The problem is that I can't justify spending even a hundred bucks on a schooling bridle so I continue to buy cheap dressage bridles in the hope that one of them will finally work well.
The problem is that Speedy has a "small" head. It's not disproportionately small of course, but compared to the heads of most dressage horses, his is tiny. Finding something that fits well has been a challenge. Had I known that I would end up spending a small fortune, I would have just done a custom order eight bridles ago.
Sprinkler Bandits, please do not think that I am trying to de-throne you as ruler of the Tack Whores. I am not, but seriously, if you knew how many bridles I have purchased for Speedy G in the past three years, you would certainly grant me the title of Tack Whore Princess.
Which means, of course, that I have just purchased yet another frickin' bridle. And yes, it was another cheap one. But this time, I might have actually found one that I will keep and use.
I bought SmartPak's Plymouth Dressage Bridle ($64.95). Here's what SmartPak says about the bridle: Plymouth bridles are crafted in imported leather with fine details and stainless steel hardware at an unbeatable value. Traditional styling and unprecedented quality in this price range. Available exclusively at SmartPak.
The bridle has a five star rating and 141 reviews. I figured it was a safe bet. When I took it out of the box, all of the pieces were wrapped individually which means they were all flat, including the brow band. It wasn't quite as soft as I was expecting so I quickly conditioned it and left it in a warm place for a few hours. Several days later, I re-checked it and was quite pleased with how soft it now feels.
As far as fit, it's not quite right. But of course. The brow band and throat latch fit, which is a common problem for Speedy. The cheek pieces are exactly right, which is a bonus. The problem is the caveson; it's on the last hole. I am hoping that it will get a nice bend with some use as well as stretch out a bit. The flash is also a bit short, but it works.