From Endurance to Dressage
A "New" Bridle
A few years ago, my mom bought me a very specially selected Stübben bridle for Christmas. I chose it because of the thin leather strapping. It was designed with a finer, more petite horse in mind - like an Arabian. The leather is super soft, and it looks really nice on Speedy.
Virtually all dressage bridle are designed for heavy warmbloods. The straps are all thick, particularly the nosebands. This bridle has a much thinner caveson, and even the cheek pieces are narrower. It's difficult to see all of that because the bridle looks well-proportioned to Speedy's face.
So where has this bridle been? Well, it was such an expensive purchase that it's been hanging in my home office waiting to be used exclusively at shows. I did use it a few times, and I even bought a duplicate of the bit that I was using - a Korsteel lozenge bit, so the bridle was always ready to go.
The problem is that my fancy browband is on my schooling bridle, formerly a Micklem, now the recently re-instated SmartPak Plymouth. I also switched to the baucher bit, of which I only have one, so it was all just too much work to switch out the bit and browband for a show.
Somewhere over the past year and a half, my spending comfort level has risen. I think the transition to it's okay to use your good stuff on a daily basis started when I bought my Ariat Volant's for every day riding. Those suckers were pretty darn expensive, and I've used the holy heck out of them. I think I am getting my money's worth.
As I was thinking about getting ready for this weekend's CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC), I remembered that lovely bridle that was just hanging in my closet, and all of a sudden, I realized what a gigantic waste of money it is to never use it.
My mom certainly wouldn't want to know that it is hanging unused. She would much rather know that I am getting her money's worth out of it. I also realized that I take really good care of my tack. I clean and condition it regularly, so it's not like I am going to ruin it by schooling in it every day.
So Speedy has a "new" bridle. I've used it several times this week, and each time I put it on, the softness and suppleness of the leather surprise me. I am finding more and more that it's really silly to save your good stuff for occasional use; it's a lot more fun to live decadently!
Here's to living the good life!
I had this realization a while ago. I buy really nice stuff and it will last if I take care of it. No sense in it sitting in a bridle bag never being used! If I'm working with a young horse and I'm not sure what might happen I might opt for a cheaper schooly but for the most part I'm in the camp of us it!
8/19/2015 11:21:32 pm
I use my nice stuff all the time too. It makes me happy.
8/20/2015 12:29:18 am
Gorgeous bridle, and it looks lovely on Speedy! For me there's no difference between show stuff and everyday stuff, except for the saddle pad and my clothes.
I bought my dressage boots as a "I'll break them in and then swap to something else for schooling so they stay nice for shows." DUUUUMMMBBBB. I use them every day. In fact, right now they are at the shoemaker's getting a new zipper because the original was crap and broke at the ankle (not even at my big fat calf!).
8/20/2015 03:43:20 am
The whole point of nice things is the use them, imo. Speedy look great!
8/20/2015 05:55:20 am
Speedy looks gorgeous in that bridle! I agree that you might as well use the nice stuff. :)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: