I want a new bridle

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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But it seems that it's yet another thing that isn't going to be straightforward with Luka, particularly give I want a traditional flat cavesson that's a nice width on his head and a normally placed throatlash. I don't mind an anatomic or padded headpiece.

I got my friend who's been our saddler for years and also does bridle fitting to have a look a few weeks ago. The bridle I have at the moment is the best I've tried so far but it still moves onto the base of his ears, particularly if he starts carrying himself better. It seems very wrong to make life uncomfortable for him when he stops looking like a llama! It seems there's a genuine reason, or to be fair several reasons, for this problem. Firstly he's kept a stallion crest from being gelded late, secondly he's apparently relatively narrow between the ears making anatomical fits tricky as the full size headpiece tends to be too wide for the gap while cob sizes aren't wide enough around the base of his ears, and thirdly it seems that the space behind his ears is narrower than usual. I have to say I'd never noticed the second and third points but having now looked at a good fer other horses she's right.

I think I may end up having to go down the custom made route, at least for the headpiece, and then look after it very carefully indeed. She doubts we'll get anything off the peg to fit him better than his current one does. I swear nothing is straightforward with him! Oh well. at least I managed to spend less on a new saddle than I expected a few months ago so some of that can go towards this.
 
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Oh well. at least I managed to spend less on a new saddle than I expected a few months ago so some of that can go towards this.
That's my kind of logic when buying - I can always, but always, justify that one more thing I buy. :p
 
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@Huggy the saddle he likes was just under Ā£2k less than the one I was expecting him to like - just goes to show how theory doesn't match reality - and there's no way I'm spending close to that difference on a bridle!
 
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Mine just has a simple bridle from Windsor.
I did get a bigger brownband for her though and her poll is clipped.
 
The browband isn't the problem @newforest , it's loose but I've also tried riding without and the bridle still moves onto the base of his ears. He had a bridlepath clipped in when I got him but that didn't help either, and as soon as it started to grow out his bridle would go over his ears if he shook his head! I also don't want to have to keep trimming a bridle path every couple of weeks on a horse who's still slightly headshy :( . I "just" want something that fits properly!
 
At least a made to measure bridle is significantly cheaper than a made to measure saddle šŸ˜¬šŸ˜‰ if you find a good harness maker theyā€™ll have no trouble whipping you one up.
 
I rode in a Sabre bridle on my old share and I still ride in their reins since I bought some for Ella.
But the important thing was that the Sabre bridle worn by my old share was fitted (and probably sold) by a very excellent saddler who travelled a fair distance to come to our RI's yard. When I was about to buy Maisie, he kindly said he would kit her out for me and fit her with the saddle I was used to.

If you havent got a saddler to do the fitting for you, Sabre have a measuring chart.
.
 
@Jessey my friend is also a qualified harness maker though she hasn't done much of it in the last few years as she's concentrated more on the saddle fitting side of things, however if it comes to it I'm sure she'd make me one or get something made up by a friend. I'll get her to do measurements though!

@Skib I've had Sabre bridles before and they're nice, but they tend to be quite chunky in my experience and so won't fit any better than what he has, and in fact will probably be worse. Basically we're going to have to have a significantly thinner than normal headpiece behind his ears, and I'll probably forego the anatomical shaping since that would also have to be done to his measurements. Fortunately he isn't ridden in a bit that uses poll pressure.
 
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Why would it cost so much more to have your saddler order and fit a measured head piece to your existing bridle? Not that I know. Ella's skin problems mean her mane is trimmed right away where the head piece rests.
But this is a Sabre bridle and reins.
EonV-small.jpg
 
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@Skib I didn't say anything about it costing so much more. Realistically anything made to measure is going to cost more though simply because someone is going to have to sit and make it to specific measurements rather than it being mass produced from standard leather widths to a standard size. Time is what is paid for, and I don't begrudge that. My saddler doesn't think we're going to get a standard headpiece to fit the way we want it to, it's still going to be on the back of his ears. The headpiece in your photo is going to be too wide for him, what she thinks will be needed is to curve it back behind his ears so it will probably still look like an anatomic one but because the leather has been cut back behind the ears rather than widened over the poll. As I said before I don't want to be trimming a bridle path in and it doesn't help anyway.

Yes I could just get a new headpiece, but I'd rather get a whole bridle so it all matches, and if it's made to measure it will have all the lengths right too. At the moment I have a full sized bridle with an extra full cavesson and the straps attaching the noseband to the headpiece were then shortened so the buckles weren't sitting too close to the cheekpiece buckles and putting pressure on a facial nerve area. I also have an extra full browband, though I don't begrudge that because it's an excuse for some bling šŸ˜„.
 
What about Jefferies, I think I recall seeing that you can mix and match everything.
I did have some fitting issues with mine, she's a wide but short face, so Arab type.
But she seems to fit into cob these days with the Windsor which was dead cheap.

At the end of the day if the fit isn't right for him it's going to annoy him. It's also going to pop up in your mind and annoy you.
So if you can't find off the peg, you could go down the m2m.
 
@newforest my saddler thinks we aren't going to get off the peg to fit him, not even by mixing and matching, because he's narrow behind and between the ears but has a wide base to his ears. The big problem is the lack of space behind them though, it means everything shunts forward onto his ears anytime his neck isn't sky high.
 
@newforest my saddler thinks we aren't going to get off the peg to fit him, not even by mixing and matching, because he's narrow behind and between the ears but has a wide base to his ears. The big problem is the lack of space behind them though, it means everything shunts forward onto his ears anytime his neck isn't sky high.
What about a new set of ears šŸ˜‚

Seriously though, m2m does sound like the way forward.
He's going to be happier if it doesn't move and so will use.
I feel your pain as mine is a sensitive little flower when it comes to how things fit and feel.
 
Skib I would imagine no horse would be happy with the fitting of that bridle. Sabre or not.

I have a mark todd bridle, but although it says it's a comfort bridle it doesn't have any shaping round the poll. I bought it because it was really hard to.find a bridle without a flash. And then to find one that wasn't a crank. It has a slightly thicker noseband which suits but it is padded. I actually bought it for soli it was then handed down. Broken then I bought the exact same bridle again.

I think a made to measure is the way to go. Just tellmhim.under no circumstances is he allowed to break it!!
 
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@newforest there may be something to be said for swapping the devil pony ears. although this summer he no longer seems to deserve them :) . The only downside of him having got his head together is he's now showing just how sensitive he is when everything doesn't worry or offend him. Overtighten his girth and next time good luck getting it to meet to do up, but as I learned earlier in the week if it isn't tight enough he puts his back up and doesn't settle until the girth is done up another hole, and I'm not even going into the refusal to move forward properly if the saddle is (in his opinion) too far forward!

@Doodle92 I can live without shaping around the poll, but I won't go for anything other than a flat cavesson on him. And I agree about the fit of that bridle.
 
Skib I would imagine no horse would be happy with the fitting of that bridle. Sabre or not.
What is wrong with it? I didnt put it on by the way, That horse was tacked up by staff and was owned by a highy quaified rider whose saddler is also well known (not local to us). In all those years I hacked her, not a single person either from local RSs or the Polo yard criticised her tack. Though I seem to remember that that bridle came with her when she arrived at the yard.
People on NR need to think twice before criticing everything I do.
 
A) look at where the browband attaches to the head piece. Notice how tight it is. There is actually an indent and you can't see browband clearly. This is then pinching the ears. This is what carthorse is trying to avoid. It's actually nothing to do with who tacked up.
 
People on NR need to think twice before criticing everything I do.
You constantly critisicise other people. Put them down and treat them like idiots while quoting various books. You then do not like it when you are pulled up.

That's all.
 
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@Skib I'd also add to @Doodle92 's observations by saying that the cheekpieces and noseband fasten too high on the headpiece which will be putting pressure on facial nerves, and the throatlash is done up too tightly even though it looks as though it may be on the last hole. I'll allow the throatlash may not be as tight as it looks though since she does seem to have a heavy winter coat. You might find this interesting and if yo google bridle pressure mapping you'll see there's been a lot of research done on this.
 
I am not saying this is a perfect fitting bridle, but its fairly close to what I have been taught.
The cheek pieces are buckled near the eye. There is a hands width or fist space for the throat lash. The noseband has one to two fingers of space underneath the cheek bone, and you can slide your hand underneath it. She could go down a hole for it to fit better I agree.
The browband is two fingers below the ear, though I admit if I chose a different shape, it would be easier to make sure that's always the case. There are some photos where I haven't been as vigilant.

Sorry for the angle, she had just stopped for a piddle. šŸ˜‚

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