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Do you reuse or retire your old horses' bridles?

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  • Do you reuse or retire your old horses' bridles?

    I've had five horses total, and still have all of their bridles; four English and five Western. I'm a pretty sentimental person and their tack is still kind of a piece of them to me, so I'm on the fence about reusing some of them or just retiring them as keepsakes.

    I don't really ride Western anymore, so all five Western bridles will be retired for now. Two of the four English bridles are ones I don't think I'd use again, as one is a pony size and neither one is quite as nice as some of my others I have (they were some of my first bridles and thus not very expensive), but I have two others that I really like and are really nice. Part of me thinks they're too nice and have way too much life left not to reuse, but at the same time I'd be devastated if a horse broke them. Both are show quality (though one is a bit outdated, as it's a thin, square raised bridle), so I've thought about maybe saving them as nice show bridles or just for special occasions if I still decided to use them.

    What do you do with your former horses' bridles, specifically if they belonged to really special horses and you feel sentimental towards them?


  • #2
    I for practical reasons have had to reuse most of the tack of my previous, now deceased, horses. There are a couple of items, different for each one, that I've framed or done something with as a form of tribute such as a bit that one wore/used. I have it in a shadowbox with a picture and the medals he earned.
    Ranch of Last Resort


    • #3
      None of my horses had "their own" tack. It was tack I used on various animals depending. I've had one bridle for over 40 years. Surely 10 or more horses wore it throughout the decades. I have sold saddles with horses, if they were hard-to-fit horses.

      Halters were different -- those came and went with the horse.

      I guess I'm not a sentimental person.


      • #4
        I reuse all of my tack. It all belongs to me, not my horses and they don't care if it goes on their successor or not. The only exception is halters because I think every horse deserves a nice shiny new leather halter of their own.


        • #5
          I also reuse tack, and consider it a thing of pride when a new horse wears a treasured piece.

          Think of it as "carrying on the legacy" instead of "wearing hand me downs."


          • #6
            I reuse everything. Each horse does get its own nameplate halter once it starts competing but I even reuse the halters and just save the nameplates and put them on photo frames.


            • #7
              I reuse all my tack. I am still using parts of a bridle I have had since 1966, and have used for at least 8 different horses.

              If it gets broken I repair it.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


              • #8
                I reuse all of my tack. Occasionally I'll have a unique piece (like a crystal-studded browband, or a gold clincher nose/browband) that only gets used on the one horse, and in that case I usually don't transfer it to another horse until it seems fitting (which is sometimes never since those pieces are often trend-dependent). But I always save them, and a couple of years ago I did pull out the gold clincher nose and browband that I used on my Junior Jumper in the early 90s to be my current GP horse's bridle.

                But nice bridles and martingales and saddles all get used on all of my horses (that they fit) at various times.
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW


                • #9
                  My first bridle was bought 35 years ago for my dear departed first horse. Lost him in 2001. It hung in the tack room for years and now I use it for my silly sweet gelding .


                  • #10
                    I took great pleasure putting the bridle from my first horse(who has been gone for over 20yrs+ now- god rest her patient soul) on my current 20 yr old horse when she was old enough to start to ride. She still wears it, and some day(hopefully), I will be able to pass it on to her son...


                    • #11
                      I retire leather halters, and one day will collect the nameplates for a belt. But bridles and saddles, no. My dressage bridle is a Heritage bought 17 years ago and on its 3rd horse now, though close to the end.


                      • #12
                        I'm not wealthy enough to afford "sentimentality" in tack. Bridles are assigned to a horse but may be reassigned based upon need. Or used on two horses sequentially. Ditto for saddles, blankets, and any other necessary item of tack or equipment.

                        There is one limitation on my program and that's any suggestion of communicable disease. Since my current "riding mob" consists of 2 (with two more "pasture ornaments" due to age and infirmity) it's not much of an issue around here.

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          I probably would not be sentimental about tack, but when I sold my last horse, I knew I would not be riding for awhile. His bridle and halter have been saved - he was my first and likely only FEI horse.

                          If only I could get the saddle sold. While I love it, I don't need to hold onto that kind of money, especially since if I ever get another horse, there is no guarantee that it would even fit the next horse.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ddashaq View Post
                            I reuse all of my tack. It all belongs to me, not my horses and they don't care if it goes on their successor or not. The only exception is halters because I think every horse deserves a nice shiny new leather halter of their own.
                            Same here. I always hope the old tack fits the new horse. But all my horses get a new nylon halter with their name and in their color (I pick a color for each horse). I keep the halter when the horse is gone.
                            In memory of Apache, who loved to play.


                            • #15
                              I have always used my tack on multiple horses, so I never really consider a bridle to belong to any specific horse. If I don't have use for one anymore, I usually sell it. If I was going to keep one as a keepsake, I'd probably just clean it nicely and hang it on a special hook (maybe with their stall nameplate above it or something). Halters or bits can look cool in a shadowbox with some photos of the horse and a special ribbon, etc. Or nameplates can look nice removed from the tack and put on a picture frame.


                              • #16
                                Since each I seem to get if a different size head, I have not been able to use the same bridle. I have kept them thinking I would use them again though. Some girths I have been able to reuse. Saddles have been reused with extra padding at times.


                                • #17
                                  Oh of course. I grew up riding anything I could and the horses were the magic, not the tack. My old horses' shoes ( like one per horse) and tail hair...those are my totems.


                                  • #18
                                    I retired some things from my first horse - her leather halter, some saddle pads with her name embroidered on them that will soon be a quilt, and her jumping boots. Everything else though I've either used on my second horse or gotten rid of it. It never really occurred to me to not re-use all of my other tack, but the halter and jumping boots felt pretty sentimental. Those weren't too expensive to replace for a new horse, however. Bridles and saddles on the other hand can be pretty cost-prohibitive to replace merely for sentimentality.