Buying a Bridle

I decided to embark on the difficult task of buying a bridle when Mum and I went to Horse of The Year Show earlier this week.

Who knew it could be so difficult? I mean, I’m not fussy.

My bridle needed to be black. After all, my saddles and other bridles are black so it would just be strange having a brown bridle, or God forbid, a tan bridle. So I’m down to 50% of available bridles. Given that I need a full size bridle I am now reducing my options to one third. Those mathematicians amongst us can calculate the percentage of bridles which could be suitable for me. I think it is about 16% …

It’s an every day bridle, and I don’t own a money tree, so the bridle needed to be competitively priced. But at the same time I don’t want to buy cheap nasty leather – what if it breaks mid cross-country?! Despite the show bargains available most bridles were still on sale for three figures. I remember buying Otis’s first bridle for £30 and it was, or still is as I use it to lunge, good quality English leather. The last bridle I got for him was a prize, so I don’t really know how much that cost.

I don’t like bling. I think it looks naff on a Welsh Cob, and is frivolous for every day wear, which narrows down my option of bridles considerably, as most had the diamanté browband. Or even worse, the coloured piping on the noseband and browband.

Another pet hate of mine is the crank noseband. I think they can be so easily over tightened, and are bulkier on the head so make Otis’s nose look clumpy. Furthermore, I dislike the crank and flash combination. There were very few cavesson bridles available at the show, numerous flashes but predominantly cranks. All I can say is that I am thankful I wasn’t looking for a drop noseband, as that would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Then we move onto the “comfort” range. I’m quite ambivalent to the padding on the nose and poll, but don’t want it to be excessive. Unfortunately for me, most comfort bridles come with a crank noseband.

So with my, what I would consider, normal constraints, Mum and I scoured every aisle and stall, until eventually we found a general tack shop in the back corner, which stocked English leather, reasonably priced daily bridles and I got the last black, full sized, flash noseband bridle. With padding on the brow and nose band, but without an integrated noseband which means I can swap to a drop if necessary (I recently rode Llani in a drop noseband and quite liked the feel, so if I find myself getting stuck with the flash I may trial it properly). It seems like the ideal bridle.

So why is it so difficult to source one?!?

So difficult in fact, that a quick look online hasn’t produced a photo of the bridle I bought, or would even consider buying!