Obviously, I need a new bridle. And of course, since I got the super fancy saddle (ok, just super expensive, but my pocketbook doesn't know the difference), I want a really nice bridle. The last two times I bought a bridle, it was just whatever was cheapest. I picked a price, then bought a bridle for that. Hence, my first bridle cost $40 (which is a lot when you're 12) and my second cost $60 (still not a small sum for a 16 year old).
No, this time around, I want something classy. I've spent the last several days researching bridles, bridle quality, bridle measurements, bridle brands, and as such, I haven't really posted here. My apologies. I think I've settled on a bridle, long at last.
I want the "Nunn Finer Event Bridle".
It's good quality leather with buckle closures and (get this) NO FLASH. It is incredibly difficult to buy a new bridle without a flash for some reason. I get that they're the fad, but isn't there anyone else out there who doesn't need their horse's mouth tied shut to ride? Seriously. It's called equitation, people. If you don't keep banging the pony in the mouth, he won't keep opening his mouth. Duh.
Also, I love the brass fittings. They're so pretty... I like pretty things, not that you'd know from how I dress. ;-)
Of course, I didn't simply want the browband that is shown with the bridle. That would be way too easy. I am in general a solid traditionalist who dislikes all things blingy (it's not pretty; it's tacky). However, I'm currently in love with this:
Yes, the Nunn Finer clincher browband in havana with brass. So very pretty.
Unfortunately, the bridle is $210 (cheapest I can find) and the browband is $55. The bridle comes with rubber reins, but I hate rubber reins. That probably means that I'll spend another $50 or so buying matching, non-rubber reins. Total so far: ~$315 for a bridle that I don't really -need-, but do want.
That's hard to justify in my ever-so-practical mind. It would be easier if the old bridle broke and I was buying a quality replacement. Fortunately, I found out about a little (?) place called "Bartville Harness Shop" which is somewhere in Pennsylvania. It's run by an Amish family that actually makes the bridles that Nunn Finer goes on and sells. According to what I've heard, they're 30-50% cheaper than Nunn Finer for the same thing without the label. I've never been label conscious and I'd never heard of Nunn Finer before a few days ago anyways, so I've called for a catalog. Here's hoping the rumors are true and I'll be able to get the dream bridle for a much more dreamy price.
In the mean time, I'm saving my pennies.