My New, Old Bridle November 01 2016, 0 Comments

For as long as I can remember I have always loved the smell of leather. I used to frequent tack stores despite not being able to afford to buy anything just to inhale the aroma and window shop. I have been known to occasionally and affectionately pet my saddles and I admit that I hugged my full buffalo Devoucoux Biarritz good-bye when I sold it last summer. I have, on more than one occasion, brought my saddle into a restaurant because I was afraid to leave it in my car. The first French saddle I ever bought stayed on a saddle rack in my bedroom so that I knew exactly where it was at all times. When I condition my leather, I have rituals and certain drying times. I wear gloves when I condition our saddles for sale so that I don't get fingerprints on the leather. Yes, I am OCD with my leather goods and the bottom line is I that I appreciate fine leather. I started because I love French saddles SO much and wanted to help others find them at reasonable prices. Obviously I love fine, soft, luscious, grippy, buttery, supple leather.

Last weekend I visited a local tack store and stumbled upon an old, light colored, oversized, Edgewood hunter bridle with reins on clearance for $50. That is not a misprint. It was $50. I really have been good about not being a tack hoarder and did I mention I did not need another bridle. The bridle still had its tags on for $500! The tags were dusty and so was the bridle. I imagine it was sitting in inventory for many years. Would-be buyers probably overlooked it because it is an ugly, light color that no one wants anymore and it had a traditional, non-padded mono-crown. Even my daughter remarked how ugly it was. She said, "Really? You are going to put that ugly thing on Tiny?" Little did she know! Here's a pic of it prior to its first coat of oil. Even without anything, it is already beautiful IMHO.

By the time I could afford an Edgewood bridle, I started carrying some nice bridles and also purchased a CWD figure-8 bridle. When I first started carrying PJ bridles, I specifically asked for the 'old' ones laying around because the craftsmanship and leather quality from years ago simply seem to be lacking these days. I wonder if Pierre thought I was nuts. I feel that a lot of bridles $500 and under hanging in tack stores today feel 'plasticky'. Am I alone?? I will say I love the bridles I have .. I love my CWD jumping bridle. The leather is incredible on it. Seriously incredible. I have a Devoucoux girth that deserves it's own hook in the tack room!

That said, I was SO excited when I found this bridle. I wonder if the people who overlooked this high-end, high-quality bridle knew that Edgewood bridles were all light so you can see the imperfections in the leather? I wonder if they knew that a few coats of oil and the leather turns a wonderful, rich, chocolate mahogany color? I wonder if they even felt this bridle? Even not oiled and likely YEARS old, the leather was already so incredible soft and supple. This bridle has quality workmanship written all over it! Here are more 'before' pics:

Prior to oiling  

I am so excited that I found such an incredible deal on an incredible bridle. I'm so happy that I saved a TON of money and found 'old' quality! Now, if I can find a matching martingale .... I will update this blog in a few months after my horse has used it and I have oiled/conditioned it more!

Pic after its first oiling!