Here's Izzy, modeling the Nunn Finer Event Bridle.
What I paid: see above
General description: Available in havana or black leather, this bridle features thick, quality leather that requires no break in, buckles at the bit for ease of use, 5/8" cheek pieces for strength and to prevent stretching, and comes with brass or zinc hardware.
My relationship with the product: I've owned this bridle for about a year and a half, and I use it multiple times a week. I initially bought it after an intense search, in which I wanted something pretty, high quality, and long lasting to replace the ick bridle that I had. This bridle did all that.
Leather quality--this bridle is actually made by the Amish folks, then bought and re-branded by Nunn Finer. You can certainly order direct from Amish country, but it must be done by mail or phone and paid with check or cash. They don't do electronic anything. The point, is, this leather really set the standard for me in what I wanted. It's just the right weight and thickness; it's soft and supple; and it's remarkably hard wearing. I wasn't totally thrilled at first because the padding on the cavesson and browband is actually a synthetic material instead of leather, but it's worked out well for cleaning purposes.
Price--$265 is quite good for a bridle of this quality that comes with reins. When I bought it, standard rubber reins were included, but now they come with the drool-worthy soft grip reins that I covet.
Buckles--I specifically wanted buckles at the bit because I'd just had it with hook studs on cheapie bridles. This bridle has amazing buckles though. Every buckle has a roller, which reduces wear and tear on the leather and just looks snappy.
"The Look"--If you watch almost any event at any level, you'll notice that many eventers have this bridle. Bit of Britain is a huge eventing sponsor and they make great equipment. Thus, this bridle does tend to mark you out as an eventer to anyone adroitly observing tack.
Customizable--This bridle also comes as the Nunn Finer Custom Event Bridle, so if your horse needs special adjustments, you can just order different sized parts, but pay the exact same as if you bought it off the shelf. This is a huge perk, imho. If I had it to do over again, I think I'd order the horse size bridle with cob cheeks to fit Izzy a little better.
Not fancy--If you're looking for something "pretty", this may not be the bridle for you. All the stitching is strong and workmanlike, but it isn't designed as a piece of displayable art. If you go for refined straps and fancy stitching, you need to look elsewhere.
Brass--I realize that you can choose to not have brass, but I picked it because it looked pretty and I'd never had a brass bridle. I've come to realize that brass needs polishing, which is a pain in the arse. So, while brass is pretty, definitely get the zinc instead.
Official company images:
As you can see, it's a handsome bridle. It holds up well and feels great in my hands. It doesn't have the fancy comfort/contoured crowns that some bridles sport, but it gets the job done in style.
As an aside, it is my goal for Izzy to become a bridle model. Don't you think she wears it better than these fellows do?