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Favorite hunter bridle?

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  • Favorite hunter bridle?

    I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to tack. I know the quality of leather can be drastically different, but I can't figure out why bridles are so expensive sometimes! Is there a functional difference between the brands?

    So, I was wondering, what bridle is your favorite and why?
    Last edited by EmJae; Sep. 21, 2009, 12:55 PM.

  • #2
    I have a Gatsby for my hunter bridle. Not really what I had in mind, but hey, for $25 (including matching laced reins!) at my local tack store's clearance sale, how could I pass it up? And it's not some cheapy-cheap Made-in-India bridle for that price, either-- it's made in England from English leather, and it's actually really nice now that I oiled it and used Leather Therapy on it ONCE. Nice and supple! The Smart Pak bridles are supposed to be nice (even the $50 Plymouth ones), but I haven't actually seen them. KL Select or their (slightly) less expensive spin-off, Red Barn Bridlework, are VERY nice, even before they have any oil on them, but they are (In my opinion) expensive at $220-375 (sometimes more). I have a couple of BEAUTIFUL Schumachers for my dressage bridles (complete w/stunning crystal browbands), but I bought those on clearance from Dover (I never could have afforded them otherwise, at $500 a pop! ) Vespucci, even though it is quite pricey, is, in my experience, not very good. They feel like cardboard in the store, and don't hold up. For close to $300 (excluding reins), I would expect MUCH better than what they are.


    • #3
      Favorite hunter bride?
      I can't think of any hunters I know that have gotten married

      The quality of the leather has a lot to do with the price. What I look for, and like in a bridle has a lot to do with what I want it for and the horse that will wear it. As an example, for a schooling bridle, I might want a little more durability and for a show bridle I might want a little more refinement.
      Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
      Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


      • #4
        Antares is nice and come in the padded crown version and flat leather crown which fits so beautifully....sets off a pretty head like the padded ones can't.


        • #5
          I guess my favorites are my Antares, for the gorgeous leather and details and I also like the hardware they use, it polishes up so beautifully with just a cloth. My Hadfields is beautiful too, I especially like the rich mahogany color of their leather.

          And while it is less expensive and I know some people have had problems wit them, I really really like my plain, padded Edgewood.


          • #6
            If money is no object? Hadfield, all the way. Style and craftsmanship.

            I also LOVE my Herve Godignon and CWD bridles. Love the quality of those as well. The HG especially has some NICE details that other bridles do now and the cut/fit is excellent on my horse. I have an Arc that is also nice. And for every day us, rely on the Edgewood and have not been disappointed (love all their options in terms of reins, martingales, lengths for things etc.)

            I have a major bridle fetish!
            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


            • #7
              Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
              I have a major bridle fetish!
              Me too, I think I caught it from Lucassb.


              • #8
                I've had 3 Edgewoods and now have a Hadfield. They are expensive but last FOREVER -- especially because I have a schooling bridle and then the Hadfield for shows.
                Vixen Run Farm: Breeding and training ponies for the hunter ring!
                Breeder of the 2008 PAHBF's Best PA Bred Pony!


                • #9
                  Edgewoods and Hadfield are both very popular top end bridles.

                  Me, I'll stick to my less expensive but still excellent quality Beval ($300 but I paid $150). I also am OK with Showmark and like Collegiate for a low-end ($100) bridle.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RockinHorse View Post
                    I can't think of any hunters I know that have gotten married

                    I know hunters who married, but I don't remember them wearing leather.

                    I too struggle with knowing who makes what tack and which are a good value. One of the horses I am riding has a Vespucci. It is ok, but I don't see it as that different from Bobby's. Disclaimer here is that I have an educated eye, so any tips to improve my understanding are welcome.
                    Last edited by lesyl; Sep. 21, 2009, 02:32 PM.


                    • Original Poster

                      Apparently I'm a little slow, but what's the difference between a "plain raised" or "padded" bridle?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EmJae View Post
                        Apparently I'm a little slow, but what's the difference between a "plain raised" or "padded" bridle?
                        There is an additional layer of leather (this is the padded part) underneath and extending slightly above and below the raised portion of the browband and noseband, making it slightly wider than an unpadded bridle. The word "plain" means no fancy stitching.


                        • #13
                          I LOVE My Hadfields! I've also got an Edgewood that is nice (very pretty!), however the leather is no where near as nice as my Hadfields.
                          "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


                          • #14
                            I just got an Arc de Triomphe Tribute bridle. I haven't tried it on yet but it's a really nice bridle with a wide noseband and fancy stitching.


                            • Original Poster

                              Is there a functional difference between a plain or a padded bridle or is mainly for appearance purposes?


                              • #16
                                I adore my Lex bridle! Fancy stitched, padded. It's just love.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EmJae View Post
                                  Is there a functional difference between a plain or a padded bridle or is mainly for appearance purposes?
                                  You mean is there a difference between a padded or an unpadded bridle, plain just refers to the lack of fancy stitching. Its mostly for appearances sake although if the padded portion is very soft calfskin it may be slightly more comfortable, but its negligible IMO. Padded bridles were very fashionable in the hunter division for a long while and are still popular. Sometimes an unpadded bridle will look better on a horse with a finer face but its really just personal preference.


                                  • #18
                                    My KL select bridle that I bought from vfx111
                                    Dear life, please send grapes. Sincerely, I prefer wine over lemonade.


                                    • #19
                                      Hee hee... that's a great bridle Oldenburg99! I wish it fit my guy a bit better, I would have kept it!

                                      Plain/padded/fancy is a matter of style not function. I suppose theoretically padded might be SLIGHTLY more comfortable on the horse if you're CRANKING the bridle tightly, but under normal conditions I highly doubt the horse can tell the difference unless he is unusually sensitive.
                                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                      • #20
                                        I have a real nice Jimmy's 21st Century I haven't used in a while, but I loooove it. Edgewoods are nice too though.