Help Me Spend Money Round Two: Figure 8 Bridle

I’m on the hunt for a new figure 8, and right now I have it narrowed down to three options but am open to others. Right now I’m looking at:

Nunn Finer figure 8
Schockemohle Rio figure 8
Lumiere figure 8

Overall I like the look of the Nunn finer more and I’m confident it’ll be really nice leather, but my hold up is it has a plain straight crownpiece, not a mono crown and not anatomical. I don’t 100% know if my horse actually cares or not, but his ears seem to have a lot more room with an anatomical crownpiece.

I currently have a Schockemohle Montreal bridle and the crownpiece fits him great. He’s also a little in between sizes, he’s horse sized everywhere except for the noseband area, depending on brands a cob size may fit his nose better. I would order a Schockemohle figure 8 just noseband, but it’s not available in the same color as the rest of his current bridle (because of course).

I just rediscovered Lumiere and it seems to tick all the boxes, but I’m suspicious of quality because of the lower price point?

Does anyone have one of these and if so, how do you like them?

For other brand recs, I’m looking for:

Really QUALITY leather
Anatomical monocrown preferred
Around $350 or less
Bonus if it comes with reins but it doesn’t have to
Fleece or leather/neoprene disc is fine

Thank you!

Photo of him wearing his current bridle for internet tax :joy:


I can’t speak to the Schockemohle figure 8 but I’ve been borrowing my trainer’s anatomical bridle from them (mostly because I’m borrowing the bit attached to the aforementioned bridle, lol) and I really like the leather quality and can’t imagine the construction would be much difference aside from the noseband setup.

I have an off-the-rack figure 8 from Flexible Fit that I picked up in Kentucky last year and I love the quality of it—just waiting for my own bit to show up so I can give my trainer back her bridle and go back to using my own! I did buy it at the 5* so I got a deal on the price but it was sub-$200 with reins included and I’ve been very happy with it. The reins that I have are rubber-backed laced leather and they’re super grippy without being the type of rubber that will tear up your fingers if you ride without gloves (as I’m known to do). It’s also a monocrown with cutbacks for the ears and my horse honestly seems happier in it than he does in his regular cavesson bridle without any of the fancy fittings.

Edit for the photo plug :joy:


I don’t know if this checks the “really quality leather” box (but I personally don’t think Schockemohle does either): Shires Velociti Figure 8 bridle for around $100. It has a very nicely shaped/padded monocrown, faux fleece padding on the disc, leather padding under the top noseband straps, and no white stitching (which I personally prefer). It does come with flexible rubber reins that seem decent. It gets really good reviews despite the low price. I have been coveting it for a while and recently pulled the trigger. Unfortunately my horse who always fits in cob-sized bridles needs a horse size because the noseband won’t even buckle, so I can’t comment on it in use yet. But I’m optimistic.


I am not a fan of Schockemohle. I think I’ve waxed all over about my experiences with the brand but to keep it short and sweet, I used to be in Quality Control for a large tack vendor and we were constantly having Schockemohles returned because of poor design. I even looked past this bad experience and ordered my own (Sch. Delta) and the first came with the defect of the padding not actually being stitched to the noseband, and the second that I exchanged for broke within a week.

If your budget is $350 or less that is a pretty good budget and you’ll have access to a whole variety of brands. While not fashionable, Kieffer and Passier both make great strap goods. My Passier Ingrid Klimke has been through 7 NE winters with no controlled climate storage, subpar care, and being used in rain/sleet/snow and is still one of my better bridles in terms of condition.

Eponia makes a Fig 8 that is ~$195, I’ve been really happy with my own two Eponia bridles.

Have you had your hands on Vespucci? They make a decent Fig 8 and while they bleed for a bit they’re pretty nice bridles. I picked one up on consignment for $50 a few years back, and I use it in the winter on the STB.

There is also Antares… for $350 or less you absolutely could find a used or even barely used one. I really like mine but it isn’t a figure 8.

Edit: Here’s the Vespucci on both of my boys - it didn’t fit the dark bay so it became the light bay’s:


What a handsome boy he is, @skipollo!

I love my Passier bridle’s leather quality. I just bought it this winter, but it is so well made. I don’t, however, think they offer a stock fig 8, you’d have to custom order it. They do sell a fig 8 separately.

I have had quite a bit of Vespucci over the years and it is a solid option. Schockemohle is hit or miss. A couple boarders have them, and 3/4 are lovely and the other is a bit sloppy in the stitching. It’s the kind of thing I’d want to go pick out a specific bridle instead of order.

Steer clear of Kavalkade. A boarder ordered one and it was just plain garbage…broke in one ride.

Pick of my boy in his Passier just because he’s a doll!


Thank you all so much for the suggestions so far! Yes Schockemohle was only on my list because I’m pretty happy with my current one and I love how the crownpiece fits my horse.

For those of you who have Passier or Eponia, how do you find the sizing? Runs small, true to size, or large? And for leather quality, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being AMAZING) how would you rank it? I’m on their sites right now and I really like the cuts of their crownpieces, but I’ve never seen one of their bridles in person.

