My latest challenge – the Stubben Switch bridle

So, what makes this bridle different?

This is the first multi-functional bridle St?bben have developed; with a few tugs and wiggles, this can become a snaffle from a double in seconds! Innovative as ever, the headpiece of the bridle features a gullet over the complex muscle that runs through the poll of the horse. This is flanked by a wide, flat and very softly padded section of leather that is cut away from the ears and aims to reduce pressure and tension through the neck. The throatlash is connected by a loop of nylon, as opposed to a conventional cut of leather this allows the strap to sit snugly alongside the cheekpieces and lessens the volume of leatherwork also. Bringing some sparkle to the table, MagicTack provide the bling for this bridle. The magnetic inlay simply slips on and off the backing of the browband, allowing for a quick and easy design change. Ideal for magpies like me!

Solving the ‘crank or no crank’ debate once and for all

The noseband is an extremely clever and functional part of this bridle. With the horse in mind, the flexible chin pad has a buckle on either side meaning that the strap can be secured gently and evenly. The noseband itself is shaped soft leather than is super pliable to the touch. The tapered style reduces any possible contact with the bit rings and thus interference with the contact. Right at the centre of the noseband, the leather work parts to allow the user to insert a small slip to thread a flash strap through. Removing the slip and strap, leaves no trace of the flash option. Likewise, the curb slip is simply un-threaded from the headpiece if the extra cheek pieces are not required. In effect you have the following options as a rider:

  • Double bridle
  • Snaffle bridle with cavesson fit
  • Snaffle bridle with flash fit

And how does the bridle actually wear?

For those of you that know Fig, he needs no explaining. For those of you that don’t… Well… I call him Mariah Carey because he is the worlds biggest diva! The slightest change can upset his equilibrium and leave him too offended to strut his stuff… I’ll admit I changed his St?bben bridles over with a little trepidation. The design couldn’t be more different from what he is used to! And… He loves it! The benefit to all St?bben tack is the superb quality of the leatherwork – flexible and soft that just moulds to the horse. No pre-use oiling required! Furthermore, the bridle has been snowed, rained and hailed on and there is not a mark on the leather. I was pleasantly surprised with the fit of the headpiece on him; Fig has a really wide base to his ears but a very narrow head which means cut away bridles don’t always suit him. Due to his nature and background, tension through the poll is something I work hard to eliminate and am wary of headpieces digging into his ears. To school he was taking the contact down and round, really soft through his neck and jaw. Ears gently dropped to the side and foaming in the mouth with the bits positioned perfectly. At ease to sit on the end of the rein. The bridle stayed still, the headpiece was perfectly central after riding and the noseband remained level. There were no rubs at all either – Fig is in the midst of shedding his winter jammies and this is his most coat-sensitive time of the year. He has rubs from the nose of his turnout hood, and the cuff of his rugs across his shoulders and legs, but not from his bridle! I am really impressed with this bridle; keeping this handsome horse happy is a tricky and seemingly full-time occupation. It’s not often I can make a tack change without some resounding knicker twisting! Feeling very time efficient with just the one bridle I can use for all his disciplines now. Winner! xox

4 Comments

  1. Robert Lahman on 23rd March 2018 at 12:27 am

    Usual sizes? The cost including bit/s?

    • Kirstie Johnston on 23rd March 2018 at 10:06 am

      Hi Robert, the bridle comes in cob and full size and doesn’t include the bit/s. You would need to let us know which bits you use or require and then we can cost it for you accordingly.

  2. Leeanne Vogt on 16th May 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Does this bridle run large or small? My horse is somewhat between a cob and full size, depending on the bridle.

    • Kirstie Johnston on 16th May 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Leeanne, I would say it runs very true to size. If you look at the photos of Fig in the review, he is a Thoroughbred and would wear a cob size bridle normally. He was in a cob size Stbben bridle before reviewing this bridle. If we can help any more, please shout.
      Many thanks.

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