When I first got her, I snagged an Intec by M. Tolouse bridle online used for pretty cheap. That particular bridle isn't made anymore. I liked it - raised, fancy-stitched, fit her well.
In the meantime, I needed a new bridle for the horse. The old crappy ones I had lying around didn't quite fit her right, and I don't think she's that hard to fit. She has a normal cob-size head. So I read a million reviews of bridles, considered my low budget, and decided that Harwich was worth trying.
Retail Price: $159.95
What I paid: $143.96 (Thanks, SmartPerks!)
Why I Chose This Bridle
As I said above, it seemed like a good buy for the money, and I knew I could return it right away if I didn't like it. I like the padded crown - I've never had a padded crown bridle before, because I'm a hundred and ten years old and so are my bridles. I also like that it came with raised fancy-stitch laced reins. I have the Harwich raised fancy stitch rubber reins, which are what I use regularly, but when it's time to go into the hunter ring, I'll break out the laced reins. I knew I wanted a raised fancy-stitch bridle because I think they're beautiful and they'd look good on the mare. I'm not really into bling - you're unlikely to see me in a brow band with clinchers - but I think fancy stitch is pretty. I also wanted something hunter-ring appropriate, since we'll be there for awhile before we hit the jumper ring, and there's no reason this bridle won't work for the jumpers, too.
|She managed to keep her tongue in her mouth for once.|
I really like the leather quality of this bridle. It's soft, which I know some people don't like because it doesn't hold up forever, but there is essentially no break-in time. A couple coats of oil did help with that new-leather stiffness, but it was pliable and nice right away. I put my Harwich rubber reins on it instead of using the laced reins that were included, but I like the rubber reins just fine and expect to like the laced ones as well. If not, I'll surely let you know. The stitching all looked great: even, tight, and pretty. The hardware is also just fine. I'm not one to be blown away by bridle buckles, but they're sturdy enough and I'm not worried about any trouble there. I mean, I'm sure that if I had an Antares to compare it to, I'd be less impressed, but compared to my girlfriend's Crosby and Bobby's bridles, I really like it a lot.
|Cuter than the model horse above, I think.|
Lex has a cob-size head that might juuuuuust be able to sneak into some horse-size stuff. She's wide through the forehead and has a delicate little muzzle, but overall, her head is nicely proportioned and not especially hard to fit. I got her the cob size with pretty good confidence that it would fit and knowing it would be easy to exchange if not. It fits her exactly right. I also think it suits her head. She'd probably look good in a flat field hunter-style bridle, too. Her head is a lot more refined than the model horse's and I think it works on both of them. I wouldn't go for any more padding or flash than this, though. It would be too much for her.
I love this bridle. It's exactly what I wanted for the price I could afford. It happens to match my saddle well, and that's always a nice thing. She's a pretty horse, she'll look good in most things. If you're looking for a bridle like this, I highly recommend it. I really don't have anything bad to say about it at all.