Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shopping, Round #569709456

I own one horse.

One saddle.

One nice halter.

One girth.

And four bridles.

Currently, I own a Nunn Finer Event Bridle, a Red Barn Matrix figure 8 by KL Select, a Five Star Tack symphony figure eight, and an edgewood bridle. I think the edgewood is boring (not fancy stitched like the picture), but I like the rest of them well enough.

The Nunn Finer is a plain cavesson bridle. Cuna goes in a cavesson and really doesn't need anything else. Since I'm now riding him in two or three different bits, it makes the most sense to me to consolidate the collection and maybe own two bridles I can ride him in, instead of one that I can and three that I like to take out of the bag and play with occasionally.

The most obvious solution would be to just get another Nunn Finer, right? I mean, it's workmanlike, looks great on Cuna, does the job I need, and is quite durable.


I am a tack 'ho and I already have one. Why have two of the same thing when I have this perfect opportunity to diversify the collection?

It's driving me crazy to be stuck in a tack-store-less wasteland. I NEED TO TOUCH ALL THE THINGS!!!!!!!

Based on my internet research, here are the options I'm considering:

1) Nunn Finer round 2.


Already have one.

Do like.

Does work.

The best thing about the Nunn Finer is just how simple and workmanlike it is. Cuna looks completely ridiculous in anything even remotely dressy, and I know this will work on his face.

2) Nunn Finer Galway Bridle

We have one of these in the barn already, so I'm familiar with the quality. It's fine. Not special or cool, but it's practical, workmanlike, and gets the job done. In fact, I have an uber cute picture of Cuna wearing this bridle and some ridiculous giant bit.

I do think the crown design is remarkably stupid--it has the fancy padded crown that's really nicely put together, but the cavesson hanger runs -under- the crown. Really. Just like that.

The other thing I don't like about this bridle is that it was just on tack of the day for like half price and I passed on it, so it would torque me to pay full price for it.

3) Nunn Finer Hampton Bridle

There are a lot of things I don't like about this bridle: I hate hate hate cavesson hangers that run through the crown. I hate the color. I hate raised reins.

That said, I have this weird affection for this bridle. I think it would look horrid on Cuna because it's fancy stitched, but I still like it. 

4) Ovation Wide Noseband Bridle

This one actually hits all the high points. It has a padded monocrown, removable flashed, is havana brown and has my beloved wide noseband. I can get it with reins for about $150. 

The only drawback is that I have no reference point for it's leather quality. I hate cheap leather more than I hate crappy crowns and I loathe spending money on something I can't handle in advance. 

I was really hoping to have a second bridle before the horse trials, but since I'm going to a real tack store this weekend at which I hope to handle actual bridles, I don't want to order before then. By the time we get back, it's probably too late to have it in time. 

PS If you want any of the three I have and don't need, email me. We can chat.


  1. Ovation leather is ... okay. About the same quality as the Micklem leather, actually. So not great but not terrible either. Let's pet bridles at Olson's and see what we can find!

  2. I've had some ovation girths that broke in really nicely and stood up to my tendency to neglect things well. That being said, Olson's will have lots of things to pet, none of them cheap and most of them $250+ :)

    But I DOOOOOO need a martingale that's beast sized... any left over from your mare?

    1. Alas, no. She was built in such a way that a martingale was a silly extravagance, which isn't to say that I didn't use them, but I never invested in a nice one. We will find one soon!

  3. What about the 5-star stuff, why isnt that a contender? I really like my Vespucci stuff! Pricey, but nice quality + mono crowns which make me happy.

    1. I love five star, but both of their bridles I own(ed)looked completely terrible on him. Not a little funny--straight up laughably bad. They do have an interesting option, but it's quite expensive, and I sort of think it's still too pretty.

      As for Vespucci, I'm just kind of "meh" about it and it's way to expensive to feel that way and still buy it.

  4. I have this problem too... I have to drive at least an hour to any tack shop (not an english one either... Tesky's is a mainly western store) and I can never tell what the leather will be like just looking at it on the internet!

  5. I am probably going to be 0 help, as I am currently floundering through the world of field boots, last pair i bought was almost 10 years ago!

    I like my Plymouth Bridle from Smartpak, it was $55 and great quality considering you'd expect vinyl at that price. I also really love my Beval bridle, exceptional quality. I got that one NWT off of Bits and Barter board *(and if you didn't know about that forum before today I AM SORRY, I JUST MADE YOU BROKE/slash/you can totally sell your other bridles on there without dealing with ebay auctions! Win!

  6. I have felt Ovations and they are ok. I agree with your opinion about Vespucci, I had one for about a nano-sec. I ride daily in an ADT Imperial and alternate with a SmartPak Harwich fancy stitch that I def use for rain days (you won't like the crown). That said, the Harwich leather is just as nice as my ADT which is really nice. I also have a Courbette that I show with (plain, super skinny nose/cheeks) and it's pretty nice, better then Vespucci but not as fab as ADT/Harwich. I got it for the size as my boy doesn't wear warmblood well. I also own a KL Select, Keiffer & Stubben dressage bridles plus a spare ADT Imperial I got a great deal on. So, I have 1 horse and 7 bridles. I win. :)

  7. What's your opinion on buckles vs. hook-studs for reins and cheek pieces? After purchasing a new hook-stud bridle that I literally could not get apart without a pair of pliers, I've pretty much vowed to never buy one again. I have been looking (and looking and looking!) for a hunt bridle with buckles and haven't had much luck, but the Nunn Finer does look like an option. Plus it's not that light-brown-almost-orange color. You suuure you don't wanna get rid of yours? ;)

    1. Given my druthers, I'll pick buckles 99% of the time. They're mildly safer, way easier to deal with, and I like the look. That said, I ride in the eventer/jumper world, so it's totally kosher.

      I'm keeping my nunn finer for sure. ;) If you like the style, I know how you can get one for half the retail price... ;-)

  8. Good luck. I'm staying out of this one. A bridle that works is all that matters to me. *not a tack nut*

  9. Personally I will always go for the five star bridles, mine looked great on Piccolo (also big red chestnut) maybe color, I love the Conker Brown color and it looks dashing on chestnuts, and of course dark brown:) I took an old figure 8 nose band a friend had and added it to my bridle and it looks fantastic, maybe do what I did and try mis matching or borrowing different color bridles to see which one you like best on him:) just an idea:)

  10. I'm another Five Star fan. I have one horse, and six bridles, three of which are five star. They're apparently going to have some sales on during the equestrian portion of the olympics (check them out on facebook). I can't tell you much about Ovation as I've never had one.

  11. I second SmartPak - free shipping and returns - buy a couple to look at and send back the ones you don't like! Plus, I really like the look of their bridles. That being said, I bought a Horsewares bridle (not the Micklem) with buckles and I like it. I need to condition it some more but for <$100 with reins, it's holding up very nice - of course I grew up buying the cheapest $30 bridle and rein sets from State Line so I'm nothing close to a leather expert.

    P.s. I'm so happy you have Cuna - I read your blog every time you update and it's wonderful to come across a rider who is madly in love with their horse.

  12. I forgot! I rode (someone else's horse) yesterday in their Ovation hunter bridle and aside from needing a (serious) conditioning, it was pretty good! looked great and felt decent for being a little deprived of moisture. :)

  13. Okay I refuse to be a part of this conversation since I have ONE cheapie bridle that someone gave me for free and NO saddle at all. You tack whores make me green with envy LOL! :D Good luck finding one you like in time. I hope the tack store has what you want.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...