Friday, July 7, 2017

Eponia Gatsby Dressage Bridle: A Rare Review

Pretty boy, showing off the goods.
It's no secret that I'm not much of a tack snob. I've been more interested in training my horse and saving for shows than spending money on the new pretty thing that comes along. I do like to buy new things, but usually my restrictive budget keeps my purchases on the utilitarian side.

That said, I've been casually looking for a new bridle for a long while. My snaffle bridle, affectionately dubbed "The Frankenbridle", was in need of replacement. A few of its parts (the oldest ones, naturally) were beginning to show their wear. It wasn't really show quality any longer, though I found myself showing in it often.
The Frankenbridle, in all its glory.
I was set on looking at bridles at Rolex this year, though I didn't expect to find a dressage one I liked. My list of must haves was rather long and suprisingly complicated.
1. Must have a thick plain caveson. No dangling flash attachment.
2. Must have a nicely padded crown piece.
3. Pretty browband that would look nice with my show things.
4. Rolled or at least flattering straps. Nothing that looks like it belongs on a monster warmblood overwhelming my horse's face.
5. Under $200.

Turns out that's a tough checklist to fulfill. However, Aimee succeeded. She dragged me to the Eponia USA booth immediately, where I saw The Gatsby snaffle bridle.
Oooh, ahhhh
I immediately saw that the bridle fit all my needs. The noseband is lovely, and the flash totally detachable. Plus the browband is made of beautiful champagne and yellow sparkles that will be beautiful on my chestnut and with my yellow-highlighted show coat. Still, I wasn't ready to pull the trigger. I kept telling myself that I already have a functional bridle that is just fine.

Then two things happened.
1. My mother offered to go in on the bridle with me as a birthday gift.
2. I realized that my current snaffle set up cost me only $25, and by god it was fine to spend some money for once.

So the next day I went back and bought it.
My joy in torturing Lyra for photos knows no bounds.
Once home, I wasted no time trying it on Pig.
He was maybe less than pleased to play the model.
I had bought the cob size, because the browband measurement was correct. However, when I got on Pig, I didn't love the way it fit.
He just was upset I wouldn't let him nap...
The crownpiece pinched his ears a bit, and the caveson was too short over his nose. While I've tolerated a similar fit from his $25 noseband for a few years, I was pretty annoyed that a more expensive bridle had a similar problem.

So I contacted Eponia, and they were awesome. They told me to pack up the bridle, and they happily would exchange it for a full size. The exchange was quick, and in no time I had the full size home and ready to go.

I love it.
Seems he likes it more, too.
The leather polishes up nicely, but the padding and styling is where I think this bridle really shines. The padding is luxurious. I could poke the caveson padding all day long, it's so squishy. And even the browband is padded!

The noseband wins me over every time I see it. I love that it is tapered at the sides, so it's not too bulky under the bit. With a horse like Pig, every inch of space on his face is needed. That tapering is very helpful, and flattering.

Eponia includes web and rubber reins with their bridles, but I swapped them out for my trusty thin rubber Nunn Finer reins. The quality on the reins is nice, however. I think I'll swap them out on my double bridle, where I was using the original Frankenbridle web/rubber reins for the snaffle.

I removed the flash, and I think the bridle looks stunning without it. The impression from the flash attachment has gone away quickly with regular use. So while you see it in these photos, it is not permanent.

Anyone with a horse between cob and full size should feel fine going up to a full. Pig's ears have a ton of breathing room in the full, and he still has some adjustment space on the cheeks. The noseband is wider across his nose, too. If I could make one adjustment, I'd probably ask for cob sized cheeks to replace the full size ones. That would help make things a bit shorter on the sides. However, I think that's just being picky.
Room to think and pretty crystals, too!
What do you think? Was it a good investment? Would you like an Eponia bridle, too?

30 comments:

  1. That's pretty much exactly how Henry's fits him too. I like it so far though, it's definitely pretty on a TB face.

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    1. TB face twins. It's a thing. I adore the Outlaw on Henry!

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  2. This is gorgeous!! I've been loving the pictures of Eponia bridles I've seen and it looks really good on him.

