If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I love tack. And I am always on the hunt for my new favorite piece of equipment. But recently I realized how much tack I have been accumulating (again) so I started going through some of it to sell. And while I have had a lot of tack over the years, I asked myself some questions, is the more expensive tack really better? Can anyone tell the difference? I decided to to research my own questions.
I have 3 bridles that I wanted to share with you today. One cost $329.00 (for the bridle only – no reins) One cost $174.95, and the final one cost $95.95. So none of them are ‘cheap’ and none of them are uber expensive. I would consider these the middle of the road bridles But the each have their merits.
So without telling you which bridle cost what, I am going to show you all 3 bridles. And don’t worry, I am not going to tell you which is which just yet. That way you can’t go to the bottom of the post to see which one is which! I made it so you can’t peek. Just look at each of the photos, and see if you can guess which is the least expensive, which is the middle, and which is the most expensive.
Is More Expensive Tack Really Better?
Lets face it, tack is an investment. Especially if you are planning on showing. And while some brand names are more expensive than others when it comes to bridles, functionality should be the most important consideration.
So let’s test out my theory. Below I have taken some photos of Plezant in some different bridles. If you are a bridle aficionado, I am sure you will know the maker of each of these bridles. But for those who are not, take a look at each of these bridles and see what you think. They all have the padded crown, because I really like that feature. But other than that, can you tell which is the most expensive bridle?
Ok, so here are some photos of each of the bridles on Plezant. Again, they are in no particular order.
Bridle No. 1
Sorry, I know these photos aren’t exactly what you see from the models. Rather these are real life pictures, untouched, and raw. I want you to be able to see each bridle as you would see it if it were on your own horse.
And now that I look at the above three photos of Plezant, I think my noseband is a touch high. I will have to adjust that.
Bridle No. 2
Ok, So Plezant looks half asleep. And he probably was when I snapped these photos of him. If you are curious, the bit he has in his mouth is from Just Riding. Its a plastic mouth bit which Plezant works really well in. It’s made by a company called Beris Bits and the bits are made in Germany. For awhile FarmVet had them, but they aren’t carrying them anymore.
I like this bit because it takes the pressure off of his tongue because of the port in the mouthpiece. They have lots of different styles to choose from, and Just Riding has the largest selection of Beris bits that I have found.
Bridle No. 3
All right, those are the 3 different hunter bridles. Can you tell the difference? Can you pick out the most expensive one? How about the most affordable one? Do you think any of these bridles would be appropriate for the show ring?
Like I said each of these bridles is very nice. And when I put them on Plezant, I would feel comfortable entering the show ring in any of them. I would probably change the bit to a more traditional Dee ring if I were entering a Hunter class. But for example photos, I just used the bits that were already on the bridles.
But back to the bridles, I’ve never entered an A show show ring, but I have spectated at many A rated shows. And maybe it’s just me, but I can’t tell the difference of the bridles, other than they all look beautiful.
Does More $$$ Mean Better Tack?
With all of the choices we have in tack, it seems that if you want to be competitive on the A Circuit, it seems that you have to spend a lot of money to look the part. But the savvy shopper can look the part, without the hefty price tag attached.
Myself personally, I think the most important thing about tack is making sure it is spotlessly clean, and fits well. A well fitting and comfortable bridle is more important than the name brand attached to the tag, in my opinion.
But which is the most affordable bridle? I will tell you about each of these bridles, I promise! But you will have to come back for my next post. I can’t tell you in this one! So come back Wednesday, and find out if your guess was right!
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