I definitely want something nice and am willing to pay good $ for it (within reason). I did look at Vespucci already but am not crazy about the minimally shaped crownpiece.

I’d say order your horse’s usual size for both of those brands. Passier can be a bit generous in the noseband but not enough I’d size up or down.

Passier has a few different quality lines, so keep that in mind. The Ingrid Klimke (which is what I have) is one of their higher quality lines, and yes, you can custom order. Generally with Passier the models that are designed with pros are the top quality lines, while the Starlight is one of the more economically friendly options. I wouldn’t call it ‘poor quality’ but it’s not made with the same leather as other lines. I’m happy with mine. I had it custom ordered through Dover and yes you can get it with a figure 8. You can order essentially any combo of any bridle with any caveson - in my case I got the IK with black leather, brass hardware, brass accented crystals, and the special caveson noseband.

Some people don’t like Eponia and have reported poor customer service, which I believe. I’ve been very happy with mine but there is a distinct quality difference between their black and brown bridles. The quality of my Ginger (brown) is much higher than the quality of my Violet Water (black bridle). I’m happy with both but something to consider if you’re looking for black tack, I think the only brands that really make good black tack are Passier, Kieffer, and Antares.

I think the Spirit is the economy Passier you’re thinking of? The Passier Blu line or something? The Starlight is pretty pricey.

Oh that’s good to know. Yes I was looking on Fundis and the prices vary a LOT. I was looking at these two, they come already set up as figure 8s:

I was initially suspicious of the Marcus Ehning one just because it has a “celebrity” name attached to it, and I always get a feeling that products with celeb names attached will be lower quality. In the descriptions it looks like the regular one is just “finest bridle leather” and the Marcus one is “finest bridle leather” paired with “grain leather.”

Would you say it’s buttery soft and pliable right out of the box, no need to douse it in oil or conditioner to make it feel really nice?

Ooh I like those. I’ve been happy with all of my Passier products. The crownpiece contouring is subtly different between the two. Looks like the ME has more of a cutback but the narrowest part is also higher up. One of my guys has large, low-set ears and I’m pretty sure that cut wouldn’t work for him.

Check out The In Gate!
Great quality leather and excellent customer service. We have original figure 8. It has recently been redesigned so there is less floof.


I have the ADT (Arc De Triomphe) Imperial Figure 8. They’re pricey but you can find them used. In this photo the bridle was 14 years old. The quality was worth the price.

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I’m here to help you spend you’re money again :rofl: I have the Schockemohle Rio figure 8 for my guy and I’m very very pleased with it! He’s between a cob and a full and I ordered the cob size but had to get full size cheek pieces. The cob cheeks would’ve worked but I wanted a little more room. I had the Vespucci figure 8 and it was very nice too but a little tight up top. The cob also ran very large and had to get the noseband and throat latch taken in. Also can’t go wrong with the Nunn Finer one!

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I have a Nunn Finer lower end figure 8, the Stefania, and it’s really nice for the price. Straight browband though, and a comfort (not mono) crown where they run the noseband strap over the crown padding in an inlay slot.

I also have a Dover Indulge that I won in a raffle, and I don’t like it much. It fits weird and the leather is meh.

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It’s too bad it doesn’t have the leather bit behind the rings. That’s a must have for me. Only a few brands do that currently.

I have the schockemohle one and I love it, that being said I would NEVER pay new prices for one. Both mine broke within 3 uses. Luckily they were both on sale for a big discount. I’d say go for it if you can find one used or on sale.

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Depending on your shipping/location, you could also look at British sources. I’ve been looking for a nice figure 8 bridle too, but have been torn on the anatomic nosebands or not. The Shires one linked here was nice except on the model horse the bottom noseband buckle was right on the lips. That seems like a dumb design!

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Yeah I’ve been looking at UK vendors/brands as well. Their prices are generally a lot better than here for the same products. I’ve been obsessing over this for probably a month :sweat_smile: I’m not crazy about the anatomical nosebands like PS of Sweden, etc. either. I’d prefer a more classic but not dated look.

I think I have it narrowed down to two but have to think about it (read: obsess and second guess myself) some more….torn between the Nunn Finer and the Passier (non rhinestone version I posted). The only reason I didn’t go for NF right out of the gate is the crownpiece, which truthfully I don’t know if he cares or not, I think I just have a bug up my hiney about it 🫠

Oy I’m making this so complicated :see_no_evil:

On the UK side, I have had a couple of Ecorider Freedom Grackle bridles that I really liked. They have the anatomic monocrown.


Ovation carries a few bridles with shaped monocrowns (the ATS and RCS Elite come to mind) and I’ve been very pleased with many of their bridles for the price point. The leather is both sturdy, yet soft and pliable.

Nunn Finer is a great option as well.

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Okay folks, I did it, I made a decision and took the PLUNGE. Once it arrives, if it fits and I like the quality, I’ll update with a big reveal of the one I chose :sunglasses: With photo reviews obvi.

Thanks to everyone who suggested brands so far, it was so helpful and gave me a lot of options I hadn’t even thought of/didn’t know about. This isn’t the end…I’m doing one big “upgrade item” per month (to space out the $$) so I’ll be back for more brand recs on things in the future :crazy_face: