I’m looking at Edgewood bridles online (due to their reputation for being high quality and the option for different noseband sizes) and they have a padded crown, but it isn’t an actual monocrown (this is where my confusion is). There is a thin strap connected to the noseband that still goes underneath the crown peice (like a traditional bridle). But doesn’t this defeat the purpose of having a padded crown? Am I missing something here? I was also wondering if the leather quality of the Edgewood bridle is worth giving up the convenience of a monocrown (easier cleaning/don’t have to clean 2 sides of 2 straps in the crown area/potentially more comfortable for the horse)? Any monocrown alternatives that are just as high quality as an Edgewood? Of course my horse has a tiny head and looks best in the thinnest of nosebands (current bridle has a 1/2" noseband, but it’s super old and they don’t make them anymore) and of course really thick nosebands seem to be popular right now. If anyone can clear up my confusion about the Edgewood padded not-monocrown and/or point me in the right direction of an alternative it would be much appreciated. TIA!
Maybe thread the noseband strap through the crown from the other side so it sits atop the padded crownpiece instead of underneath?
All the pictures I can find online (like this one: https://images.app.goo.gl/j7YZxsGXcChmUgk37 ) sure make it look like it is the traditional noseband-under-crown set up, which might defeat the purpose of a padded crown if the horse was pretty sensitive. I guess it is possible that if the padding is soft enough, the strap of the noseband might recess in after a while?
Nunn Finer makes nice hunter bridles with a padded crown and the noseband running in a channel over the top. https://www.nunnfiner.com/Hunter-Bridles-s/219.htm The “Elena” and “Florence” bridles have that style. I have two of them (not sure what style I have) and am very happy with the styling and quality.
Unfortunately this is their version of a “padded crown”–they don’t have a true monocrown option. That said, I’m still extremely impressed with the quality of my unpadded Edgewood and with the way the leather has broken in, it seems to sit comfortably on all the horses I’ve put it on. Still definitely worth it, in my book!
I do think that the Edgewood quality is worth it, and some of the best out there. New Cavalry is of identical quality (the Edgewood owner was in business with New Cavalry before starting Edgewood) and has a recessed crown, but it looks like they only have one style of bridle on their site right now that is probably not what you’re looking for, though it may be worth contacting them to see if there are any other available options.
I don’t know of any other options similar to Edgewood quality that have a monocrown or recessed crown, unfortunately. Hadfield’s is very nice and has a recessed crown, but it’s a completely different type of leather (and is more expensive than Edgewood).
I believe I may have seen a monocrown bridle on Bennett’s Hunter Fine Bridles’ site as well, but I can’t remember. He does custom work (as do EquuSport and The Country Saddler, though I’m not sure if they offer monocrown/recessed crown options), so it may be worth asking about, though all of these are more expensive than Edgewood (but of OUTSTANDING quality).
I have also seen people occasionally run the poll strap of the noseband over the top of the crown. It might not look quite as polished as a monocrown/recessed crown, though.
Antares has a monocrown and the quality of the leather and the workmanship is outstanding. I owned Hadfields, Antares and Edgewood all at the same time, and loved all of them, but the Edgewood is a couple of hundred dollars less and just as nice IMO. None of mine were monocrowns though, the original Antares was a traditional style and to be honest I do not like the Antares monocrown, those three straps on each side of the crown are just too bulky IMO, especially if the horse has a small fine head.
We sell a TON of Edgewood at my tack shop. We’re stopp carrying the padded crown because it is not a monocrown and we’ve found people really aren’t that interested in it since it isn’t a monocrown. There are a lot of people that don’t like the noseband buckling on the off side and want a traditional bridle look.