Monday, April 7, 2014

Love my Harwich Bridle by SmartPak

For something was going to be my 'rain' bridle, it's sure turned out to be badass awesome.

I bought this bridle new off ebay about 2.5 years ago for around $127. I think the going rate at SP at the time was $145. They are more now, but exactly the same. A barn mate just ordered one in. 

Specifically, mine is the Harwich Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle by SmartPak. I did try the plain raised version at one point, wanting a thinner nose back, but it was to the point of oddly flimsy and the fit was weird - so the plain one it went back.

Harwich, pictured at 4 months old, not used consistently yet

From this photo I decided my horse looked ridiculous with that donut on his nose (Harwich) and started shopping for unpadded thin nosebands. I've found a few but I only use them for shows.
It really does come this color, but ends up a lovely
chocolate with a hint of havana in the sunlight

I never used to like laced reins, they would tear up my hands. Apparently soft ones make a difference.
But now I won't ride with anything else. I don't like Edgewood laced reins though, because the lacing is too thin and it has that cutting in my hands kind of feel. 

I do own high-end brands like an ADT Imperial bridle, so when I say my Harwich is of comparable quality, and it very nearly is, I'm not making an uneducated comparison. The sizing is right on too, as both his ADT & Harwich are cob and fit beautifully. (Stubben and Courbette also cob)

Here it is now, after 2.5 yrs, at least 2 of which is full time schooling use, which means 3-6 days a week. And it's the piece of tack I take the least care of so it doesn't get cleaned monthly either.

After a clean & condition this weekend.
It was soft and supple from the very first day. It was very thirsty to begin with and always seems to be, but no worse for the wear because of it. And the most important feature I require on bridles is no plastic-y coating (Vespucci seems to the worst offender). It should feel and *smell* like leather from the first day. And the Harwich does.

Sammy's so cute in his darkened Harwich :)


  1. Seems like lots of folks are raving about the Harwich line from SmartPak!

  2. Replies
    1. Now that it's dark and blends more with his color, it's pretty fabulous ;)

  3. Oh, I do like the after picture. I was really tempted when smartpak ran their bridle sale last week, but xc schooling > new bridle right now.

    1. I may or may not have ordered a WellFleet during the sale. TackHo!