By wild atlantic rider - find her website here.
For the last month I have been trialing the HFI Shiny Bridle which was kindly gifted to me from HorseworldEu. I’m very happy to review this bridle because if I hadn’t been asked to try it out, I probably would never have come across it – and that would have been a serious shame – I do genuinely love it.
I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
When I first saw the HFI Shiny Bridle, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly dubious. There was nothing wrong with the bridle, it was perfectly perfect – it just wasn’t my normal style of bridle.
I’m gonna compare my relationship with this bridle to an episode of Say Yes to the Dress.. When Randy comes out and the bride states she wants a country girl, high neck, full length heavy lace gown; but Randy actually knows what she really wants is an A-Line, off the shoulder, satin gown with a touch of lace and just that little bitta sparkle..
I’ve watched way to much of that show. Anyway, that’s what happened to me . It wasn’t until I put it on the horses that the bridle came to life and I was converted.
Despite being a traditionalist I actually really love this bridle. I like a nice plain cavasson bridle with a tiny little bit of sparkle on the brow band. Generally, I tend stick to solid traditional colours and designs.
BUT IF I WERE TO DESCRIBE THE HFI SHINY BRIDLE I WOULD SAY THAT IT IS THE PERFECT MIX OF TRADITIONAL MEETS MODERN.
The bridle, in design, incorporates many of the newer, modern anatomical design features with out looking like something out of an episode of Star Trek, as many newer bridle designs do.
It also has the “bling” effect of a modern bridle, with out looking tacky – which I feared it might do, but it doesn’t, so it’s a win!
Ok, so I’ll tell you the official stuff. The HFI Shiny Bridle comes with the following features :
- Anatomically designed headpiece lined with soft leather
- Anatomical lacquered browband, adorned with crystals, padded and lined with soft leather
- Lacquered (shiny or patent we might say) “Pull-back” noseband, with anatomical cut, padded and lined with soft leather
- Comes with 1/2 inch reins in soft rubber
- Available in black and brown and sizes Pony, Cob and Full
THE FIT OF THE BRIDLE
So I tried the bridle on three different horses, Giselle, Molly and Solas. All three are different breeds, colours and sizes so it was interesting to see how the bridle looked on all three.
Despite still looking pretty on Giselle, I unfortunately didn’t feel that the bridle sat right on her. She has a long, fine face and is better suited to thinner noseband. However, as the bridle is a fullsize, I wondered if a the cob size would have fitted her better, something to consider when buying your own bridle.
When I put the bridle on Molly, who is a full 16.2 Irish Sport horse, the bridle came to life. Despite still having finer features, she has a “stronger” head than Giselle and easily carried off the noseband. In fact I think a thicker noseband suited her as it helped bring out her features.
Oh but when the bridle went on Solas – boy did I swoon! Solas has a very broad brow and a fine features. Despite being the smallest of the three at 15hh, the fullsize bridle still fit him perfectly and actually looked the best on him.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE HFI SHINY BRIDLE
I love the buckles and how it fits. Traditionally the nosebands feed through the headpiece and are secured by a single buckle. However, the HFI Shiny Bridle has fixtures on both sides, exactly like the cheek pieces do, so you can ensure that the bridle is perfectly level on both sides. This made it very easy to fit the bridle to all three horses.
I am completely converted to the patent look. The noseband has the freshly waxed car look and when the sun hits it it nearly sparkles as much as the browband.
Speaking of the browband – I love the curved shape, which was very flattering on all three horses. The gold crystals look particularly beautiful on Solas and I think the colour would also suit a bright bay horse.
What I also like is the sizing. So despite the fact I don’t think the noseband suits Giselle, the fact that the fullsize bridle it still fits my cob on it’s lowest fittings.
The bridle also comes with a set of 1/2 inch reins. Personally, I am very particular about my reins and have matched my own reins with it. However, the reins that come with it are perfectly functional. If you are petite yourself, or have any junior riders in the yard or at home, these reins would be suitable.
WOULD YOU USE IT EVERYDAY?
Would I use this bridle for everyday use? Personally, no, I wouldn’t, and that’s only because I don’t want my two notorious bridle scratchers damaging it on the wall or their stable doors. It’s too pretty for that! That’s not to say you can’t use it for everyday use, I just have work bridles that I don’t mind getting damaged.
I oiled the leather immediately on arrival, avoiding the noseband area. This just needs a wipe with a clean cloth – I used a buffer cloth that you would use to clean glass.
As you can see, the bridle was drenched in sea water on it’s maiden voyage. To care for the bridle after, I rinsed it after with water, allowing it to dry thoroughly before I applying a leather conditioner.
A few days later I oiled the bridle to ensure suppleness.
WHAT WOULD I USE THE HFI SHINY BRIDLE FOR?
I would use it for competition. I think it will look very fetching in the dressage arena or for showjumping too.
The bridle retails for €89.90 which I feel is a fair price for an attractive, economy show bridle.
If you keep an eye on the HorseworldEU Instagram and facebook pages, there are often deals to be found. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below or message me via Instagram or Facebook.