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CNER United States Pony Club Dressage Rally - May 11, 2019

Our very first ever PC rally was this past Saturday at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, MA. It kind of cracks me up that I joined PC for the express purpose of access to more jumping instruction opportunities, and my first mounted experience is a dressage rally hahaha.  

But honestly, it was so much fun.  Maybe it is because I am so used to showing alone or maybe because I love the show prep and set up just as much (if not more) than the actual riding, but competing in a PC rally is now one of my most favorite experiences.  And I cannot wait to do more!  I think the only thing different for this show was having to label EVERYTHING with my name.  Otherwise, my show prep was just the same as normal.

Sadly, our original team of four riders ended up dwindling to just two, as one young rider ended up sick with a 103 fever and a barn was quarantined because of a horse with EHV-4 so none of the PC members from that large boarding barn could attend. Therefore, my remaining teammate and I were split …

Day 29 - A style/trend in tack/riding apparel that you don’t like

I definitely am not a huge fan of the weird bridles out there lately.  As I have written about before, I love tack, I love browsing online for tack, I love looking at Instagram pics of horses/tack, I love buying new tack.  But man, the style of bridles lately is just not for me.  It doesn't bother me that others love these new styles, but to my old fashioned eye, I just cannot put any of this on my horses.

I love the classic, sophisticated, refined look in a bridle. On a side note, I searched FOREVER to find a new dressage bridle last year without a flash.  Seriously, it is like never mind if your horse actually needs a flash or not (mine don't!), but let's just put one on every bridle because no horse can do dress-ahhhhhhggggggge without one.  OMG.

I had a hard time looking at the Micklems at first, but I admit they grew on me.  I bought one once in a weak moment and neither Dreamy nor Snappy liked it, so I sold it two years later.  Maybe Ellie would like it, but too late for her haha!  I also dislike the weird drippy browbands, so I just die a little inside whenever I see one.  I just...I just don't get it and I want to push it back up where it belongs LOL!

Why so drippy?  And I have seen worse, this was just the first one I saw in my googling effort.
Clearly I am becoming a curmudgeon in my young(ish) age.  But holy cow, the new fangled bridles out there are  JUST.  NO.

Yep.  Pretty much.
PS of Sweden for $342?  No thank you.

What the ACTUAL eff?  That noseband thingy is just ugly AF.  All I can see is the weird pattern of leather, so to me it does nothing for the horse's pretty head.
Stubben, my most favorite brand of all time, what have you done?  AND priced at $520?  UHHHH NO.  
It only looks mildly horrific from the front, but that crownpiece and browband made me a little twitchy....
I feel kinda sad lately about the stupid fads in bridles.  I admit I do use Dark Jewel Design browbands and have nothing against a little sparkle, but the newfangled shapes of the bridles lately just horrify me LOL!!

PS - It's OK if you like the looks above.  I still like you.  ;-) No judging on what others choose to use, I personally just won't buy it!


TeresaA said…
The droopy brow bands have grown on me- I have for showing and over the ear bonnet it looks nice. I like the crown pieces have cut aways for the ears but those other weird bridles I don't like at all (like PS of Sweden and the new Stubben).

I HATE that you cannot buy a 'dressage' bridle without a flash.
Martidoll said…
that new stubben is that really a thing? it looks like a Diy bridle someone made in their garage LOL. I have a pS Sweden but hate the browband (So i never use it) the eponia bridle i have I do like a lot but it is not too bad or outrageous. I dont get the PS sweden cost. I mean i loved both my bridles back in the day but they were not as pricy as they are now. BUT i found the leather was iffy as in the reins I still use are falling apart. The back of the leather is not great either. Ehhh. I am okay paying up to 150-200 for a bridle but that is it but I expect GOOD leater (and not something that resembles a helmet from WWW II LMAO) HA
TheFoxRider said…
Sorry my bridle choices probably burn your eyes. I am staring at several more traditional things for the more traditional horse. I might actually be getting slowly out of my weird bridle phase...I do admit that my (fake) PS of Sweden High Jump makes my horses look a bit like Hannibal Lecter.

