems, I have had Beval Heritage, CWD, Antares and Dover Circuit bridles with fancy stitching and the stitching was never a problem on any of them, I think it must be a flaw with ADT.

                        The Aramas wide noseband bridles are also supposed to be outstanding quality for the price.

                        Have you considered the Legacy line of bridles from The Country Saddler? Supposed to be very beautiful and excellent quality. Edgewood also makes an unpadded wide noseband, I love Edgewood too.


                        • #13
                          Hasn't been a problem for me!

                          I own 3 AdT bridles and haven't had a problem with any of them. I've owned them for a good 5 years. I've found that they do need a good oiling every once and a while, they tend to get "thirsty". But personally haven't had an issue with the stitching.
                          Aunt Esther for President 2012


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by silver_charm View Post
                            No help on the AdT, but Edgewood has a gorgeous wide noseband bridle. It's slightly square raised and comes in a non-padded version, which is super flattering since it's not huge on the horse's face. I have one, as do two other people in our barn, they all oiled up lovely. I pretty much swear by Edgewood.
                            I've never had a problem with ADT tack but have also never had anything fancy stitched from them.... but I just wanted to second the recommendation for the Edgewood bridle that Silver_Charm is referring to, it's lovely and Edgewood is fantastic quality
                            High Quality Tack Resale


                            • #15
                              I was told by the tack shop that sold me my Tribute that I should not have it "dipped" and instead oil by hand. Apparently lots of people that have theirs "dipped" end up with stitching that comes loose, etc.

                              I did have my other Imperial dipped and have luckily not seen any issues with that stitching (and it's my schooling bridle so it gets used daily).


                              • #16
                                I have had my AdT bridles for years and never had a single problem with them; so sorry to hear about your bad experiences!

                                I do love my Aramas wide noseband bridle, though, and would recommend it without hesitation. It's wonderful leather, and very high quality - certainly comparable to my (much more expensive) Hadfields, Edgewoods, etc.
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                • #17
                                  I have never had a problem with any of my ADT bridlework but absolutely the company and tack shop should replace the ones you have because those sound like defects. Have you contacted Mortack directly?

                                  The Aramas (or Smartpak equivalent- Wellfleet) are beautiful and excellent bang for the buck. I also have an older Beval Heritage that I cherish but the new ones aren't as nice, IMHO.
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                  • #18
                                    I have an ADT Imperial (fancy stitch) that I've used for 3x/wk schooling over the last 1.5yrs and have had no issue. Of note, I use ADT calfskin reins with it, not laced. I also use ADT calfskin stirrup leathers for both dressage & jump and <3 them and had no issue. Plus ADT calfskin dressage reins.

                                    And lastly for the past year I've owned an brown ADT anatomic girth in a custom size that took over 3 months to get (was promised sooner) and I love everything about it, esp because the elastic is brown and tripled on both ends. except that it has three Ds and only the center D did not rust. I ended up cutting off the rusty other 2 Ds which I don't use anyway (hunters). Why would anyone put a rustable metal on horse tack, esp. a girth which is often the most wet/damp piece of tack?

                                    I do love my ADT tack, the leather is SO nice. I like it better then any other company I've gotten to touch and feel (usually sub $400 range) and it already comes in the darker brown color that I want anyway (no scary oiling unknowns). I would just order a girth without the Ds next time.


                                    • #19
                                      Sorry to hear about your bridle. I love my ADT bridles, Never had a problem with the stitching, however, I prefer plain raised padded bridles. My everyday bridle is the Liberty model and my guy shows in either an ancient Vivaldi (my favorite) or an Edgewood. I do confess that I am a bridleholic (inventoried the collection last night on an Excel spreadsheet; that was very scary) and did buy one Edgewood bridle from Ebay that there was a stitch missing on the noseband.
                                      Last edited by paint hunter; Jan. 10, 2013, 05:24 PM. Reason: typo


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Wow thank you all for your suggestions and words of advice, they're greatly appreciated. Luckily, I purchased the bridle through smartpak due to the fact they offer 100% customer satisfaction and prepaid return shipping labels. They offered to send me out another one to try. I suppose I will thoroughly look it over and give it a shot, but I have a feeling I will have the same issues as the last two ADT's. can't hurt to try, I'm just so disappointed this bridle met everyone of my requirements. If this does not work out, I will definitely be looking into the non-padded Wide Edgewood, possibly a new noseband to match my hadfields (it's ancient though) or the Aramas. Thank you all for the suggestions, if anyone has anything else they think I should look into please let me know!!