Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mad Tack Scientist

One of the few pieces of tack I will never sell is my beloved Frankenbridle.
yes this pic again
It's a Nunn Finer crown+cheeks, PS of Sweden reins+stops, Ocala Tack Shack custom race noseband, and a Dark Jewel Designs browband in my sportsball team colors WITH my favorite Straight Shot Metal Smashing bridle charm. It's basically perfect. It's very unique, very me, and very worthless.

As in.

No one else on earth would pay money for this bridle. If I had to get rid of it, I'd have to part it out and sell it piece by piece. That means when I have a massive tack change up, this bridle stays put because it's perfect for me and useless for literally everything else.

But of course, while totally acceptable for both XC and the jumper ring, it's not really a conservative dressage look.

I still have my mega-classy Red Barn bridle that I snagged for a song and am quite fond of. But here's the thing: it's a padded monocrown, which really limits the amount of Franken-ing available to it. 

Like. Whee! I changed the browband.

It is a good, classic look for Courage and it's very nice quality and I'm happy with it and all. But it's not "me", you know? 

Then things started changing. 

Our enabling friend gave me a niiiiiiiice white padded cavesson, but it needed to go on a bridle with a standard crown. I borrowed one of those, but it was super old and cracked.
mmm but so classy amiright
So then I went out of town to a real tack store and found a cob-size crown with horse-size cheeks that I thought I could live with. 
or like. not.
Problem: while the thinner cheeks are SUPER classy, the throatlatch is THROTTLING him and the whole thing is just NQR.

We obviously can't show in NQR with a non-breathing horse, so we borrowed ANOTHER crown from Lindsey for the last horse show.
ooooo comfort crown
That got the job done, but for some strange reason, Lindsey doesn't want to part out a perfectly good bridle and just sell me the crown and if I'm being SUPER picky, I think the cheeks are a little too wide for what I'm doing here. I like narrow cheeks on my small-headed horse, ok?
And then as long as we're playing Franken, it was time to try on a drop. It's not my favorite look in general, but it does kinda work on Courage's face. (I rode in it. Verdict: horse doesn't care if he's in a loose drop or a loose cavesson. Loose is key.)

I scoured the internet and finally came up with a decent quality bridle with kinda-ick browband and noseband with a totally fine crown and cheeks. Paid for it. Got tracking.

And then another friend sent me a fun box of toys that included a Red Barn drop noseband bridle with a padded BUT not integrated crown.
Ok at this point I realize you're like "SB YOU ARE LITERALLY CHANGING TWO BLACK STRAPS THAT NO ONE EVER LOOKS AT" and you're not wrong. But. You're also not right. The cheeks are a little wider than I'd like on this look, and I just feel like the wide, white-padded nose with the buckle cheeks is a LITTLE too busy. Not a lot. Not terrible. But a little.

So internet bridle shows up. The browband and cavesson are not attractive (but who cares, I have my own), the leather feels well maintained (yay!), and the cheeks are like an inch too long because the sizing is whacked.

BUT

The throatlatch was long enough, so I took the crown from the internet bridle, the cheeks from the tack store set up, the noseband from my friend, and the Topline Leather browband. Oh and and eBay-steal Dy'on reins with rolled fronts, hand stops, and inside rubber lining.
BAM
I bring you the dressage version of the Frankenbridle! 

28 comments:

  1. Ohmygoodness... I wonder if Courage knows all the trouble you go to just to get him the perfect bridle?! If only he knew...

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  2. Perfect bridle for a perfect face? I think your first frankenbridle is amazing! The second one doesn't look like a frankenbridle (unless you can see the brass and silver buckles).

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    Replies
    1. Yeah black is kind of boring. Bear with me.

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  3. I'm dizzy after reading that.

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    1. Me too. Uhm... it's a bridle? Yay bridle? (I know, I know, I'm not showing it the appreciation it deserves... *giggle*)

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  4. i'm so lost... but the end result looks pretty!

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  5. Damn girl, that's a lot of Frankenbridling. The mismatched buckles (and bit) make me twitchy, but the horse being able to breathe is definitely necessary.

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    Replies
    1. I KNOW. I priced replacing the crown/cheeks with matching buckles, but it was going to be like $130+ for two little straps that people barely see and with the Precious still getting $ priority, it just isn't happening. Yet.

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  6. Hah! While I knew you tried that many crowns it didn't seem excessive until reading this post.

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  7. Ha! My double is a monocrown, which I like for cleaning and I don't like because it's a pain to switch anything out. That said my snaffle is as frankenbridley as yours. Much love for the frankenbridle. All hail the frankenbridle. :)

    P.S. I think he looks super cute in the drop!

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    Replies
    1. I dislike drops for aesthetic reasons most of the time, but I thought it worked on his face surprisingly well. I have two to play with right now, so expect to see it around again. :-)

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  8. Love the gold contrast with the white padding! Also, how do you manage to find all this beautifully matching tack? Cadence snapped the cheek piece on my favouritest dressage bridle a little while back, and I don't want to spend the moneys to buy a whole new bridle because I really like THAT bridle, but I can't seem to find any cob sized cheek pieces that have the correct matchey buckles and the right size/thickness of leather... The strugle is real. She also snapped the headstall strap that the cheek piece attaches to (is there a word for that?) on my most favouritest gorgeously stitched padded monocrown grackle jumping bridle that was gorgeous and lovely. We seem to have a problem with cheek pieces.

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  9. This sounds so much like me!! I love custom things and I'm picky about what I like. It's killing me a little right now that I'm riding in a Micklem and don't have the ability to customize much other than the browband and reins. Hopefully by this fall I'll be able to buy a PS of Sweden bridle and then, let the customization begin!

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  10. Ooh, I do love the end result. I'm too nervous about customizing stuff...I can never get it put back together right, lolol.

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  11. Replies
    1. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

      Yeah. That would be nobody.

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  12. You are spectacular. And this is totally legitimate: I would like your help very much putting together a bridle that actually fits my mare. How do you go about this process? I have this bridle on Kat where the browband is wayy too big and lumps all sideways and the throatlatch is concerning and... anyways. I could use some of your magic.

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  13. I'm a terrible tackho because every picture looks the exact same to me except for the drop noseband.

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  14. The Frankendressage doesn't look bad, but one thing that stands out to me is that the buckles don't all line up. That is just one thing that shows everything is adjusted correctly and fits like it should. It makes for a neater appearance.

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  15. I'm glad you a have a Frankenstein bridle that you like, but.... I really really really love the red barn bridle on him!!!

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    Replies
    1. The Red Barn is really great, no denying that.

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  16. Wow! That sure is a lot of trouble to go through! hahaha.

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  17. Ha and yet I am highly skeptical that this is the last iteration of this game ;)

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  18. Wait wait. What happened to the knock off bridle you bought late winter/early spring? I've been dying to hear about quality...

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