(Another) Wide Noseband Hunter Bridle Thread

I’ve looked through all of the threads on here about Wide Noseband Hunter Bridles, but still remain undecided.

What I’m looking for:

  • Single piece crown
  • Unpadded Noseband & Browband
  • Noseband at least 1" wide

The brands I am looking at are below. Curious to hear any first hand experience/thoughts/suggestions.

Arion Fancy Stitch Hunter Bridle
$599, Noseband 1"
This is the bridle that looks the most beautiful to me online. But my frugal little heart is having trouble swallowing the $599 price tag. Could I pay for it? Sure. Do I want to? Undecided. Also worried that the calfskin leather might stretch too much.

KL Select Red Barn Indio Hunter Bridle
$394, Noseband 1"
I don’t love the stitching detail on the crown and the stitching color looks very white against the havana leather

Pessoa PRO Fancy Stitched Wide Bridle
$345, Noseband 1 1/4"
I don’t love the stitching detail on the crown and have read quality concerns online about the Pessoa bridles

Ovation Fancy Stitch Wide Padded Bridle
$220, Noseband 1"
I know this one says padded, but it is very minimally padded. We actually have this as a schooling bridle in my barn. I tried it on my horse and it looked great. The leather was plastic-y, but I’m sure the bridle has never been oiled. Obviously a different tier bridle, but is there really enough difference from the high end bridles to justify the added expense?

The Ovations, oiled and taken care of, are very nice bridles for the price. If you want buttery soft leather then I would pass on it, but if you want something that looks nice for the show ring, it would be a good option.


Plastic looking leather has a coating and it never softens like old school leather. It can however rub off or crack.

I’m a huge fan of buying gently used second hand.


I’ve used the Arion bridles and they’re stunning. I also have an Ovation that was around that price point 5ish years ago and it’s still going strong and looks great. It’ll never be super soft but I think they’re really nice for the $.


I personally am very sorry you started this thread😀. I think I am going to buy the Arion bridle…I’d not seen it before and I love square raised.


I have the KL Select over time I don’t love it compared to the other one I have that’s padded. The leather quality just seems lower. Here it is in my horse when I first got it. Takes a while for the noseband to soften and lay flat


Curious, what is the other one you have that is padded? Do you have a picture?
Thanks for the feedback on the Kl Select one! That’s good info to have :+1:

This is the padded one but not mono crown

This is an In Gate bridle not mono crown but not padded


My Ovation bridle is my favorite. I’ve tried to replace it with other bridles, but I always go back… I’m an admitted bridle hoarder. My bridle is soft, the leather is beautiful for the price point. My bridle has an unpadded noseband/browband, but the crown piece is padded.

A friend did purchase the exact same bridle for her horse and the noseband stretched horribly.

I had a Pessoa bridle. It was beautiful too, but it runs VERY big.

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How do you like the leather of the At The In Gate bridle? I like the look… similar to Richard Castilow without the big pricetag… but the leather looks cheap.

its nice. I believe the leather comes out of England. Full disclosure I’m friends with the company owner.

Definitely better quality than the first Red Barn I showed a picture of. i don’t mind my Red Barn Tryon ones but i dislike the mono crown one. i bought that horse an In Gate bridle and just having the noseband adjusted.

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I happen to have a couple recent pics of my Ovation after cleaning it. The leather is so soft and pliable for the price point. I’m continually impressed by it.


Leather quality of The In Gate is much better than all the ones posted in the OP. Whether you prefer the details/style is a different question. But not even a close call leather-wise. TIG is old style British non dyed leather. The others posted are dyed/painted leather from India or similar. The KL Select is closer to the type of leather I consider good quality but the others are not even close. That being said, I suspect TIG is more expensive than some of the other bridles posted. Ovation in particular seems wildly hit or miss. Every batch seems to have different leather. I had that exact same model and it was junky as all get out. So unless you see it in person it’s hard to say what you’re going to get from that particular bridle.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are a few different variations in price point/quality on the Ovation bridles, right? It looks like this “Classic” model for $135 is probably on par with KL Select’s “Black Oak” line (which is good for the money but is the more coated/dyed leather), while the Elite collection is nicer Ovation most of us are referring to.


Unfortunately I don’t like the stitching detail on the TIG bridle, so that rules it out for me, despite the quality of the leather. Also, the bridle is sold out. The pricing would have been right in line with the bridles listed in the original post.

Open to suggestions for other bridles, similar in leather quality to TIG, that I may not have considered.

@173north I’m starting to think that the Arion bridle might be the way to go. Did you ever have any issues with stretching or damage, as I read the bridle is made of calfskin.

Just wanted to say that all stitching looks really white on new bridles, but it dirties up with oiling and wear.


I like it better that way😀. I think fancy stitching takes away from a really pretty head.

In some of the descriptions I read, retailers described some stitching as “champagne” colored, as opposed to white. I wonder if that is the difference I’m seeing. I am comparing retail photos to retail photos. So, not comparing brand new to used.

That is true but I had the same one posted here (Ovation wide fancy padded in the $230ish price point) and mine was nowhere near that nice. It seems to vary by year, leather lot number, etc. mine was total junk and I resold it immediately.

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