Buying a Bridle?
As you might know, I just recently started riding -- had my sixth lesson today. Right now I am riding a school horse but looking into leasing sometime next year, I hope. The thing is, the school bridles SUCK. They're really hard and very difficult to work with and adjust. I'm considering buying an economical bridle (I saw one on SmartPak, a Plymouth, or maybe one from eBay) so that I can take proper care of it and not have to struggle so much with the darn things.
I talked to another rider today and she said that if I get the horse size, I'll probably be OK if I am riding a different horse.
I suppose I'd also need to buy a bit, but the bits seem specific to the horses there. I could ask my instructor about this.
So, would buying a bridle now be really stupid? Should I just wait? Or is it one of those things that can go from horse to horse pretty easily?
Unless you'll will be riding same horse I wouldn't buy one. The reason is bits are often different for different horses. I don't think you'll want to switch bits from lesson bridles to your bridle every time you ride. :wink: However if you ride just one horse and instructor/owner are OK about it then why not. Get something cheaper, I bet with proper care it's better than lesson bridles.
I agree with Kitten, but if you were going to by a bridal, I highly suggest this one Premier Black Padded Bridle in Dressage / Show Hack at Schneider Saddlery I got it about a year ago and love it, everyone comments how nice it is.
A horse size bridle should work on most horses, but many use different bits. While you certainly CAN buy a bridle, it probably isn't all that practical for you to do at this time. However, if the school bridles are annoying you - why don't you offer to clean and condition them? A couple of good cleanings will often help get old, stiff tack to loosen up.
I could do that. I enjoy caring for leather; is there special care for bridles that you'd recommend?
Maybe I will hold off buying until I lease. I do ride the same horse all the time right now so I could probably put a bit on for him, but yeah.
Just buy a decent leather soap and conditioner - pretty much any brand should work, especially since I doubt you really want to spend a ton of money cleaning other people's tack. :) I advise using an old toothbrush to scrub the leather and get off any dirt, and then rubbing the conditioner in thoroughly while bending and flexing the leather. That should loosen them right up.
I'm really happy with the value of my Plymouth from SmartPak.
If you do end up volunteering to clean the schooling bridles, I highly recommend Leather CPR. It's a cleaner and conditioner in one, so it's very easy to use, which is great for me because otherwise my bridle would never get cleaned :-)
Two thought: Why don't you ask to have a discounted or free extra lesson in return for cleaning all the school bridles?
if it's the reins of the school bridles that are "icky", you could buy your own reins only. However, depening on how they attach, putting reins on or off can be a royal pain.
Are these english style bridles? rubber reins? attache with metal clips?
I hate riding with stiff reins, such as rubber reins, but it's all in what you are used to. I hated rope reins when I first started riding Western, but have now gotten so used to them that for trail riding, I love them.
Aieee, there must be at least 50 bridles hanging around at the barn. Although it would also give me an excuse to spend time there... I'll mention it to my instructor. She says I'm officially addicted now >.<
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