I don't mind the dutch drop browbands on some horses (though it, like any fashion, 110% doesn't work for all horses), but Anatares does something similar to the Stubben, and it makes my eyes burn. Ugh. Some companies are doing cool things with their flash nosebands (looking at you, Eponia) but it's definitely a weird and annoying trend.
Shauna said…
I couldn't agree with you more. AMEN, sistah.
Now get off my front lawn :)

(I also embrace my inner old lady. Nothing good happens after 8 PM)
You know, I definitely have a little more tolerance for the droopy browbands lately (like I did with the Micklems), but I still get twitchy because I want to adjust it up hahaha! The inability to find a nice dressage bridle without a flash is such a PITA, I am glad I won't have to shop for one for a long time now (current show bridle is only two years old and fits Ellie, so it'll last forever haha).
The Stubben bridle is really a thing! I can't even look at it LOL!
And I am with you on bridle prices and leather quality. I have no issue spending the same $150-200 on a nice show bridle, but it better be well made! :-)
Hahahahahaha, it's OK, I still love ya. I just can't use the weird bridles because I am forever thinking they are not fitting correctly and I just want to adjust the droopy browband and fix the weirdness LOL!!!

I have never really looked at Eponia bridles, so now I am off to google haha!
YESSSSSSSS. We are old lady twins hahaha!! (cyber high fiving you!) ;-D
Amy McKenna said…
I totally get it. I do wonder if the ergonomic trend is going too far with bridles. That Stubben one is just WTF WTF WTF.
Carly said…
Completely agree!!
(I wonder if our inner old ladies know each other) I also freaked out when I was bridle shopping that I couldn't find dressage bridle without a flash, and don't get me started on crank nosebands. I got Val a Micklem and we both love it.

I've read quite a few negative reviews about how it looks (and the leather quality) but I bought it for the anatomical aspects more than how it makes poopsie's face look lol... And though my love of shiny + sparkly things drags me over to the blingy browbands, I'd rather spend on improving my riding.
Sara said…
My old BM was a stubborn rep and I remember her getting that freedom bridle and being so excited. I wanted to puke. So ugly! My petite little mare doesn’t mesh with most of what is out there these days. I am not a fan of the big wide nose bands at least not on her small face.
T said…
I don't mind a more ergonomic shape around the ears, (because I have a pony with wide puffy ears, lol),and I'm good with sparkly browbands. Iim so uncool though, because yeah, my hack/jump bridle is an old stubben, and my dressage a bobby's one, both with plain nosebands and (gasp!) no bling.
OMG that Stubben bridle. It doesn't even fit the horse's face. I actually like the PS of Sweden ones because they conform to the face, but the stubbed (and some others I've seen of that type) are so bad. I also hate the droopy browbands. I have seen them so loose they flop when people are riding.
And it costs $520!!!!! Crazy town!
I do think some horses really like the Micklem, so I totally get it. Dreamy was like "meh" and Snappy HATED it (like couldn't even handle her life and didn't even want anything to do with contact). I sold it years back and so far I think Ellie is fine in her regular bridle. I bought a Bobby's bridle without a flash and I am pretty happy with the quality!

And I agree, I'd rather spend $$$ on lessons!!
Hahaha it is sooo hard to be like "yeah, good for you!" and try not to let your face give you away. And it is funny to me that it seems bridles and saddle pads have suddenly all become only made for 17+ hand horses, like that's the only thing doing dressage out there. :-(
Ohh the horror of being plain haha! ;-) I like plain and classic and not overwhelming the face for sure! I get it about the ears; there are definitely certain head/ear shapes that certain bridles fit better than others!
It is so bad, every time I look at it I shudder. I agree the PS of Sweden isn't THAT bad except that S shaped thingy throws me. OMG the droopy browbands flop around too? Too much distraction! :-O
emma said…
IMO I don't really care about the style so much as I care about how it fits on the horse. If the first thing I see is the bridle on the horse's face, instead of seeing the horse face first and foremost, it's the wrong look. likewise, a big statement bridle that enhances the beauty of the horse rather than distracting from it can really be a showstopper.

Tho... At the end of the day I haven't bought a new bridle in actual years and all of Charlie's are either hand-me-downs or from consignment lol.
Dom said…
There are so many weird bridles out there these days and they always make me do a double take, then cringe. Give me a cheap, plain bridle any day! I do like some bling though (but not the droopy shape).
EXACTLY! I would rather see the horse first, then the bridle. And a wide noseband (for example) doesn't belong on every horse. But certainly, there are horses that look MUCH nicer with the wider noseband.

I literally used Sparky's dressage show bridle (from ummmm 1994?) for her, then it become Dreamy's show bridle, then it became Snappy's work bridle in 2014, and now it is (partially) Ellie's work bridle (had to replace the noseband because it broke). I am all about buying something classic and well made because it lasts forever!
Yeah, I totally understand the ergonomics craze, I just don't think the look always meshes well with every horse's facial features. I definitely don't mind bling!!