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  3. I have one too (the Cookie version with the amber browband and the black and brown leather) and got the cob (Umm the900facebookpony dragged me to the Eponia booth so i know how that feels) Ha. It is a really nice bridle and looks fab on Pig (Remus's looks pretty good on him too if i do say so). the bridle seems to adapt to the face type (I.e. Tbred, jowly QH with a little nose LOL). I like the leather too much better than PS Sweden. The cob fits Remus perfectly. But I love that they were so reasonable about swapping out. I too don't blow money on things like this often (UNLESS AMANDA is around sigh) but I do love it! And glad you do too! It really looks stunning on him. But Pig would look good with baling twine probably :) He has a regal face!

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    1. So awesome that it works on such a wide range of faces! Those big cheeked kids like Remus can really be tough to fit, but look soooo good when you get it right! I bet he loves his new bridle that Amanda forced you to buy. ;)

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    2. yes i love the look of it and love how versatile it is on all types. Amanda pfft she makes me buy EVERYTHING friends...right?? :) Enjoy the bridle!!

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  4. I want one of their bridles so badly! Pig looks so handsome in his

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  5. I really like the outlaw version but I can't bite the bullet and drop the money until my current bridle is no longer show quality (or my husband buys it for Christmas). I really like them without the flash a lot. To me, the flash is a bit bulky looking but I don't use a flash on my guy so it's no issue for me. I like them a lot and I like that I've seen a couple good reviews around the blog world.

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    1. The bulky flash is definitely a trade off for it being removable. Bulky is kind of "in" right now, though...

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  6. It's so lovely!! (Though I think it maybe looks better on Lyra, bahaha) I'm the same way about spending money and my current bridle was FREE from when my best friend worked at Bit of Britain. I'm still having a really hard time spending over $100 on a new bridle for XC and SJ now that I have a different bit for those phases. Sigh. Being frugal is hard. But Pig looks SO FANCY!! Love that noseband on him!

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    1. Omg. It's SO HARD not to be frugal. My favorite response is "well, but this works..." Haha!

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    2. "What do you mean, it looks silly using a fluffy black girth on my monoflap jump saddle?! It's functional isn't it?"

      The upgrade in looks definitely correlates with the price -- it's VERY flattering on Pig!

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    3. I 100% plan to go eventing with a chestnut borrowed jump saddle and a black bridle. Maybe even do xc in my double. Because fuck it is basically my mantra. So you rock on with your bad self and your black fluffy girth. ;)

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  7. Love love love the Eponia bridles. The Gatsby looks amazing on Pig! I want an Eponia but I have so many bridles that I couldn't possibly justify another one right now 😂 someday!

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    1. Haha, tack hoarder problems. What's that like? ;)

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    2. Send all the spare ones to me, then you can go buy an Eponia.

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  8. Gorgeous!!!!!!! I've heard such good things about Eponia!

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  9. This review is weakening my resolve. And I don't have much resolve to begin with. I really want an Eponia bridle!

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    1. Uh oh! Sounds like you probably have one in your cart right now! Make sure to tell me how you like it when you get it! ;)

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  10. Lovely. Thanks for the review. Oh...that's going to be Emi's next bridle!

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    1. Aw! It will be so pretty on her lovely face!

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  11. Gorgeous bridles. I may buy one soon. I bought a Premeira bridle and have been disappointed. In fact I got rid of it already. Love the Eponia bridles!

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    1. I think the Premeira are pretty, but they didn't have anything that fit my needs. Their lack of removable flash was bugging me, and the price was a bit high. Sorry to hear your new bridle didn't work out! Hopefully an Eponia will. I already know it looks good on Hampersand ;)

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  12. OH EM GEE, why did I click on this? I definitely don't need a dressage bridle, but I've now bookmarked the website (which is pretty much a sure sign I'm going to buy it.

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  13. Love the bridle, but what I love more is Lyra's face in that photo!! Hahaha, what a cutiepie!!

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  14. Looks awesome on him! I allllmost grabbed one but until I figure out a set up that pleases her highness I'm holding off. Glad it worked out for you!

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