An Ode to The Frankenbridle (And a blogger thank you)

Behold! The Frankenbridle!
My snaffle bridle was, in many ways, a thing of beauty. However, awkward and slightly ugly it actually appeared.

See, it's really the embodiment of all the goodwill blogging has brought to me. It's the story of collaboration. The story of friendship...

... In 2013, I sold my old too-large black and burgundy bridle.
Yeah. This was once a thing. I'm so, so sorry.
Jen had given me a bridle she'd been given. It was supposedly a Sommer, and cob sized. However, it was so old that all the makers marks had worn off of it, so nothing could really be verified. The leather was nice, so I happily took it and began using it with my Red Barn drop noseband.
Mystery bridle, shown here with Red Barn noseband.
It wasn't long before I began modifying this configuration. I hated the web/rubber reins I had for it, so I swapped them out for a cheap set of SmartPak Harwich rubber reins.
New Harwich reins. Quality = utilitarian (note: these are still in use on another bridle/horse, so I guess you could say they're fine). 
Fancy browbands were in fashion, so I picked myself up a minimally flashy version and kept on trucking.
Nice low-bling browband with a little swoop action. Plus one eternally stretching Red Barn drop noseband. Ugh. Never oil those things, they'll stretch forever.
We kept on with this set up for a very long time.
And, honestly, it wasn't a bad look for him.
Though I did occasionally throw on the original mystery bridle's noseband just to check that our training with the drop was on track.
Finally, I decided we might be done with the drop altogether. I sifted through a box of random bridle parts Aimee shipped to me, and found a plain noseband I could use.
Oh yeah. That's beautiful right there.
At the same time while experimenting with double bridle set ups, I realized Pig was ready to go in a loose ring bit. The caveat being that he needed one with a friendly metal. I had been using his bradoon, but was looking for an option so I wouldn't have to swap bits.

Enter Aoife, who shipped me Kika's old bit along with some delicious European licorice!
Omg. That licorice. I drool. 
I slapped it on Pig's bridle and off we went!
And back into the drop for awhile.
I was on the hunt for a plain noseband, and finally found a Nunn Finer crank on super clearance for $25. I snapped it up and tried it on.
It fit a bit awkwardly at first...
I also decided the crownpiece had seen better days, and swapped it with a Jerry's Harness one from that box of magic bridle pieces of Aimee's. This meant the cheek pieces are now the only original pieces of the starting bridle left. Their buckles are a bit small for the Jerry's crownpice, but that's nothing a little conditioner can't solve.
Yeah, my horse cuts himself a lot. Sigh. Also, caveson still fiting like shit, but better.
Here. This shows the crownpiece better. And no eye blood... for now.
Sure, the metals don't match and the caveson fit is iffy. But remember. I'm up to a grand total of $50 spent on this bridle. That's kind of crazy. And that number is about to go down. How? Well...

I decide my minimally blinged browband looks much better on my double. To fill the browband need on my snaffle, a barn mate gives me a browband that is much too large for Pig. No worries. I just pull it down so it makes a neat deep swoop. Looks pretty intentional, right?
Oh, sorry. Again with the eye blood. I can't help it if the only time I photo his head seems to be when he's hurt himself...
Is that better?
Finally, the Harwich reins were beginning to see some significant wear in spots, so I used a coupon at a show to pick up a pair of Nunn Finer thin rubber reins. You know, the kind that never ever go on sale?
Hell yeah. That's a nice looking set up! Not counting the reins, it cost me all of ... $25 and some international networking.
So there you have it. The story of how a snaffle bridle evolved over 4 years and with the help of an international group of friends. Thank you everyone. My journey with Pig would have been a lot less fun without all of you contributing to our evolving training aid changes.

Isn't blogging the best? Any one have a frankenbridle to rival this one?


  1. Haha long live Frankenbridle! Kind of fun to see the evolution all laid out like that!

  2. That's funny, I don't even remember owning that bridle, giving you that bridle or why I even had it!

    1. Pretty sure someone sent it to you about the time you were putting together a jumping bridle or something. Either way, it didn't work for you for some reason, and I was happy to snap it up!

    2. That was me! I've been a reader of Jen's blog since before Connor. I think it was back when her hubby was out of a job and she wanted a bridle. I had just sold my horse and had a ton of extra stuff, so I sent it to her. It's a Somerset that was given to me by my friend. It's probably from 1996 or so when we were riding back in middle or high school. Funny how horse stuff gets passed around. Glad to know it went to good use since I'm still horseless!

  3. So funny! Bloggerland is just the coolest. That bridle has gone through quite the metamorphosis!

  4. that is SUPER frankened. I've never gone that far down the rabbit hole, mostly bc my bridles are monocrown which makes swapping parts hard (or they are the micklem...)

    1. Yeah both of mine are monocrown now. Which... does make things a bit harder to swap.

  5. Omg I love this post. I have a beloved Frankenbridle, though I believe it cost substantially more than yours.

    1. I believe in recycling my old stuff to a point that may be unhealthy. Haha

  6. I love that Aimee's box of bridle parts is just like Hermoine's beaded bag (HP reference). MUCH bigger on the inside :) Great story! And he looks good in all the incarnations of it!

    1. I should put all the pieces in a random beaded bag!


  7. there's a soft spot in my heart for franken bridles :) i'm actually kinda sad in some ways that my current two bridles (both from bloggers, actually) are mostly still in their entire original state except for brow bands and reins. tho i make up for that with my circus bridle snackamore lol

  8. It's like a pokemon it keeps evolving!

  9. This is so impressive! I am even more impressed that Aimee managed to get you to buy a full new bridle instead of sending you a new box of straps.

  10. I love this! So cool to see the progression and how you still have parts of the original bridle :)

  11. That's awesome. I have a frankenbridle, but it didn't involve international support, I just put the non broken pieces of multiple broken bridles together until I created a bridle when I needed a snaffle for a schooling hunter show.


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