Driving Bridle

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Driving Bridle

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    02-10-2012, 08:12 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Driving Bridle

Hey guys ^^ I posted this thread in the tack catagory but got zero input, so I moved on to the driving thread.

Originally Posted by Endiku    
Well it took a mail order and a bridle all the way from the middle of Canada, but atlast I've found a bridle that I'm happy with. The other bridles that I bought either didn't fit right (Sour has a rather wonkey head) or were of horrid quality.

I like this one. (Thanks for the recommendation, Spotted!) I'm able to take the blinders off as needed, and it adjusts very well. However, it has been in a box for a good mont, and so is very...smashed looking. It was laid out nicely in the box so everything is in good order, but it's definitely very flat and ofcourse, since it's new, STIFF.

So I need tips on trying to get it softened up and in working order before I put it on Sour. Since she's still very new to bridling, I really don't want to wrestle the bridle onto her head. Does anyone have a good leather softener brands that they like or way to get the leather more pliable? Being my first brand new piece of tack (besides halters, boots, etc) I'm not sure what I should be doing. Thanks!

Some picture to show the shape it's in, and just to show it off

I read and was told that you could rub small bits of vaseline onto the bridle to make it more pliable, and I've been working it with my hands a lot. What else should I get/do to make it softer? And how soft does it need to be before I put it on Sour? Enough that I can easily buckle/adjust it, I'm assuming.

Besides wanting to know of good leather oils, I also thought that perhaps some of you who are more experienced than me (a first time buyer, and all of that) could give me your intake on it's quality. If you want pictures of the stitching or anything, I can definitely got that.

I did my research and I opted for what appeared to be the highest quality there is for my price range (just wanted a simple pleasure bridle for now) and I'm happy with it, but like I said. I don't know much. I liked that the blinders are lined with metal to keep them from bending and poking at Sour, but that they were also padded incase of bumps or something. The stitching wasn't as good as I would like, but the leather seems nice. It hasn't bled like one of my cheap english bridles does, which is nice- and it did come with a check rein which I have removed. I don't plan on using it.

Once the leather is more pliable I'll get pictures of it on her as well, for fitting critique.
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    02-10-2012, 10:01 PM
Green Broke
I think it looks like a very nice bridle. The four keepers along the blinkers are a sign of good quality workmanship.
As far as a good leather conditioner, the place I bought my harness from suggested "Leather Therapy". It is sort of pricy so I use it sparingly. I use regularly Fiebings black saddle soap and lexol conditioner,
Sometimes I take the bridle apart and put a heavy book on top of individual pieces to straighten them out if they are twisted.
I think you did good buying the best bridle you could. When I bought my show harness I upgraded my bridle to the next best quality.
    02-10-2012, 10:10 PM
Try Harness Honey - it is not easy to find, but do an internet search and you can find it. It works great to soften and condition leather.
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    02-10-2012, 10:48 PM
Hang your driving bridles upsidedown by the bit to help keep the blinkers pointed out away from the horse. Don't every lay them flat.
    02-10-2012, 11:44 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Thank you everyone! Its good to hear that I didn't buy the crappiest thing out there XD

I've actually taken the entire thing about (piece by piece so I didnt mess it up!) and worked the leather, then put it back. It helped quite a bit. I'll look into those conditioners/oils and see what's available in my area.

LHP- Thankyou! I was actually wondering about how to store it xD I currently have it resting on a hanger, with the noseband and blinders supported but they were still turned in a bit. Now I know! Haha
    02-11-2012, 10:44 PM
Blinders/blinkers are made so the horse does not see the cart behind them and get frightened by the sight. Before I started driving my mare I really wanted to just take them off because I figured they were not important. But after hooking her up to the cart I realized it was almost essential with a few exceptions. If you do not use them you will have to spend lots of time not only getting her used to the noise and feel of the cart, but also the sight. Even if they see it for a while and get over it, it can still take them off guard if they are momentarily destracted by something and they might take off running.

That is a very nice bridle and I would suggest you keep the blinders. I felt the same as you and wanted to take them off, but in the long run there is a reason people use them. It is not cruel or a short-cut, it is just the nature of a horse to run when something shiny and heavy is attached to them making noises. The blinders just help the horse to not see all the commotion going on behind them. I am not a professional but I just wanted to share my personal experience.
    02-12-2012, 02:37 PM
Have you fitted it? It looks so out of porportion to me. The blinders are so close to the noseband and the noseband looks so big for a mini.
    02-12-2012, 06:01 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
ButtInTheDirt- ah, I think you misunderstood me. I said that I would not be using the check rein, not the blinders. I absolutely plan on using my blinders. The only reason that I wanted them to be detatchable was because Sour is still in the early stages of training, and I want her to be comfortable with a normal bridle before I add blinders. I also wanted to be able to take them off to clean them, or replace them if they got damaged.

Churumbeque- xP yes, I have actually. In the photo though, they're still at 'package setting' with everything on the smallest hole. I felt like it was alright to go ahead and bridle her yesterday, and adjusted everything. It fit beautifully, and the noseband is right where it should be. The blinders DO turn inwards a bit, but with some adjusting I was able to fix that right up. She was not impressed with them, but didn't throw a fit or anything, so I'm happy.

If I remember right you're a large horse trainer, so I'm sure its hard for you to picture the bridle on a mini- but I assure you. They have some LARGE heads for their size. Or atleast ours do! Sour's head measures 30" from the corner of her mouth, around to the other corner, and she takes a 3 1/2" bit.
    02-12-2012, 10:20 PM
I read on a thread a while ago that you were contemplating using the blinders but it was old so I commented here and didnt read into it much. Good to hear, sorry about that.(;
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    02-12-2012, 10:49 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Ah, yes ^^ I've spoken to enough people that I've realized the dangers of not using one, and since I'd rather not kill anyone, she'll be wearing the blinders xD

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