Back in May I asked for some suggestions for a new jumper bridle. I knew I wanted a monocrown and something without a flash tab, and thanks to some suggestions from trusted sources, I ended up choosing the Lund Monocrown Snaffle Bridle, the Rubber Grip Reins and the 3 Point Breastplate.
I’ve been using it pretty much daily from July-current day, and overall, I’m a big fan. The Sedgwick leather is soft out of the box and has yet to show signs of wear despite daily use; the solid stainless steel hardware is a welcome change from the brass colored hardware of my last bridle; and even the fancy stitching, which I’ve never been a huge fan of, has grown on me because it’s so well done.
One of my favorite things about each of the pieces is the color of the leather. My previous bridle, while it got the job done and lasted 6 years of everyday use, looked mismatched against my saddle, so I wasn’t exactly sad when the leather in the chin strap finally gave out and I was “forced” to look for a new one.
I know. Poor me.
Let’s start one by one, shall we?
Disclaimer: Please ignore P’s glum “woe is me” expression in all the pictures. He’s more of a tack-up-and-go kinda guy, and I was fiddling with each piece then taking a bunch of pictures and he was just over the whole thing at that point. Plus I’d promised him a rest day and not to anthropomorphize him, but pretty sure he’d counted on not seeing me.
Lund Monocrown Snaffle Bridle
I don’t use a flash, but a lot of bridles are interchangeable, and have that annoying tab hanging off the noseband to put the flash through. Not having this tab was a must-have for me, as my dressage bridle does and I despise it. So this was a pro for me.
My favorite part of the bridle is the anatomical monocrown. The padding is super nice and while I was slightly concerned about the width of the monocrown, since P has a fairly petite face, it fits perfectly and looks even better.
I also like the fact that the throatlatch has buckles on both sides. Makes it a bit more adjustable, which is great when your horse’s face is sort of oddly shaped. ::cough, cough, P, cough, cough::
The only issue I had was that the 2nd keeper on the noseband was too small for the strap. I finally pulled out my bottle of leather stretcher that I bought when I got new half chaps, dabbed some on and worked the leather through, then left overnight. Now it fits just fine. Too bad it took me over a month to think of that.
Lund Rubber Grip Reins
I’ve used Thinline reins since I got them about 3 years ago, and while they’re definitely better than any reins I’ve had before, the grip wasn’t everything I needed it to be. I was noticing that when P was extra sweaty or it was raining, or even if they got wet going through water on XC, that they were pretty slippery without gloves. That may not be a deal breaker for those who do wear gloves, but I personally don’t wear them every day nor do I want to.
These reins are vastly different from the Thinline reins in terms of texture. The TL ones are smooth and the Lund reins have raised bumps.
Grippy they for sure are, though, and they’re also slightly thinner than the TL reins, which was an unexpected plus for me. I have ridiculously small hands for someone who is 5’10”, and Trainer J is forever telling me to 1) Shorten my reins, and 2) Close my hands. The Lund reins make it easier to close my hands and if I let them slip it’s much more noticeable, thanks to the texture. Since I’m still looking for a dressage saddle, I’ll be using these for the foreseeable future, and when a dressage saddle does appear back in my life, I’ll be needing a pair of these in black.
Lund 3 Point Breastplate
My first thought when I pulled this out of the box was, “Hello, gorgeous!” I used to use a plain running martingale with P, and have only ever tried one breastplate on him (can’t remember for sure which brand); it was way too much work for me and didn’t fit him right, so I sent it back.
Notable features of this breastplate are the navy elastic banding, the shaped withers pad, the detachable running martingale, and again, the stitching. That’s a lot of stitching and each one is perfectly in place. It looks incredibly sharp. Even former BO, a very traditional hunter-rider was drooling over it, and she was one tough cookie to impress, especially when it came to what the “lone eventer” wore and used.
There are only two things I’d change about this breastplate:
- The navy. It looks great, but I would prefer black since I own pretty much zero navy and it doesn’t go with turquoise (insert eye rolling here, I know). I put on my single navy pad just for these pictures, so you’re welcome.
- The only other thing that makes this not the Best Thing Ever is the fact that I have to remove the cross-ties/lead rope (if tied to the trailer) in order to get this over P’s head. My plain old running martingale unbuckled around the neck, which made it easier to tack up while cross-tied or tied to the trailer.
At first I was a little on the fence about the withers pad. It looks fancy, but initially I was finding that it somewhat bothered me while riding, especially if it slipped to one side. But maybe I shouldn’t be looking down while riding? And now I don’t even notice it…maybe because I’m looking where I’m supposed to for once. A pro is that you can’t miss it if you’re grabbing for an “Oh sh** strap.”
My absolute favorite feature is all the snaps. The old running martingale had your typical loop that slips over the girth, and I can’t imagine I would particularly enjoy having a piece of leather pressed tightly against my skin. I would get dirty looks from P if it shifted to one side while tacking up and I’d tug on it to center it. Having the breastplate snap directly to the ring on the girth as well as having the snaps for the d-rings or d-ring savers is pretty fantastic.
Speaking of d-ring savers, confession time: I had no idea what those things were. After asking all the barn kids, then finally consulting the website, I determined WHAT they were, but still had no idea how to attach them. So they rode around in my truck cup holder for awhile until I did some Googling and realized you had to put them on your stirrup bars. Logic, apparently I don’t have it.
Initially I had some trouble fitting this to P because while he measured in the horse size, it really didn’t fit him perfectly right out of the box. I had to punch holes in both the strap that clips to the girth and in the running martingale to shorten them, but the tugs (the straps that attach to the d-ring savers) are on the 2nd to last hole, thanks to his massive shoulders. I was also concerned that the circular pad where the running martingale attaches was sitting too high on him and irritating him. When I measured him, he fit the horse size, but maybe cob would have worked also. Because I was always in a hurry to get in and out of the barn, I didn’t use this for maybe the first month. Then I finally emailed the owner for help, who put me in touch with a staff member. After sending her pictures of P both standing still and in motion, she gave me a few adjustments to make. It’s not perfect when he’s standing still- the center disc is slightly higher than what it ideally would be, but when he’s in motion, it falls just right, thanks to the elastic.
I’ve used it every non-dressage ride for the last 10 weeks and it now has a permanent place in my tack lineup as well.
I’m not the most avid tack cleaner, since I’m usually hurrying to leave the barn after I ride to go get kids or get to the gym, but every time I’ve let dirt and sweat accumulate for a couple weeks then get around to it, it cleans up nicely and looks brand new. So points given for that. I like tack that doesn’t hold my lack of excess time against me.
The price is pretty low for how high quality this tack is. The snaffle bridle is $150, the reins are $72 and the breastplate is $130. Plus, if you get it and don’t like it, they offer free return shipping with a full refund. But I can pretty much promise you’ll love it.
They make it super easy to find the right size (unless you’re P…sort of like me and jeans) with their fitting guides on each product page.
Ok, Lund….please bring on the dressage tack I’ve been drooling over!