I'm looking at getting a new bridle for dressage. What are your favorite brands? If you've had any experience with Bobby's English Tack, what's your opinion of them?
Way back when I was just leasing, I bought my first and only bridle: a dark brown Bobby's English Tack snaffle bridle. It's served me well, but now that I've bought my own horse, and my own (black) saddle, I'd like to get a black bridle to match.
I bought my Bobby's bridle based off internet recommendations for a good bridle in the sub-$100 range and I've been pretty happy with it. Even though I have not been very good at keeping up with leather cleaning & conditioning, it still cleans up very nicely. (I'm hoping to improve in the area of leather care now that I own a nice, leather saddle, though I admit I'm still pretty clueless...)
I'm not really sure how it compares to other brands of bridles, though, and I can spend a little more now (would still like to below ~$200 but could save up a little more for something fantastic). I've been complemented on the quality of the leather before, but it's certainly not what I'd call "butter soft." I haven't really had much to compare it to, though.
And for those who enjoy shopping for other people, I'm looking specifically for a black snaffle bridle with a plain cavesson noseband- no flash or crank. Unfortunately, it seems like a flash or crank are obligatory on black bridles! Any specific recommendations are greatly appreciated
Here's my top pick so far: #2209 English Padded Dressage Snaffle Bridle
I'm also intrigued by the idea of the Micklem bridle (how it's designed around the horse's skull to avoid pressure points) and the many reviewers that say their horses came into the bit better in that bridle, but I don't know anyone personally that has used one, and I'm a little unsure about the dropped noseband style. My horse has no problems gaping, but he could relax into the bit a little more.
That was a little bit longer than I expected it to be. Kudos to those of you who read all the way through :-D