Freedom Bridle Review
'Weird is good...'
The first thing you will notice about the Stubben Freedom snaffle bridle is the split headpiece; gorgeously soft padding separated by a single wide strap. The extreme cut away headpiece enables the ears to have maximum movement with no interference or poll pressure, aided by a fixed browband and cheek pieces.
Fig is fussy about his leatherwork. He has interesting head confirmation... Long, narrow face with huge ears, topped off with a parrot mouth. This means that all his bridles pull forward onto that super sensitive area. He can hold a lot of tension through his jaw because of it, and a tight neck has been commented on previously.
In all honesty, the bridle was simple to fit. He likes a looser flash and noseband. I adore the double sided crank pad under the chin, very clever and promotes even pressure! A bridle truly made with comfort in mind.
Fig was noticeably softer in the Freedom from the very first session; loose and supple in the jaw and poll, which made our warm up so easy and quick. He's not a particularly foamy horse either, but we had a little foam in this too! It was so nice to see a pair of floppy ears whilst I was riding.
Comparing to a couple of sessions in his regular tack, the difference was superb. He was really working through into the hand, keeping the neck out rather than tightening and scrunching back at me. I could feel his hind legs powering through, felt super confident and happy!
I braved a competition in the bridle after confirmation it was BD legal and was blown away with Figs work. We scored new personal bests of 69% and 70% at affiliated Advanced Medium and without a single comment regarding neck tension!
My only comments would be that the poll strap needs to be slightly further back on the pads so they can't tip slightly (although that might be where the bridle is fastened loosely at Figs preference) and that the cheek pieces are not hugely adjustable for Fig and he is a standard cob size.
So whilst it's a weird looking thing, it has really worked for Fig and I cannot wait to see how he gets on with the Weymouth version.